That's why , despite the president's well founded skepticism of the UN environmental bureaucracy , his science advisers had no difficulty persuading him to sign the Montreal Protocol , which phased out the manufacture of the spray-can and refrigerant Freons that had begun a generation before. This , the National Academy of Science now reports, did more than curb the photochemical erosion of the ozone layer. Because the now banned Freons absorb radiant heat thousands of times more strongly than CO2 , Reagan's prescient environmentalism took a huge bite out of the rate of global warming.
Far more , in fact , than the much-touted Kyoto Convention that the US Senate overwhelmingly rejected.
In the forthcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , Velders et al. reckon stopping CFC production here and abroad has removed the equivalent of about 11 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By comparison, had the Kyoto Protocol been fully ratified , only about 2 billion tons of equivalent carbon dioxide emission would have been saved.
Without firing a shot in the Climate Wars , the Cold War 's victorious Commander in Chief did five times as much environmental good as Former Next President Gore aspired to when he led the Clinton administration's drive to ratify the Kyoto treaty .