Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ozone Hole

In the 1980's scientists raised the alarm about gases that were destroying the ozone layer that sits above our atmosphere, such as gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators, and aerosol spray cans, The ozone layer protects from the sun's ultraviolet radiation endangering life on this planet.  If the entire ozone layer were to have been destroyed life here wouldn't exist as we know it.

This situation was brought to the attention of governments which took action to eliminate or reduce the chemicals affecting the ozone layer, and today the ozone has recovered to 1980 levels.

Science spoke, the people listened, and catastrophe averted.  And now we have another looming catastrophe.  Science has spoken, but is anyone listening?

Solving the ozone crisis required manufacturers to change their methods.  Chemical sources had to be shut down.  Some companies went bankrupt.  Suppliers lost their customers.  But there was adaptation.  Suppliers moved on.  Investors moved on.  Crisis averted.

So why are we not able to solve the global warming crisis.  Why aren't investors moving on from oil and coal just as they had to move on from freon and chlorofluorocarbons in the 1990's?  There is more science, more evidence to support a dire future from carbon dioxide produced by the oxidation of gas and coal then there ever was from chlorofluorocarbons.  Why haven't we been able to salve this problem?

I guess the chlorofluorocarbons industry never had the clout that the oil and coal industries have.  It's a testimony to the deficiencies of human society that we are helpless before them.