Between Heaven and Hell

In LeCain’s Between the Heavens and the Earth, there is a lot of discussion of what technology benefitted mining throughout history. By having to adapt to the underground environment, miners developed techniques to control and understand it, making them engineers before it was an established idea (LeCain, pg.36). This is evident in Butte, Montana, as the copper mines that It also included the invention and use of hydraulic mining, which was very detrimental to the environment. Mining caused the creation of technology that let people work in environments that are considered poisonous using oxygen tanks and breathing devices (LeCain, pg.45). Some of these technologies have been beneficial to advancement, but some of them have caused a lot of disaster with nature, and it is nearly impossible to clean up.

The impacts the mining has on the environment is absolutely something that needs to be addressed. Before hand, it is necessary to look at the potential of what could go wrong, and all the ways that it can be cleaned up if anything goes wrong. During, it is important to be constantly on the lookout for what may go wrong and the impacts it will have on animals and the environment. For example, if a river has contamination during, or even long after, researchers need to consider how that will affect the environment immediately, and long after. Mining does not seem to ever be completely safe to the environment, but it is obvious that people will never stop mining. The best idea would be to search for the safest way to mine that does the least amount of damage to people and the environment