The Butt(e)hole of Montana

Problems in the Bitterroot valley include increasing population, immigration, decreasing quality of water, poor air quality, forest fires, toxic waste, and climate change among other things.Some of these problems such as forest fires are problems that occur naturally, however humans have made them worse. Other problems, such as toxic waste, are completely man made.

I believe that the Bitterroot valley can be used as a model to look at environmental issues to an extent. Looking at toxic waste in particular, we can see how our government handles complex environmental issues without a simple solution. This also holds true for forest fires, because we can see how we handle them, and sometimes make them worse, which also leads to better solutions for handling these events. The Bitterroot valley is also unique in the fact that there are so many environmental problems in a small area, which offers an opportunity for many great minds to come together and collaborate. There is also the interesting idea that environmental damages must happen in order for a society to progress. Timber for example, is a necessity; it’s used in houses, buildings, and to make paper. The effect that logging has had on the environment is detrimental, however is a necessary evil for humans. I believe that this idea of a necessary evil applies to everywhere else in the world, and the Bitterroot valley is as good of a place as any research ways to make necessary evils as “unevil” as possible because of the impact mining and logging industry has had in the area.

One thought on “The Butt(e)hole of Montana”

  1. You mention the term “necessary evil” quite a bit in the section section of your post. Do you believe that it is actually a necessary evil or that is simply a nice justification for our actions as humans? I agree with you that the Bitterroot Valley is a great example because it acts as a cesspool of environmental problems that we as a society are dealing with currently. However, when you assert that our government isn’t coming up with a solution to the problems of toxic waste and other such environmental concerns, I think that is the crux of the issue. There is no cut and dry solution to these issues and although being critical of our government and environment is a great tool to enforce effective and efficient policy, I do not think that we can expect an answer to these history long issues. You pose such an interesting idea that as we progress as a society, we take detriments in other areas (much of which have fallen on our environment). I am curious about the notion of necessary evils in our world and whether there is a feasible and pragmatic way to make them “unevil”. As a side note to the content of your post, your title is very funny and accurate.

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