Correcting myths about ozone depletion


"Similarly, if there were in fact to be some reduction in the ozone layer, the appropriate response, to avoid the additional cases of skin cancer that would allegedly occur from exposure, to more intense sunlight, would be to be sure that there were more sunglasses, hats, and sun-tan lotion available"

George Reisman, page 831

"Far from representing a victory for the environmental movement, the ban on CFCs may represent the movement's most embarrassing moment."

Bast et. al, page 74


Robert Parson wrote a lengthy FAQ on ozone depletion, the best source of information I have found.  He also prepared a review of the two chapters on ozone depletion from Environmental Overkill:  "These chapters display serious misunderstandings of atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, they either ignore or misrepresent scientific evidence, and they are based upon poor scholarship, in particular the uncritical use of exceedingly unreliable sources."

How the Ozone Story Became a Volcano Story by Donella Meadows

The Skeptics vs. the Ozone Hole by Dr. Jeffrey M. Masters

NOAA Stratospheric Ozone Webpage includes a list of frequently asked questions.

Christie, Maureen, The Ozone Layer:  A Philosophy of Science Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2000. Includes another look at claims that there was an ozone hole in the 1950s, and a 17 page review of Maduro and Schauerhammer's The Holes in the Ozone Scare, the book used directly or indirectly as a source by Dixy Lee Ray, Rush Limbaugh, Joseph Bast, the Environmental Policy Task Force and others.  Christie found a large number of problems in The Holes in the Ozone Scare.

In Freon easy Amy Silverman tells how the state of Arizona tried to end the ban on CFCs.

The US EPA's look at four common myths.

A letter by Patrick Hassett in The Sciences in response to S. Fred Singer's criticism of the Nobel Prize Committee for awarding the chemistry prize to three ozone depletion scientists.

The Ozone Hole

These pages written by me:

Fisher, Arthur, "Attack on Ozone Science", Popular Science, October 1997, pages 72-78. Most of this material has been covered previously, but it is a nice introduction to those new to the subject.

Newman, Paul A., "Antarctic Total Ozone in 1958", Science, April 22, 1994, pp 543-546.  A look at a report of an ozone hole in 1958.

Rowland, Sherwood, "The Need for Scientific Communication with the Public", Science, June 11, 1993, pp 1571-1576.

Rowland, Sherwood, "The CFC controversy:  Issues and answers", ASHRAE Journal, December 1992, pp 20-27.

Taubes, Gary, "The Ozone Backlash", Science, June 11, 1993, pp 1580-1583.

Monastersky, Richard, "Ozone on Trial". Science News, Vol. 148, October 7, 1995, p 238.  A look at the ozone depletion hearings in congress.



Bast, Joseph l., Peter J. Hill, and Richard C. Rue, Eco-Sanity: A common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism, Madison Books, 1994.

Reisman, G. G., "The Toxicity of Environmentalism". pages 819 to 841  in Jay H. Lehr, Ed., Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.


Written by Jim Norton

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