The Why’s and Wherefore’s of the Politicization of the Ozone Hole

Graphic from NASA

On the subject of the causes of atmospheric ozone depletion, I call to mind something attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

This subject isn’t for ‘light’ readers who skim. This posting is solely for those who have a natural curiosity about the major geological events that affect our lives.

Perhaps the ‘damned lie’ to acknowledge is the lie that the origins of ozone-depleting Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are anthropogenic.

Activists funded by government and private grants to make a case for anthropogenic ozone depletion will either obey their masters or forever lose grant money on which they live.

In fact, CFCs are naturally produced. I refer you to a scientific website, “Consulting Geologist”:

“In spite of numerous erroneous academic assertions, CFCs are naturally occurring chemicals and are a significant component of active volcanism. Volcanic CFCs are emitted in the presence of compounds that raise the residence time of volcanic halogens in addition to intensifying their ozone damaging effect. This would suggest that volcanoes have had a significant impact on the ozone layer. Furthermore, when someone like Plimer appears to misquote one source, it is likely that it is the source that is misattributed and that underpinning can be found elsewhere for the assertion. It is just a matter of looking.” Reference

From the website ScienceDirect we read:

“Heterogeneous chemical reactions releasing photochemically active molecular chlorine play a key role in Antarctic stratospheric ozone destruction, resulting in the Antarctic ozone hole. Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is one of the principal components in these reactions on the surfaces of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). PSCs form during polar nights at extremely low temperatures (lower than −78 °C) mainly on sulfuric acid (H2SO4) aerosols, acting as condensation nuclei and formed from sulfur dioxide (SO2). However, the cause of HCl and H2SO4 high concentrations in the Antarctic stratosphere, leading to considerable springtime ozone depletion, is still not clear. Based on the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data over the last 35 years and by using the NOAA HYSPLIT trajectory model, we show that Erebus volcano gas emissions (including HCl and SO2) can reach the Antarctic stratosphere via high latitude cyclones with the annual average probability View the MathML source of at least ∼0.235 (23.5%). Depending on Erebus activity, this corresponds to additional annual stratospheric HCl mass of 1.0–14.3 kilotons (kt) and SO2 mass of 1.4–19.7 kt. Thus, Erebus volcano is the natural and powerful source of additional stratospheric HCl and SO2, and hence, the cause of the Antarctic ozone depletion, together with man-made chlorofluorocarbons.” Reference:

It’s helpful to understand how our atmosphere behaves.

What do you know about the chemical equator?

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), it is a belt of low pressure that circles the Earth roughly at the equator. This belt is called the chemical equator. Air circulation patterns form a wall that separates or divides northern and southern hemispherical air masses.

Because 80% of the southern hemisphere is water, anthropogenic air pollution is essentially non-existent. The land mass in the northern hemisphere is more than twice the land mass of the southern hemisphere. Naturally, anthropogenic air pollution is much greater in the north than in the south.

Therefore, the logical question is this: If the vast majority of human activity is in the northern hemisphere which is divided from the southern hemisphere, why is the ‘ozone hole’ over the south pole? Why isn’t it over the north pole?

This all said, what’s this got to do with the building construction and service trades? Good question. Thank you for asking.

Bureaucrats of the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pump out regulations at an ever increasing rate way ahead of technological developments. And, they have ‘teeth’ with which to hurt us. 70 percent of DOE’s budget today is spent on enforcement. Not science.

Applied refrigerants are not the cause of ozone depletion. But, facts aside, tens of thousands of bureaucratic rules, effectively laws produced by unelected lawmakers, pose a danger to the American way of life.

For further study, learn about Mount Erebus on Antarctica and the White Island volcano of New Zeeland and their volcanic productions of halogens. New Zeeland Third World website

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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