A Refrigerator Revolution

This is a saga of how a simple, new technology threw the best-laid plans of the chemical and refrigerator industries into disaray—and provided a new perspective on how future environmental agreements can be reached. It's a compelling reminder that in an age of sophisticated technologies that have produced unacceptable dangers along with their touted benefits, simple alternatives can sometimes work remarkably well. Moreover, those solutions do not always come from the most high-profile dealmakers and industrial insiders. Convinced that HFCs were a mistake, Wolfgang Lohbeck, a German environmentalist began urging major European companies to consider leapfrogging directly from CFCs to hydrocarbon technology. French and Ayres chronicle Lohbeck's efforts and the Greenfreeze deal.