Handwashing? Crazy! Dr. Semmelweis and the ugly power of peer pressure.

do no harmJune 2020. The findings and fate of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis are increasingly well known, given the ease with which infectious diseases are transmitted by human hands. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the role of handwashing into sharp focus..

7. Forward and backward

resolve the impasseSummary Chapter 7: As societies have become more skilled, improving materially and technically, spiritual and emotional experiences get less attention. The Easter Island saga shows there is no doubt that we lose certain problem-solving abilities while focusing primarily on technical achievement. Loss of creativity is a real phenomenon; it can be observed, charted, understood and reversed. It can be clearly identified as collateral damage in what Freud called "the attack on nature".

6. Reconcilable differences

resolve the impasseSummary Chapter 6: What makes this "trap" a matter of great concern is the fact that human violence and modern weapons make the consequences of environmental degradation especially dangerous. It is thus essential to resolve the impasse between technical progress and human ecology .

5. Historical trajectories

Which came first?Escaping the progress trap - chapter 5: We can see why societies can sustain their levels of development by maintaining contact with their richer, natural heritage. We may never know whether ingenuity is driven by curiosity or necessity, but we do know that it is sustained by the wealth of human culture.

What it takes to end an environmental crisis

Progress Trap - health crisisCholera 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.

Pentagon accepts climate change (2010)

solar tent"Climate change is happening, and there is a large amount of evidence that this is in fact man-made...Climate change is a certainty" - Rear Admiral David Tetley, Oceanographer, US Navy

"A powerful analysis of our situation"

This book shows how societies and individuals can be victims of their own success, often unconscious of the effects of ingenuity on their environment. When changes are man-made and harmful, a downward spiral begins: development that excludes solutions to problems that arise from development.

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"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)

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