LeCain states that there are three types of technofixes, transformational, relocational, and delaying. Further, he says many of the technofixes fit into “a combination of two or more of these categories, and no doubt further categories or refinements could be developed.” (LeCain, pg138) He says that although the creators of these technofixes never intend for them to cause further problems, that is often the case. The transformational technofix turns a problem into something else. Relocational moves the problem into someone else’s problem and delaying just ignores the problem until later when it’s someone else’s problem. So basically, the whole purpose of technofixes is to take the problem you have and make it into someone else’s problem.
Mining is always going to produce waste, but the bottom line is that as long as it’s profitable and fits our lifestyle, humans are going to keep mining up the minerals. There is a continuing effort to improve the efficiency of mining so that it will be less damaging to the environment. According to LeCain, we can learn from the past to look towards the future. “In many cases, however, simply avoiding certain ores or not mining and smelting at all may not have been a realistic option. In this light, the techno-fixes offered by the twentieth century mining engineers and scientists were at least a tentative step toward the modern goal of harmonizing the divergent demands of technical and environmental systems.” (LeCain, pg 151) We’ll continue to work on being able to get enough metals to sustain our current lifestyles, hopefully with also advancing the protections we offer the environment.