"A powerful analysis of our situation"

This book shows how societies and individuals can have too much of a good thing, 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.

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.

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.

Stephen Hawking on how the world might end

When Stephen Hawking was asked whether the world is likely to end on account of humans, or through natural disaster, he selected humans. According to The Radio Times1, Hawking responded to student Paul Ost's question "Will the world will end naturally, or will man destroy it first?" with “Most of the threats we face come from the progress we’ve made in science and technology. We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognize the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.”

Pentagon accepts climate change

solar tentFrom PBS: An operators' manual helps keep your car or computer running at peak performance. Earth science can do the same for the planet. Join host Richard Alley – registered Republican, geologist, former oil company employee and expert on climate change and renewable energy — on a high-definition trip around the globe to learn the story of Earth's climate history and our relationship with fossil fuels.

Consider the changing climate - and think of your children and grandchildren.

by Martin J. Rosenthal, August 2012      updated*
Bill McKibben and James Hansen, the world's leading Climatologist (Goddard/NASA-Climate Center-Columbia University) have each written recent articles on climate change.
(1) Hansen proves we have moved up .8 Celsius in the last two decades.
(2) He has said that 2 degrees Celsius or 4 Fahrenheit is the maximum movement in our temperature for DRASTIC climate change.

Darwin and mental atrophy

There are many instances of societies in which progress unravels, but can the same predicament befall individuals? It may have happened to Charles Darwin, Seymour Cray and to Thomas Midgley, the inventor of leaded gasoline and CFCs. The present project investigates the role that ordinary human behaviour plays in progress traps. The highly complex area of cerebral specialization no doubt holds many clues, but it is surely unwise to discourage those whose background is not scientific from pursuing science and technology.


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