The Holes in the Ozone Hole -- The Scientific Evidence That The Sky Isn't Falling
Excerpts from the book
by Rogelio Maduro
Printed in the American Almanac, January, 1994
F. Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina, and Paul Crutzen--the so-called scientists who invented the ozone depletion theory--are quacks, whose discovery has been proven to be a scientific fraud, New Federalist reported when the trio was awared this year's Nobel Prize early in October. What follows are excerpts from the authoritative refutation of the ozone depletion hoax, The Holes in the Ozone Hole: The Scientific Evidence That the Sky Isn't Falling, by researchers Rogelio A. Maduro and Ralf Schauerhammer of 21st Century Science Associates, published in 1992. The excerpts are taken from the book's Chapter 2, titled ``The Ozone Wars.''
The book can be obtained by sending $18 postpaid to SouthEast Literature Sales, 9625 Granby St., #205, Norfolk, VA 23503 or calling 757-531-2295, or calling Twenty-First Century Science Associates at 703-777-7473.
On July 20, 1969, America's Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon, realizing one of mankind's greatest dreams. As hundreds of millions of people watched and listened, a human being set foot on another body in the solar system. The future seemed bright, and the optimistic expression was born, ``If we could land a man on the Moon, then we can certainly....''
The next steps in the U.S. space program were to be the design and construction of an Earth-orbiting space station, and a reusable transportation system to and from orbit. These would be the stepping-stones to a manned mission to Mars, tens of millions of miles from Earth. Technological breakthroughs resulting from the space program had also produced new materials, engine technology, computers, and electronics, which opened up the possibility of developing prototype commercial aircraft able to fly faster than the speed of sound, and, one day, to take off from an airport and fly into outer space.
The supersonic transport envisioned for the next decade would fly as high as the stratosphere at speeds two or three times the speed of sound. Three nations were in the race to engineer and build revolutionary supersonic aircraft: the U.S.S.R., with the Tupolev 144; France, with the Concorde; and the United States, with the Boeing 2707, known as the SST.
Slated for development immediately following the SST, and also under study during the mid-1960s, was a hypersonic plane, which would fly at speeds up to Mach 25. The Air Force Dynasoar (Dynamic Soaring) aircraft, also on the drawing board, would be able to take off from a U.S. airport and land in Tokyo two hours later. It would also be able to fly fast enough to obtain orbital velocity and rendezvous with Earth-orbiting space stations.
Even before the Apollo lunar module set down on the surface of the Moon in 1969, however, an intense fight over the future of the space program and related advanced technologies was taking place on Earth. Virtually as soon as President Kennedy announced the Apollo effort in May 1961, antitechnology think tanks, like London's Tavistock Institute and the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, were worrying aloud that the space program would ruin their plans for a neo-Malthusian world. By the mid-1960s, Tavistock's Journal Human Relations reported that the space program was producing an extraordinary number of ``redundant'' and ``supernumerary'' scientists and engineers. ``There would soon be two scientists for every man, woman, and dog in the society,'' one commentator wrote. What worried them most was the climate of technological optimism that had been created.
Their fears were soon allayed. Immediately after the murder of President John F. Kennedy, there was a radical change in national policy. Within days of being sworn in as President, Lyndon B. Johnson dismantled the Kennedy policies that fostered rapid industrial and technological progress, including Kennedy's investment tax credit program. Instead, Johnson initiated the so-called Great Society, under the auspices of which the United States was put on the road to becoming a postindustrial society. The nation's basic industries were dismantled; skilled workers were taken off the production lines. Instead of increasing the wealth of the entire nation through the production of physical goods, the United States would become a service society, with a huge and growing proportion of the population dependent on a welfare state. The end result of this experiment, as we can see today, is a nation that has a standard of living far lower than that of the 1960s.
The space program took a political and financial back seat to the escalating war in Vietnam. Soon, America's premier technological effort was under combined attack from the ``budget crisis,'' which led to drastic cutbacks in government-supported research and development, and from a growing environmentalist movement, bent on destroying high-technology agriculture and industry in America. Development of the commercial SST, the Air Force Dynasoar, the NASA space station, the Space Shuttle, and the Mars mission were crippled by this new Luddite movement.
The fabricated argument that a depletion of the ozone layer would result in a shower of ``cancer-causing'' ultraviolet rays onto the Earth became one of the most powerful weapons in the antitechnology arsenal. This weapon was wielded without mercy against America's economy through the 1970s and 1980s, in a series of battles that has become known as ``The Ozone Wars.'' The casualties of these wars include the SST project, the Dynasoar, and CFCs, some of the most benign and useful chemicals ever created by man, now banned from use.
The Ozone Wars included mass media propaganda campaigns to convince the public and America's law-makers of the following unproven theories:
That the ozone layer would be depleted by the operation in the stratosphere or mesosphere of supersonic aircraft that exhaust water. When that theory was disproven, nitrogen oxides (NOx) replaced water as the ozone destroyers.
That the detonation of nuclear devices whose debris clouds can produce or carry NOx into the stratosphere or mesosphere will deplete the ozone layer.
That the ozone layer would also be depleted by the stimulation of N2O production by addition of fixed nitrogen to the biosphere whether through nitrogen fertilizers, animal wastes, combustion-produced NOx, expanded growth of legumes, infection of nonleguminous plants with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, or by green mulching.
That the Space Shuttle would deplete the ozone layer through the release of chlorine from its rocket boosters.
That the ozone layer would be depleted by the atmospheric release of stable chlorine-containing compounds such as chlorocarbons in general and chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) in particular, which can penetrate the stratosphere before decomposing.
That the ozone layer would be wiped out by the atmospheric release of stable bromine-containing compounds like CH3Br, now used as a soil fumigant, which can allegedly penetrate the stratosphere before decomposing. The same claim was made in regard to brominated chlorocarbons, known as halons, used in fire-fighting equipment.
That the ozone layer would also be depleted by the stimulation of N2O production by denitrifying bacteria through increased acidity of precipitation from atmospheric release of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. This theory claimed that the famous ``acid rain'' in the northern part of the United States would destroy the ozone layer indirectly, through bacteria in the soils....
If several--and in some cases only one--of these claims were true, the atmosphere's ozone layer would have been destroyed several times over by today. Yet, as we shall see in the chapters to come, there is no scientific evidence of any ozone depletion.
The SST Controversy
The time is March 1971; the place, congressional hearings on the SST program. Testifying is James McDonald, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, one of the foremost proponents of the idea that space aliens regularly visit the Earth in UFOs and a passionate opponent of supersonic transport. The ozone depletion theory is about to be unveiled.
Already in circulation were four arguments against the SST project: that the sonic boom from the aircraft would break windows and the eardrums of men and animals; that aircraft noise near the airports would be unbearable; that the SST engine exhaust would pollute the lower atmosphere; and, finally, that climatic changes caused by chemicals in SST exhaust would bring about a new Ice Age. Despite a relentless media campaign pushing these scare stories, Congress had remained committed to building two prototypes of the SST.
Taking the podium to deliver his testimony, McDonald announced a new SST catastrophe theory. His research, he said, had shown that water vapor released by the exhaust of the SST in the stratosphere would lead to a 4 percent depletion of the ozone layer. And, said McDonald, this ozone layer depletion would result in an additional 40,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year. The ozone wars had begun.
Congress, however, remained skeptical. Lydia Dotto and Harold Schiff chronicle the events that followed in great detail in their 1978 book, The Ozone War. According to Dotto and Schiff:
``McDonald came under sharp questioning, but the congressmen seemed more interested in his views on unidentified flying objects, than they were in his concerns about SSTs. McDonald had, in fact, been interested in the UFO problem for some time. He had done a study of UFO data, believed the problem to have been `scientifically ignored,' and had been a vocal opponent of plans to cancel a UFO observation program'' (p. 39).
In fact, the last time McDonald had been at a congressional hearing was to testify to his belief that power failures in New York City had been the result of ``flying saucers'' drawing electricity from power transmission lines.
UFOs or no UFOs, the news media seized on the ozone depletion scare story, which was covered nationally. Within weeks, McDonald was called on to present his theory to the scientific community at a conference in Boulder, Colorado. The meeting, which took place on March 18 and 19, 1971, was sponsored by the Department of Commerce Technical Advisory Board. Its original purpose had been to study the other environmental concerns involving the SST, including the possibility of climate change. After McDonald's congressional testimony, however, attention was focused on potential depletion of the ozone layer.
The meeting became a battleground. Harriet Hardy, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, explained the absurdity of McDonald's skin cancer claims. Arnold Goldberg, chief scientist at Boeing's SST Division, tore apart McDonald's scientific evidence. Goldberg pointed to recent measurements showing that ozone had been increasing in the stratosphere, at the same time that water vapor levels had also been increasing.
This should have been a death blow to McDonald's theory and calculations, but other ``atmospheric experts'' at the conference argued that observational data were not enough to disprove this hypothetical claim....
McDonald was by no means left on his own to do the dirty work. Also speaking at the Boulder meeting was Harold Johnston, of the University of California at Berkeley. Johnston concocted a new version of the ozone depletion theory on the spot. In Johnston's scheme, it was not water vapor but nitrogen oxides (NOx), released by the exhaust of the SST operating in the stratosphere, that would deplete the ozone layer....
The participants of the Boulder meeting did not pay much attention to Johnston's theory at the time. Shortly after the meeting was over, however, it became the leading ozone depletion theory. Johnston played a major role in this, by feeding the press with truly frightening stories about how ozone depletion would lead a worldwide epidemic of skin cancer and blindness, induced by overdoses of ultraviolet radiation. According to Johnston:
``all animals of the world [except, of course, those that wore protective goggles] would be blinded if they ventured out during the daytime.''
In a paper published in Science magazine in 1971, Johnston predicted ozone depletions up to 50 percent within two years of the advent of the SST.
....[T]he hysteria created by McDonald and Johnston had done the job it was intended to do: The two prototypes of the SST were killed, and with them the program. Although the United States dumped this program, France and England built the Concorde, while the United States and the Soviet Union went on to build hundreds of aircraft, supersonic bombers, spy planes, and jet fighters--which regularly put as much water vapor and nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere as some of the scenarios proposed by McDonald and Johnston. The ozone layer remains intact.
From Nuclear Summer to Nuclear Winter
One of the greatest problems faced by the ``ozone priesthood'' was that the SST threat to the ozone layer could not be rendered realistic by a computer model. The search was on for a real world phenomenon that could be modeled in such a way as to produce computations predicting catastrophic depletion of the ozone layer caused by the injection of nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere.
Nuclear explosions soon became a leading candidate, because the fireballs of nuclear blasts produce enormous amounts of nitrogen oxides that are quickly carried to the stratosphere. The Soviet and U.S. atmospheric tests of nuclear explosives in 1961-1962 were estimated to have injected into the stratosphere an amount of nitrogen oxide comparable to the existing stratospheric inventory of nitrogen oxide or to one year's operation of the projected SST fleet. These tests, therefore, appeared to provide an unparalleled opportunity for validating both the nitrogen oxide catalytic theory and the stratospheric models of ozone depletion.
Scientists H.M. Foley and M.A. Ruderman first suggested the use of nuclear blasts for this purpose in 1973, projecting an ozone reduction of at least 10 percent from the nuclear explosions. They were unable, however, to find any indication of a reduction of stratospheric ozone in the records examined.
As this work proceeded, the perils of nitrogen oxide poisoning of the stratosphere by nuclear explosions soon became a major international issue on its own. Predictions of a ``nuclear summer'' began to fill major newspapers. This new doomsday scenario predicted that the immediate result of a nuclear war would be the total destruction of the ozone layer, which would allow lethal doses of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth. All life on Earth would be wiped out.
This new ozone depletion theory came just at the right time to play a major role in the SALT I negotiations managed by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to Dotto and Schiff:
``[I]n the fall of 1974, Fred Iklé, director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, gave several speeches in which he emphasized the hazards to all life on Earth that might result from the ozone depletion caused by nuclear war. His remarks received considerable press coverage.... Iklé was hopeful that the ozone connection might be a useful bargaining tool in disarmament talks, and he asked the National Academy of Sciences to do a study....
``The Academy held a five-day workshop in January 1975 and released a report that summer. This report did not consider casualties from the direct hits of belligerent nations, but the aftermath effects of the war, particularly on noncombatant nations. Nor did the study confine itself solely to the ozone question but, as we shall see, the ozone effects were a prominent feature of the report. In fact, the Academy's president, Philip Handler, said that the `principal new point' developed in the study was that the ozone effect, not dispersion of radiation, would be the major impact on countries not directly involved in the conflict.
``The study considered what would happen if ten thousand megatons of nuclear weapons--about half of the then-existing arsenals--were exploded. The conclusion was that the amount of NOx in the stratosphere would increase by factors of from five to fifty.... This in turn would lead to an ozone depletion in the atmosphere over the Northern Hemisphere of from 30 to 70 percent and from 20 to 40 percent in the Southern Hemisphere. The peak effect would occur within a few months of the event, and the atmosphere would take twenty to thirty years to recover. In addition to predicting increases in skin cancer lasting for over forty years, the report said that short-term effects would include `severe sunburn in temperate zones and snow blindness in northern latitudes.... For a 70 percent decrease in ozone, severe sunburn involving blistering of the skin would occur in ten minutes.'[pp.| 302-4]
As was the case concerning all the other hoaxes perpetrated by the ozone depletion theorists, the actual evidence flew in the face of the theory and made a laughingstock of the National Academy of Sciences' report in scientific circles.
In 1973, P. Goldsmith definitively repudiated this ``nuclear summer'' theory in an article for Nature magazine. Goldsmith wrote:
``Analysis of the ozone records reveal no detectable changes in the total atmospheric ozone during and after the periods of nuclear weapons testing. Although two models of nitrogen oxide injection [SSTs and nuclear bombs] may not be identical from the meteorological viewpoint, the conclusion that massive injections of nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere do not upset the ozone layer seems inescapable'' (p. 551).
The same view was echoed by most leading scientists, among them James K. Angell and J. Korshover, writing in the January 1976 issue of the Monthly Weather Review.
``If there was a reduction in total ozone following the [nuclear] tests, it is difficult to see how it could exceed 1 to 2 percent...,''
``We hereby raise the caution flag, and suggest that perhaps the theoreticians and modelers are in error somewhere along the line, and that at the very least they have overestimated the magnitude of the nuclear (nitric oxide) effect on total ozone'' (p. 72).
Since then, it has been discovered that most of the nitric oxide in the atmosphere results not from any of man's activities, but from the solar wind, [which] carries vast amounts of energetic solar protons, which generate nitrogen oxides when they collide with the Earth's atmosphere.