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Ozone-Friendly Chemicals Lead to Warming

  1. Aug 20, 2006 #1

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    How can we let things like this happen?

    "Cool your home, warm the planet. When more than two dozen countries undertook in 1989 to fix the ozone hole over Antarctica, they began replacing chloroflourocarbons in refrigerators, air conditioners and hair spray.

    But they had little idea that using other gases that contain chlorine or fluorine instead also would contribute greatly to global warming.

    In theory, the ban should have helped both problems. But the countries that first signed the Montreal Protocol 17 years ago failed to recognize that CFC users would seek out the cheapest available alternative.

    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.

    Some of the replacement chemicals whose use has grown because of the Montreal treaty -- hydrochloroflourocarbons, or HCFCs, and their byproducts, hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs -- decompose faster than CFCs because they contain hydrogen.

    But, like CFCs, they are considered potent greenhouse gases that harm the climate -- up to 10,000 times worse than carbon dioxide emissions.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...,5276645.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2006 #2
    It seems like a mindset that some chemicals or compounds are "bad," and they should be banned, like the way be ban public nudity. Maybe we can moralize Earth into composing itself of a good chemicals the way we moralize people into keeping their clothes on.

    Or maybe the word is "aestheticize?" They're probably related. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  4. Aug 20, 2006 #3
    It is ironic how we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. In picking the cheapest substitutes for the Freon gases we ended up with ones that are very strong greenhouse gases.

    There is a mystery gas that was discovered a few years ago. The mystery is not what it is but how it got into the atmosphere.

    http://www.fluoridealert.org/pollution/1332.html

    It makes me wonder what else is floating around. Forms of teflon are now showng up in just about every living thing.
     
  5. Aug 21, 2006 #4
    Especially politicians :wink: or are they really living things?
     
  6. Aug 21, 2006 #5
    Cheap and convenient, is rarely just that. There is always a hidden cost.

    I re-use plastic bags, shop with re-usable grocery bags, don't have an AC, (fortunately I live by the ocean and it's natural cooling effect) use public transit and/or my bicycle, and buy locally produced food and other products as much as possible. It is only when more and more people start adopting a sustainable lifestyle that we will begin to address the problems created by our cheap and convenient lifestyle.

    I would not suggest doing away with AC, but I think we could do a better job of limiting the release of these chemicals into the atmosphere.

    I wonder what other alternative refrigerants are available, what the cost would be, and what are the negative environmental effects?
     
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