Do the Material Gains Trump Morality?

The pollution and contamination that resulted from mining and smelting across the United States had brought about, and continues to bring about technological fixes to prevent toxicity. Timothy LeCain seems to convey that the three technological fixes of the 1900’s: transformational, relocational and delaying, had done a good job of preventing toxic minerals and elements from contaminating the environment for that certain age in human history. The technology to prevent harmful environment disasters was only a recent field of study after mining and smelting became popular in the United States, so the early techno-fixes to environmental harm from mining is hard to compare to the successes of today’s mining techno-fixes. The techno-fixes of the 20th Century had also helped future generations of scientists, engineers, historians and geologists understand the effects of exposing specific toxic elements to the environment, whether remote or populated. (LeCain, 138, 147-151).

Now that humans fully know that mining causes harm to the environment, with evidence provided by scientists over the last century, mining becomes a questionable way to produce or extract energy. In my opinion, as I have stated before in previous blogs, if mines are still in operation purely for monetary reasons and not for the good of humanity or research for further prevention from disaster, than those mines should be shut down. Copper is essential in producing electricity and power, but there will be future inventions that will take copper’s place as the best, clean energy producer, like solar and hydro power. I do think that humans need copper right now, but not an immense amount because of the efficient technologies that are constantly improving within renewable energy.