Problem after Problem

In his argument, LeCain describes three types of techno-fixes: transformational, relocational, and delaying (LeCain, p. 138). Transformational fixes change the problem to a different form. Relocational fixes moves the problem or changed product to a new location to be used. A delayed fixed is when the problem has been slowed down, but will build up again and become an issue (LeCain, p. 148). After giving examples of these fixes in two areas, LeCain keeps pointing out that the fixes are only temporary. At the beginning, the fixes did help reduce toxins from the air. However, when the toxins been changed and used in other areas, such as fertilizers for farms, the residue infiltrates the environment in a new and dangerous way (LeCain, p. 142).

In today’s society, I believe that minerals that are mined are necessary. I believe that society is not ready to move on from where it is in terms of mineral usage. I do believe that society, or at least some part of it, wants to find ways that makes mining less damaging. In order to make mining safe, mining companies and scientists can not think of the immediate problem. They have to plan for problems that could happen from various fixes, such as the algae bloom from fertilizers. Mining companies and scientists need to take LeCain’s arguments to heart because it will be the best way for today’s society to move forward, and maybe even stop mining overall. If we can stop mining, then environmental issues should reduce dramatically, unless humans finds a worse “fix.”


1 thought on “Problem after Problem”

  1. I agree that mining companies need to think of the big picture and not just the immediate picture when it comes to fixes. LeCain makes the point that mining engineers are only going to be able to fix the problems that deal with their field and so, I think that having a multi-disciplinary team to assess the fix before implementation would be a step in the right direction. Regarding society stopping mining outright, I don’t think that that is ever going to happen. The way that society is structured, we’re too dependent on our exploitation of the environment and we would need to go through catastrophic cultural changes in order to cut off our reliance on the mass utilization of the environment. Of course, just because something is improbable doesn’t mean that we should not strive towards achieving it. We should try to end or reduce our reliance on the mass consumption of raw materials.

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