Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Because it is really just another natural weather system, the ozone hole continues to fluctuate as wildly as it ever did, despite all the bans on refrigerants and other chemicals. Its maximum size from year to year has not diminished at all. As is reported here, the hole was at its biggest in 2000 -- well after CFCs had been banned. Even more interesting, however was that in 2002 the hole shrank so much that it disappeared -- being replaced by two much smaller holes. Then in 2003 it was back at its second largest size ever. Extreme changes like that clearly indicate random natural fluctuation rather than systematic influence from ozone or anything else man-made. But Greenies are still on the attack anyway:

"The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) launched a campaign Tuesday to convince supermarkets in the United States to stop selling food, such as tomatoes, strawberries and nuts, grown or treated with the chemical methyl bromide. Used as a pesticide and soil fumigant, methyl bromide is considered the most potent chemical still in widespread use that depletes the Earth's protective ozone layer.

The international non-profit organization said it plans to investigate the supply chains for major supermarkets and campaign to have products produced with methyl bromide removed from shelves across the nation. "There are viable alternatives to the use of methyl bromide," said EIA President Allan Thornton. "Supermarket chains such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Albertsons, Kroger and Wal-Mart need to ensure that their shelves are free of produce grown or treated with this deadly chemical. We will be writing to major supermarkets to ask them to stop supporting the continued use of methyl bromide."

The depleted ozone layer allows more cancer causing ultra-violet solar radiation to strike the Earth, increasing the incidence of skin cancer. And methyl bromide also should be shelved for its other harmful effects on public health, the EIA said. Direct exposure can result in headaches, nausea, chest and abdominal pain, respiratory failure, and even death. Many strawberry and tomato fields treated with methyl bromide are located so near as to endanger homes, schools, and churches. The chemical has been identified as a source of occupational illness for farm workers who are exposed to it. The EIA's action is timed to coincide with a meeting this week in Prague of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, the international accord that aims to phase out use of ozone depleting chemicals, including methyl bromide.

Methyl bromide production has already been cut by some 30 percent of peak 1991 levels under the Montreal treaty, which the United States ratified in 1988 during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. The remaining 30 percent is to be phased out by January 1, 2005, except for uses that the treaty parties agree are "critical." The Bush administration has drawn criticism from environmentalists for negotiating a change in the treaty that has slowed the pace of the U.S. methyl bromide phase out. The phase out covers such uses as fumigation of soils and pest control on farms. But other pest-control purposes, involving exports of commodity crops, animal fodder, cut flowers, hides and consignments in wooden pallets, are exempted from the international phase out. Some experts estimate that close to a fifth of methyl bromide use worldwide could be excluded from control measures under these quarantine and pre-shipment exemptions, and they warn that the amounts used are even growing in some regions...... "


And it's no wonder the Greenies want to ban the stuff: A total ban would be very disruptive

There is no known single alternative fumigant, chemical, or other technology that can readily substitute for methyl bromide in efficacy, low cost, ease of use, wide availability, worker safety, and environmental safety below the ozone layer. Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that multiple alternative control measures will be required to replace the many essential uses of methyl bromide. For preplant uses, such measures include combinations of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides; other fumigants; and nonchemical alternatives, including cultural changes in cropping systems, resistant crops, and biological control. For some quarantine and export applications, effective replacements include irradiation, heat, cold, and controlled atmosphere treatments.
The effective application of a single alternative control measure or combination will generally be limited to a specific crop or use because specific crops have widely varying requirements and because of variations in target pests, soil types, climates, and state and local regulations.


Even if the Greenies got their way it would have minimal effect

Note: "Only about a fifth of the methyl bromide that enters the atmosphere comes from human activity" and "Methyl bromide persists for less than a year in the atmosphere, so measures taken now can have an immediate effect." (Source)

The economics of the ban

Production of the gas - scheduled to be banned in the United States as of January 1, 2001 - has already been frozen at 1991 levels. A global phaseout is to be completed ten years later, with exemptions for its use in developing countries. What that means, say farmers, is that America will be at a distinct disadvantage in the global marketplace unless the ban is lifted or an alternative to methyl bromide is found. (Source)

Banning it solves a nonexistent problem

"The main pretext for the ban on this essential compound is the assertion by ``300 scientists'' that it is ``50 times more effective at destroying ozone than the chlorine from CFCs.'' The EPA claims that up to 90% of the methyl bromide used for agricultural purposes finds its way into the atmosphere.

The Methyl Bromide Working Group ( notes that up to 80% of the methyl bromide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources (oceans and biomass burning). Moreover, methyl bromide is destroyed by soil bacteria and chemical processes in the atmosphere (mean residence time about a year) and absorbed by the ocean.

This argument is completely irrelevant because there is no evidence of a net sustained downward trend in stratospheric ozone or upward trend in ultraviolet radiation at earth's surface. But again the hypothetical threat to the Planet trumps the clear and present danger from microbes, pests, and starvation".


Ozone levels have always fluctuated

"Other scientific papers have confirmed that the ozone depletion theory is wrong. The Norwegian science magazine From the World of Physics, for example, published a thorough review of ozone science by Thormod Henriksen from the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, which presents evidence that the ozone layer was thinner in the 1940s than today!

Norway has several of the ozone measuring stations that have been operating continuously for the longest periods of time, and these are managed by some of the most qualified scientists in the field. Thus, Norway has some of the best, consistent data for a historical analysis of ozone trends. Henriksen describes the history of ozone research in Norway, and analyzes the ozone data starting in the 1940s. Figure 1 compares measurements done at the Dombaas research center in two periods: 1940-1946 and 1978-1994. As can be seen, the ozone layer went through a thinning process in the 1940s similar to that occurring now, with the exception, as noted by Henriksen, that "the ozone layer over southern Norway was thinner in the period between 1940 to 1946 than it is today." Henriksen also points out that the level of ultraviolet (UV) radiation have hardly changed"



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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