The sine qua non of prosperity

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Faulty thinking produces bad government, and, without a doubt, it’s faulty thinking that’s propelling Montana’s conservative Republican legislators in their benighted, perverse and relentless drive to neutralize Montana’s major environmental statutes (see “Natural disaster,” Feb. 17, 2011). This in a state whose very identity is drawn from its largely intact (but nonetheless fragile) environmental amenities, a state that has been heretofore making heroic efforts—in Libby, Bonner, Anaconda, Butte and elsewhere—to rectify the damages done during eras when environmental protections were either nonexistent or poorly enforced. If Montana’s anti-environmental, totalitarian-minded, neo-con ideologues have their way, legislatively, Montana shall, once again, be prey to the corporate sociopaths who pursue profit at all costs, and who disdain the higher values—the higher life-sustaining values—inherent in the natural world if it’s respected, protected and kept intact. An intact natural world is a veritable form of providence for us earthlings, and it is, in fact, the sine qua non (the “without-which-nothing”) of all prosperity.

Unfortunately, those obvious truths are not fathomed by the money-mad entrepreneurs who earn their bonuses by ruthlessly exploiting and polluting, nor are those truths fathomed by legislators who are the minions of such entrepreneurs (who, by dint of their idiocy and greed, turn free enterprise into an obscenity that it need not be). In view of the citizenry’s absolute reliance upon a clean and healthy environment (for obtaining the most basic of life-sustaining substances, i.e., clean air and clean water) how can the Republican Party’s explicit pursuance of a less-clean, less-healthy environment be regarded as anything less than a gross violation of the peoples’ trust? What kind of “government” is it that would, intentionally, condemn us all to the dreariness and illness engendered by a more toxic environment?

T. Azzara

Missoula

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