Ozone Depletion Essays

Ozone Depletion Essays

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Ozone Depletion
A Case for
“Ignoring the Facts”
     
Ozone forms a layer of the earth’s atmosphere that protects us from the sun’s deadly ultraviolet rays. During the last decade there has been a scare set forth by environmental enthusiasts that Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) destroy the ozone layer. Although there has been no evidence of any CFC destruction of the ozone layer there is an international stoppage on using CFCs, as well as an executive order set forth by Clinton to limit the sell and use of CFCs in the United States. These bans are unnecessary , since they are merely based on fear and politics. Basing the ban on evidence can not be possible, because there is no factual evidence.
     This executive order is not only futile, but ridiculous. Facts are the ozone layer is not depleting due to CFCs or any other manmade chemical. Qualified scientists have proven the whole notion of the ozone layer is not something fixed and finite to be destroyed faster and slower rates. It is simply not a depletable resource like a fossil fuel. The process by which CFCs are supposed to deplete it is highly speculative and has never been observed to take place, and even if it did, the effect would be small compared to what happens naturally.
     Ozone is dynamic. It is constantly being created and destroyed, and as long as the sun emits rays the process will continue. Ozone is the Trioxide molecule (O3), which is created by photons radiated from the sun. A normal oxygen molecule (O2) consists of two oxygen atoms, in diatomic form. High energy ultraviolet radiation known as UV-C can split one of these molecules, through a process known as photodissociation, into two free oxygen atoms. These atoms then join with a third oxygen and form ozone. Some ozone is found at ground level, but most occurs in the “Ozone Layer,” a concentration of O3 approximately 30 miles above the Earth’s surface. Most ozone is produced in the tropics where ultraviolet flux is the strongest.
     Ozone is destroyed by chemical reactions that convert the O3 molecule into O2. The reaction that causes this is mostly nitrogen dioxide (produced in part by high altitude cosmic rays), through ultraviolet dissociation by the same UV-C that creates ozone, and also by a less energetic band know as UV-B, which...


... middle of paper ...


...e negative effects of CFCs are in the tens of thousands, there are no grants to study the positive effects of ultraviolet flux. It is curious that all the grant proposals written by scientists concerning the other side of the CFC issue are being turned down. Is ozone depletion created by political/economical issues? It has not been proven by facts—just ignoring the facts. All this while the media plays on the fears of the general public. As Bob Holzknecht, a CFC engineer for twenty years observes, “Nobody’s interested in reality. Everyone who knows anything stands to gain. The public will end up paying through the nose, as always, but the public is unorganized and uniformed.



Bibliography
Begley, Shannon, “Is the Ozone Hole in Our Heads?” Newsweek, 122, October 11, 1993.

     Bush, David A., “ Ozone Anxiety: It’s a White Thing,” Harpers Magazine, 287, December 1993.

     Kerr, Richard A., “Stratospheric Injection by Volcanic Eruptions,” Science, 260, May 21, 1993

     Zurer, Pamela S., “Researchers Lack Data on Trends in UV Radiation at Earth’s Surface,” Chemical and Engineering News, 71, July 26, 1993

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