The scourge of sckience (I know that’s a typo, I just wanted the alliteration)

One of the biggest, and most obvious, consequences of technological advancements in mining is more efficient mining. This is evident when inspecting the O2 packs that miners used in order to navigate deeper and more hazardous mines. The benefit of being able to navigate mines previously too hazardous to attempt is of course more precious ore for your troubles. However as the reading notes, technological developments didn’t necessarily mean that the conditions were inherently safer for the miners. One of the biggest reasons as to why that is, can mainly be accounted to corporate greed in the face of new profitable technology. Miners being able to reach more hazardous areas meant that the focus would inevitably shift to previous areas before unreachable. So as a result of this new technology, miners found themselves in GREATER hazard, rather than what is regularly expected as the other way around. As the reading notes, when miners entered the Dodge copper queen mine of Arizona “temperatures hovered around 97 degrees with nearly 100 percent humidity.” (Lecain 47) Even with the O2 packs to filter out the harmful gas, miners still faced the serious threat of heat stroke with the temperatures so severe.


While obviously mining should be as safe as possible for both the environment, and to humans, we have to ask ourselves if that’s truly even possible by the nature of what mining is. No matter what technologies we develop, mining will always involve the process of digging up the earth to reap it’s spoils. In past readings we looked at how logging had a tremendous impact on the natural ecosystem, with far reaching consequences that we could never even have fathomed. That was only on the surface level of the earth, think of the unforeseen consequences we could face when we are literally excavating entire segments of the earth. From my limited viewpoint of the technological advances of the future, mining seems like a necessary evil with no proper fix to it’s fundamentally flawed design.  

4 thoughts on “The scourge of sckience (I know that’s a typo, I just wanted the alliteration)”

  1. Noah-
    Great post! I like the title…you’ve got to have that rhyme 🙂
    You used great examples of the evils of mining and the technological fixes we continued to invents. I agree with your views on mining. I think it needs to be safe but I really do not think that that is possible. In the past, every technological fix that we invented had a downside and a terrible consequence. I really think that even if we continue to try to make mining safe for humans and the earth, there will always be a disaster waiting around the corner that we cannot predict, and that is the scary thing. It is definitely flawed, but do you think we will ever be able to stop mining all together? probably not…

  2. Very informative post Noah, you have a lot of great information and provide a different perspective on aspects I don’t think I would have thought of. I like how you talk about how mining technology seemed to only put miners in more danger as they can now reach tougher parts of the mine. This makes a lot of sense because the goal of the mine operators is simply to produce ore and accumulate money. It is an incredibly greedy industry, especially back in the early-mid 19th century. It is also very difficult to think about some sort of fix to these safety issues as it does all come down to money.
    Thank you again for your post,
    -Bryce Whited

  3. Noah, I really enjoy your post and i think that all of the information you wrote about was both valid and interesting. I agree greatly that mining should be safe to humans and the environment, and that it simply cannot be. The companies and the people who mine the ore and precious materials do so with intent to make as much money as possible, putting safety standards or people and the earth at a minimum because that would cost them money. There are very few large companies that care more about the environment than money and those are what we can rely on to try and make mining safe for all, but it is only something we can dream of because mining is something necessary to the world, but is something that destroys and rips up the world in many ways.

  4. I really liked your catchy alliteration in the title, it made me want to read what you had to say. That being said, I like that you referred back to our earlier readings. Making the connection between the terrestrial damage caused by logging and the subterrestrial impacts caused by mining is something that hadn’t occurred to me. I feel like I agree with your last statement that mining is a necessary evil, since as a society we’re not going to give up our reliance on electricity carrying metals any time soon, so we’ll need more to help power them. We’ll continue to improve our methods to increase yields at the expense of the environment and the safety of the people who are working.

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