In these times of much woe, it’s always noteworthy when the mainstream media reports good news. Especially when it’s good news about effective international cooperation on environmental protection issues.
Today, the New York Times reported that a recent assessment shows that the world is on track to reach pre-1980 levels of upper atmosphere ozone by roughly 2040. That is in spite of the discovery in 2018 of “rogue” use of chlorofluorocarbons, probably from factories in China.
And so, this is not just evidence of progress resulting from the original cooperation that led to the Montreal Protocol in the first place. Even in this day and age, release of the 2018 report and the resulting attention brought to the issue was apparently sufficiently embarrassing to the Chinese government to cause it to crack down on the use of CFCs.
It’s also noteworthy that the crackdown occurred without use of any enforcement mechanism. There was no punishment. There wasn’t even any acknowledgement of the issue by the Chinese. Nonetheless, the offending emissions ceased. I wouldn’t say that everything is always for the best in this best of all possible worlds, but it’s important to recognize that cooperation on international environmental issues remains possible.
We sure could use some more of it.
Yes, international cooperation is great. But there’s another important lesson here: EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS WORK.
We need a lot more of that!