Most of the actions of the federal government are enough to take anyone’s breath away, but this time they’re stealing it from folks who don’t really have any to spare—asthmatics. The FDA, regulators of such lethal substances as walnuts, cherries, raw milk, peanut butter, and vitamin supplements, has banned the sale of over-the-counter asthma inhalers due to aerosol chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the propellent, which, it is claimed, are responsible for depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer. This ban on CFCs is a result of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty entered into force in 1989:
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) is a landmark international agreement designed to protect the ozone layer. As a Party to the Montreal Protocol, the United States has committed to phasing out and eventually eliminating substances that deplete the ozone layer, including CFCs. It is estimated that actions to protect and restore the ozone layer will save millions of U.S. lives that would have otherwise been lost to skin cancer. Metered Dose Inhalers: The Transition to Ozone-Safe Propellants (EPA)
Although the Protocol was signed by Ronald Reagan, a natural skeptic such as I could not help but wonder about the motivations of some of the folks behind it, especially when I read this:
[India’s] Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan Friday said the Montreal Protocol on ozone layer protection could serve as a model for international cooperation on climate change issues.
Speaking at the International Ozone Day function here, the minister said the developed countries had failed to fulfill their promise of technology transfer to developing countries. Montreal Protocol Can Be Model For Climate Change Talks (News One)
Or this, by Obama’s always radical czar Cass Sunstein:
“Wealthy nations have been the principal contributors to both ozone depletion and climate change, and hence it is plausible to argue that corrective justice requires wealthy nations to pay poorer ones to reduce the underlying risks. This argument might well mean that poor nations should be compensated for their willingness to enter into any international agreements that reduce emissions levels. Wealthy countries might owe significant duties of financial and technological assistance, either to help in emissions reduction or to pay for adaptation to the underlying problems.“
So what the Protocol is really about is the global redistribution of wealth. Gee, I’d never have guessed. The United Nations even has an Ozone Secretariat designed to implement the decisions of its bureaucrats, which would, of course abrogate the laws of signatory states, like the U.S. and its tattered Constitution. But what of that hole in the ozone layer that provided the rationale for the CFC ban? Well, James Lovelock, the author of the Gaia hypothesis and the first scientist to discover CFCs in the atmosphere, said this:
“Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: ‘Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.’ That’s no way to do science.
I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”
The polar holes in the ozone layer occur naturally. The rate of ozone depletion may be hastened by man-made CFCs. But, like man-made climate change, the science is not as settled as the re-distributionists would have us believe. Banning the use of CFCs may very well be a good idea, but the global redistribution of wealth using environmental concerns as camouflage is just one more scheme hatched by international socialists; another tool in the box of freedom’s enemies. At one time, scientists were interested in improving people’s lives. Nowadays? Don’t hold your breath.