The theory that man-made CFCs would deplete the ozone layer is one of many theories claiming that ozone depletion would lead to doomsday. The theory originated in March 1971, when James McDonald, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, testified at congressional hearings of the Super-Sonic Transport (SST) program. At the time there was a major fight to kill the SST program, but all the arguments of the opposition had failed.
McDonald presented his theory that water vapor emissions from the SST were going to wipe out the ozone layer, allowing a large amount of ultraviolet radiation to penetrate to the surface of the Earth, which would allegedly cause a massive increase in skin cancer incidence. The news media seized upon the skin cancer story and made it the issue of the day. Funding for the SST was killed, and the ozone depletion theory was born. McDonald had previously testified in Congress as an ardent proponent of the theory that UFOs -unidentified flying object- regularly visited the Earth, causing major electrical blackouts in the process of recharging their alien spacecrafts.
Once the skin cancer scare hab been established as an issue that would get the news media's attention, ozone depletion theories began to proliferate. Some maintained that the ozone layer was going to get wiped out by nitrogen oxides from atmospheric nuclear tests, by nitrous oxides from nitrogen fertilizer, by methane from cows and rice paddies, by chlorine from the Space Shuttle exhaust, by acid rain, and by emissions from pesticides, fumigants, and so on.
Enter Rowland and Molina
The theory aiming that CFCs would deplete the ozone layer was theory number 7, invented by F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina in December 1973. Rowland was then head of the chemistry department at the University of California at Irvine, and Molina was his assistant. At the time, the first five ozone depletion theories (SST-water, SST-nitrogen oxides, atmospheric nuclear tests, fertilizers, and methane gases from cows) had faded back into the background. The theory then in vogue (#6) was that the chlorine from the Space Shuttle exhaust would cause ozone holes over Florida and deplete the ozone layer worldwide. Rowland and Molina, however, found a much better source of chlorine in the atmosphere than the Space Shuttle: CFCs.
The Rowland and Molina theory says that CFCs are so inert that there are no sinks (nothing to capture or destroy them) in the troposphere (the portion of the atmosphere below the stratosphere. Therefore, CFCs have very long lifetimes in the atmosphere.
According to the theory, the most common CFCs, CFC-11 and CFC-12, both very long lived, remain in the atmosphere about 50 and 120 years, respectively. After 5 years of cruising in the troposphere, the CFCs are transported into the troposphere. There, the ultraviolet rays break them up into "free" chlorine atoms (those that can combine with other elements) and other molecules. This chlorine atom then supposedly breaks down ozone molecules. The theory claims that this is a catalytic reaction, thus one single hyperactive chlorine atom may destroy hundred of thousands of ozone molecules. This reaction only stops when the chlorine atoms bind with other atoms or molecules known as "reservoir compounds". Sherwood Rowland at a 1993 NATO Advanced Workshop on ozone depletion, where he got into difficulty answering a question on why there are no measured increases in UV if there is ozone depletion. Rowland put the blame on the measuring devices, but Dan Berger, inventor of the devices, said that was not the case.
Not the Real Story
Fortunately, Rowland and Molina's version of the atmospheric chemistry is not the real story. The hypothetical threat to the ozone is based on a set of flawed axioms and assumptions fed into computer models that spew out doomsday predictions. The required sequence of chemical reactions has never been observed in the laboratory. It is all supposition. For example, this theory neither predicted, nor can explain the existence of the ozone hole over Antarctica --another new theory that had to be manufactured to explain that:
If any of the axioms and assumptions underlying the ozone depletion theory are proven wrong, the whole edifice falls. The ozone depletion theory assumes, for example, that there are:
- No natural sources of chlorine;
- No sinks of for CFCs other than the stratopsphere;
- No influence on the ozone layer from solar phenomena, including solar proton events;
- No long-term influence from atmospheric dynamics;
- No influence from atmospheric elelctricity and electrochemical reactions in the stratosphere;
- No influence from geomagnetic fields;
- and that an increase in UV-B causes an increase in malignant melanoma skin cancers.
In fact, the theory has been proved wrong on every one of these assumptions, The promoters of the fraud protect themselves by adding the caveat "significant" to these assertions (for example, that there are not "significant" natural sources of chlorine, but in practice they dismiss all factors other than those they choose.
Wrong Axioms, Wrong Methodology
More important than these errors is the fact that the methodology used to arrive at this set of beliefs is wrong. What has happened in the ozone depletion theory is perhaps the best example.of the New Age transformation of science into a "virtual reality" game in which computer models have replaced reality. Scientific truth, real world observations, nature, the biosphere, are all swept aside by the irrational belief that whatever image or numbers appear on the computer screen is reality. The scientific hypothesis has been replaced by "mathematical models" or, more precisely, the theory of "systems analysis".
These models are made up of collections of mathematical and chemical formulas that purport to represent the behavior of the atmosphere and its components. The models are "validated" by the same hand picked group of "experts" that compare the results of one model versus another --but not versus the real world.
Dissenting voices are summarily excluded from the deliberations or the complaints are simply ignored. This is called the "assessment process". Then, when all models are compared, a "consensus" is formed and an edict is issued: Mankind faces doom because some model says this or that action will cause some damaging effects a half-century to a century down the line. These edicts are then promoted in the news media, and opposing views or evidence are seldom, if ever, mentioned.
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