Using an Environmental Success Story to Inspire Action on Climate
Climate communicators are often faced with the task of convincing the public that we can actually do something about climate change. For many Americans, the problem simply seems too large and too complex to meaningfully address. But as a recent article in The Washington Post indicates, the U.S. has been successful in addressing, and even solving, environmental problems in the past.
The article features the results of the latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, which indicates that the world’s efforts to restore the amount of ozone in the stratosphere over the past two decades have been largely successful. Ozone depletion was once thought of as an environmental crisis, but is no longer. While there are uncertainly differences between the nature of ozone depletion and the nature of climate change, climate communicators can still use this success story to inspire Americans with a vision of how change really is possible.
Stratospheric ozone depletion, an environmental crisis in the 1980s, can now be considered an environmental triumph thanks to global cooperation in combating it.
The latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, published by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, reports the ozone layer will become restored over the next few decades.
“It is particularly gratifying to report that the ozone layer is on track for recovery to 1980 benchmark levels by mid-century,” says NASA scientist Paul Newman and co-chair of the report. “Many of these early signs of ozone improvements are due to decades of work and contributions by NASA and NOAA instruments and scientists.”
Image credit: NASA