Do we need mining?

The three types of technofixes are: the transformational, the relocational and the delaying techno-fix. LeCain describes that engineers and mining companies viewed the use of any of these techno-fixes as an effective solution to the environmental problems. But he also mentions that: all three types of techno-fixes ultimately resulted in other environmental problems (LeCain, 139).

His argument is that technological fixes have produced huge amounts of dangerous chemicals and smelter managers used techno-fixes like sulfuric acid plants to preserve rather than abandon, their industrial system (LeCain, 150). The second case study about the arsenic pollution problem in Anaconda shows us that transforming, relocating and delaying effects of arsenic smelter smoke allowed farmers and the Anaconda Company to continue to work in the valley for more than half of a century (LeCain, 149). They simply avoided the environmental dangers and the problems and failures of these techno-fixes came later to future generations.

Mining produces waste and as we’ve learned, it harms the environment. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine a world without copper. We rely on copper for power, water supply, lighting etc. As LeCain mentions: simply avoiding certain ores or not mining and smelting at all may not have been a realistic option. (LeCain, 151). I agree with him at this point, because even though it causes environmental damage, the mining engineers and scientists have tried to solve some problems with techno-fixes, but we must admit that these only help a tiny tiny bit.

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