How We Saved the Ozone Layer

People that were born in the 80s and 90s have likely heard about the ozone layer and how it was in danger. News media and government institutions often focused on the dangers of that occurring because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up increasing rates of skin cancer and potentially making it so that the earth would end up becoming more or less uninhabitable until and unless steps were taken to reverse some of the damage that had already been caused.

The main contributor to the rate of ozone decay was our use of CFCs which stand for chlorofluorocarbons, and the depletion of the ozone layer was just one of the countless environmental disasters that we were on course for. People often think that there is no way to make things better from an environmental perspective, something that creates a lot of doomsday scenarios in our heads even though there are a wide range of opportunities that we actually do have that can enable us to fix things to a certain extent.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that we don’t really hear about the ozone layer any more, and there is actually a very pertinent reason for why that might just happen to be the case. This reason is that the ozone layer is no longer in danger of becoming totally depleted in our atmosphere, something that did not happen randomly but was rather the result of a concerted effort from global leaders and individuals within communities.

Climate activism often talked about how there was already a hole in the ozone in Australia, but the thing that you should remember about that is that it has almost completely been repaired with all things having been considered and taken into account. A big part of that involved reducing the use of CFCs which were broken down into chlorine in the atmosphere which reduced the amount of ozone that we had protecting us.

CFCs were being released by everything from air conditioners all the way to the deodorants that we used, and that was dangerous because the ozone layer protects us from harmful UV rays. When products stopped using CFCs and began to make it so that they would no longer release this gas into the atmosphere, the ozone started to rebuild itself naturally and that is why this is no longer a concern. While the journey to getting to this point was by no means easy, the fact that we got here shows that we can do anything we set our mind to.

People often say that climate change is not something that we can do anything about, but the fact that we saved the ozone layer shows that we can often make global changes a lot more quickly than a lot of people are willing to give us credit for. When people found out that over 40% of the ozone layer was already depleted over the south pole, governments worked together to help themselves as well as developing countries to avoid CFC production in whatever way was truly possible without causing any further damage. This is perhaps the only example of a situation where the world was united in anything at all. Climate change is something that requires a major solution, one where every nation and individual on the planet agrees on an action plan that can be implemented quickly. Our rescuing of the ozone layer indicates that there is still hope for the planet, and that all it will take is a focused effort to educate people on the personal choices they can make as well as putting pressure on corporations to make things less harmful in the future.

Read next: Here’s How You Can Play Your Part in Reducing Emissions to Save the Planet
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