The Pitt

Human kind has been using the natural resources provided on earth for millions of years; however, with the advances of technology in the modern world humankind has needed more resources. With technological advancements comes the need for more resources and materials to create said technologies. This problem would feed the hunger of inventors, causing them to then want to create faster, bigger and better technology. Furthermore the rapid advancements caused a need to mine materials; therefore, engineers then were set on a path to find the most efficient and productive ways to mine. There is a limit on how much you can mine in an area so engineers then found ways to mine in more secluded and dangerous areas–this did not come without consequences. The example the text gave was during the early nineteen hundreds in Butte Montana engineers develop air ventilation and cooling systems so miners could go deeper. The invention was good, it allowed for the mine to expand lower in elevation, the systems came with flaws. The complex ventilation and cooling systems were considered to be major achievements at the time; however, at times the systems would fail leading to a lack of oxygen and this could kill the people in these mines. These miners were deeper than a mile with no way to escape if the systems failed. Even though these systems allow for mining deeper and deeper into the ground was it worth it?
I believe that mining not only damages the landscape as it physically tears apart an area, but also in how mines use large machinery which pollutes the air with massive amounts of carbon emissions. For example when mining for metal there are often sights near the mine to place the tailings from the mine; these tailings often have metals in a chemical state which if not managed carefully can affect the nearby soil or water. This causes the land around the sight to then become contaminated with such hazardous chemicals which in turn can negatively affect the local wildlife. In my opinion because of the damage caused mines should have more strict regulations unlike Butte in the 1900’s which still has major damage done to the landscape. Butte should be used as an example as to why we need regulations.

3 thoughts on “The Pitt”

  1. Great post Seamus. I agree with a lot of the points you made in your post. I think the cycle you described between the need for materials for innovation and then the innovation needed for the extraction of more materials was very accurate. Our need for innovation feeds our need for resource extraction, which I think is clearly displayed in the need for copper from Butte to feed the growth of electricity. I also agree that mining inherently causes extreme damages to our environment and communities. I am very interested in your point about adding more regulations to resource extraction. I agree that there needs to be more regulations on what we do so that mining’s damages can be minimized, but I was wondering if you think this could inevitably fix the issue or do you think it is just ways of minimizing it?

  2. I like how you went into good detail about all the negative effects caused by the way we used to mine our minerals in this country. I especially liked how you chose to bring carbon emissions into the equation from the exhaust pipes from all the mining machinery. What would happen if these mining companies tried to start mining all over again today and in the same way as they did before? What would be your solution to this problem in modern time? I would have been curious to hear what your thoughts on this would have been. Overall, you put together a good summary of the content we read this week and I thought your post hit on some good key points.

  3. I agree that yes the new contraptions made the mines safer, and you do touch a little bit on how they can be unsafe, but could you talk more about how they could be unsafe? They were safe but when they failed it caused many deaths. I like how you talk about what mines do to the environment around them. Mines do cause lots of damage environmentally and physically to humans.

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