Saturday, March 26, 2011
33 Men: Inside The Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners
I just read the book 33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners by Jonathan Franklin.
This book has really made me think about the human cost of our way of living. Just reading about how horribly dangerous mining is has made me sad that we use products that may have caused other people to have died or been maimed in order to obtain the raw materials that they are made of. I look at my wedding ring and wonder if someone died so that I could have that gold. I think about the copper pipes in my house and wonder if anyone was crushed and lost a leg or had their fingers blown off in a dynamite accident so that I could have copper pipes in my house.
It is a sobering thought.
Is it worth it?
Is that something I really want?
I am sure some people will say that the men who work in mines chose to do so knowing the risks involved, and that is true. However, those men do not have any other opportunity to earn that much money any other way. Most of them do not have a good education and this is the way that they can earn a decent living for their families.
This book is well written and gives details that did not come out in all of the extensive television coverage of the entrapment and rescue of the miners. For instance, during the rescue, there was a rock slide and the camera cable was cut. They lost the live video feed. So, while a brave miner was repairing the damage, which took several hours, they reloaded a video clip from earlier in the rescue. When the repair was done, at an appropriate time, they hooked the live shot back in and no one outside ever noticed.
It is interesting to learn about the psychological aspects that the miners suffered.
I hope that this accident, and it's miraculous rescue, which brought worldwide attention to the issue of mining, helps to put pressure on mine owners and those who run them and on local governments to enforce stricter safety measures in mining.