The hole in the ozone layer is finally starting to heal — Remember when Congress voted about stuff like this?

Sometimes the world really can get together and avert a major ecological catastrophe before it’s too late. Case in point: A new study in Science finds evidence that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing — all thanks to global efforts in the 1980s to phase out CFCs and other destructive chemicals.

This is one of the great environmental success stories of all time. Back in the 1970s, scientists first realized that we were rapidly depleting Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The culprit? Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a chemical widely used in refrigerators and air conditioners. These chemicals had already chewed a massive “hole” in the ozone layer above Antarctica, and the damage was poised to spread further north.

Without the ozone layer’s protection, more and more people would be exposed to UV rays. Skin cancer rates would have soared in many regions, as they already have in Punta Arenas, Chile, which lies under the existing ozone hole. Those UV rays would also harm crops and the marine food chain.

Fortunately, this apocalyptic scenario never came to pass. Scientists uncovered the problem in time. And under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, world leaders agreed to phase out CFCs, despite industry warnings that abolishing the chemicals would impose steep costs. The hole in the ozone layer stopped expanding. The global economy kept chugging along.

Now comes further good news. The latest study, conducted by scientists at MIT and elsewhere, identifies several “fingerprints” suggesting that the ozone layer is on its way toward actually healing. The researchers note that the annual ozone hole that appears above Antarctica in September has shrunk by some 4 million square kilometers since 2000, although there are ups and downs each year due to volcanic eruptions.

RTFA – for it wanders off into other problems resulting from the solution to the last. Especially since much of Asia has decided not to be obedient vassals for all Western manufacturing and folks are buying their own air conditioners rather than relying upon cinematic urchins waving giant palm leaves for cooling.

In any case, anyone out there confident that the know-nothing brigade is about to be banished from Congress by an American electorate that may even be [your choice] stupid/ignorant enough to vote the Trumpkin into office? There still are caucuses in our government controlled by intellectual slugs who believe Charlton Heston could have ridden a real dinosaur in many of his movies.

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