Joseph Farman: exaggerated claims for the Montreal Protocol

Joseph Farman argues that ozone depletion has had limited effects on the health of organisms, including humans, in spite of contrary claims of the World Health Organisation.

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Well, I mean I suppose I’d better go on record somewhere as pointing out that, please, if you ever read the World Health Organisation’s view of the Montreal Protocol, just don’t believe it. They will tell you that the Montreal Protocol has prevented N cases of eye trouble in the Tropics, and various other things, and the answer is: what on earth do you mean? There hasn’t been any ozone depletion in the tropics, there hasn’t been any increase of UV, documented increase of UV in the Tropics, what the hell has the Montreal Protocol got to do with saving all this vast number of malignant melanomas and the rest of it, you know. And they – and the world goes mad in front of environmental problems and alarmist scares and things like that. It sort of somehow takes the story to be hard evidence and it just, you know. As far as I know no one has yet demonstrated, anywhere in the world, that any harm has been done to anyone by ozone depletion or any organism. All the krill around Antarctica are very sensible creatures; they live under the ice. They’ve got the most wonderful sunscreen there is, you know. And if they’re in the open water, when the sun comes up they go down. Not the slightest evidence that anything has yet changed. And, you know, okay we don’t want to lose the ozone layer, I’m as keen as anyone to get rid of CFCs and put the ozone layer back to where it was. But you don’t fight battles by misleading the public. Once they, you know, get known that this is the sort of which goes on, you can’t even start a story anymore [laughs]. I mean it’s the trouble with climate change: it’s been so overdone, it’s seized on by politicians because it’s a wonderful excuse for getting a wonderful new tax, ‘Save all the budgetary problems, you know, we just put a carbon tax on.’ No way. No way. [Laughs]
  • Interviewee Joseph Farman
  • Duration 00:02:17
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 12/13/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/07

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