The Environmental Disaster That is the Gold Industry The mining industry has had a devastating impact on ecosystems worldwide.
During the s the vast majority of people travelled about on foot, while modern Ballarat is a city of cars. Most of the food they ate was produced locally and organically using human or animal excrement as fertiliser… while we eat food with huge food milesthe production of which relies on intensive farming practices.
During the recent drought most locals still showered every day, which would have been unheard of in the s; bathing only occurred once a week -if that! Life was simple and more environmentally harmonious before the Industrial Revolution got into full swing here in Australia, right?
Environmental change began in Ballarat when squatters established sheep runs across Victoria after The Myrniong, which has an edible, nutritious tuber all but vanished within three years following the introduction of sheep.
The second wave of environmental change in Ballarat occurred as a result of the discovery of gold in Aboriginal People on the Goldfields of Victoria, p. During the time when surface alluvial gold was easy to find, Ballarat was quite literally turned upside down by the diggers.
In addition to this, waterways quickly became polluted by the mining itself and by the miners living nearby.
Trees were cut down to house and warm the miners, but also to use as timber in the mines. It is amazing what a number of trees they fell.
Just a year since my arrival at Ballarat, and how changed it all is in that short time. In many parts, where a year ago all was life and activity, there now is a scene of desolation. At the same time the population has enormously increased, and there is less and less chance of having a lucky find… Smith, Documents on Art and Taste in Australia: The Colonial Period, p.
Further evidence of this can be seen in the two drawings by Samuel Thomas Gill. The Black Hill area was the only site in Ballarat where open-cut mining was practiced.
Although not visible in this image, the principle waterway in Ballarat, the Yarrowee Riverruns along the bottom of this clay moonscape and was used for steam production and washing to separate gold from soil by the Black Hill Quartz Mining Company pictured on the far right. Fortunately, Black Hill has now been completely reforested by trees which hide much of its ugly upturned history.
In the steam powered stamper batteries, quartz rock was crushed into powder to extract the gold. This process not only consumed a lot of trees and water, it also utilised dangerous chemicals like mercury and cyanide which no doubt lingered in the landscape for a long time. The city of Ballarat was built as a direct result of this environmental damage, but to a degree the wounds on the landscape have healed.Environmental Impacts of the Gold Rush Primary "A Federal Agent Assesses Miningís Impact on the Indians, From a letter from E.
A. Stevenson, Special Indian Agent to Hon. Thomas J. Henry, Supt. of Indian Affairs, San Francisco." In The Destruction of the California Indians, edited by Robert F. Heizer, Salt Lake City, UT: Peregrine Smith, This essay aims to identify the origin of the Gold Rush and identify the techniques used while also noting the ha armful effects caused by each one.
The Start Of the Gold Rush all began on January 24, , when a carpenter named James Wilson Marshall picked up a nugget of gold from the river.
The Gold Rush had devastating effects on California's environment. This eventually lead to laws restricting mining on rivers, hydraulic mining ended up being outlawed. Impact on the Economy The California Gold Rush caused economic expansion that forever changed California In total, about , Gold Mining and its Environmental Impacts ABSTRACT This paper examines the economical, agricultural, and environmental effects of the California Gold Rush of and the following years.
After gold ore is formed through hydrothermal deposition, it is near enough to the Earth’s surface, that it can be mined for its monetary and aesthetic value. The Start Of the Gold Rush all began on January 24, , when a carpenter named James Wilson Marshall picked up a nugget of gold from the river at the base .
But Miller takes issue with Sierra Fund claims that the California Gold Rush was one big environmental disaster. "The Gold Rush period is a very short period," said Miller.