Thursday, July 28, 2016

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th July 2016

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

It is a long time ago – thirty years, in fact – since we first heard about the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. This was followed by serious fears that ozone depletion could cause harm to health and to the environment through ultraviolet light reaching the surface of the earth.
There was an unparalleled global reaction to these findings and in 1987, the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, was ratified by all United Nations’ members to eradicate the use of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs in products. These chemicals, once commonly used in aerosols and refrigeration, can remain in the atmosphere for more than 50 years. The phasing out of CFCs means that the ozone layer is slowly recovering and by September of last year there was a consistent shrinking of the size of the hole.
Britain has around 5% less ozone than it did thirty years ago but it would have been twice as bad by now if CFCs hadn’t been phased out. There would be damage to skin and eyes and also to crops. It has been estimated by the UN that 2 million cases of skin cancer per year have been avoided through this action.
This is a fine example of worldwide co-operation dealing with a worldwide problem in which we are all involved. It would be wonderful to think that global climate change could be tackled with the same enthusiasm throughout the world. The economics are certainly different because the fossil fuel industry involves billions of dollars.

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