by Val Germann
In 1989, most of the world’s nations signed on to the Montreal Protocol and agreed to phase out a class of chemicals called CFCs that were doing serious damage to the Earth’s protective ozone layer. What was not widely reported at the time was the fact that CFCs were also very powerful greenhouse gases, thousands of times more effective per molecule compared to CO2. It also went mostly unreported that the replacements for those bad old CFCs, called HCFCs, were just as powerful greenhouse producers as the materials they were to replace. But they were allowed under the treaty because they were cheap and so would soften the economic blow (and any political blow-back) for most of the world’s consumers and politicians. But the resulting price has been high where global warming is concerned, as is pointed out forcefully in a recent article on the NATIONAL EXAMINBER website:
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.
Yes, it’s true, the Montreal treaty has allowed the skyrocketing use of HCFCs world wide, the cumulative effect overwhelming any present benefit of Kyoto, even if that treaty were being actually enforced. As for the future, perhaps its better to ignore it because the developing world is building air-conditioned cities and automobiles at a fantastic rate.
And every ounce and every pound of the HCFCs that go into those AC units will eventually escape, out into the troposphere, there to contribute mightily to the overall greehouse effect on our planet.
Read the entire article here.