Over 170 nations agree to cut global-warming chemical used in refrigerators and air conditioners

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/14/over-170-nations-agree-to-cut.html


One wee little victory at a time.


Sadly, this is probaby going to lead the governments to allow more emissions by the industry because usually, that’s what happens. Remember emission trade and how more and more carbon credits appeared in circulation? As long as we live in a world where economic reasons dominate above all sense and humanity, solutions are just goodwill and usually too little, too late.


global agreement to cut a heat-trapping chemical

Wait, wait, wait…

talks on hydrofluorocarbon_s_

Is the agreement about a single chemical, or an entire class of compounds?


A little OT but… Diplomatic conferences, government hearings, and the like used to have pitchers of water and glasses at every seat. Now they all seem to have switched to individual bottled waters. It looks bad, lacks gravitas, and sets a poor example, given the waste generated by one-use plastic bottles. Plus it introduces commercial branding where it doesn’t belong. It’s fine for a coach to have a Gatorade bottle facing the camera in a post-game interview, but the U.N. shouldn’t be endorsing brands.


That’s a weirdly small room.

The latter.

It’s also building on the Montreal Protocol, which is possibly the most successful piece of international law and cooperation ever, which is a massively good thing.


So all refrigeration and air conditioning is going to get much more expensive? When they cut the CFLs, they were able to switch to HFCs. I had not heard of a movement to switch to something else, so it sounds like they are just going to try to make refrigeration harder to come by.


It’s a conspiracy by Big Salt.


Good. I’m not convinced this agreement will reduce global warming by a half degree Celsius by the end of the century. I doubt that. But it is a step in the right direction. And that is good.


I don’t get it. Explain?

Yea, who cares about mass migration and food riots? This fridge is more expensive than last year!


Perhaps it could.

HFCs are ridiculously good at absorbing heat, making them disproportionately large contributors to global warming. One molecule of HFC-134 will contribute as much to global warming as 3790 molecules of CO2. And when the HFC-134 eventually breaks down, it produces two molecules of CO2.


Sure, I was playing off this bit:

Which given that HFCs are a known greenhouse gas seemed a little Agenda 21 NWOish, to me. Entirely likely I misread you, but I went with that and speculated it would be the salt industry ridiculously pushing the ban on refrigeration to bring back salt as the predominate preservative. That’s all.


That is not the issue. It really is not about middle or upper middle class people buying a new refrigerator. I mean the issue of refrigeration in general becoming more expensive. That is how most people have access to fresh foods. And some medicines. Refrigeration technology is ubiquitous in the modern world.


I hope it does. I would like to be wrong in my pessimism. But in my opinion, we have already passed the “tipping point” when it comes to global warming/climate change.

That does not mean we should just give up, and resign ourselves to our fate, though. (Better late than never?)

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There are actually a newer class of refrigerant gases that combine low global warming potential and don’t damage the ozone layer.

There’s the Hydroflouroolefins, which are orders of magnitude less heat-absorbent, as well as the use of supercritical CO2, ammonia and inert gases.


I had to look up Agenda 21. And thanks for explaining the salt thing.

No problem. Depending on your world-view there’s a lot of baggage around Agenda 21. Some folks think it gives the UN the right to suspend the US Constitution to save manatees.

Anyone have numbers on how many tons of HFCs are used in residential vs commercial applications? My sense from what I’ve read is that commercial use far surpasses residential, so actions like this aren’t looking to strip third world countries of refrigerants but begin lessening the damage done by industries that can shoulder the burden of migrating to less harmful gases.

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