The chemical engineer of Mexican origin, who died on October 7, 2020, promoted the Montreal Protocol with his findings on the ozone layer. His findings on the emission of gases into the atmosphere changed in a couple of decades entire industries and the habits of billions of people around the planet. Mario Molina, Nobel Prize
From the beginning he had a privileged mind for teaching and research , and his career was one of excellence, with numerous recognitions in this field, although the recognition of his research in chemistry was not immediate (they were not interested).
In 1974 one already explained in an article in the journal Nature the negative effects that chlorofluorocarbon compounds (CFCs ), emitted by aerosols and refrigerators, were having on the ozone layer.
His studies were criticized and considered an exaggeration by a sector of researchers. However, the tenacity and the conviction that he deposited in his own theories conquered the minds of thousands of people.
Mario Molina: from the discredit to the Nobel Prize
However, as almost always in this type of “uncomfortable” research, their findings were not believed, or did not want to be heard, until years later it was certified that the use of a refrigerator or an aerosol was damaging and had severely damaged the atmosphere. .
The huge hole in the ozone layer is one of the factors that are causing climate change on our planet. So the Mexican Nobel studies have not lost their validity.
In fact, already in the Faculty of Chemistry, the scientist warned that “if the temperature rises more than four degrees, the catastrophes will be gigantic for civilization, as well as the lack of food .” Alarming, no doubt.
Together with Sherwood Rowland, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry , for being the pioneers in establishing the relationship between the ozone hole and chlorine and bromide compounds in the stratosphere .
The award was also awarded to the Dutch Crutzen, from the Max-Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz (Al), who found in 1970 that polluting gases have a destructive effect on this layer, without decomposing.
His special contribution to the world was essential, because ecology classes were promoted; and his generosity and love of chemistry reached such a point that with the award funds, Molina awarded scholarships to Mexican chemistry students to study abroad .
His research and publications on the subject led to the elaboration of the United Nations Montreal Protocol , the first international treaty that has effectively dealt with an environmental problem on a global scale and of anthropogenic origin.
Through the Montreal Protocol, companies committed to reducing the production and consumption of CFC products. The industry changed the mechanisms with which the refrigerators work and the population began a path towards the pedagogy of caring for the air and the environment.
Sustainable energies are the option to reduce global warming, Molina advised, adding that “there is the potential to face this challenge and it is possible to do so.” If this continues, it would cause diseases and serious damage to ecosystems.
To alleviate this, he suggested simultaneous measures , since two-thirds of climate change is due to the burning of fossil fuels, and the rest to phenomena such as deforestation.
He pointed out that to reduce global warming, sustainable energies that do not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can be used, such as wind and solar, which are also cheaper and how to store them is already being investigated; or nuclear, one of the safest that exists with the help of modern technology.
In recent years, his work has focused on promoting scientific dissemination on climate change, an obsession he shared with former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, who brought him closer to the Bill Clinton Administration.
For eight years he was also part of the council of scientific advisers to former US President Barack Obama and was a promoter of the 2016 Paris Agreement, in which a good number of countries committed to reducing their emissions of pollutants.
The Mexican chemist expressed in recent years, without hesitation, his dissatisfaction with the twists and turns of the political measures related to the environment. On the decision of President Donald Trump to abandon the Paris Agreement, criticizing his ignorance without mincing words.
Mario Molina, also advised Pope Francis on the environment and at the Mexican Episcopate Conference highlighted its authenticity “by bringing their religious beliefs in an intelligent and purposeful way, in a secularized environment.”
The Nobel laureate collaborated closely with Pope Francis on the issue of caring for the common home, he had the firm conviction that although science and technology could give light to environmental actions , it was up to religion to instruct in values for the care of the planet .