Do you remember the 1980's?
The 1980's saw turmoil, conflict, greed, great poverty and great prosperity around the planet.
The decade began with Americans held hostage in Iran.
The personal computer was big news just like Cabbage Patch dolls, compact discs, VCRs, and Nintendo.
New Coke debuted and just as surprisingly disappeared.
Madonna married Sean Penn.
Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb's 1928 career base hit record with 4,192 hits.
Wall Street struggled with insider trading and junk bonds.
Ronald Reagan was president for much of the decade.
There was AIDS, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Melt-Down, the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, Mount Saint Helens eruption and the Exxon-Valdez crash.
John Lennon was assassinated.
The eighties saw the birth of MTV, CNN, and TNT.
The "Miracle on Ice" occurred when the U.S. Hockey Team took home the gold in the Olympics.
And yes, in the mid 1980s, governments around the world woke up to the increasing destruction of the ozone layer and negotiated what was called the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.
The treaty included a requirement that scientists regularly assess and report on the health of the ozone layer, particularly the annual Antarctic ozone hole.
To refresh your scientific memory, Ozone is Earth's natural sunscreen, shielding life from excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation.
But Earth's ozone layer was badly damaged in the 80's by well-intentioned chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons.
They were created and used for refrigerants and aerosol spray-cans but their convenience had the unintended consequence of destroying ozone molecules.
So what has happened since then?
It certainly has not been headline news for 20 years?
Is everything OK now?
Has the hole closed up?
Are we safe from the dangerous ultraviolet radiation that threatened to increase skin cancer, increase global temperatures and change the planetary weather patterns?
Take a look for yourself.
The four shots of the Antarctic region below (1979, 1989, 2006, 2010) paint an extremely dismal picture of how ineffective we have been in combating this universal issue.
This series of images above shows the Antarctic ozone hole on the day of it's maximum depletion in four different years.
The measurements were made by NASA and the by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
Purple and dark blue areas show the extent of the ozone hole.
The broadest hole occurred on September 29, 2000, when the ozone-depleted area stretched almost 12 million square miles.
By 2010 you can see the hole was still pretty damn big.
So you would have thought that a critical planet altering issue like this would have been a top priority over the past couple of decades.
You would think that there have been numerous global meetings of the greatest scientific, biological, meteorological and environmental geniuses working a plan to repair this dangerous situation.
Does the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" mean anything?
Well, there was a meeting in 2010 (did I miss that on the news?) and in their report, the science advisers to the Montreal Protocol found that:
1. Global ozone and ozone in the Arctic and Antarctic is no longer decreasing, but is not yet increasing.
2. The ozone layer outside the Polar Regions is projected to recover to its pre-1980 levels some time before the middle of this century.
3. The recovery might be accelerated by greenhouse gas-induced cooling of the upper stratosphere.
4. The ozone hole over the Antarctic is expected to recover much later.
5. The impact of the Antarctic ozone hole on surface climate is becoming evident in surface temperature and wind patterns.
6. At mid-latitudes, surface ultraviolet radiation has been about constant over the last decade.
“protected the stratospheric ozone layer from much higher levels of depletion...[and] provided substantial co-benefits by reducing climate change.”
What the fuck does that mean?
Let me guess....Nothing has been done and nothing is improving?
I don't know about the rest of the Baby Boomer generation but I find this very disturbing.
Please forward it to them or tell them about it by clicking on the FaceBook "Like", "Twitter", "LinkedIn" or Email social icon buttons below.
The more Baby Boomers we can help, the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................