Monday, November 21, 2011

Climate-gate: Seriously, make up your mind!

I just read a troubling article on BBC News which says that the hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) used for refrigeration, although no longer harming the Ozone layer as its predecessor, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), used to do, is now causing severe damage in terms of Global Warming.

This really bugs me, as it turns out, because I remember that - back in the 90s - there was a massive global drive to change to Ozone-friendly fridges and what not. I remember coming home from school, after learning about the depleted Ozone (especially over Southern Africa where I was located), and telling my mum we have to change fridges.

Now, after more than a decade of replacements, we've just been told by those same so-called experts that: "HFCs are many more times potent than CO2, could account for up to 20% of emissions and hamper efforts to curb climate change," and we need to, once again, start to introduce new standards through: "updating global standards, investment incentives and technical training programmes."

Unbelievable. Now, there will be yet another drive to change from HFCs to something else, a replacement that doesn't seem to be indicated in the report in detail. However, they did point out three areas to change:
  1. Alter building designs to limit the use of air-conditioning - can you possibly imagine the cost this will mean for the world? And, let's not forget the vicious circle of big city-crowding-heat generated-need cooling to survive...
  2. Increase the use of non-HFC substances - still meaning a heck of a lot of costs involved to cover the short-sightedness of these "experts".
  3. Use of "climate-friendly-HFCs" - I'm sorry, but how many "blah blah-friendly whatevers" have we been told to use or change to with the result being more disastrous that before, like this example?
I'm really in shock and awe at how this could even happen. I understand scientific progress and I understand the instinctive human trait of improving upon itself for the improvement of mankind. But this whole CFC vs. HFC debacle now just seems exceedingly short-sighted by the experts and the authorities a mere two decades later (in relative terms to our time on this fragile planet and the age of the planet and cosmos as a whole)... And it will be us who ends up paying for the miscalculation or misplaced judgement eventually.

Still, the Ozone is a very important fabric of our existence on this aforementioned planet. We do need to protect it. But, I wonder, how many times will we end up causing more damage to it, or to another aspect of our planet, before we can finally arrive at a point where we no longer impose ourselves on Mother Nature? A more detailed, and long-term vision, should be the starting point without any doubt!

Image source: NASA via Wikipedia

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