Most of you have probably heard that we used to have a giant hole in the ozone layer, and most of you have probably heard that the hole has stopped growing after the ban on chlorofluorocarbons. I see the halting and reversal of ozone depletion as a success story of international multilateral cooperation, where governments and corporations across the globe have cooperated to solve the problem. I believe that with cooperation from corporations, heavy regulations competency from the government, and a change of mindset and pressure from consumers, we can have more success stories on socio-ecological protection.
I envision a world where our lives and decisions are not driven by actions from corporations. CFCs were super-useful chemicals that were in everyday products ranging from air-conditioners to aerosol sprays. Like climate change and fossil fuels, when researchers first found out about the role of CFCs in damaging the ozone, they also faced strong resistance. However, with heavy regulations and multilateral treaties between governments that signed the Montreal Protocol in 1987, the production and use of CFCs have been phased out. After these changes, the CFCs concentration in the atmosphere dropped and the ozone layer was regenerated. This story has given me some hope for the potential changes for a better environment even under a capitalist society. I think Hank Green put it very well here.
As seen in the CFC story, heavy environmental regulation is HUGELY important in making sure corporations are on track with sustainability practices. Especially in a globalized world with transnational corporations contributing the majority of global emissions and environmental destructions, I believe proposing and enforcing international agreements and environmental regulations will help to block some loopholes that TNCs can take to bypass these regulations. Just like the ozone crisis, if the government and corporations work together, the situation can improve.
I agree Meagan that this does story does give me hope for potential positive changes! Although makes me wonder, despite some backlash, why were the agreements to resolve hole in the ozone crises/ban CFCs undertaken and implemented to much faster than agreements to combat aspects of climate change? Regardless, thank you for sharing this story!
Thanks for sharing this story! I've always found it interesting how quickly society was able to pivot to phase out CFCs when the ozone layer was dramatically at stake and wondered why we haven't been able to do the same with the climate crisis - likely it's due to the scale of climate change, and how much more dramatically we would have to restructure our economies and societies than we did with CFC's, but this case still gives some hope in terms of our ability to adapt.
I actually didn't know a lot of details about the CFC story, thanks for sharing. I wonder why the other actually important environmental regulations are failing to form. Similar to that, everyone was quick to jump aboard when it came to prohibit the sales of plastic straws that only make up less than 1% of ocean waste. At the same time no fishing policies are advancing, while fishing nets and other related products make up more the majority of ocean waste.