Get ready, guys. President Obama and all his “tree-hugger friends” are coming after your refrigerators and air fresheners for being giant, evil climate destroyers. But while the situation may be dire, if we’re extra-super-careful, they tell us, we could stave off the effects of the Maytag Monster and keep our planet from warming a devastating half a degree over the next 84 years.
I wrote that right. A half a degree over 84 years. Estimated.
The problem allegedly lies in our widespread use of hydroflourocarbons, which are commonly used as a coolant in fridges, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and aerosols. But quite ironically, the use of these dreaded HFCs only became common because they replaced other substances (CFCs) that depleted the ozone layer, which were also restricted.
We just can’t win for trying.
President Obama’s Clean Air Act has pushed for a phase-out out HFCs in recent years, particularly in the public sector. To combat these emissions, the Obama administration back in 2013 instructed federal agencies to purchase non-HFC-emitting devices “whenever feasible.”
However, the United States could begin imposing larger-scale, non-optional regulations of HFCs under the newly-enacted Paris Agreement, which officially went into effect on Wednesday. While hailing the massive global initiative’s launch, Secretary of State and relentless climate town crier John Kerry boasted, “In less than a week, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet with the goal of adopting an amendment to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which could avoid up to a half a degree of warming by the end of the century.”
Wow, you guys. A whole half a degree, tops. Score: us.
(Note: for those who don’t know, the Montreal Protocol is an international treaty established in 1987 to phase out substances that deplete the ozone.)
We’ve already all but banished coal and other reliable fossil fuels from the American energy sector in favor of costly, under-performing wind farms and unsightly solar panels. So there’s no reason to believe this administration won’t lead the way in forcibly replacing all of our ice chests with crates of dehydrated MREs (courtesy of our own wallets, of course). At this point, even if we all went back to living in huts and making fire with sticks, we'd get blasted for having toxins in our cave paint.
So hold on to your Kenmores and cans of Pantene hairspray, everyone. They’re coming for you, next.