By Professor Timothy J. LeCain
Where: The steep mountains outdoors Salt Lake urban. The time: the 1st decade of the 20 th century. the guy: Daniel Jackling, a tender metallurgical engineer. The target: A daring new know-how that can offer billions of kilos of inexpensive copper for a speedily electrifying the USA. the end result: Bingham's huge, immense "Glory Hole," the 1st large-scale open-pit copper mine, an important chasm within the earth and one of many greatest humanmade artifacts on the earth. Mass Destruction is the compelling tale of Jackling and the advance of open-pit challenging rock mining, its position within the wiring of an electrified the US, to boot its devastating environmental consequences.Mass destruction mining quickly unfold round the country and the globe, offering uncooked fabrics necessary to the mass creation and mass intake that more and more outlined the rising "American method of life." on the sunrise of the final century, Jackling's open pit changed huge yet constricted underground mines that probed approximately a mile underneath the earth, to develop into the final word image of the fashionable religion that technology and know-how may well conquer all common limits. a brand new tradition of mass destruction emerged that promised approximately endless offers not just of copper, but in addition of coal, bushes, fish, and different traditional assets. yet, what have been the implications? Timothy J. LeCain deftly analyzes how open-pit mining keeps to impact the surroundings in its ongoing devastation of nature and commodification of the actual global. The nation's biggest poisonous Superfund web site will be one impression, in addition to different kinds of environmental useless zones worldwide. but at the present time, because the world's inhabitants races towards American degrees of source intake, actually plausible possible choices to the know-how of mass destruction haven't but emerged.
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Extra info for Mass Destruction the Men and giant Mines That Wired America and Scarred the Planet
12 Even Lewis Mumford, who was at times a ﬁerce critic of modern technology, initially praised the revolutionary potential of copper and electricity. 13 Mumford’s sunny views stemmed in part from his belief that hydropower could meet much of the nation’s demand for electricity. Edison’s Pearl Street Station had used the dirty coal-ﬁred steam engines of the past—what Mumford called the paleotechnic age. But many assumed the future of electricity would be hydropower facilities like those constructed in the late nineteenth century at Niagara Falls.
It did. The new bulb produced a steady glow of light, about as bright as the gaslight ﬁxtures common then to American shops and homes. More important, the new ﬁlament burned nearly fourteen hours. After several months of work, Edison and his team found another type of carbon ﬁlament that burned for , hours. 2 In reality, Edison’s “eureka moment” was not quite so clear and dramatic. Testing of a carbon ﬁlament bulb stretched over several days, and Edison and his team only gradually realized they had found the answer.
One of the most destructive and dangerous ideas of the past century was that Americans (and others) could engineer a technological world largely independent from the natural world, whether that be a mine, a city, or a controlled and isolated industrial dead zone. Nature, of course, would still be the source of raw materials, agricultural products, water, and air, as well as a dump for the waste products of industrial civilization. Increasingly, however, these natural systems were believed to be mere cogs in the larger technological system, distinctly secondary subsystems that could be fully controlled, rationalized, and engineered for maximum productiveness.
Mass Destruction the Men and giant Mines That Wired America and Scarred the Planet by Professor Timothy J. LeCain