The simple fact that contrary to the popular belief at the time, the environmental techno fixes had done a great deal to solve the environmental problems of the times. The time was the period of reconstruction post world war two so much of Europe and Japan were devastated from the physical toll of war. Not to forget the environmental impact that many of the nations saw during the war. Moving to the example of large scale smelting operations he explains the toll those operations had on the environment. Plus the economic and political factors of this problem. Lecain argues that humans have used technology to create as well as solve their problems and breaks them down into three categories. The transformational techno-fix, the relocation techno-fix, and the delaying techno-fix. Engineers were called on to create a process or machine to fix whatever was the problem and make both parties (the effector and the affected) happy. Lecain makes the assertion that the techno-fixes of the old days did little to fix any issues. This is do to the aftermath and more problems that they engineers often created with their projects. These techno-fixes were often done by mine workers who knew what the company needed to do to continue being profitable. So for the sake of profits pollution was almost always a byproduct of progress.
To ask if copper or other minerals were not needed we would first have to ask ourselves why do we need them? Well, copper for example, is in just about anything that plugs into a wall or runs off a battery. Many of the minerals mined in Montana are part of everyday life. Say you have a new born baby, you’ll probably need some talcum powder. Minerals like that are not inherently hard to get out of the ground today but mining methods of years gone by, were. If mining pollution was such an issue than why has it not destroyed more of America’s landscape? I acknowledge their mistakes in engineering that have led to various disasters and tarnishing of what would otherwise be pristine landscapes. But Lecain says that developing new technology to combat the pollution is more of a proactive solution rather than simply ceasing mining all together. Lecain says that we create more problems the more we use technology, and sometimes we only create bandaids to larger problems. But I do believe that our techno-fixes have come a long way from when they were first being understood to aid the impact mining has on the environment.