Look at what we can accomplish together(humanity dodged a bullet)

My cousin’s son is the principal bassist for the Sydney Australia Symphony Orchestra.  I recall when my cousin visited them ten years ago, they said that Austalian families purchase SPF 70 sunscreen by the gallon.  Australian families purchased gallons per family per year of sunscreen for decades because part of the “ozone hole” loomed over the Australian continent.  Now, after forty years of concerted international effort, we are happy to report that the ozone layer is healing.  Scientists predict that the northern ozone hole will be back to its historic level by the 2030s and the southern hole by the 2060s.  This is a huge public policy success story.

Ozone at the surface of the planet, where we breathe, is bad.  It causes lung problems.  But at high altitudes, ozone is essential for life as we know it.  Although it is a tiny component of the upper atmosphere, it blocks the sun’s ultraviolet radiation from reaching the surface where it can cause crop damange and skin cancer.    In the 1970s and 80s, the call to alarm was sounded by atmospheric scientists.  The world listened.  Leaders of nations were concerned.  The potential for crop failures and epidemics of cancer were modeled and communicated.  The early damage was already being documented and it was consistent with the models.  People believed the scientists.  World leaders believed the science.  Policies were established and many harmful chemicals were banned.    As a result of the chemical bans, our protective upper-atmosphere shield is going back to its former levels.*  In another thirty years or so, Australians can purchase less sunscreen.    In recent times, these same scientists have sounded the alarm about other, even more harmful problems with the atmosphere only this time, the response has been completely different.  All of a sudden the scientists themselves are discredited.  Golf caddies advising leaders suddenly have more scientific credibility than Nobel prize winners.  The science is called incorrect although no one has come forward with alternative models that support the data.  Just say someting is wrong long enough and eventually, the public will believe it.   Did the scientists suddenly get it all wrong on the later issue or were other interests more important?  If the scientists are correct both times, it will take a lot more than sunscreen to fix the damage this time around.       *The ozone layer models werre refined and re-run to see how things might have been had we not implemented a global ban on chlorofluorocarbon chemicals (CFCs).  The calculation showed that by 2060 90% of the upper atmosphere ozone layer would be gone.  By the end of the century (2100) we would have seen global crop failures in most grain crops including rice and wheat.  This would have been an apocalyptic challenge rivaling the European plagues.  Famine and disease would have become the norm along with total economic disruption.  In short, humanity dodged a bullet.