This Conversation of Mine is Getting Deep

Technological advances seem to be the answers to most problems of America. Take mining for example. To deal with the problem of flooding in his Nevada mine, “Hearst and his partners…purchase the first steam-powered pump to dewater the Comstock Lode” (LeCain pg. 40). To deal with the possibilities of collapses occurring due to the mass amount of earth above the mines, “Deidesheimer developed a new “square set” timbering method that used heavy interlocking wooden beams” (LeCain pg. 40). These and many more technological marvels were created to keep mine workers alive and more productive than ever. Though these technologies allowed for deeper and more productive mines, they also led to deadlier ones. Take for example the Speculator Mine disaster of Butte, where “the fire in the mine would eventually claim the lives of 164 men” (LeCain pg. 50). The consequences of these technological feats were that people risked more because they relied too much on technology fixing everything.

Before anything else, humans need to remember that Earth is all we have and we should not waste it away for the sake of profit. However, I understand that sometimes mining is imperative to make the world work. Before a mine is opened, people should asses the risks of doing so. During the operation of a mine, people should try to get as little waste as possible because “some substances [can be] very difficult, expensive or impossible to treat at the sight” (Sandlos and Keeling). After closure, companies should make as much effort as possible to correct what they have changed about the area of the mine. In my opinion, mining will never truly be a safe proposition to humans or the environment because there is no way to take important elements of the earth away from an area without severely affecting it and the people and I think we need to remedy this.