Climate change fears have been around for several decades, i.e. holes in the ozone layer, acid rain, global cooling, ice caps melting. But have any of these fears actually been realized?

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Ronnie: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Ronnie.

Ronnie: So, I’ve been noticing a lot, there’s a lot of talk in today’s world about climate change. Have you been hearing that term?

Brittany: Too much all the time?

Ronnie: Do you, do you know what climate change means? Or have you heard that before?

Brittany: I mean, I remember when we were younger, it was global warming, remember? That was the thing that we heard. And then all of a sudden, I don’t remember when, but all of a sudden it turned into climate change. I’m not really sure where that when or where that happened.

Ronnie: I know. It is interesting how that changed. Actually, and I don’t know what your childhood was like or if you remember this, but when I was a kid, I remember when Hairspray was being talked about as.

Brittany: Yeah, it was a greenhouse gas effect.

Ronnie: Yeah, it was.

Brittany: That’s what they called it.

Ronnie: Yeah. It was the hole in the ozone layer.

Brittany: Yeah. Because that was the big thing you couldn’t use aerosol bought, which is like a, hairspray bottle. Yeah. That was like huge. I remember that. Yeah. It’s funny.

Ronnie: Yeah, it’s, that was kind of before I was at the age of using hairspray, but I just remember it being this huge thing there. I remember I was watching, it was a some show that came out on Fridays on TGIF on Fridays, and there was some character, and she was having this mental breakdown because she was realizing that her hairspray was destroying the earth.

Brittany: Wait, which show was this?

Ronnie: Was it Family Matters? Maybe

Brittany: Family, okay. Family Matters is a good one. Maybe kids these days will never understand Steve Urkel. I know we, Connor and I always laugh when we talk about like, old things we loved on the show because we’re like, oh, you kids, like, even when we talk about telephones that plugged into the wall, we’re like, the listeners are probably like, you’re making this up.

Ronnie: So funny. I know it was a different time then, but not too different. There were a lot of things that were the same still, except it, there was not climate change, but there was, there was the fear of creating the hole in the ozone layer. But so the fear then was that there was going to be holes in the ozone layer over, I think it was over Antarctica. And what this was going to do was, is going to keep us, unprotected from all the suns harmful radiation, and we were all gonna get skin cancer and we were all going to become blind. And so it was like a really huge thing. And there was something called, I look this up so I could know the right term, something called chlorofluorocarbons. And that was the scary element in it was in hairspray, but it was also in like refrigeration systems and stuff too. So anyways, those were the big things. And, in the, like the early 1990s is when all the fears of the ozone layer happened. And so there was some big treaty, called the Montreal something. And so then they banned all of these, and so they banned all of the chlorofluorocarbons and.

Brittany: That’s five times fast.

Ronnie: I know, for real. I’m like, have to break it down. Chlorofluorocarbons. So they banned them. And then supposedly a couple of years later, then the ozone layer started healing itself. But it’s interesting because if you look more into it, these chlorofluorocarbons that got better that time had been around since the 1920s or something. I mean, hairspray had been used since like the 1940s, so for a very long time. but they hadn’t started to see any ozone layer depletion until the 1980s. So all of a sudden, like it, they waited that long and all of a sudden that’s when all the damage was, and then they scared everybody about this big thing of.

Brittany: Why do you think that is? I’m just curious. Why do you think it was because they needed to wait to see if it really was dangerous? Or do you think maybe they wanted to scare everybody about it? Do you, what do you think?

Ronnie: So, I think this is just my opinion. It was called the Montreal Protocol, that’s what it was called. So in the 1980s, all of a sudden they started freaking everybody out again on family matters. We have characters who are also freaking out in the media, so everyone can see that this is the thing that everyone needs to believe and be worried about. Because if we don’t fix it right now if the government doesn’t step in and fix it, then we’re all gonna die. Right? because that’s, I feel.

Brittany: Like we’ve heard that a lot, especially over the last two years.

Ronnie: Yes, when I was looking into this, I’m like, this sounds very familiar. So, and I think it was the, like the late 1980s, somewhere around this time, the, a bunch of countries got together. They created this Montreal Protocol, and then it was, voted by all of the members of the United Nations, and it was this first big environmental international treaty thing. And then, of course, a couple of years later, the ozone layer starts to get better, and they’re like, we saved the day. But years later, you know what they found out, what they found out that the ozone layer naturally over the years seasonally, it thins and then thickens back up.

Brittany: So, it’s a problem that naturally occurs that it seems like maybe we don’t need a government, solution for. It kinda reminds me of the economy, you know, they always say like, oh, recession, we need to fix it. When it’s like, if we had just left it alone, things would get better.

Ronnie: Yeah. So, but the interesting thing that came out of it is that, because everyone was so freaked out and everyone thought, oh no, we have to change this right away, governments save us. It was the first time that any big environmental concern had ever become this huge, like, fear. Right. And now we’re terrified of all the things happening in the environment and global warming. Right. What, is global warming by the way? Like when you were a kid and learned about global warming, what did you think it meant?

Brittany: There was a very boring Al Gore movie. Al Gore used to be, President Clinton’s vice president. And it was all, it was basically like the end of the earth is coming, the polar ice caps are gonna melt, and when they melt, then it’s gonna flood the whole earth and we’re all gonna be underwater. And I remember even then I was just like, yeah, this sound farfetched, like this sounds a little extreme. Let’s calm down here. And the funny thing is, I believe all the predictions that were made were supposed to already come to pass like they were supposed to have already happened. And I know people will argue, it’s like, well, it didn’t happen ’cause the movie stopped it. But it’s like, well, okay. But if you look at people. The movie stopped it. Right. But then you look at people like Greta, whatever her name is, the scary child.

Ronnie: Thunberg.

Brittany: Yeah. Thornberg according to her. No, there is, you know, the movie didn’t influence any good change because we’re still doing there. I don’t know, it’s just, it seems all very questionable to me.

Ronnie: Yeah. I never actually watched that movie. I heard of it, but I.

Brittany: Oh, I never saw it. Yeah.

Ronnie: Oh, okay.

Brittany: I just remember everyone talking about it, I was like, I’m not gonna see that movie. But was yeah.

Ronnie: So what was interesting is the ozone layer was the, yeah, it was like the kind of the start of all of the, oh, we can scare everybody into doing things just by telling them the world’s gonna end by something or other.

Brittany: So the ozone, so all these things together, you know, it seems to me like, yeah, they’ve, just been trying to scare us, but one thing I always like to wonder about government is why, you know, to what end is what I always say. Like, what is the goal? Do you have any, what do you think is the goal?

Ronnie: Oh, man. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I could go off into, you know, I can either think more normal, simple explanations, or sometimes I go off into the, I don’t know, maybe everyone’s crazy and it’s all one big conspiracy, so I don’t really have the answers.

Brittany: You know, I think a lot of our listeners and their parents can relate to that as well.

Ronnie: But yeah. Oh, there’s, I’m trying to think. remember, do you remember the acid rain? Speaking of, you know.

Brittany: Yes, and I don’t remember like what it was. I just remember hearing about it and being freaked out by it, but never, it was like the murder hornets from two years ago. Like I heard about that.

Ronnie: Oh yeah. The murder hornets. it never happened. So yeah. Tell me about acid rain. I’m very curious. So acid rain was, it was around the same time as the ozone layer, but it was just this fear that we are changing the weather and the atmosphere so much that the precipitation, the rain that we’re getting is some kind of acid that will, pollute all of our waters, and then we’ll basically drink it and die. So if we don’t change everything that we’re doing right now, and the government doesn’t step in and make us change everything, that, the acid rain is, you know, gonna slowly pollute us and kill us all. Sounds same. It’s like always the same. Sounds legit.

Brittany: Yeah. Sounds good. Okay.

Ronnie: It’s like always the same story, right? Of something horrible is gonna kill us. But actually, there’s the melting ice caps. You heard that one, right? But did you know even before, like the ozone layer and before it was global warming, did you know that before that there was the fear that there was going to be an ice age?

Brittany: Yes, cooling was like the thing. Yeah. No, this is so funny. So it sounds to me from just gathering what you’re talking about here, it sounds like there’s always been some sort of government ploy to scare us using this fear of like, the climate is changing. Oh, first it’s getting cold, then it’s getting hot. Oh, now we’re burning holes in the ozone layer. Oh, now this, and this is that. But it sounds like it’s always something new. It’s just, it’s always something.

Ronnie: Yeah. I guess it’s, you know, we’re trying to tap into people’s deepest inner fears, and we live on this planet that’s kind of mysterious. You we’re all figuring out our place here. We all connect to nature in some way, shape, or form. We get all of our life sustenance from this planet that we live on. So if you have to tap into people’s, like deepest inner fears, right? What do you do? Tap into their source of everything, and then they’ll listen to anything we have to say. And so it’s interesting. I’ve, I don’t know, have you heard this, that, so after Coronavirus that the next kind of plan for the next big thing to scare everybody would be climate change. And I remember hearing that before and not really knowing how true that was, or if it was a conspiracy theory. But now as we’re gonna two and a half years into coronavirus and different narratives are shifting, it definitely feels as though we’re ramping up the fears of climate change right now. I mean.

Brittany: It seems like it never went away. It almost feels like even during COVID, they were still finding ways to, you know, incorporate climate change. Right? I feel like that has been the thing that they’ve been trying to scare us about for a very, very long time. I think now it’s probably just coming back because COVID is slowing down, and now it’s like, all right, they’re not scared of COVID anymore. What’s the next thing Monkeypox isn’t working? You know, what, what are we gonna do now? But yeah. So what are, what are some final takeaways?

Ronnie: I guess my final takeaway, and you know what, I have an article that we could also throw into the show notes. Perfect, but I found an article that was really interesting and it went through all these horrible predictions of the past 50 or so years, and then linked to different newspaper articles and showed what the fears were, you know, so, oh, we’re all gonna die in the year 2020 if we don’t change things. And, you know, we’re all still here. So, I guess my overall fear, or my fear, my overall takeaway is, to take everything that you hear with a grain of salt. Look to the past, ask questions, before you are ruled by fear, you know, learn more.

Brittany: Yeah. I think learning more is the greatest thing. ’cause you can’t, you know, if you’re educated then you can’t be, it’s almost like getting an inoculation, a vaccine, if you will, against the government, you know? Yeah. Ridiculousness. So, no, I think that’s good. So just, you know, Connor wrote a book called Fear Dom, that’s kind of about this, about the government using fear to control us. So I think that’s a, a good thing to remember. But alright guys, we’ll wrap it up there. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and reach out to us. Let us know what you wanna hear about. So we will talk to you next time. Bye, guys.

Ronnie: Bye, everyone.