Beautifying degradation

 

The stunningly beautiful photographs on HCN’s Aug. 4 cover and illustrating “Idaho’s Sewer System” effectively neutralize the incisive messages in Richard Manning’s well-researched article. I bet any Idaho Big Ag exec would be proud to display any one of these on a corporate waiting room wall. After all, do not these crystalline-sharp, color-saturated views convey the grand vision of productivity imagined by those settling on this river plain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? By distancing and aestheticizing landscape in this way, degradation appears acceptable, even desirable.

Douglas Beauchamp 
Eugene, Oregon

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