By Jeremy Beck, BE, (Hons)
23rd August 1999
As with Greenhouse Effect, the Ozone Hole scare has been a victim of political and corporate interests, media bias and pseudoscience. Again, the media has left many of us in the dark, recycling lies and half-truths while giving rise to unwarranted alarm.
No doubt, many readers will be familiar with the theory of CFCs obliterating the ozone layer. However, as we will see later, this theory rapidly crumbles when we separate science from political deception. The ozone depletion theory originated from Mario Molina in December 1973 despite that Molina knew nothing about the stratosphere or stratospheric chemistry; his expertise was in chemical lasers. Molina came to Sherwood Rowland, another scientist with no expertise in stratospheric chemistry and they worked together producing what scientists commonly know as Rowland and Molina's Theory. The theory assumed CFCs are so inert that there are no sinks. They assumed ultraviolet radiation breaks up CFCs in the stratosphere whereby freeing a chlorine atom. The theory goes on to assume this chlorine reacts with ozone producing diatomic oxygen and a highly reactive compound, chlorine monoxide. Molina predicted the chlorine monoxide would break up, thus setting up a catalytic chain reaction destroying between 20 and 40 percent of the ozone layer. The chemical reactions as hypothesised by Molina can be seen below for the common refrigerant CFC-12.
CCl2F2 + ultraviolet radiation ----> Cl + CClF2
Cl + O3 ----> ClO + O2
ClO + O ----> Cl + O2
Unfortunately, many environmentalists conveniently omit scientific evidence that does not fit their perceived vision of environmental cataclysm. Firstly, the chance of many CFCs finding their way up to the stratosphere is very remote considering CFCs, depending on which compound is being measured, are four to eight times heavier than air. Secondly, it is only natural for ozone levels to oscillate in the stratosphere; they are simply a function of the solar sunspot cycle. Another rarely publicised point is that global ozone data exists back as far as the 1930s. However, the Ozone Trends Panel's starting date was chosen at 1969 when ozone levels were at a peak. This deceptive graphical plot hides the fact that back in 1962 there was also an "ozone hole." It is also a curiosity that the ozone hole forms over Antarctica, when in fact most CFCs are emitted from the Northern Hemisphere.
Norwegian scientists Søren Larsen and Thormod Henriksen have analysed the Arctic ozone layer back to the year 1935 and conclude:
"The data from long-term ozone measurements reveal periods of several years with a negative trend [decrease] and other periods with a positive trend [increase]. The combined results up to 1989 give no evidence for a long-term negative trend of the Arctic ozone layer...."
On 22nd October 1991, Robert Watson, cochairman of a panel of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), gave a press conference orchestrated by a paid media consultant. Watson issued dire warnings in relation to the thinning of the ozone layer, claiming the executive summary he presented were the findings contained in a 300-page report to be released by the UNEP. However, that report does not exist, according to UNEP spokesmen.
As scientist Dr. Fred Singer aptly comments: "Environmental policy seems once again to be driven by press release rather than by proven scientific data."
The irony of the alleged evils of CFCs is that natural sources of chlorine far outweigh industry's contribution. Remember, Rowland and Molina's Theory asserts that chlorine, not CFCs, destroy ozone. Evaporating oceans emit 600 million tons of chlorine into the atmosphere per year. Although precipitation washes out most chlorine, large amounts still reach the stratosphere. Even high school science students would be aware that seawater salt is comprised of sodium chloride. Once the sodium chloride reaches high altitudes, it can ionise, freeing the chlorine atom from the sodium.
Erupting volcanoes can emit hundreds of millions of tons of chlorine. These eruptions directly inject chlorine into the stratosphere. Mt. Erebus in Antarctica began an active cycle of volcanic eruptions in 1972 that has been continuous to this day. Mt. Erebus pumps 50 times more chlorine into the atmosphere annually than does an entire year's production of CFCs.  This is not to say that Mt. Erebus' emissions created the Antarctic ozone hole. Admittedly, the science is still uncertain as to all the factors influencing the fluctuating Antarctic ozone hole. However, concealed by the media, the so-called Antarctic ozone hole was not a new discovery. Its existence had been known for more than 30 years. Scientists had discovered the anomaly in the years 1956-57 when ozone spectrophotometers were placed in Antarctica for the first time.
Incidentally, other natural sources of atmospheric chlorine originate from burning biomass, ocean biota, meteorite showers and cosmic dust burning up as they enter the atmosphere. In fact, nature produces about 8,000 times more chlorine than man does with CFCs. Of course, the large amounts of chlorine in the atmosphere should not be of a concern. The ozone layer has coexisted with this atmospheric chlorine long before industrial civilisations came into being and in fact; the sun's ultraviolet radiation is continually creating ozone. Ultraviolet radiation in the band of 190-230 nm creates single atoms of oxygen that form ozone molecules.
Although CFCs are heavy molecules, a minuscule proportion does manage to be drawn up to the lower stratosphere. However, CFCs do not rise above 40 kilometres. This is a critical point, as the intensity of ultraviolet light in the lower stratosphere is not sufficient to break up CFCs. Moreover, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent in research, no one has observed a single instance of ultraviolet radiation splitting CFCs in the stratosphere.
Rowland and Molina's Theory assumes there are no sinks for CFCs. This is a false assumption. Sinks for CFCs include:
Back in 1988, two Australian scientists, Aslam Khalil and R. A. Rasmussen, used Freon to calibrate the gas exchange on termites in the soil. They ran into problems when the Freon kept disappearing and eventually found the soil microbes were using Freon as a food source. Freon was being decomposed in a matter of days or weeks. Now, it does not take a Ph.D. to figure out that if CFCs are four to eight times heavier than air, many will ultimately meet their demise in the soil by microorganisms. In addition, it is interesting to note that the greatest concentration of CFC-destroying organisms may be present at the surface of the world's oceans.
The costs of the CFC ban are enormous. Leaving aside costs of hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, much loss of life is expected from inadequate refrigeration and food spoilage. Even Robert Watson, the head of the Ozone Trends Panel admitted, "probably more people would die from food poisoning as a consequence of inadequate refrigeration than would die from depleting ozone." The replacement refrigerant, R-134a is not nearly as efficient in cooling. It is far more expensive, extremely corrosive, toxic and less energy efficient. There are concerns that it may be a carcinogen, but there has not been enough testing to determine this. By contrast, CFCs are nontoxic, nonflammable, cheap, simple to produce, and extremely stable and unreactive. Far from saving the Earth, the ban on CFCs is an environmental tragedy when considering the toxicity and energy inefficiency of the alternatives, not to mention the reduced product life of compressors induced by corrosive CFC replacements.
Many people may be unaware of both Du Pont and ICI's vested financial interest in the banning of CFCs. These two corporations have worked together for decades, maintaining their dominance in the world chemical market. The Du Pont Corporation's monopoly patent on CFCs was about to expire and become public domain. It was therefore in Du Pont's interest to sponsor the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit conference, and surprise, surprise; Du Pont secured the patent on the replacement HFC 134a gas. The Montreal Protocol to limit CFCs was revised and on 11th February, 1992, President Bush announced a ban on CFCs by 1995.
Under the ownership of the Bronfman family, Du Pont's earnings from CFC replacements have amounted to many billions of dollars. Edgar Bronfman personally may have made more than $10 billion during the early 1990s alone. Interestingly, the Bronfmans have made considerable contributions to the environmental movement. In fact, Du Pont and ICI (along with many other multinational corporations) have a close working relationship with the green movement. One of the heirs of the ICI family fortune, Lord Peter Melchett, is the executive director of Greenpeace in Great Britain. Greenpeace, with an annual income of more than $100 million worldwide has been actively campaigning against the use of CFCs.
The data available from public sources show that the total revenues of the environmental movement are more than 8.5 billion US dollars per year. Foundation grants to environmental groups in the range of 20 to 50 million US dollars are no longer a novelty. In July 1990, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a 50 million-dollar global environmental program. It may seem rather ironic to most of us that the world's first billionaire and oil industrialist, namely John D. Rockefeller, endowed the Rockefeller Foundation. The irony certainly does not stop here. Many multinational corporations donate huge sums of money to environmental groups. The Nature Conservancy's 1990 report reflects contributions of over $1,000,000 from Amoco, over $135,000 from Arco, over $100,000 from BP Exploration and BP Oil, more than $3,700,000 (in real estate) from Chevron, over $10,000 from Conoco and Phillips Petroleum and over $260,000 from Exxon. IBM is contributing grant money for the introduction of school children on five continents to the "theory and practice of Gaia." Gaia is the brainchild of Dr. James Lovelock, and known by many scientists as junk-science or pseudoscience. Lovelock proclaims:
"Gaia is Mother Earth. Gaia is immortal. She is the eternal source of life. She does not need to reproduce herself as she is immortal. She is certainly the mother of us all, including Jesus... Gaia is not a tolerant mother. She is rigid and inflexible, ruthless in the destruction of whoever transgresses. Her unconscious objective is that of maintaining a world adapted to life. If we men hinder this objective we will be eliminated without pity."
Corporations are not required by law to report on grants to environmental groups. However, from the scant information publicly available, one can conservatively estimate that corporations contribute more than $200 million a year to the environmental movement. This may appear as bizarre behaviour at first glance. However, big business has learnt that they are able to bankrupt competition from small and medium sized business through cumbersome environmental regulations. The tragedy of this is Mum and Dad battlers and pensioners donate their scarce dollars to green groups believing they are saving the Earth from the "evils of industrialisation." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sadly, although many of the hypothesised environmental disasters turn out to be fraudulent, multinational corporations continue to perpetrate environmental damage. Moreover, the media treats these multinational corporations with kid gloves when they do indeed commit environmental negligence. This should not really come as a surprise, as the same elite powers governing multinational corporations drive the media's political bias. The mainstream media simply avoids many critical issues, although they dish up a variety of articles and programs in the attempt to give the perception of endorsing free speech while providing fairness for all parties.
Unethical behaviour from scientists such as Stephen H. Schneider compounds the environmental bias that already exists within our media. In an interview in October 1989, Schneider came out with this alarming admission: "We need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. . . . Each of us has to decide what is the right balance between being effective and being honest."
In the early 1970s, Schneider was an adamant supporter of the theory of a coming Ice Age that would wipe mankind from the face of the Earth. Now articles regularly feature Schneider supporting impending doom due to global warming. In 1992, this admitted deceiver received the "Scientist of the Year Award." Now, would this be a political appointment?
Many scientists are enraged over the CFC ban. Sadly, their voice is suppressed in this game of politics. Doomsday scientists have received a bonanza of research grants, titles, perks, positions and much more. However, scientists having the courage to oppose these theories in public have had their papers rejected for publication, their grant money discontinued and in some cases, have even lost their research and teaching positions.
Many people are starting to sense something is wrong with contemporary world politics. Even some members within Greenpeace note the profits chemical corporations have made on the ozone hole. This extract from the Greenpeace website identifies their concern: "Chemical companies have dictated the progress of the Montreal Protocol and measures to protect the ozone layer. In doing so, they have been able to switch from making money from CFCs to making money from CFC replacements. For these companies, the ozone hole has been a gold mine." Obviously many members of Greenpeace are oblivious of the financial forces driving this process. Likewise, conservative free marketeers such as Gerard Jackson from The New Australian, fail to identify the financial forces driving contemporary world politics. Jackson raises concern over Shell and BP Amoco's embrace of "green" fascism. However, he fails to see as Daniel Pouzzner from MIT identifies, that the same forces driving eco-fascism, also promotes laissez-faire free market ideology. As Physical Economist, Lyndon LaRouche and Professor of Economics, Michel Chossudovsky identify, "free trade" is a recipe for the globalisation of poverty. Chossudovsky rightly notes, economic reforms such as "free trade", "endorses the development of a worldwide cheap-labour export economy". Only once people recognise the big political picture, will they understand the existence of the eco-fascist ideology.
Fortunately, some people have seen the green movement's ugly face and have been active in exposing environmentalists' eco-fascism. Patrick Moore, founding member and former director of Greenpeace for 15 years, testified before a congressional subcommittee saying: "much of the environmental movement has been hijacked by extremist activists who use the language of the environment for a movement that has more to do with class struggle and anti-corporatism." Moore obviously sees the link between the environmental movement and Communism. The link certainly exists and in fact, the same foundations funding the environmental movement also support The Gorbachev Foundation. We are talking watermelon politics here: green on the outside and red in the middle. However, Communists paying lip-service to the environmental movement is a long story in itself.
Lewis du Pont Smith, an heir to the du Pont family legacy, has been active in exposing the Bronfman's and his own family's corporate fraud. Such a courageous and principled stance must be commended. Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, former governor of Washington State, USA has also been active in exposing such environmental fraud.
Now that you have discovered the CFC fraud, do not expect the corporately financed media to cover this story. Only you, the reader will have the power to spread the word.
Discuss this issue with Jeremy Beck on the Greenhouse Hoax Bulletin Board