High Copper Prices Have Some Shocking Consequences

from the darwin dept

In many less developed nations, mobile telephony had a leg up on fixed-line systems as it is far easier for operators to guard their base station sites than to try to stop people from digging up their wiring and sell it for scrap. However, with copper prices soaring on heavy demand from China, people in the first world are getting in on the act, too -- with some disastrous consequences. Two guys in Masschusetts were fatally electrocuted when they tried to steal some copper wire from an unoccupied electric plant, while earlier, two people in Arkansas met a similar fate when they tried to steal wire from utility poles. Telecom operators may not care so much about people dying, but the problem of theft remains, so they're looking at other solutions. For instance, one Chinese operator says it will use ethernet in rural areas, rather than copper wiring, to avoid the problem. Meanwhile, some US politicians are trying to pass new laws to crack down on scrap metal theft, and wiring theft in particular. But if people are ignoring the risks posed by attempting to steal copper from power lines and plants, it seems rather unlikely the prospect of more jail time will act as much of a deterrent.

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  1. identicon
    Casper, 4 Apr 2007 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

    "Therefore your argument is disingenuous at best. It IS the high cost and black market which drive the crime, not the psychosis of its users. Given a choice, they'd stay home and obsessively clean while picking imaginary scabs--not venture out into the scary demon-face hallucinated public."

    So your saying the industrial cost of manufacturing is raised significantly more on the black market then if it were a salable legal product under regulation? You need to get your facts strait. Do you have any idea the costs associated with legal production of a drug that is so high risk? How much do you think it would cost to make it since it is one of the most polluting production processes performed by individuals? How about the taxes that would be placed on it.

    Sorry, your way off base in your argument. Also, if they are home cleaning obsessively, how are they paying for their massive dental bills, let alone the next fix?

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