McCarthy, 21-Jun-1997 -->

The Ozone Hole

The theory that the ozone layer is being damaged by chlorofluorocarbons has widespread acceptance, but there are many scientifically respectable dissenters. Because ozone is regenerated all the time, if chlorofluorocarbons are the problem, the situation will return to normal. There has been much exaggeration of the effects on humans of the increases in UV-B that have actually occurred. Nevertheless, UV-B is harmful to some plants. Experiments with shielding plants from UV-B show that UV-B reduces growth in some plants even at normal levels.

Robert Parson, a supporter of the theory, has an FAQ about the causes of the ozone hole. However, ground level intensity of UV-B doesn't seem to have increased appreciably anywhere except in Antarctica and the southern tip of South America. The sheep in Chile supposedly blinded by UV-B turned out to have pink eye, a bacterial infection common in sheep and not rare in American school children.

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