Never Forget

There were a few technological advancements that allowed underground mines to dig deeper and thrive as they got deeper into the earth. One of the first huge advancements was the implementation of the steam powered water pump. As the mines dug farther the groundwater increased and made it impossible for miners to complete their work. These large pumps took water out of the mines up to the surface, so people could work freely down below. The other huge technological advancement was the addition of oxygen masks and breathing machines. These allowed people to breath down below where there was little to no oxygen and even recycled the carbon dioxide released when breathing. This helped accomplish the same thing; allow miners to dig deeper and theoretically extract more minerals. The engineers coming up with these ideas had no regard for anything else other than being able to mine deeper. “In contrast to farmers, ranchers, or others with primarily agricultural interests, one of the striking aspects of the mining geologist’s metric of visualization was the way it often ignored the traditional terrestrial human environment.” (LeCain 43) This is the consequence of all the mining technologies. They had no regard for the environment. Digging deep and creating unstable ground to build on and pumping out and dumping toxic groundwater was of no concern to the engineers of the time. This was the largest consequence from these advancements.

To address these issues people just need to think and take the environment into account. With mining no one really considered the environment before, during, or after the process and mining was completed in a given area. I think all we need to do is be aware and look at the cons of technology not just the pros. Mining may never be a safe proposition. At least not without getting extremely expensive. Dealing with and treating the toxic things we take out of the ground needs to be more of a priority to the people running the mines. That’s where the process needs to begin and end. I think that we need to take that into account and make it as safe as possible for the environment. That’s an approach we need to take with every industry and technology. Always keep the environment in our thoughts and actions.

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