Thursday, August 16, 2007

Friday evening I am supose to go to the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. I believe it is the numer one Superfund site in the country. It is a crazy thing, a very irresponsible thing, woo let me tell you. Part of what was once known at the richest hill on earth, the berkeley pit was a copper mine. It was open in 1955 and closed in 1982 ending at 900 feet deep. The owners shut the pumps at the bottom off in 1983 and it has been filling with water ever since at an alarming rate. Water filtration and pumping has slowed the flow slightly but it might not be enough to stop a major overflow. There are dangerous things in the water such as heavy metals and arsenic, zinc, and cyanide. It is sad that there is this huge amount of water sitting in the middle of a place that is dry and threatened with forest fires every late summer. Well I am sure to learn more tomorrow, right? It shan't be so bleak, right? I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Also while in Butte I hope we get to go to the World Mining Museum.

I guess this is where I would like to acknowledge contemporary happenings. It is fine and good to be excited about mines and mining history and it is still amazing that people still go underground and get trapped and die. I know that people are hoping that the 6 miners in Huntington Utah are okay. They have been down there 10 days. And that a bump (pressure from the weight of the mountain pushing down on a mine causing the floor to rise and the walls to pop out in this case coal) occured tonight and injured two rescue workers. It is a dangerous job. It is a job that would scare the bejeezus out of me. And people do it all over the world.

I'm sorry I haven't mentioned it before tonight.

some links about the Berkeley Pit and the mining museum(some info is old but interesting in terms of historic context):

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