The ozone issue was an early misuse of science for a political agenda. It was a practice run for global warming with several of the same people involved.
Attempts to ratify the Kyoto Protocol included claims that the Montreal Protocol, designed to save the ozone layer, was a success. It wasn’t, because there was no problem in the first place.
Chlorofluorocarbons then, like CO2 today, were never a problem.
Environmentalists used a natural change of ozone and CO2 to blame human activity. With ozone, the "urgent problem" was a slight decline in atmospheric levels over Antarctica; with CO2, a slight increase at Mauna Loa.
Both times, they then found and funded scientists to produce the "scientific" evidence.
I explained the problem to the Canadian Parliamentary Committee Hearing on Ozone. I didn’t want to attend, but it was a legal order. It was the fiasco I expected.
The word "hole" implies damage, a leak, a tear in the fabric of the sky. The objective was to blame humans for a natural phenomenon ostensibly to save the planet.
Ozone is created in the upper atmosphere when ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a small part of the total electromagnetic energy from the sun, strikes free oxygen molecules (O2). The molecules are split into single oxygen molecules (O), which combine with other O2 to create ozone (O3) -- a process called photo disassociation.
The ozone layer varies considerably in different regions, at different altitudes, and over time. The so-called "hole" is a region located over Antarctica in which the ozone level is lowest during the Southern Hemisphere winter. Even then, the thickness is still one-third of the global average. It is an area of "thinning" due to natural causes.
Formation of ozone occurs between 15 and 55 km above the surface with the maximum concentration between 15 and 30 km. Densities vary horizontally and vertically, so levels over any region change hourly with air movement.
The ozone layer is self-healing because as UV penetrates further into the atmosphere, it encounters more free oxygen (O2). By 15 km above the surface, over 95% of the UV has been expended in the creation of ozone.
Measurements of ozone by the British Antarctic survey team determined levels were lower than measures taken in 1957.
James Lovelock, the British scientist who proposed the Gaia hypothesis, warned against overreaction, but was ignored.
The hysteria began with the environmentalist hypothesis that CFCs were destroying ozone in the stratosphere. Molina and Rowland, who later received a Nobel Prize for their work, published results of laboratory studies showing that CFCs destroyed ozone. They didn’t simulate atmospheric conditions in the ozone layer, but that didn’t matter. Ideology took over, and they determined to prove rather than disprove the hypothesis as proper science requires.
From the beginning it was assumed, incorrectly, that the level of UV is constant, a point I made to the Parliamentary Committee. If UV radiation creates ozone and is then considered constant, you are forced to assume another cause for variation. This parallels the effective exclusion of the sun as a major cause of global warming or climate change.
A major cause of changes in the size and extent of the Antarctic ozone hole are the intense wind patterns and circulations associated with the extensive Antarctic high-pressure zone and the surrounding wind pattern known as the Circumpolar Vortex.
A second factor is Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) that form when gases including water vapor sublimate directly to crystals because of the intensely low temperatures (-70°C and below) and pressures over the South Pole.
We now know UV varies as much as 200% naturally around the average value. They also said CFCs would remain in the atmosphere for up to 100 years, and that recovery of the ozone would take a very long time.
They were wrong.
There are still no holes in the ozone, but the area of thinning over Antarctica continues to vary due to natural conditions.
Skin cancer is increasing because of increased life expectancy, not "the hole in the ozone."
In fact, mania about avoiding sun exposure means that scrofula (a form of tuberculosis), rickets and other bone diseases are on the rise; children and others dutifully applying sun blockers aren't getting enough UV radiation to produce vitamin D, so they are increasing their chance of getting these conditions.
The claim is still made that the actions invoked by the Montreal Protocol saved the day. Even a brief examination shows this is false. Use of environmental issues for totalitarian control has a long history.