Our team has members
from the United States and Bulgaria. We all studied mining
and its effects on the environment. Mining is responsible
for a lot of everyday things that make our lives better.
It is also responsible for the destruction of many areas around
At first we thought that the United States was the only
country that had this problem. This is not true. Our
team member from Bulgaria told us that his country also suffers
from the results of mining.
Kris in Bulgaria:
Mining is a traditional means of living for our
country. Mining gives jobs to the local people.
Many of these people are
jobless and their household incomes are very low. They can
hardly make ends meet and don't have money to buy cool things
like computers, nice furniture, etc. When mines operate,
people have well-paid jobs. Not only that, but mining
provides materials for industry which means jobs for other
people, products for Bulgaria, and exports for the country.
However, mining is a threat to nature. An example of
this is Rhodope Mountain. There are ancient forests there.
When copper was found there, it was good for the economy but it
also threatened the birds that nest on the rocks or underground. Rhodope Mountain has a lot of bird, animal, and plant species.
There are 167 bird species there. Examples are the white-headed
hawk and the black stork that are both endangered species in
Bulgaria and Europe.
In addition to threatening wildlife, mining changes the land.
Mining causes landslides, and pollutes water and soil. A
large amount of wastes are caused by mining. Sometimes
these wastes can be recycled but, in Bulgaria, we lack the
technology to make this happen.
Everything on Earth is connected. Soil, water, air,
plants, animals, and man are parts of a whole. When man damages
the land with mining, he needs to reclaim the land, or return it
to the way it once was. This is known as reclamation.
So, when Bulgarians discuss new projects that mean using
cyanide [a deadly poison] to mine for
gold, you have to wonder
if the 300 new jobs are worth it. I think that a clean
environment is more important than money. When we looked
through the Internet for other viewpoints, there were lots about
how the land is reclaimed, making the land even better than it
was before. That is not always the case. I visited
an abandoned quarry where nothing was done to reclaim the land.
A whole lot of places don't do anything to help the land when
the mining is done.
This video shows a quarry in Bulgaria that wasn't
reclaimed. This means that no one tried to do
anything to fix the quarry area after they were done
The video uses the Windows Media Player. Click on the
arrow under the video player and it will begin to
play. Depending on your computer, you might have to
click two times on the arrow and wait a few seconds. We have included
the file link below if you use another kind of video
player. Right click on the link and "Save
We should mine
only for what we need, and do our best to reclaim the land when
the mining is done.
Charlie in the United
States: We agree with Kris, although we
think that there should be a whole lot less mining in
the world. There are lots of substitutes and man-made
minerals now. Wherever there is a substitute for a
real mineral, we should use it. I don't think
mining should be stopped altogether because there are
just too many rocks, minerals, and gemstones that don't
have synthetic [man-made] substitutes. Stopping
all mining would cause too many people to lose their
Canadian garden area reclaimed from a quarry
We shouldn't accept that
mining will pollute, change, and destroy streams and land.
We should figure out better ways to stop it. Instead of
spending money just to fill up old mines, we need to spend more
geologists and scientists to find ways to bring back
the land even better than we are doing now. We have one
Earth, and as Kris said, all living things are connected.
We can't sit back and think that a little pollution here or a
small amount there is okay. We need to support land
reclamation and keep trying to find new and better ways to get
the job done.
We included links for sites with