Bison, Bears, and the Bitterroot Valley

  1. Montana, despite being a state in which the collective ideology is one that encompasses everything to do with nature, has an array of environmental issues that have perpetuated over a number of years. Like most other states, Montana’s Bitterroot Valley struggles with the environmental concerns of toxic waste, forests(including deforestation and fires), soil, water, climate change, biodiversity losses, and introduced pests. Throughout his piece on the degradation of society through environmental impacts, Diamond presents Montana as the main example for the effects of our past and present actions. Given this, I affirm that the current state of the Bitterroot Valley is historical in nature, primarily because Diamond affirms that our actions in the past have shaped the current state of affairs.The refusal of taxpayers to implement laws for these companies to follow, their ignorance of forest fire prevention, and the blind eye that has been turned to ecology have all led to the change in the Montana climate that you and I know today.
  2. Given the evidence that Diamond presents about Montana’s environmental crises, I think that he offers a valid example for the environmental crises that the world faces currently. The very fact that these climate change issues are affecting Montana, the smallest state in terms of population density and one of the poorest states in the union, proves that these issues are happening anywhere and everywhere. We have been neglecting the Earth for a number of years now, whether in our denial that the climate is changing or in our refusal to do anything about it because it is always someone else’s responsibility. The Valley is perhaps a more emotional appeal of sorts to back up Diamond’s claim because he uses it to recount a tranquil and easier time whereas Montana on the whole is used as a multitude of factual examples for the climate change problem.

1 thought on “Bison, Bears, and the Bitterroot Valley”

  1. I would agree with you that Montana is a prime example of the environmental issues that the world is facing today. It’s a good point to mention that if even Montana (given its fairly remote and small status compared to the rest of the US) is showing the effects of the changing climate, then the rest of the world must be experiencing the same types of problems. However, I slightly disagree with the fact that the current environmental problems are due to the “blind eye” of the public. I think that there is some truth to that, but I also think that the majority of Montanans are deeply concerned with the environmental issues we are currently facing. A large part of the blame (in my opinion) is with the companies that have been irresponsibly using the land for generations.

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