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Mining - Part Problem, Part Solution

  • May 19, 2020 12:47 PM
    Message # 8979687
    Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Team Good as Gold, but Greener, The Tinkerer School

  • May 23, 2020 7:55 PM
    Reply # 8989086 on 8979687
    Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    I liked how you presented both perspectives on the impact of mining. It is important to note that there are both costs and benefits to our actions, including our potential solutions to the climate crisis.

  • May 28, 2020 11:05 AM
    Reply # 8998252 on 8979687
    Kyle Burkybile


    It's important to look at all the angles of an issue, and you raised a really good point that mining also gives us materials that can help slow global warming and replace fossil fuels. Mining itself is not necessarily a bad thing, how we do it and what materials we mine definitely have a big impact on how we impact our planet. 

    I would encourage you to continue building on the research you've already done to find a few more ways that 1) the mining industry is reducing its carbon footprint and 2) how we're improving our extraction of rare earth metals. That way, your audience has even more positive things to take away from your presentation, since they have heard a lot more about fossil fuel emissions from mining. 

    Overall, great work and keep exploring these issues! 

  • May 29, 2020 4:10 PM
    Reply # 9001761 on 8979687
    Rowland Davis, Chicago member

    What I really liked most about your presentation was that you look at both sides of the issue. Unfortunately, many people forget to do this when they argue whether something is good or bad -- usually it is a little bit of both.

    Some elements are indeed a critical part of many climate solutions, with the lithium used for batteries probably ranking near the top. So we do need to mine for these critical elements, but we should do everything we can to make the mining process as friendly as possible for the environment. Also, since REE's or critical elements can be expensive, many scientists are exploring ways to possibly switch to other compounds that might work as well, or maybe even better! Here is an interesting new development for a battery that does not use lithium.

  • May 30, 2020 4:16 PM
    Reply # 9003667 on 8979687
    Lisa Albrecht

    First let me say how impressed I am that you embedded audio into a PowerPoint presentation.  I can easily say if I polled 10 adults, only 1 would know this was even an option. Well done using technology to your advantage! This is a very resilient response to our changing world since you could not deliver the presentation live.  Really well done!

    Like others, I also enjoyed that you suggest not all “bad” is “bad”.  I am a solar installer and my least favorite part of solar is the impact from mining. But as you state, we do need materials to create solutions.  You also do not ignore the negative impacts and call them out which is balance representation of your hypothesis.  I think, though, that you need a little more analysis to arrive at a conclusion. Since 95% of the earth is fueled by fossil energies, we need to make a transition away from “bad” mining and measure to make sure that the net effect of remaining mining is used for good.  You begin laying that out but just need a bit more of a compare and contrast to draw the conclusion.  I’d say you are on the right track to making an ethical argument, just need a bit more data.  

    Well done!

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