Yesterday’s Solutions are Today’s Problem

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An interesting support for the above statement – from the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge, is clearly illustrated in the life and work of Thomas Midgley, Jr.

 

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He was a scientist at General Motors. He created leaded petrol because the Old Model T Ford cars were too efficient at burning the fuel and resulted in a knocking noise. The addition of lead prevented this knocking but it was marketed as an Ethyl additive. This was an amazing invention for solving a problem at that time. No one knew that many years later, it would contribute to many ecological, environmental and health problems.

 

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Not only did he do this, but Thomas was also responsible for the famous coolant gas for refrigeration – CFCs. No need for a lesson on this as everyone knows the role it played in depleting the ozone layer.

 

So it is interesting to know that while he solved may of yesterday’s problems, they have returned to cause their own problems today.
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