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Ozone layer stable, on the way to recovery
Alex Steffen, 20 Sep 10

The ozone layer is no longer disappearing and could be back to full strength by the middle of this century, UN scientists have confirmed.

The phasing out of nearly 100 substances once used in products like refrigerators and aerosols has stopped the ozone layer being depleted further, although it is not yet increasing, according to a new United Nations report released last week.

Nearly all life of the planet benefits from this. People benefit especially (millions of cases of skin cancer averted, crops and livestock protected, etc.). This is an unmitigated success for the Earth.

And it's worth remembering that, when the Montreal Protocol (the international agreement that phased out ozone-depleting chemicals) was being debated, conservative extremists and industry spokespeople in the U.S. and U.K. said first that there was no need for it, then that it could never work with so many nations involved, and finally that it would destroy the economy if ratified. You might note that these are the same arguments made against climate action in these nations.

The Montreal Protocol shows that international action can in fact work, and that it works very well indeed when the largest economies commit themselves most boldly. Large design, engineering and ecological challenges need to be met to meet the climate crisis, yes, but the biggest barriers to climate action all involve the political opposition of vested interests.

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Unbelievable, hope the scientists are right! Sorry if I am bit hesitant on this issue. -- barbara

Posted by: FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK on 20 Sep 10

I'm honestly surprised. It's wonderful news. Of course if it's going to continue. I'm a bit sceptic about it but let hope it is.

Posted by: Dave on 21 Sep 10

It's so refreshing to finally here some good news and to know there is some hope for our planet. I really hope it's only the beginning.

Posted by: Bruce on 21 Sep 10

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