Is Science Strong Enough Yet?

It is no secret that we are constantly causing harm to our planet in both knowing and unknowingly ways. The history of the mines in America show this clearly and illustrates the impacts one decision can make. LeCain explains two important case studies in which our actions, created heavy consequences. The technological fix, as we have explored this semester, does not always come with a positive connotation. In relation to the mines in the case studies, the transformational, relocation, and delaying technological fixes were considered unsuccessful due to the lack of knowledge on the complications the “fixes” would create. LeCain believes that the engineers and scientists truly thought they were creating practical solutions to the environmental hazards. He states, “but in retrospect the techno-fixes can be seen to have often disguised the full magnitude of the environmental problems and thus served to justify the continued operations of the smelter industry”(Lecain 150). The people behind these three types of fixes did have good intentions in fixing a problem, but without enough experience or knowledge on what these techno-fixes would do, there work was defective and flawed.

So with all this data and history of the environmentally detrimental mining industry, why does it still exist? Is it necessary? As I stated last week, I don’t have an answer. I do, however, have faith in the science that exists today enough to say that yes, we could function smoothly as a society without mining. We have many synthetic materials that can take the place of the minerals we mine. This idea could just be another delaying techno-fix and could have bad consequences in the future. I would hope that these cases studies and many other documented techo-fix failures would lend a hand in not making the same mistakes again. I agree with LeCain that the mining of these minerals were necessary in our industrial progress in the past, but not in present day.



1 thought on “Is Science Strong Enough Yet?”

  1. Hi Mia,

    I do agree that the mining of copper and other minerals was necessary to bring us to the point we are today. However, I am conflicted about present day. While I do see that we could easily create synthetic materials to replace minerals. And that ultimately may become cheaper in the long run. However, the immediate effect of banning mining would be detrimental. When you think about the amount of people employed by mining companies, we would be forcing people (often skilled workers with limited skills in other industries) to lose jobs. Would it be easier to slowly phase these industries out (through generations) to minimize that loss? or should we focus on the planet and just pull the industry altogether? It’s interesting to look at it from both perspectives.

    I really enjoyed your post, thank you for sharing 🙂

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