Potent Greenhouse Gas from Manufacture of Solar Cells and TVs Underestimated
A powerful greenhouse gas [search] produced largely through the manufacture of flat-screen TVs and solar cells has been found to be four times more prevalent in the atmosphere [ark | moreark] than previously thought. Nitrogen trifluoride [search] warms the atmosphere 17,000 times more effectively than an equal mass of carbon dioxide. Though not changing climate much yet, we now know there are 5,400 metric tons rather than 1,200 of this anthropogenic super-climate changer in the atmosphere, and with the solar and electronics boom, to be growing at 11% a year.
Here is yet another example of unintended consequences associated with technological solutions to climate change [search] and unfettered consumption. At some point the answer to the world's ecological crises has to be less of everything — people, consumption and technology — rather than dangerously thinking we can manage the ecological impacts of billions of super-consumers upon global ecosystems. Both personal and societal sacrifice and transformation are required to achieve just and equitable global ecological sustainability. We need to return to nature's fold, not falsely think we can manufacture a biosphere.