Friday, September 01, 2006
'Mending' of Ozone Hole Provides Glimpse of Hope
In 1987 the Montreal Protocol committed signatories to ban ozone-harmful products; sceptics doubted its efficacy but the invention of a substitute (HFCF-22) aided the process and now UN agences tell us that the ozone layer is on the mend with recovery for most of the world likely by 2050 and the more problematic Antarctic region by 2065. Amazing. An example of international cooperation that has genuinely worked. And reason to hope, maybe, that something similar can be managed regarding carbon emissions on the reductiuon of which David Cameron wants the goverment to commit itself via legislation.
But this is a much taller order as the reductions required entail three major changes:
i) consumer restrictions of travel and lifestyles to which the developed world has become jealously addicted and the developing world is fast learning to be;
ii)an attitude sea change by George Bush and his oil lobby cronies/advisers;
iii) much more radical technological innovations than we have seen to date, plus their worldwide adoption.
With warming speeding up and CO2 beginning to escape from massive tracts of permafrosted land in Asia, the achievement of any one of the above by an increasingly anarchic world seems remote chance from where we are now but at least the Ozone Hole success gives us some reason to hope.
By the way, Al Gore said this week he is no longer interested in politics and will not be involved in 2008.
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