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  • Writer's pictureDr. Elisabeth P. Montgomery, 孟百思 , China & USA

UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer - 16 September SDGs/Global Goals 13

Updated: Jan 29, 2022







Celebrate September 16, 2021

The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: Seeking Biosphere Defenders * Apply Now!


Introduction

The worldwide initiative to protect the Earth's ozone layer from depleting chemical aerosols is fast approaching two decades. After the first space flight, the entire world saw the Earth from outer space and glimpsed its precious Biosphere. The planet’s ecosystems, photographed from outside the stratosphere, became a single, self-sufficient unit.


By the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, interdisciplinary scientists fought the high risks of ozone depletion, otherwise known as ozone holes, by informing and dismantling polluting industries and through the United Nations environmental protection agreements. The field of Earth Science also discovered the connections among agricultural Achievements in Ozone Layer Protection (epa.gov)


Scientists Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina sounded the alarm in 1974 about chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs harming the Earth’s ozone layer. Their peer-reviewed research, published in Nature magazine, heralded a decades-long fight to turn chemical industries worldwide away from products using CFCs. Manufacturers included these chemicals in most aerosol sprays, packing materials, and many products that proved highly harmful to the environment and thus to humans. The accumulation of CFC chemicals caused what came to be known as a “greenhouse effect” a heating up that rapidly depletes the Earth’s ozone layer. The greenhouse gas effect and ozone holes allowed the most intense ultraviolet rays into our atmosphere, known to accelerate cancers and other deadly human diseases. To this day, preserving the Ozone Layer is the one success we have accomplished as global humankind for the Biosphere. (See Ozone Timeline | Ozone Secretariat (unep.org).


Question. How did world leaders come together to accomplish the feat of healing the ozone layer for all of humankind?

They saw the Earth from a new perspective. For the first time, the Earth was a "Pale Blue Dot" (Carl Sagan) with a unique Biosphere.

They trusted the sciences. We worked together to inform and govern and change the industry. They enacted worldwide environmental laws. The knowledge, based on science, reinforced the new regulations. Question. What was the process for solving the problem of Ozone Layer Protection?

  1. 1988. The Vienna Convention, the first international convention signed by every country involved, developed convention outcomes, which evolved with science and reached universal ratification in 2009.

  2. 2015. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted to combine the goals of people and nations across the globe, including 97 countries that ratified the plans.

  3. 2016

Kigali Amendment. This amendment modifies the Montreal Protocol to gradually reduce the consumption and production of other ozone-depleting substances: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This legally binding agreement creates rights and obligations in international law and is signed by all countries.

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) culminated in decades of scientists and countries working together. The SDGs create an Action Plan for the environmental and social-cultural advances needed to protect the Earth. Scheduled to be complete in 2030, the SDGs can be worked on individually or across several goals, and all materials are in most languages. One could say that the Ozone layer Preservation program includes all the goals in the SDGs, but specifically Goal #13 Climate Action. Here is an excerpt from the SDG Goal #13:

To take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts - The Montreal Protocol has been one of the most significant and successful efforts to combat climate change. The phase-out of most Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has led to the restoration and regeneration of the ozone layer and significant reductions in Green House Gases (GHG) emissions as most ODS particles are also potent GHGs. During the decades between 1989-2013, the Montreal Protocol has reduced CO2 equivalent emissions and is as significant as 11 other global policy actions combined, including energy efficiency, hydropower, nuclear power, forest preservation, fuel efficiency standards, etc., at a fraction of the cost. UNDP MP - SDGs.pdf

Question. What careers can defend the Earth’s Biosphere and focus on Ozone Layer Prevention?

Today the careers, jobs, and work of Ozone Layer Protection challenge most industries, both new and old. Old sectors based on fossil fuels find it expensive and cumbersome to revamp their supply chains and refurbish their means of manufacturing. New industries, such as Bitcoin, establish products and services that may become the most polluting globally. The students and post-secondary job seekers will explore the "New Science" careers related to interdisciplinary research, monitoring, and preventing biosphere degradation by managing climate change. The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, to address all the significant environmental and social issues facing humans on the planet.


Another pathway to careers for the Biosphere Defenders includes the interdisciplinary STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) majors that lead to environmental protection jobs. For STEM jobs, Software Developers, one of the fastest-growing career paths, remain the highly prized employees in nearly every career field. Also, Environmental Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, Informational Security Analyst, Marine Biologist, 3D Designer, and Statistician. STEAM majors are likely to be offered jobs before most other graduates due to the high demand for systems thinking in the interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Careers and Job Skills Needed for Defending the Biosphere

Quick Search (onetonline.org) shows the thousands of jobs globally related to what Career Counselors call the "New Space" revolution include designing, building, and using small satellites to learn, teach, and explore the Earth’s environment.

Currently, there are thousands of jobs available in space industries, including Ozone Layer Preservers. In each of the Department of Employment’s 16 Career Clusters, there are future jobs in ecological protection, remediation, and restoration. Explore environmental jobs for every industry in the Career Clusters:


For example, realizing the connections between ozone depletion, carbon emissions, and agriculture recently led to jobs in sustainability remediation. Here is just a sample of the Agriculture/Food/and Natural Resources:

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Environmental Service Systems 17-3025.00 Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians  Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Environmental Service Systems 17-2081.00 Environmental Engineers Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Environmental Service Systems 19-4042.00 Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health


From college to careers, many jobs fit the interests and abilities of almost all employees. The United States Department of Employment’s O*Net online services also outlines environmental preservation careers based on Holland Code Categories (Realistic, Investigative Arts, Social, Entrepreneurial, and Conventional or RIASEC)

Realistic

  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

  • Water/Wastewater

  • Survey Researchers

  • Paralegals and Legal (Environmental protection law)

Investigative Jobs

Artistic Jobs

Social Jobs

  • Social Science Research

  • Climate Change Policy Analysis

  • Genomics

Entrepreneurial Jobs

Conventional Jobs

  • Quantitative Modeler

  • Spacecraft Power Systems Engineer,

  • Life Sciences

Careers in Environmental Justice.

The SDG #17 develops partnerships in policy, which generate leadership and government jobs. For example, members of the Ozone Secretariat work with countries and intergovernmental organizations, industry, and the scientific community worldwide to set policies and make amendments as needed. From the success of the Montreal Protocol, we know Climate Change triumphs depend on agreeing to the science and ratification among all developing and developed countries, developing and developed. Policymakers use their considerable negotiating skills to get others to work together. Government oversight jobs make sure those obligations – reform and monitoring polluting industries – build and strengthen societies and human health.

Conclusion:

Today we pause and reflect on how we accomplished this worldwide feat and accelerated the legacy of true alliances. Successful work on the Ozone Layer Preservation continues, and we honor this great collaboration in human history.

The deep gratitude felt for the convergence of science and people in the fight to protect the ozone levels reminds us it is once again time to come together to work on the looming challenges ahead. We have nothing to lose and many jobs to gain!


References

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