Friday, August 25, 2006

2792 CFC, HFC and DDT--an alphabet soup of good intentions gone bad

“When more than two dozen countries undertook in 1989 to fix the ozone hole over Antarctica, they began replacing chloroflourocarbons in refrigerators, air conditioners and hair spray.

But they had little idea that using other gases that contain chlorine or fluorine instead also would contribute greatly to global warming.” AP Report

This reminds me of the malaria problem--environmentalists in the 1970s demanded that the USA stop producing DDT based on faulty research by a non-scientist (Rachel Carson) that some birds might die (people were never in danger), so environmental hysteria ended up killing more Africans than the 17th century slave trade by allowing the resurgence of malaria which was all but conquered by 1967. Recently I read a current solution to malaria that included draining swamps and hanging bed netting! What? Aren't wetlands critical to the earth's survival and fresh water supply? Who's in charge here?

“The chemicals that replaced CFCs are better for the ozone layer, but do little to help global warming. These chemicals, too, act as a reflective layer in the atmosphere that traps heat like a greenhouse.

That effect is at odds with the intent of a second treaty, drawn up in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 by the same countries behind the Montreal pact. In fact, the volume of greenhouse gases created as a result of the Montreal agreement's phaseout of CFCs is two times to three times the amount of global-warming carbon dioxide the Kyoto agreement is supposed to eliminate.

This unintended consequence now haunts the nations that signed both U.N. treaties.” USAToday article

Of course, there are some countries that didn’t sign both. Like the United States. Thank you President Clinton.

Do you suppose we should stop tinkering and assuming we are in charge? Should Al Gore sit out a few innings? Hot air seems to be contributing to the problem.

1 comment:

Andrew McAllister said...

I suspect we humans will never stop tinkering, and I also suspect we will always get unintended consequences.

"To Love, Honor and Dismay"