LeCain’s argument is that the engineers and scientists believed they were creating successful solutions to keep the mine operations going but did not account for the long term effects. As LeCain states, “the techno-fixes can be seen to have often disguise the full magnitude of the environmental problems.” (LeCain, pg. 150) The three techno-fixes; transformational, relocational and delaying are methods the engineers used to solve their problems. However, these same methods created a perceived notion of having solved those problems. In the first case study, the transformational and relocation methods show how the solution was not solved but just changed type and place. By turning the acid into fertilizer it created toxic runoff that infected streams, rivers and lakes. This supports LeCain’s argument that the scientists and engineers had far less knowledge of the secondary products. The second case study further supports this same argument. The consequences were similar but with different chemicals. When looking at these problems as a whole, it shows how the engineers and scientists focused too much of the short term problems without accounting for future generations. However, LeCain does include the great story of one scientist, Cottrell, who was determined to make fixes without the want for money. I think this could be one of the reasons why Cottrell’s invention worked and others not so much.
Currently, I do think the world is in need of mining minerals. Thousands of devices that are created require these materials and until an alternative solution is found, it will not change. Maybe some artificial products could be made instead that give the same effects. However, this then leads to what are the consequences of introducing unnatural products to nature (plastic). In order to solve these problems we need to really think in ways similar to LeCain’s argument. We need to focus more on developing long term techno-fixes that also grant benefits to the short term problems.