Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Republican Congressmen in the US continue to go hammer and tongs against all things environmental. This time it is the ozone layer. Led by representative John T Doolittle, partyman from California, they have introduced a hill to postpone until January 1, 2000, a ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), considered to be the major destroyers of ozone. Production of CFCs is expected to cease as of January 1, 1996, under both the US law as well as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The explanation Doolittle had to offer before a home subcommittee was that "there has not been a sufficient showing of scientific evidence to justify" the 19% deadline. One of his supporters, Tom Delay, representative from Texas also contended that the connection between CFCs and human health was debatable. But the scientists beg to differ.

Robert T Watson, associate director for the environment in the White House office of science and technology policy, testified that the increased levels of the harmful ultraviolet-B radiation reaching the earth, a direct fallout of the thinning of the ozone layer, "will, not may" have adverse consequences on human health.

The US citizens also seem to have had enough of the persistent environment-bashing by the Republicans.

More than one million US citizens have signed an Environmental Bill of Rights petition, prepared by a coalition of prominent environmental groups - the Sierra Club and the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG). The petition "asserts every American's right to a safe and healthy environment and demands that the Congress stop its rollback of critical environmental programs". The groups now plan to present the petition before the Congress in October. More news coming up.

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