There’s a scene in the 1963 film “The Haunting” in which something comes down the hallway of a haunted house one night. As two women huddle on the bed, a deafening, powerful pounding begins on the door to their room. Then, in a truly creepy scene, the pounding stops and, in absolute silence, the door starts to slowly bow inward, as if there is a tremendous pressure being exerted on it from the other side. Ultimately the door holds and whatever is was that came down that hallway moves on.
I don’t remember everything about that film, as I saw it a long time ago. But that scene in particular has always stuck with me. Perhaps because it was the first time I ever realized that the unknown and unseen could be more frightening that the known and seen.
Which brings us to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recent rule, Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program.
The refrigeration industry knew something was coming from EPA, and it was likely going to involve a phaseout of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in specific applications. But no one knew the exact details or the implementation dates, and that lack of knowledge put many in the industry into a holding pattern. And we all know that a holding pattern is not the most efficient business model.
Now the specter has been revealed, and — although it will be difficult — the industry can move forward with some confidence and certainty.
As John Rhodes, president of Refrigeration Business, Emerson Climate Technologies, points out, “Now that the rulings are final, the industry begins the ‘action’ phase of this transition. This is where the rubber meets the road.”
Rubber meeting the road is a good thing. It beats idling at an intersection, waiting to see which roads are going to be opened and which ones are going to have a detour sign posted on them.