Thongchai Thailand

A MONTREAL PROTOCOL FOR THE CLIMATE?

Posted on: January 4, 2021

Throwing Fit GIFs | Tenor

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: Back from the brink: how the world rapidly sealed a deal to save the ozone layer. LINK: https://www.rapidtransition.org/stories/back-from-the-brink-how-the-world-rapidly-sealed-a-deal-to-save-the-ozone-layer/ .

PART-1: WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS

As a chorus of questions rises about whether the world can act quickly enough to prevent climate breakdown, one lesson from recent history suggests rapid action is possible. The ozone layer, a blanket of gas that exists between 10 and 50 kilometres above the earth’s surface, is vital for protecting humankind from the sun’s powerful ultraviolet radiation. In 1974 a group of scientists published research suggesting that chemicals used in everyday products like aerosols, packaging and refrigerators could deplete the ozone layer – vastly increasing the incidence of skin cancer, cataracts and other harms to humans and wildlife on earth. In 1985, the ozone depletion theory was clearly proven, when a hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica. The discovery of the hole was evidence that the magnitude of the problem was far greater than scientists had originally predicted. International alarm at the ozone layer’s thinning led to unprecedented multilateral action to ban the dangerous chemicals that were responsible for its deterioration – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). By 1987, just two years after the hole was discovered, an international treaty was in place that cut the use of CFCs in half. Three years later in 1990, the Montreal Protocol was strengthened to ban the use of CFCs altogether in industrialised countries by the year 2000 and by the year 2010 in developing countries. Today, the use of CFCs is outlawed by 197 countries around the world and scientists concur that the ozone layer is slowly recovering as a result. Overall, the success in addressing the ozone problem can give us hope that global environmental problems can and have been solved by humanity’s timely collective action. The success in negotiating, strengthening and enforcing the Montreal Protocol should give hope to embattled climate change negotiators around the world – as it is evidence that multilateral initiatives can be effective in tackling the global environmental challenges we face. Although individual nation states fought for their own national interests throughout the Montreal negotiations, they did ultimately act in the interest of the global commons – and institute an outright ban on the use of CFCs. The Montreal Protocol not only binds its signatories to prohibit the use of CFCs in their jurisdictions, it also introduced sanctions that prohibited trade in certain chemicals with non-signatories, creating a significant incentive for countries to sign up. What is striking as well is the effectiveness of the implementation of Montreal Protocol. It is the only global treaty to achieve universal ratification of 197 countries, and has achieved a compliance rate of 98%. As such, Montreal is evidence of the effectiveness of outright bans. Since Montreal, such bans have been harder for governments to contemplate, but the effectiveness of the Protocol shows that governments can and have used their powers to drive rapid transitions away from harmful substances and for the benefit of the environment. Also interesting and relevant to the challenges of the climate movement today was the success of citizen-led campaigning on the relatively abstract and remote environmental problem of ozone depletion. Behind the success of the multilateral negotiations was well organized civil society campaigning – both in the US and around the world. Environmental organisations coalesced around the issue of CFCs – and through inventive public campaigns managed to spur changes in consumer behaviour, including widespread boycotts of products and companies that used CFCs. Consumer pressure forced action by some US-based companies even before the government introduced bans on the use of CFCs. By the time the ban was in place, the market for CFCs had dwindled, making their phase out more feasible. Civil society action around CFCs extended beyond campaigning into directly driving industrial innovations. In 1992 when chemical companies attacked Greenpeace and their anti-CFC campaign for “criticizing and offering no solutions”, Greenpeace brought together a group of engineers to develop a prototype of a refrigerator that did not use CFCs. Within a few months, the engineers had developed a prototype for the “GreenFreeze” fridge – which used a mix of natural hydrocarbons instead of CFCs and so did not harm the ozone layer. Greenpeace subsequently founded a company to design and market GreenFreeze fridges, which ultimately revolutionised the domestic refrigeration sector – with more than a billion in use today. The role of key industry players in the phase out of CFCs also provides lessons for how business interests can be harnessed to pursue environmental goals. Initially the producers of CFCs were hostile to any regulation, but by the time the Montreal protocol was being considered, the market had changed and the possibilities of profiting from the production of CFC substitutes had greatly increased – favouring some of the larger producers that had begun to research alternatives. This diversity within industry was harnessed and an alliance formed between the environmental movement and those companies that ultimately stood to gain from the increased regulations. Following initial resistance, DuPont, the main industry player responsible for a quarter of global CFC production, backed the initial draft of the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent strengthening, in part because it could benefit from exporting alternatives to CFCs to the European market as a domestic ban on the nonessential use of CFCs as aerosol propellants had been introduced in the US in 1978, spurring innovation. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are chemicals that were developed in the 1930s which, before they were banned, were used in a wide array of commercial and industrial processes. The household product that is most commonly associated with CFCs and the depletion of the ozone layer was aerosol sprays – such as deodorants or hair spray. But CFCs had many other uses including as a refrigerant – they were commonly used in fridges and air conditioners – as well as in Styrofoam packaging, solvents and fire extinguishers. As they are neither toxic nor flammable and relatively inexpensive to produce, CFCs were originally considered to be a miracle find for industry. By the 1970s there were produced and widely used by companies in the United States and Europe, and were increasingly employed by the industry of emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India. In 1974 a group of scientists published their ozone depletion theory – which held that CFC chemicals once airborne travelled to the stratosphere where they were broken down by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. These atoms then bonded with ozone molecules – which led to the depletion of this protective gas layer. This theory was confirmed when, in 1985, scientists identified an annual thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica every spring. The thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica has had particularly dire impacts for Australia and New Zealand, which given their proximity to the ozone layer, suffer the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. The key was the widespread acceptance amongst the general public, business actors and world leaders of the severity and urgency of the problem; a consensus that was forged following the discovery of the ozone layer in 1985. However, the negotiations around the Montreal Protocol still had to handle the conflicting national interests of participating governments to reach a deal. The United States, a leader in the negotiations, was to a large extent influenced in its position by its business interests, which opposed any ban until 1986 when the company with the largest role in CFC production worldwide, DuPont, had developed successfully developed alternative chemicals. From this point forward, the US took the lead in pushing for a ban. European countries initially resisted this call until their own companies such as ICI had developed CFC substitutes, at which point they also agreed to the need for a ban. Developing countries were responsible for a comparatively small amount of CFC use, as 80% of CFCs were consumed in industrialized nations. However, emerging economies also resisted calls for a ban until an agreement was reached on financial assistance fund for technology transfer to the tune of $160 million. An important factor that positively influenced the negotiations was the strength of the environmental movement in the US, and its ability to harness a global network on the issue of CFCs. In the 1970s, when scientists first published their ozone depletion theory, the US environmental movement had been growing in strength and organisation. The ozone layer campaign became the first major unifying campaign of organisations like Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club. These groups led awareness raising actions that targeted the public and encouraged boycotts of everyday products that used CFCs such as aerosols. Friends of the Earth-USA launched a “Styro-Wars” campaign, a “Stratospheric Defense Initiative” aimed at eliminating CFCs from polystyrene food packaging and other consumer products. After a flood of letters from school children, McDonalds eventually committed to cut CFCs from its packaging in 1987. The ozone layer campaign allowed for the consolidation of a global movement of civil society actors around a common cause. US-based NGOs shared their inventive campaigning approaches and tactics, which saw similar campaigns – putting pressure on both governments and local businesses – being launched by civil society in countries around the world. The central role of business interests in driving the phase out CFCs must be highlighted. The cohesion of companies around the issue of CFCs can be explained by a few factors. First of all, the limited number of actors involved made it relatively easy to reach an agreement. Eighteen chemical companies accounted for most of the world’s production of CFCs in the early 1980s – mostly concentrated in the US, UK, France and Japan. DuPont was by far and away the most important player, producing around one quarter of the global output. This meant that once DuPont acted as the industry leader in the global negotiations, and once the company’s agreement for a ban was secured, the rest of the industry followed suit. Also important was the fact that, although the CFC market was important, it was not truly ‘big business’ – CFCs accounted for 3% of DuPont’s total sales. The final, and perhaps most crucial factor, in the speed of the phase out of CFCs following the discovery of the ozone layer was the technological innovations to develop alternative chemicals. Once the science and the gravity of the situation became clear, DuPont began investing heavily in research into substitutes. By 1986, DuPont had successfully developed alternative chemicals that did not harm the ozone layer, at which point it became in their interest to support international ban on CFCs. The US position to support a ban followed in line with DuPont, at which point that the path to Montreal was cleared. There is a postscript to this global collaboration that is proving thorny but positive. The year 2016 saw a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, to agree a phasedown of another set of gases, which had originally been intended as a quick fix for CFCs, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). While HFCs are safe for the ozone layer, they are a powerful greenhouse gas, a thousand times more potent than CO2 and a major contributor to climate change. In 2016, after nearly ten years of negotiations, more than 150 countries agreed to reduce their use of HFCs by 85 percent in the coming decades. However, the use of HFCs for air conditioning and refrigeration is growing at a fast pace in developing countries, in part because climate change is producing more and longer deadly heat waves and driving up summer temperatures. The Kigali Amendment to the Protocol, which was agreed in 2016 and came into effect from January 2019, is expected to prevent up to 80 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050, which will make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement objective to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2°C, according to the UNEP. The final deal divided the world economies into three groups, each with a target phasedown date. The richest countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, will reduce the production and consumption of HFCs from 2019. Much of the rest of the world, including China, Brazil and all of Africa, will freeze the use of HFCs by 2024. A small group of the world’s hottest countries such as Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have the most lenient schedule and will freeze HFCs use by 2028. The multilateral fund that allows this process to work by compensating poorer countries and paying for transfers of newer technology to them is highly dependent on US support. To date, the US had not ratified the agreement. This kind of multilateral fund is important in levelling the playing field and could also be replicated in other areas where lack of access to new technology might slow down shifts towards a low carbon economy. It took only 2 years from the discovery of the ozone layer in 1985 for governments to agree to a global ban on the use of CFCs and a further 2 years for it to come into effect. The Montreal Protocol is the only treaty ever to achieve universal ratification; with 197 countries enforcing the ban on CFCs. Parties to the Montreal Protocol have achieved a compliance rate of over 98% of their treaty commitments, and many achieved their targets well ahead of the schedule outlined in the treaty.
Global observations have confirmed that atmospheric levels of key ozone depleting substances are going down and it is expected that by the middle of this century they will return to pre-1980 levels. The United States estimates that by the year 2065 more than 6.3 million skin cancer deaths will have been avoided, an estimated US$4.2 trillion in healthcare costs will have been saved, and 22 million Americans born between 1985 and 2100 would avoid suffering from cataracts due to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. As most ozone depleting chemicals are also greenhouse gases, the Montreal Protocol has averted greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 135 billion tonnes of CO2, making the Montreal Protocol an important contributor to the fight against global warming. International environmental negotiations can work. The success in the rapid negotiation, strengthening and enforcement of the Montreal Protocol to tackle ozone depleting substances is evidence of the ability of multilateral action to address clear and imminent environmental threats through regulation. Significantly, action was taken in a precautionary manner in advance of full scientific proof of the extent of the threat posed by ozone depletion. Consumer boycotts can change companies’ – and countries’ – positions. The organisation of civil society globally was key to building public consciousness and changing consumer behaviour. The boycotts of CFC products like aerosols convinced companies that a phase out was inevitable, and government support for a ban often followed suit. Coalitions of the ‘green and the self-interested’ can get results. Business interests are not uniform. You can work with those who stand to win from regulations (in this case, the larger producers of CFCs that began to invest in alternatives early on) to break the deadlock and spur change.

Throwing Fit GIFs | Tenor

PART-2: THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL EXPECTATION IN CLIMATE ACTIVISM

The essential argument made here, and in the similar articles listed below, is illustrated by the GIF image above of a child throwing a fit because he didn’t get what he had thought that he would get. It’s a failed expectation crisis.

THE ISSUE: Climate change activists and the UN had anticipated that the quick and easy UN orchestrated Montreal Protocol for a global ban on ozone depleting substances would serve as a model for a climate action global compact to end the use of fossil fuels and stop global warming. The relevant issue in this context in the climate change movement is that the quick and easy Montreal Protocol success in the ozone depletion movement that they had anticipated in the climate movement has failed to materialize.

THE TWO ISSUES ARE NOT COMPARABLE: This frustration likely arises from the inability to appreciate the enormous technological, social, and financial difference between changing refrigerants and overhauling the world’s energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels – essentially re-inventing the Industrial Revolution that gave us the modern world and its many conveniences and the good life. This difference between the Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol does not appear to have been fully grasped either by the UN or by climate activists that have clutched on to the Montreal Protocol as a model for a climate action agreement. It is thus that here in their 11th hour, climate activism desperation has turned to the apparent success of the Montreal Protocol for hope. Yet, as we show in the comparison of the two issues below and in the related posts cited here, the correspondence between climate change and ozone depletion assumed by climate activists does not exist EXCEPT FOR THE COMMON FEATURE THAT NEITHER IS SUPPORTED BY THE RELEVANT DATA. The two issue do have certain structural comparisons described below but these comparisons are not cause for optimism for a turnaround in the UN’s failure to put together a successful global climate action contract.

THE COMPLEXITY OF CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS: The UN’s climate negotiations began with the UNFCCC or United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where the guidelines set for the climate agreement to be sought made the negotiations orders of magnitude more complicated than the Montreal Protocol. For example, In the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities principle of the UNFCCC, the participating countries called “Parties”, were classified into four groups as Annex-1, Annex-2, non-Annex, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with widely different emission reduction obligations with the added complexity that the rich Annex-1 countries would have to compensate the poor non-Annex and SIDS countries for climate change impacts. There is a view in the UNFCCC that climate change is a creation of the rich developed and industrialized West and that the poor countries of the Global South suffer climate change impacts through no fault of their own but as a result of the emissions of the rich Global North. A complicated funding procedure called the WIM (Warsaw International Mechanism) was devised and the funds for these climate change impacts would flow from the rich Annex-1 countries to the poor non-Annex and SIDS countries though the UN. Signatories to the UNFCCC are called “Parties” and further meetings to formulate and sign a climate agreement were held among these signatories and these later meetings are called Conference of Parties or COP.

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IS A CREATION OF THE GLOBAL NORTH: As described in a related post on this site: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/10/14/racism/ , the complex classification of nations by the UNFCCC described above is best understood in the context of the industrial revolution that created two very different worlds on earth as the Global North of the rich industrialized nations and the Global South of the poor third world countries and the former colonies of the Global North. This bifurcation of the world would clearly not play a significant role in the changing refrigerants in the Montreal Protocol particularly when technical and financial assistance from the Global North to the Global South was a compulsory part of the Protocol through a mechanism called The Multilateral Fund. The success of this mechanism has no implications for climate action which holds essentially that “We, the Global North, did the Industrial Revolution all wrong and so we must rewind and do it right“. This argument and logic has no relevance for the Global South, and the complex classification of nations in the UNFCCC notwithstanding, there is no context for the Global South in this logic and no Multilateral Fund with technical assistance made available to thee Global South. The climate crisis issue is a creation of the Global North and is relevant only to the Global North in terms of the context of rewind and do the Industrial Revolution correctly because the Industrial Revolution is a creation of the Global North and their love hate relationship with it can only be understood in the context of the Global North. It has no meaning in the Global South that is still living in the Neolithic Revolution. Therefore although climate change is set as a global issue, the need for climate action can only be understood as a Global North issue. ONLY AFTER THE GLOBAL SOUTH HAS INDUSTRIALIZED AND REACHED THE INDUSTRIALIZATION, WEALTH, AND STANDARD OF LIVING OF THE GLOBAL NORTH CAN CLIMATE ACTION BE UNDERSTOOD IN GLOBAL TERMS.

Third World poverty is on the run

This chasm between North and South that makes it impossible to understand climate action as a global issue is illustrated in a related post in terms of carbon footprints: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/22/carbon-footprints/ . The relevant images in that post are reproduced below under the title “CARBON FOOTPRINTS”. What these images demonstrate is that though climate change is a global issue and understood in global terms, climate action cannot be understood in global terms because it is a creation of the Global North’s industrial revolution gone wrong.

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE OZONE DEPLETION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES: In the analysis above, we have explored the ways in which the two issues being compared are different and that therefore the success of one {Montreal Protocol} does not in itself imply a success of the other {UN brokered global climate action}. However, there are two similarities between these global environmental crises that make it easier to see the difference between the proposed solutions to the crises. The first similarity is that both of the global environmental crises were used by the UN to extend its function, authority, and budget beyond the Charter to a role as global environmental authority in a legal vacuum. In other words, the UN has used these global environmental issues to expand its size, reach, and budget. Details of this issue are discussed in a related post on this site: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/18/the-eco-crisis-ambition-of-the-un/ . The second similarity is that both of these issues contain fatal methodological and data analysis flaws such that when these flaws are corrected, the environmental crisis presented by the activists is no longer found.

CARBON FOOTPRINTS

NEW ZEALAND: 7.8 TONS/PER CAPITA

Footprints Computer Icons, footprints, miscellaneous, text png | PNGEgg
Dunedin been named as the most beautiful city. And it's not because of the  only's castles in the country! Dunedin has been crowned New Zealand's most  beautiful city for 2018 at the

CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC: 0.1 TONS PER CAPITA

The Environmental Footprint Family - bringing clarity to the crowded field  of footprint studies | EU Science Hub
62% of the country lives in poverty | Central african, Country life, Photo

IRELAND: 8.1 TONS PER CAPITA

Footprints Computer Icons, footprints, miscellaneous, text png | PNGEgg
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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO 0.1 TONS PER CAPITA

The Environmental Footprint Family - bringing clarity to the crowded field  of footprint studies | EU Science Hub
Muslims of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

NORWAY 8.8 TONS PER CAPITA

Footprints Computer Icons, footprints, miscellaneous, text png | PNGEgg
15 Best Cities to Visit in Norway (with Map & Photos) - Touropia

SUDAN 0.4 TONS PER CAPITA

The Environmental Footprint Family - bringing clarity to the crowded field  of footprint studies | EU Science Hub
Figures of the week: Fragility and extreme poverty

GERMANY 9.6 TONS PER CAPITA

Footprints Computer Icons, footprints, miscellaneous, text png | PNGEgg
Berlin 2019 - LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR

BANGLADESH: 0.5 TONS PER CAPITA

The Environmental Footprint Family - bringing clarity to the crowded field  of footprint studies | EU Science Hub
The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Bangladesh - Lost With Purpose

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 16.3 TONS PER CAPITA

Footprints Computer Icons, footprints, miscellaneous, text png | PNGEgg
Prettiest cities in the US - Insider

CAMBODIA: 0.6 TONS PER CAPITA

The Environmental Footprint Family - bringing clarity to the crowded field  of footprint studies | EU Science Hub
Made in Cambodia: How women in poverty are supplying America's market for  hair

CONCLUSION: CLIMATE CHANGE IS A RICH MAN’S GAME: YOU HAVE TO GET RICH FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN WORRY ABOUT BEING RICH

LIST OF POSTS ON THE ASSUMED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN OZONE DEPLETION AND CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE FRUSTRTION OF THE FAILURE OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT TO REPEAT THE SUCCESS OF THE OZONE DEPLETION MOVEMENT.

  1. LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/27/the-hole-in-the-sky/ THE AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC. Lessons from the Montreal Protocol, or how the people of the world can successfully respond as one to avert a global environmental catastrophe.
  2. LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/27/the-hole-in-the-sky/ OPEN MIND: The Montreal Protocol, in force since 1989, is often regarded as the most successful international environmental agreement in history.
  3. LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/18/a-montreal-climate-coalition/ A MONTREAL CLIMATE COALITION IS POSSIBLE IF WE HAVE A CARBON BUDGET.
  4. LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/30/the-unep-healed-the-ozone-hole/ BY THE UNITED NATIONS ENVRONMENT PROGRAM SUGGESTS THAT WE CAN HEAL THE CLIMATE CRISIS BECSUSE WE HEALED THE OZONE HOLE.
  5. LINK#5: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/25/climate-alarm-of-11-25-2020/ NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. CLIMATE 101: OZONE DEPLETION. The ozone layer helps to protect life from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Find out what caused the ozone hole, and how the 1989 Montreal Protocol sought to put an end to ozone depletion.
  6. LINK#6: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/24/an-ode-to-mario-molina/ REMEMBERING MARIO MOLINA. Mario Molina’s Life Understanding was Protecting Our Atmosphere
  7. LINK#7: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/04/the-ozone-hole-of-2020/ NASA: A “LARGE DEEP OZONE HOLE” HAD OPENED UP IN THE SOUTH POLE AND THE FURTHER DISCUSSION OF ITS ORIGINS AND IMPLICATIONS IN TERMS OF THE ROWLAND MOLINA THEORY OF OZONE DEPLETION.
Brewer-Dobson Circulation – Welcome to Khalil Karami's website
THE BREWER DOBSON CIRCULATION

OVERVIEW: WHAT WE SEE IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT IS A PATTERN OF REPEATEDLY CITING THE SUCCESS OF THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL AS THE REASON THAT THE THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT SHOULD ALSO SUCCEED. AN INTERPRETATION OF THIS LOGIC IS THAT THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL IS THE EVIDENCE THAT ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENTS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE DO SUCCEED GIVEN A SUFFICIENT FEAR LEVEL AND THAT THEREFORE IT PROVIDES REASON TO CONTINUE THE CLIMATE BATTLE IN THE HOPE OF THE SAME KIND OF SUCCESS.

THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION IN THESE COMPARISONS OF OZONE DEPLETION AND CLIMATE CHANGE IS THAT THESE TWO ISSUES HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON. HERE WE SHOW THAT WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON IS AN ABSENCE OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE CLAIMS THAT JUSTIFY THE ACTION DEMANDED. THE ACTION DEMANDED IS REFRIGERANT CHANGE FROM ODS EMISSION MATERIAL TO NON ODS EMISSION MATERIAL IN THE CASE OF OZONE DEPLETION AND ENERGY CHANGE FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO RENEWABLES IN THE CASE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

CLIMATE CHANGE

THE AIRBORNE FRACTION: The theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) by way of fossil fuel emissions is that about half of the CO2 in fossil fuel emissions remains in the atmosphere. This is called the Airborne Fraction. The airborne fraction increases atmospheric CO2 concentration while the other half increases carbon cycle flows and does not remain in the atmosphere. The net result of fossil fuel emissions then that atmospheric CO2 rises on an annual basis by an amount equal to the Airborne Fraction. And because surface temperature is a function of atmospheric CO2 concentration, the higher and higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere translate to higher and higher global mean temperatures year after year which we understand as global warming. The key to this causation relationship is the Airborne Fraction and the responsiveness of atmospheric composition to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale implied by the Airborne Fraction.

ANNUAL CHANGES IN MLO CO2: This implied relationship at an annual time scale between fossil fuel emissions and atmospheric composition is tested in a related post:

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/11/annual-changes-in-mlo-co2/ where we find:

THE DATA FOR ANNUAL FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AND ANNUAL CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION DO NOT SHOW THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION TO CHANGE. THE FINDING IMPLIES THAT THERE IS NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE THEORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLIMATE ACTION. THE CLIMATE CHANGE THEORY HOLDS THAT THE OBSERVED RISE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS CAUSED BY FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. THE CLIMATE ACTION THEORY HOLDS THAT MOVING THE GLOBAL ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO RENEWABLES WILL MODERATE THE RATE OF INCREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND THEREBY MODERATE THE RATE OF WARMING. NO EVIDENCE IS FOUND IN THE DATA TO SUPPORT THESE CAUSATION ASSUMPTIONS.

AT ISSUE IS THE AIRBORNE FRACTION. A STUDY OF THIS ISSUE IN CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE IS PRESENTED IN ANOTHER RELATED POST: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/29/climate-scientist-explains-the-carbon-budget/ . THERE WE FIND AS FOLLOWS:

DETRENDED CORRELATION ANALYSIS AND MONTE CARLO SIMULATION ARE USED TO STUDY TO RESPONSIVENESS OF ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. NO EVIDENCE IS FOUND TO SUPPORT THE ASSUMED CAUSATION IN CLIMATE SCIENCE WHERE THE OBSERVED RISE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION IS ATTRIBUTED TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. THE FINDINGS PRESENTED ABOVE IMPLY THAT THE AIRBORNE FRACTION IS A CREATION OF CIRCULAR REASONING AND CONFRMATION BIAS.

A NECESSARY AND CRITICAL RELATIONSHIP IN THE THEORY OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING AND THE THEORY OF CLIMATE ACTION IS THAT BETWEEN EMISSIONS AND ATMOSPHERIC CO2. THIS RELATIONSHIP IS ASSUMED IN AGW SCIENCE BUT NOT FOUND IN THE DATA. THEREFORE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE WARMING AND NO EVIDENCE FOR THE ASSUMED ABILITY OF CLIMATE ACTION TO REDUCE THE RATE OF RISE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION.

Seeps Give a Peek Into Plumbing
NATURE’S GEOLOGICAL FLOWS OF CARBON

OZONE DEPLETION

OZONE DEPLETION CHEMISTRY AND GLOBAL TOTAL COLUMN OZONE DATA

RELATED POST#1: OZONE CHEMISTRY: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/04/01/ozone-depletion-and-ozone-holes/ :

The Montreal Protocol subsumes that without human intervention the amount of ozone in the stratosphere is invariant and that a decline in ozone over time is a trend and not part of long run cyclical phenomena. All observed depletions, even localized and time constrained events, are therefore assumed to be man-made and the causative agent is identified as CFC. Observed changes are thus interpreted as anomalies that require an explanation in terms of human cause, but the data are more complicated that this simplistic model

The ultraviolet spectrum in incident solar radiation comes in three frequency bands. The high energy band (200-240 nanometers) and the medium energy band (240-300 nanometers) are harmful to living matter and are absorbed in the ozone layer while the low energy band (300-480 nanometers) reaches the earth’s surface and causes tanning. With respect to the absorption of harmful UV radiation in the ozone layer, ozone is both created and destroyed in the absorption process. The high-energy band UV is absorbed by oxygen molecules causing them to break apart into extremely reactive oxygen atoms. A subsequent chance collision of these atomic particles with other oxygen molecules forms ozone which then absorbs the medium-energy UV band and disintegrates back into oxygenThe UV absorption process is cyclical. It begins and ends with oxygen. Ozone is a transient intermediate product of this process.

The reason that there is any ozone accumulation at all in the stratosphere is that, of the three reactions, the second is the slowest. Sunset finds the stratosphere with an excess of single oxygen atoms still looking for a date with an oxygen molecule. Overnight, with no radiation to destroy their product, these particles build up an inventory of ozone whose destruction will begin anew at sunrise. There is therefore, a diurnal cyclein the ozone content of the stratosphere whose amplitude is of the same order of magnitude as in the “ozone hole”, the reported ozone depletion over the South Pole that confirmed taken to confirm RMTOD and that caused Montreal Protocol to be invoked.

A longer but irregular cyclical pattern in stratospheric ozone coincides with the sunspot cycle. The period is 8 to 17 years with an average of 11 years. High-energy band UV increases by 6% to 10% during periods of high sunspot activity but the medium-energy UV emission is largely unaffected. High sunspot activity favors ozone accumulation and low sunspot activity is coincident with ozone depletion. A somewhat similar pattern exists in the case of polar ozone holes. The UV induced reactions described above occur only over the tropics where sunlight is directOzone is formed over the equator and not over the poles. Equatorial ozone is distributed to the higher latitudes by the Brewer-Dobson Circulation (BDC) shown above.

The shape and position of the BDC changes seasonally and also shifts over a longer time cycleTherefore, the efficiency of the BDC in transporting ozone to the greater latitudes changes seasonally and also over longer time cyclesThese changes do not have an ozone depletion interpretation but they can create the polar ozone hole phenomenon. When the distribution of ozone is not efficient, localized “ozone depletion” appears to occur in the extreme latitudes in the form of what has come to be called an ozone hole. These holes come and go in natural cyclical changes and are not the creation of chemical ozone depletion and they do not serve as empirical evidence of the Roland Molina theory of ozone depletion by CFCs.

THE CASE AGAINST CFCs.

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The case against CFCs is that when they get to the stratosphere by diffusion, they absorb high-energy band UV and form unstable and reactive chlorine atoms. The chlorine atom particles then participate as catalytic agents to convert ozone back to oxygen. In other words they mediate the reaction between atomic oxygen particles and ozone. It is alleged that the destruction of ozone by this mechanism exposes the surface of the earth to dangerous levels of medium-band UV because there is not enough ozone left in the stratosphere to absorb them.

Ozone - Chemistry LibreTexts

Although these reactions can be carried out in the chemistry lab , there are certain rate constraints that make them irrelevant in the stratosphere. The air up there in the stratosphere is rather thin, containing less than one percent (1%) of the molecular density of air at sea level. It is not easy for a molecular particle in random thermal motion to find another particle to react with. Photochemical reactions occur instantaneously but those that require a collision of two particles take much much much longer. This difference in the reaction rate is the reason that ozone accumulates overnight and why there is an inventory of ozone in the ozone layer. 

The atomic oxygen particles that react with oxygen molecules to form ozone could in theory react with an ozone molecule instead and cause its destruction or it could react with another atomic oxygen particle and form oxygen instead of ever forming any ozone. Some of the oxygen atoms do behave in this manner but these reactions proceed too slowly to be important to the chemistry of the stratosphere. The reason is that the stratospheric chemicals in question exist in minute quantities. One in a million particles is an ozone molecule or an atomic oxygen particle and one in a billion is CFC or chlorine generated from CFC. The accidental collision between chlorine atoms and ozone molecules or between chlorine atoms and oxygen atoms are rarer than those between two oxygen atoms or that between an oxygen atom and an ozone molecule. Therefore the latter collisions involving oxygen atoms are more important to ozone depletion than those mediated by chlorine. Considering that more than 200,000 out of a million molecular particles in the stratosphere are oxygen, it is far more likely that charged oxygen atoms will collide with oxygen molecules rather than with each other or with ozone. Therefore ozone rather than oxygen is formed. Ozone formation is a rate phenomenon.

Chlorine atoms are a thousand times rarer in the stratosphere than atomic oxygen particles. It is not likely that chlorine’s mediation in short circuiting ozone generation will occur sufficiently fast to be important. Nature already contains an ozone destruction mechanism that is more efficient than the CFC mechanism but ozone forms anyway. 

However, the argument can be made that overnight after sunset, as charged oxygen atoms are used up, the charged chlorine atoms take on a greater role in ozone destruction and also when these chemicals are distributed to the greater latitudes where sunlight is less direct and too weak to be ionizers of oxygen, the only ozone destruction chemistry left is that of charged chlorine atoms colliding with ozone. The  relative importance of these overnight and greater latitude reactions in making changes to latitudinally weighted mean global ozone can be checked only by examining its overall long term trends as well as its trend profiles. These data are shown in the data analysis summary of related posts on ozone depletion (LINKS provided at the end of this post).

The essential data are displayed graphically below: What we find in the data for total column ozone across the whole world from Pole to Pole is that data for global mean total column ozone over a long multidecadal time span do not show a long term declining trend. Moreover, the patterns in the data suggest that the occasional low levels of ozone seen over the South Pole that have been interpreted as evidence of ozone depletion and evidence of a hole in the ozone layer, is a figment of a pattern in the data that is likely the creation of natural variability in ozone distribution by the Brewer Dobson circulation.

We also find in the data that the range of observed ozone levels is a strong function of latitude. It reaches a minimum of about 20DU in the tropics and increases asymmetrically toward the two poles. The hemispheric asymmetry has two dimensions. The northward increase in range is gradual and the southward increase in range is steep. Also, the northward increase in range is achieved mostly with rising maximum values while southward increase in range is achieved mostly with falling minimum values. The midpoint between the HIGH and LOW values is symmetrical within ±45 from the equator but diverges sharply beyond 45 with the northern leg continuing a steady rise while the southern leg changes to a steep decline.

Hemispheric asymmetry in atmospheric circulation patterns is well known (Butchart, 2014) (Smith, 2014) and the corresponding asymmetry in ozone levels is also recognized (Crook, 2008) (Tegtmeier, 2008) (Pan, 1997). These asymmetries are also evident when comparing seasonal cycles among the ground stations (Figure 29). The observed asymmetries are attributed to differences in land-water patterns in the two hemispheres with specific reference to the existence of a large ice covered land mass in the South Pole (Oppenheimer, 1998) (Kang, 2010) (Turner, 2009). The climactic uniqueness of Antarctica is widely recognized (Munshi, Mass Loss in the Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheets, 2015) (NASA, 2016) (NASA, 2015).

The only empirical evidence for anthropogenic ozone depletion is the finding by Farman et al in 1985 that ozone levels at HLB (above the South Pole) fell more than 100DU from the average value for October in 1957-1973 to the average value for October in 1980-1984.

In comparison, changes of ±5DU from Lustrum to Lustrum seem inconsequential. In that light. On this basis, if we describe ±5DU per Lustrum as representative of random natural variability, what we see in the data is that, except for the two Antarctica stations (AMS and HLB), no average change in monthly mean ozone from Lustrum to Lustrum falls outside this range. It is therefore not likely that the HLB data reported by Farman et al can be generalized globally. We conclude from this analysis that the Farman etal study, the only empirical evidence thought to validate the Rowland Molina theory of ozone depletion, is flawed and therefore does not serve as evidence of anthropogenic ozone depletion. And yet, Farman etal 1985 served and still serves to this day as the sole empirical support for the ozone crisis that created the role for the UN in global environmentalism.

These relationships imply that there is no empirical evidence to support the Rowland Molina Theory of Ozone Depletion and that therefore there is no evidence of human caused ozone depletion by way of CFC emissions. The occasional low ozone level over the South Pole described as an “ozone hole” and presented as evidence of ozone depletion is neither a hole in the ozone layer nor evidence of ozone depletion but natural variability understood in terms of the data presented above.

EMPRICIAL TEST OF OZONE DEPLETIONGROUND STATION OZONE DATALIST OF GROUND STATIONSAND TOTAL COLUMN OZONE DATA FROM AMS, HLB, LDR, PTH

TOTAL COLUMN OZONE DATA FROM SMO, MLO, WAI, BDR

TOTAL COLUMN OZONE DATA FROM CAR, BIR, FBK, BRW

BOTTOM LINE: THE ONLY SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE OZONE DEPLETION ISSUE AND THE CLIMATE ISSUE IS THAT THEY BOTH CONTAIN FATAL FLAWS AND ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY THE DATA.

A Brief History of Fascist Lies by Federico Finchelstein - Hardcover -  University of California Press

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