Industry representatives at first disputed Dr. Rowland’s findings, and many skeptical colleagues in the field avoided him. But his findings, achieved in laboratory experiments, were supported 11 years later when British scientists discovered that the stratospheric ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet rays, had developed a hole over Antarctica....I have a little trouble understanding that sentence. If you say X causes Y and we discover that Y is true, it doesn't prove that X caused Y. I guess you can say that the theory that X causes Y is "supported" why Y occurs during the period when X is happening.
“The clarity and startling nature of what Molina and Rowland came up with — the notion that something you could hold in your hand could affect the entire global environment, not just the room in which you were standing — was extraordinary,” Ralph Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences and a longtime colleague of Dr. Rowland, said in an interview.The startling thing is that people absorbed the theory and took it seriously enough to change what they were doing. Attempts to scare us into action over global warming have not worked so well, perhaps because we seem to be asked to change everything (and nothing) about the way we live. To deal with the ozone hole scare, we only needed to abandon one chemical — CFCs — so okay, get rid of the CFCs... whatever they were. People will do that.