Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thomas Midgley's Legacy

Thomas Midgley developed both tetraethyl lead (aka ethyl, a lead additive used in gasoline) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Admittedly, although well aware of the dangers of lead poisoning and the threat that CFCs posed to our ozone layer, I had never heard of Thomas Midgley until I read Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything." Well, I guess if you're responsible for two of the biggest environmental calamities of our time, you really don't brag about it.