What it takes to end an environmental crisis

Cholera in London, 1858
It takes hardship, observation, data, and in the case of London's cholera epidemic - a stench from the River Thames so foul that Parliament ceased functioning. The next order of business was for the members of Parliament to quickly enact legislation ordering the overhaul of London's sewerage system.

Empire: 
City: 
Environment: 
Insight: 
Ingenuity: 
Commodities: 
Institution: 
Medical Condition: 
Profession: 
Natural Feature: 
Position: 
Technology: 
Resources: 
Medical Treatment: 
State: 
Ecology: 

People who don't believe in climate change?

"You won't find them on the fireline in the American West anymore," said a Federal chief of fire operations, interviewed by CBS News at the site of the fatal wildfire in Arizona on July 1st, 2013. Nineteen firefighters lost their lives fighting the fire near Yarnell, Arizona on June 30.
 

Instant hubris – luxury car fried by solar energy

The undesirable side-effects of science or technology are rarely illustrated so graphically, or as quickly. Erosion as a result of bad farming, or the loss of stratospheric ozone due to refrigerants may take many years to manifest their destinies. But the partial melting of a luxury car in one day – by sunrays focused and amplified by a concave modern building – gives cause for reflection.

Flexibility and Progress - why can't our leaders be more like Mandela?

In 2003, Dr. Gilla Family noted in the Creativity Research Journal, "Plenty of evidence exists for goodwill, honest effort, and dedication by individuals, groups, and nations...South Africa broke the back of apartheid and is on the road to reconciliation ...
Plenty of good reasons exist for realistic optimism that catastrophes can be avoided." 1

Left brain And right brain

Awareness versus detail
Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. It's not simply "emotion on the right, reason on the left," but something far more complex and interesting.

A Best of the Web talk from RSA Animate.

Behavior: 
Position: 
Solution: 

Progress or Paradigm?

(from the book's first chapter) Environmental enigmas such as global warming may pose too great a challenge for science as we know it. The worldwide climate change phenomenon has too many variables to be isolated in any laboratory simulation. These variables are constantly shifting, and therefore cannot serve for the verification of hypotheses in repeated experimentation. Climate instability cannot be simulated, even in the most powerful computers.

Institution: 
Military: 
Organization: 
Reference: 
Position: 
Technology: 
Philosophy: 

Wall Street Blues

Wall Street, symbol of investment banking and the stock exchange. The history of Wall Street institutions reveals a pattern of overconfident exploitation of financial advantages, followed by unexpected setbacks and investor panic. The pattern has characteristics in common with progress traps, most notably the ability of financiers to pursue their activities in a culture that is insulated from the world that lies beyond high finance.

Company: 
Behavior: 
Ecology: 
Finance: 
Anthropology: 
Empire: 
Business: 
Industry: 
Resources: 
Philosophy: 
Position: 
Trap: 
Technology: 
State: 
Commodities: 

Easter Island

In A Green History of the World, Clive Ponting gives a sobering account of one society’s demise as a direct result of development. He relates in detail how the southern Pacific ocean’s Easter Islanders, remote from any other civilized society, slowly succumbed to the results of their ingenuity.

Environment: 
Anthropology: 
Ecology: 
Natural Feature: 
Religion: 
Resources: 


Buy the book
at Amazon.com

Download the Kindle version: US UK


You don't actually need a Kindle -

"The Progress Trap - and how to avoid it" Copyright Daniel O'Leary, registered at
the Copyright Office, Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Canada on April 5, 1991 (ref 405917)

Subscribe to the progress trap RSS