Last Sunday at the Academy Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home a coveted golden Oscar statue for best actor. (I guess that means no more sad Leo memes on the Internet). I’m a fan; I think he’s a great actor who can play many diverse roles. But what caught my interest is he used his ‘Thank You’ speech to bring up the dreaded topic of climate change.

DiCaprio talked about how during the making of ‘The Revenant,’ production had to move to the southernmost tip of the planet to find snow. Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported 2015 as Earth’s warmest year on record by a wide margin. The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880, according to the report. “Climate change is real,” DiCaprio said.

Herb Woerpel, our managing editor, tackled climate change in an editorial in the May 18, 2015 issue of The NEWS following a survey we conducted of our readers. In the survey, we asked readers if they believed in man-made global warming. Of the total 271 responses, 51 percent said yes, and 45 percent said no. Only 5 percent of voters were undecided.

In the following weeks we received a flurry of phone calls and emails in response to the opinion article. Clearly climate change, or global warming, is a hot topic prompting heated opinions for both sides. However, the government is taking action regarding the issue and has issued dozens of standards and regulations.

The HVACR industry is currently undergoing a phasedown of R-22, a high-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) order slashed production and importation of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 to just 18 million pounds this year. It will drop to 13 million pounds in 2017, 9 million pounds in 2018, and 4 million pounds in 2019. No new or imported R-22 will be allowed in the U.S. after Jan. 1, 2020.

So, regardless of where you stand on the climate change issue, it is definitely impacting the industry as we know it. Share your opinion at