Ducksmog and Dead Deer

LeCain’s argument in the case studies of technofixes for environmental pollution of smeltering facilities shows that secondary environmental pollution caused by the fixes were unknown or ignored by engineers of the time. LeCain speaks of three types of techno-fixes 1. the transformational techno-fix 2. The relocational techno-fix 3. the delaying techno-fix (LeCain, 138) all of which mitigate the most obvious problems of environmental pollution while transferring the effects elsewhere. With transformational techno-fixes pollutants such as the sulfur dioxide gas produced by the Ducktown smelter which was distilled into sulfuric acid and used to produce fertilizer brought the negative effects of the sulfuric acid to water and plant life near land where the fertilizer had been used. This example also shows relocation because the use of fertilizer relocated the consequences of smelting away from its immediate environment. The third is the delaying techno-fix which is done in the Deer Lodge Valley in the use of the arsenic to treat wood used in the underground mine which now leaches into the groundwater of Butte.

I think it’s been fervently shown that as the world currently stands the mining of mineral resources is absolutely necessary to the world’s economy and the status of developing nations. This, however, makes it all the more important for the world’s engineers to develop techno-fixes that aren’t detrimental and only transfer the problem elsewhere or delays the consequences as discussed with the arsenic in Deer Lodge Valley and sulfuric acid from Ducktown. We have to stop just mitigating the negative effects of our mining and actively reduce the negative effects in the first place.  This means picking less destructive methods to extract minerals from ore that produce less toxic smoke and chemicals and need to be mitigated immediately.