LeCain argues in his essays that technological fixes can be classified into three general categories; transformational, relocational, and delaying. LeCain explains that people today view technological fixes with a much deserved skepticism because history has shown that ina macroview technological fixes have not taken into consideration the long term effects of the problem or how their fix will affect the environment further down the line. LeCain explains how this was not due to a lack of respect for nature on the part of the scientists and engineers, but from a shortsightedness or a narrow scope through which they viewed their problem. LaCain argues that in his case study of the Anaconda mine and the Ducktown mine the technological fixes did have a positive impact on the communities they sought to resolve the issue in. The problem arose when the source of pollution was either transformed, relocated, or delayed and then entered the environment outside the scope that the original fix was designed to work in. LeCain explains that techno fixes have earned the skepticism with which they are viewed, but they should not be abandoned. He argues that they seems to suggest that they should be undertaken with a broader scope that takes into account the impacts throughout the entire trajectory of the fix to include future generations and possible mistakes once they are relocated to another industry or use.
We do need copper and other minerals in modern society. That is the ugly truth. Without these minerals the world as we understand it would deteriorate very quickly. One has to weigh the consequences of such an undertaking. Would you be willing or even have the knowledge to survive in a world reverted to a pre industrial era? If humanity wants to continue the trajectory we are on then real solutions must be found for the very real problems we are facing. I think LeCain makes a good point that technological fixes have had good short term impacts and that without them many of the problems would still be unaddressed. However in order to start actually fixing the messes we have made we must come up with solutions that actually fix the problem. For the most part the technological fixes that have been created are the equivalent of putting an egg in a leaking radiator. I am not an engineer, but those undertaking the tasks of developing the solutions to these problems must fix the problems once and for all. If we cannot create real solutions then the result of the problems could very well lead us back into a more primitive world.