Thursday, November 30, 2006
Scars on the landscape..
The world in which we live is ever changing, and humans have been responsible for huge changes in the way things look. The Bucket Wheel Extractor is used on open cast mining operations and can move vast amouts of material per day. These machines may be impressive in size and ability, but so are the scars they leave impressive in size. The companies involved make promises to fill the chasms left by these machines, but with what?
Deep mining can lead to surface collapses, and the waste brought out is piled high. In the case of coal waste, the heaps can be very dangerous, as seen in the Aberfan, North Wales disaster of 1966 (http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/home.htm). They can plant what they like on these heaps in a bid to hold them together, make them look green, and try to pass them off as 'been like this for centuries', but you have to wonder about the rain that soaks through these heaps and how it affects the area around. Lead waste is even worse. In general, mines are back filled when the usefulness is gone, but not always.
If the company that owned the mine goes 'bust', who then takes responsibility for the back filling or pumping out of water? In some cases, nobody does, and the resultant pollution is hidden from public eyes. You might also not want to know that 'vitrified' nuclear waste is dumped in some deep mines too.
Out of sight, out of mind.