“On further examination, however, all three types of techno-fixes ultimately resulted in other environmental problems, and they thus offer some insight into the strengths and limitations of the engineering and scientific methods used to create and evaluate techno-fixes” (LeCain, p. 139). The Ducktown Operation’s first techno-fix was transformational (sulfur dioxide into fertilizer) and helped the quality of air around the operation. The second fix was relocational (fertilizer taken to farmers all over). However, the fertilizer used often ended up poisoning nearby water and killing all life except the algae and bacteria that fed on the fertilizer’s product. The Deer Lodge Valley Operation used all three fixes. Arsenic was captured and turned into pesticide. The pesticide poisoned the land it was used on. The arsenic leftover at the operation caused problems for people, especially children, much later in the 1980’s. LeCain is clear that these fixes are entirely temporary and likely only have the chance to positively affect their area of origin, while harming other ecosystems (such as fertilizer or pesticides being used elsewhere).
As I sit here in a well-lit room early in the morning, doing my laundry, reading a book on my laptop, and texting friends on my phone, it’s hard for me to say that my opinion on the matter is unbiased. Copper has allowed astronomical advancements with electricity and I cannot easily imagine a life without it. LeCain brings up a very good point that techno-fixes are only temporary and in the long run, much of the mining industry is disastrous for the environment. This further harms the credibility of my opinion. I have never (to my knowledge) been negatively affected by a mining operation. I have only reaped the benefits of it in the form of the technology and electronics at my disposal. I recognize and agree that we are harming the environment with mining, but to an extent, I find the product to be worth the damage.