One of the biggest, and most obvious, consequences of technological advancements in mining is more efficient mining. This is evident when inspecting the O2 packs that miners used in order to navigate deeper and more hazardous mines. The benefit of being able to navigate mines previously too hazardous to attempt is of course more precious ore for your troubles. However as the reading notes, technological developments didn’t necessarily mean that the conditions were inherently safer for the miners. One of the biggest reasons as to why that is, can mainly be accounted to corporate greed in the face of new profitable technology. Miners being able to reach more hazardous areas meant that the focus would inevitably shift to previous areas before unreachable. So as a result of this new technology, miners found themselves in GREATER hazard, rather than what is regularly expected as the other way around. As the reading notes, when miners entered the Dodge copper queen mine of Arizona “temperatures hovered around 97 degrees with nearly 100 percent humidity.” (Lecain 47) Even with the O2 packs to filter out the harmful gas, miners still faced the serious threat of heat stroke with the temperatures so severe.
While obviously mining should be as safe as possible for both the environment, and to humans, we have to ask ourselves if that’s truly even possible by the nature of what mining is. No matter what technologies we develop, mining will always involve the process of digging up the earth to reap it’s spoils. In past readings we looked at how logging had a tremendous impact on the natural ecosystem, with far reaching consequences that we could never even have fathomed. That was only on the surface level of the earth, think of the unforeseen consequences we could face when we are literally excavating entire segments of the earth. From my limited viewpoint of the technological advances of the future, mining seems like a necessary evil with no proper fix to it’s fundamentally flawed design.