I would like to congratulate the Du Pont Co. on its decision to phase out CFC production (Part I, March 25). I would like to, but I am torn between admiration for its unilateral action and the question of why it took 20 years for this industry leader to respond to the threat which has now become a reality.
An excellent 1986 New Yorker magazine article pointed out that the same evidence existed in the early 1970s about the ozone layer and CFCs, leading to the U.S. ban of these compounds in aerosol propellants. But the ban left untouched the vast majority of CFC applications in industry.
The ozone depletion over the last 15 years has already caused, as far as we know, irreversible and perhaps cataclysmic damage. It will take another decade of destruction to bring the juggernaut to a halt. And yet we were given the warning signs 20 years ago.
So, do I congratulate Du Pont? I must, because it still takes courage and conviction to be a leader in such a controversial and unpopular cause as protecting the future of humankind.