Don't do a Midgely

  • Posted by howies
  • 1 April 2009

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Don't do a Midgely

Don't do a Midgely
I'd like to coin a new phrase. Have you ever been faced with a problem and, in desperation, you've tried to solve it quickly only for that quick fix to actually make the problem ten times worse? No? Oh. Well, for those of you that have you must bow at the feet of Thomas Midgley Jr, the man accredited with having "more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history".

When charged with the problem of how to lubricate car engines he suggested adding lead to petrol. And when asked how to make aerosols more efficient, he suggested chucking in some CFCs. This double whammy led to two environmental problems of Ferris Bueller proportions. He may not have known what he was doing but that's still a fair kick in the chops for old Mother Nature. Midgley isn't around anymore but there are still those who, in desperation to solve a short term problem put the environment at long term risk. You wouldn't exactly call them “tree-huggers” I suppose. The thing is if we find these Midgleys and try to make them see the error of their ways, try to let them know that all they are doing really is creating a much bigger problem for future generations then maybe we can stop them. They may never end up hugging a tree but they might at least consider shaking hands with a plant.

Words: Ben Harris
Illustration: Paul Ryding