Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sometimes the Right Things Get Done: The Positive Benefits of Protecting the Ozone Layer

Global warming would be a lot worse than it is, were it not for a protocol agreed to in 1989 that cut back the cloroflurocarbons that attack the earth's ozone later.  That's what The New York Times is reporting today about the Montreal Protocol, which it calls "The Little Treaty That Could." 

It banned about 100 subtances, many of which, besides destroying the ozone layer, "also happen to be exceedingly powerful greenhouse gases," Justin Gillis writes.

"If production had been allowed to continue, a batch of scientific studies show, the planet would most likely be warming a lot faster than it is. The latest of these studies came out only a few weeks ago... In fact, the evidence suggests the protocol has done far more to limit global warming than the better-known treaty adopted for that purpose, the Kyoto Protocol."

Now changes to the treaty to ban some replacement gases which also are green house gases are under considertion, which leads Gillis to quote  Durwood Zaelke. He heads a Washington advocacy group  that is pushing for the treaty amendment, and says that  "the drew a simple lesson from all this: However overwhelming global warming may seem at times, we are not powerless in the face of it."

That's worth remembering when the fight seems impossible.

No comments: