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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Climate burden of refrigerants rockets

Environmentalists push for tougher regulation of chemicals meant to help the ozone layer.

Written by Jeff Tollefson :
(Information about Jeff can be read at:

"Modern refrigerants designed to protect the ozone layer are poised to become a major contributor to global warming because of their future explosive growth in the developing world, scientists report this week."

"Hydrofluorocarbon chemicals (HFCs) were developed to phase out ozone-depleting gases, in response to the Montreal Protocol. But they can be hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide as greenhouse gases in trapping heat. HFCs are deployed in refrigerators and air-conditioning units, and their use is poised to grow in the coming decades."

"In the new study, a team led by Guus Velders at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in Bilthoven analysed the latest industry trends and then modelled HFC production to 2050. Their results suggest that HFC emissions could be the equivalent of between 5.5 billion and 8.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2010 — roughly 19% of the projected CO2 emissions if greenhouse gases continue to rise unchecked (G. J. M. Velders et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA doi:10.1073.pnas.0902817106; 2009)."

"The new numbers will fuel the efforts of environmentalists and others who have been pushing for aggressive new HFC regulations. Manufacturers could shift towards using HFCs with the lowest climate impact during the transition to a new generation of refrigerants — still under development — that affect neither the ozone layer nor the climate."

"Now is the moment to make a decision to steer this in a direction that you want," Velders says. "The developing world is already in the transition to HFCs."

"Although it makes no policy recommendations, the study could play into an ongoing political debate on regulating the chemicals. HFCs currently fall under the umbrella of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, but advocates say the fastest and cheapest way to handle them is under the ozone treaty. Montreal delegates plan to discuss the issue when they meet in Geneva next month."

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.