There are plenty of groups opposing action by the U.S. government to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is that most of them have little or nothing to do with science. The core of the denial movement are conservative think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute. If not for their herculean effort to derail science, we could very well be on our way to solving a major crisis in which time is a critical factor.
What’s happening now is nothing new.
In the 1980’s, scientists were concerned about the ozone layer when most of the world didn’t have the slightest clue about what ozone was. Scientists were saying that a compound best known by the DuPont brand name “Freon” was harming the planet. They said that certain chemicals were destroying part of the atmosphere that is essential for human life because it blocks out harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes cancer.
The first step was The Vienna Conference; the first international conference on ozone layer depletion. Next came The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer; a multilateral environmental agreement. Soon after, came The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer; an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.
The Montreal Protocol is said to be the single most successful international agreement to date. All countries in the United Nations have now ratified the original agreement and three of the many noteworthy scientists who worked hard to solve the problem were awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for both brainpower and effort. Their names are Mario Molina, Paul Crutzen, and Frank Rowland.
Are we honestly expected to believe that the opinions of these Nobel Prize Winners don’t matter?
Here’s what they think:
Mario J. Molina: