9 November 2004

Ozone and you

I was reviewing the entry on ozone at Wikipedia (referenced in one yesterday's entries).

It's a good example of a controversial subject handled well in a public forum. While people have complained about Wikipedia's fallibility because of it's openness, this article shows that the system can work even with contentious subjects. Open information can be objectively mediated by the public without bias creeping in.

The section of the article titled Controversy regarding ozone science and policy clarifies one of the myths that surrounds ozone depletion:

It is common to see completely nonsensical arguments put forward to prove that CFCs cannot cause ozone depletion - for example, that they are heavier than air and so cannot reach the stratosphere. CFCs are heavier than air, but just like argon, krypton and other heavy gases with a long lifetime they are uniformly distributed throughout the turbosphere and reach the upper atmosphere.

It links to one particular purveyor of this myth, a site ironically titled Junk Science. Others have referenced the Junk Science site to support their various rantings against global warming and ecological concerns in general. Wikipedia resolves such bias by having the data open to both sides of the debate and clearly labeling the points that are uncertain or false.

[ posted by sstrader on 9 November 2004 at 1:29:30 PM in Science & Technology ]