Your Scrap Copper Future

In his 1975 novel Shockwave Rider, John Brunner wrote about people actually hunting down old copper and coins and smelting metal into cash.

It appears that this science-fictional future has arrived with a vengeance. Yet another story has surfaced about people dying for scrap copper.

Two New Hampshire men were electrocuted las week after trying to take copper wire from an unoccupied power plant in Tyngsboro, Mass. The bodies were found next to their bolt cutters.

Two people have died in Arkansas after being electrocuted while trying to strip copper wire from utility poles. In a related story, a woman in Little Rock reported that the faucets in her house were not working; it was discovered that the copper pipes under her house were missing.

Arkansas now has enacted tough laws to prevent scavenging for copper and other metal scraps.

The problem is that, thanks to high industrial demand, copper is selling for more than $2 per pound. A pre-1982 US penny is worth about 1.42 cents; they are 95 percent copper and weigh about 3.1 grams.

If you can avoid hitting their outrageously intrusive javascript advertisements, read a bit more at Information Week.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/4/2007)

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