Techno Fixes: “Real Fake Doors”

LeCain classifies technological fixes into transformational, realocational, and/or delay fixes. It seems that he believes techno fixes don’t actually eliminate a problem, simply change it, move it, or delay it. He examines the case of melting down ore around anaconda that caused tons of arsenic to be released into the atmosphere. This caused many problems in the surrounding area including livestock death and crop failure. Eventually a system was created to take arsenic out of the toxic smoke and turn it into fertilizer. While this seems like a win win situation, however this caused over fertilization, which lead to similar problems that happen when arsenic is released into the atmosphere. This is an example of how a techno fix transformed a problem into a different problem and moved it to a different area. I would argue that it also simply delayed the original problem, because there was still arsenic being released into the air.

When it comes to the mining pros and cons, it’s important to consider the risk vs reward. The simple fact is that humans need the resources obtained from mining to carry out day to day life in modern day America. I don’t think this gives us an excuse to destroy the environment, but mining is still an essential industry. The way I understand LeCain’s argument is that techno fixes can never be perfect, but still need to happen because without them the environment would be even worse off. I agree with the basic premise that techno fixes need to happen, however I think techno fixes can completely eliminate problems. Technology is increasing rapidly, and techno fixes with it. Eventually I believe humans will have a much better understanding of the environment to the point that we can accurately weigh the benefits and risks of our actions and possibly fix what we’ve done to the environment.