The Hole in the Hole in the Ozone Layer
As I wrote about yesterday, atmospheric scientists have just announced that
"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet could have perilous side effects. While climate change is a major threat, more research is required before society attempts global geoengineering solutions."
This statement was released concerning scientists' proposed methods of trying to cool the Earth to compensate for the alleged manmade ozone hole (or at least a great enlargement of said hole).
It is one of the wiser and more sober statements made by atmospheric scientists in the last 20 years.
Basic, elemental chemistry about which there is no controversy and no need to invoke any mythological "consensus" tells us that there is actually no such thing as any "ozone layer" that "shields" us from the Sun's UV rays. Indeed, without the Sun, there is absolute zero ozone created (pun intended).
Given that there cannot be any shielding ozone layer, there can then be no such thing as any "ozone hole", as there is nothing for there to be a hole in.
Given that there is nothing for there to be a hole in, there is nothing sinister or deadly for human activity to create--just as there is no such thing, according to all current actual scientific data, of any man-made global warming or climate change.
(As an aside, I should point out that human beings have been very deliberately trying to alter the atmosphere and thus control the weather for both agricultural and military purposes at least since the 1950s. So far, all to little if any avail.)
To return to our basic, elemental chemistry: ozone is "O3", while oxygen is "O2". When UV light strikes O2 molecules in the middle atmosphere (approximately six to 30 miles above the Earth's surface), there is a chemical reaction involving the binding power of heat and the energy contained within packets of light called "photons", and hocus pocus abra cadabra some (but clearly not all) UV radiation coming in from the Sun is absorbed and in being absorbed binds O2 molecules together in such a way that they form O3, "ozone".
It is this part of the atmosphere that is called the "ozone layer".
Ozone can be smelled in the aftermath of a steady rain storm, and often more pungently in the aftermath of a thunderstorm, since electricity such as lightning can also cause O2 molecules to become re-formulated into O3 moleclues. I say that it actually "smells like" electricity bound up in soil. To me, it's a heady scent, and is indeed electrifying (and it's raining as I write this).
But this ozone layer is, from the scientific point of view, incidental. It just so happens to be there and consequently, along with a mind-bogglng myriad other elements, natural phenomena, and solar system dynamics, permits life, including human life, to exist and thrive upon the Earth.
Ah, Grasshoppah, recall the Tao te Ching.
The atmospheric system of the Earth in total is irreducibly complex (pun intended again), it is utterly enormous, and it is resilient almost beyond human comprehension. As with supposed man-made climate change concerning warming trends, the notion that mankind's activities could so alter it that we have by total incidental effects put ourselves in danger of being toasted by the life-giving Sun really comes across as something out of the Theater of the Absurd.
Which, I assert, is precisely what the Montreal Protocol of 1987, signed on to by 168 nations from around the globe, was: just like the Kyoto Protocol, just one more absurd act in an absurdly expensive theatrical production...and otherwise signifying nothing.
In reply to some commentaries, I found and have chosen to post the following reference, which I had no knowledge of prior to the writing of this op-ed article.
Excerpts: The Montreal Protocol dates to the 1970s, when aircraft exhaust, nuclear testing, and nitrogen-based fertilizers were said to be depleting the ozone layer that protects the Earth from ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB).
Without protection against UVB, environmentalists and policymakers argued, humans would face an increased risk of skin cancer and blindness. Neither of these predictions has materialized.
The earliest successful campaign to address the ozone depletion “crisis” resulted in this country scrapping its plans to build a fleet of high-flying Supersonic Transports (SST) whose exhaust, critics claimed, could result in severe ozone depletion.
Aerosol spray cans were the initial target of the Montreal pact, because CFCs were used as propellants; CFCs used in refrigerators and air conditioners were added to the hit list later.
(The term “hole,” Lieberman notes, is misleading because ozone never disappears completely, and even over the Antarctic it returns to normal levels for the rest of the year.)
In 1992, supporters of the ozone depletion theory received another major boost when NASA called an “emergency” press conference to alert the world that an Antarctic-like hole was likely to open over the Arctic region and extend into North America.
That cataclysmic event never occurred, and NASA eventually admitted its error. But little attention was paid to that admission, nor did it result in any changes in policy.
Tags: Montreal , Protocol , Ozone , Hole , Layer , Atmosphere , Antarctica
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