LeCain’s argument in describing the three types of technological fixes is that we must make sure we are fixing and preventing problems rather than covering them up. He talks about fixes we use. We transform materials, we relocate them, or we delay dealing with them. None of which really solve the problem (LeCain, 138). LeCain talks about heap roasting and the arsenic that results in deaths due to separating and mining copper ore. Both of the case studies he presents reap similar results. In heap roasting they transformed the poisonous sulfur dioxide gas into sulfuric acid. That, then, slipped into water supplies and killed fish in waterways (140-142). LeCain uses this as an example of a transformative technological fix. There were similar results when arsenic from mining was not treated in Anaconda. It seeped into the groundwater and killed livestock. This, LeCain believes is an example of the delay of a technological fix (LeCain, 144-145). Because it was important to keep mining copper and avoid producing an abundance of life-threatening gas, the arsenic was captured and turned into pesticides (LeCain, 145). LeCain uses example to demonstrate the transformation and relocation of materials as a technical fix. He points out the problems in our collection of materials and the hazards involved. Additionally, he makes a point about trying to solve problems in a haphazardly manner.
I think copper and other materials are important to the world today. Copper is pervasive in our households and is a major conductor of electricity. Right now, we do need copper and other minerals to produce new and better materials. Maybe there will be a day when we will be able to come up with a fix for these issues and replacements that aren’t harmful. However, in order to perform that research, we need to be able to run labs. Nonetheless, I think we should be working to make the mining process less wasteful and harmful to those involved. I like LeCain’s argument and he is absolutely right to point out all of the problems involved in mining. I think we are struggling to find solutions while we continue to pile onto our own issues.