World Ozone Day

Montreal Protocol
On the 16th of September 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed. The treaty stands as one of the most successful examples of nations putting aside their differences and agreeing to do the right thing. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were ubiquitous at the time, used in almost all aerosol cans and refrigeration. Essentially, CFC’s converted ozone high in the atmosphere into oxygen. Ozone, a pollutant at the surface, is vital in the upper atmosphere as it protects the surface of the earth from excessive UV radiation.

Industry went into overdrive to deny the problem. “Ozone depletion theory is a science fiction tale…a load of rubbish…utter nonsense”, claimed the head of Du Pont chemical company. Industry-funded lobby groups, with names such as “the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy” were formed, and as late as 1987, well past widespread acceptance of the most concrete of evidence, Du Pont testified before the US Congress that they believed “there is no immediate crisis that demands unilateral regulation.”

Familiar words today, where a far more powerful industry continues to play the science fiction card and is still successfully lobbying against action to prevent climate change.

It seems ancient history now. In reality, the ozone layer has only just started to recover. It reached it’s lowest point in 2006, and has since started to show signs of recovery. However, there’s still much to do. The production and consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which were permitted as an interim, less harmful, replacement for CFC’s, will be capped in 2013, and will start to reduce in 2015. Just in time too, as HCFC’s (as with CFC’s) are actually potent greenhouse gasses, contributing significantly to global warming.

Better in bulk
We have quite a few new products this week, as well as some price changes. There are now more Enchantrix products available in bulk, and some of their other bulk lines see a significant reduction in prices. I’ll leave you to discover the new products for now while I quickly go add a few latecomers, and will mention a few of them in the weeks to come.

Have a great week, enjoying the spring sunshine, buffered, thanks to a far-sighted decision 24 years ago, by an ozone layer in the early stages of recovery.

Ian and the Ethical Co-op team

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za