Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Oct 16, 2012 - Nature - 288 pages
10 Reviews
A SWEEPING ACCOUNT OF CIVILIZATION’S COMPLETE DEPENDENCE ON COPPER AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR PEOPLE, NATURE, AND OUR GLOBAL ECONOMY

COPPER is a miraculous and contradictory metal, essential to nearly every human enterprise. For most of recorded history, this remarkably pliable and sturdy substance has proven invaluable: not only did the ancient Romans build their empire on mining copper but Christopher Columbus protected his ships from rot by lining their hulls with it. Today, the metal can be found in every house, car, airplane, cell phone, computer, and home appliance the world over, including in all the new, so-called green technologies.

Yet the history of copper extraction and our present relationship with the metal are fraught with profound difficulties. Copper mining causes irrevocable damage to the Earth, releasing arsenic, cyanide, sulfuric acid, and other deadly pollutants into the air and water. And the mines themselves have significant effects on the economies and wellbeing of the communities where they are located.

With Red Summer and Fools Rush In, Bill Carter has earned a reputation as an on-the-ground journalist adept at connecting the local elements of a story to its largest consequences. Carter does this again—and brilliantly—in Boom, Bust, Boom, exploring in an entertaining and fact-rich narrative the very human dimension of copper extraction and the colossal implications the industry has for every one of us.

Starting in his own backyard in the old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona—where he discovers that the dirt in his garden contains double the acceptable level of arsenic—Bill Carter follows the story of copper to the controversial Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia; to the “ring” at the London Metal Exchange, where a select group of traders buy and sell enormous amounts of the metal; and to an Alaskan salmon run threatened by mining. Boom, Bust, Boom is a highly readable account—part social history, part mining-town exploration, and part environmental investigation.

Page by page, Carter blends the personal and the international in a narrative that helps us understand the paradoxical relationship we have with a substance whose necessity to civilization costs the environment and the people who mine it dearly. The result is a work of first-rate journalism that fascinates on every level.
  

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Review: Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World

User Review  - Mike Savage - Goodreads

A good factual polemic. I like the guy's straightforward prose. Not a lot of fluff. Good description and honest revelatory internal conflict. Read full review

Review: Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World

User Review  - M Litt - Goodreads

My words of warning to you all: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK It is nonfiction and fact after fact after fact!!! Gerrrrrrrrrrrrr Read full review

Contents

The Beginnings
31
Company Town
47
Cananea
71
Copper
81
The Ring
93
Pebble Mine
115
Which Side Are You
127
300 Billion vs a Fish
149
A Miners Friend
179
The Chairman
187
Prospector
199
FreeportMcMoRan
211
Cyanide Cynthia
223
The New Old World
233
Bibliography
253
Copyright

Superior
161

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About the author (2012)

Bill Carter is the author of Red Summer: The Danger, Madness, and Exaltation of Salmon Fishing in a Remote Alaskan Village and Fools Rush In: A True Story of Love, War, and Redemption. He has written for Rolling Stone, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other publications.

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