Impact of You and Me

Wyatt Ayers

The Bitterroot valley currently faces a handful of problems that are in direct relation with the increasing population in the valley. Many of these problems didn’t start to happen until the 1800’s when the miners began mining the hills of Montana and leaving their trash in the mines and surrounding areas. As time went on mining, farming, loggers and other industries moved into the area. Logging began stripping the landscapes of trees and making a forest into a barren landscape. Along with the mines, logging, there is also the problem of over farming in an area that causes a depletion of nitrogen in the ground that plants use to grow. The Bitterroot valley has been facing these problems for decades and it’s just begun to change its momentum in another, better direction.

 For decades people did nothing about it, they saw it happening, but turned a blind eye towards it because it was easier to ignore the problem than fix it. The Valley is definitely a good example of what the world can be looking at in the future. As more companies take over acres and manipulate it to their own needs, the rest of the area and wildlife suffers. As Diamond wrote in his book; these companies are about profit and don’t really care about the environmental impact that their work does to the surrounding areas. This goes back to why people doubt science; it’s simply easier to look at a pleasant lie than an uncomfortable truth. Thinking about how messed up the planet is, is a difficult topic to discuss. People tend to sway toward information that makes their point more reasonable and makes them feel better.

1 thought on “Impact of You and Me”

  1. In your first sentence you claim, “The Bitterroot valley currently faces a handful of problems that are in direct relation with the increasing population in the valley.” While I acknowledge that the population in the valley has been steadily increasing since at least 1970. I’m not convinced of your claim. The valley was inhabited seasonally, for longer, by the Salish tribe but these issues were nonexistent until the industrial revolution as well as the introduction of a capitalistic people. My point is that the type of society doing the populating has more to do with the problems than its size.

    I agree with your conclusion that “it’s simply easier to look at a pleasant lie than an uncomfortable truth” as a valid explanation of human behavior towards the problems we have created. This conclusion begs the question of what our role as low income members of the community is in the recovery of our environment. Do you agree with Diamond that our role is to apply political pressure until we see mandated change of companies? Can that same answer possibly apply to all of the other areas in the world that Diamond claims the valley represents?

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