02 Jun

Ozone hole, global warming, same playbook being used against fixing them

I remember my stepdad rushing to get air conditioning coolant for his Buick. Later he took me out in the car. “This will be the last AC fluid charge for AC this cold,” he told me. “After this, it’ll be weaker. We’ll never have frigid air conditioning like this again, so soak it in.”

At the time, it felt like a total Mad Max moment. Like society was changing and we’d lost something.

At first, it was true. The replacement coolant fluids didn’t create AC as cold. But over the years, systems were tweaked, other fluids swapped in. And now I can hop in a car and get frigid AC. And the ozone layer isn’t being stripped away. And it’s one of the things that stands out for me in my life. That legislation was wielded to solve a global issue, that the skeptics were out with economic doomsaying and nearly identical arguments as the ones made now:

“Ozone depletion worsened globally throughout the 1990’s, with peak ozone losses reaching 70% in Antarctica in Spring, 30% in the Arctic in Spring, 8% in Australia in summer, 10-15% in New Zealand in summer, and 3% globally year-round (WMO, 2002; Manin et. al., 2001; McKenzie et. al., 1999). In response, the international community adopted four amendments to the Montreal Protocol in the 1990’s to promote an ever faster phase out of ozone-destroying chemicals. Finally, in the early 2000’s, although the we cannot yet say that stratospheric ozone depletion has reached its maximum, atmospheric levels of ozone-destroying substances in the atmosphere are now declining, and a disappearance of the Antarctic ozone hole is expected by about 2050 (WMO, 2002). Molina and Rowland were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995. The citation from the Nobel committee credited them with helping to deliver the Earth from a potential environmental disaster.

On this 30th anniversary of the beginning of the ozone depletion debate, it is revealing to review the techniques the skeptics used in the CFC-ozone depletion issue over the past 30 years. All of them have parallels in the current global warming debate.”

(Via The Skeptics vs. the Ozone Hole | Weather Underground.)

, via Ramez Naam, who makes the excellent point: