This video from Hot Mess explains the remarkable success of the Montreal Protocol in banning the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances.
The video draws a comparison between our response to the ozone hole and the potential for similar action in the context of halting greenhouse gas emissions.
This video offers a rare and hopeful glimpse at what it looks like when environmental policy works on a global level.
The video highlights the fact that the Montreal Protocol was successful, in large part, because it required wealthier countries to support economically disadvantaged countries in phasing out CFCs.
The video begins with an advertisement.
Though the ozone hole is just beginning to heal, the video may give the false impression that the ozone hole is nearly gone.
Students will benefit from having some prior knowledge about climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels, and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Civics classes could compare and contrast the Montreal Protocol with the Paris Agreement.
Economics classes could examine how the EPA's ban on CFCs created economic opportunities for companies to produce alternative chemicals, although many of those new chemicals also ended up being very powerful greenhouse gases.
Chemistry classes could take a closer look at the chemical reactions that occur between CFCs and ozone.
The Montreal Protocol, banning of CFC chemicals, is one of the rare times we've seen international policy affect the planet. While this video does give a rather optimistic view on the status of the ozone layer hole, it is, in reality, far from "saved" and has many years to go to reach pre-1980 levels. This resource is recommended for teaching.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.3.6-8 Examine the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.
D2.Civ.14.6-8 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.
Dimension 2: Economics
D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
D2.Eco.7.6-8 Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in a market economy.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.