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Industrial civilization Pandora's box

denis's picture

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts. Zeus ordered her creation as a punishment for mankind, in retaliation for Prometheus' having stolen fire and then giving it to humans for their use. She is most famous for carrying a jar (or box) containing all the world's evils. She releases these evils, and tries to close the lid but it was too late. Along with these evils came Hope, Humanity's only salvation .

It is ironical that the inventiveness and capabilities of modern man enabled the extraction of the exhaustible fossil fuels from the crustal store to provide the energy to drive the development of industrial civilization also enabled the production of the material wastes that is driving climate change.

This energy has been industrial civilization’s equivalent of the fire stolen by Prometheus. Greenhouse gas emissions, with the devastation of the environment and other malfeasances, have been the ‘evils’ let out of the box. Hope did not get out, for good reason.
So modern man has made the grieveous mistake of extracting billions of tonnes of carbon from the crustal store and expelling it into the atmosphere and the oceans. The onset of climate change is just one consequence of that malfeasance. That damage has been done. There is no turning back the clock. Society glorifies the civilization that has built up by irreversibly using the limited natural bounty but loses sight of the inability to sustain this exuberance.

Now society has to cope with the senescence of civilization while having little undersstanding of what went wrong.

Denis Frith

‘What went wrong? The misdirection of civilization.’

‘The Usufruct Delusion’

‘The Dependence on Nature Law’

‘The Immutable Duality’

‘Unsustainability of civilization’


Hi Denis,

It's me again.

Did you know that I too have a candidate for Pandora's Box? At I provide a system of formal logic by means of logical sentences and diagrams to establish that the manifold social evils listed at stem from Materialism, which has a technical definition given at

We, both of us, are after the fundamental social forces in play in the world; so, we are competitors in the same business. We are not likely to see eye to eye, however we should continue to be allies, I still have links to your essays on my website. Where is the link to on yours?

Tom Wayburn
Houston, Texas
twayburn [AT]