Friday, November 07, 2008

Flatscreen TV demand drives spike in supercharged greenhouse gas

Manufacturers are using a tenacious greenhouse gas, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), to build flatscreen TVs, and it's output is four-times worse than expected, reports New Scientist.

Initial estimates predicted 1,200 tons of NF3 (which is 17,000 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than an equal mass of carbon dioxide) were floating around in the atmosphere. But a recent Scripps Institute study finds 5,400 tons of NF3 is out there.

Manufacturers started using NF3 when the Kyoto treaty began regulating perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Instead of finding a more responsible way of making flatscreens, manufacturers went out and found something Kyoto didn't cover. If this is going to be the way climate policy works, a cat-and-mouse game between business and government, Pound360 is worried it will be too late for meaningful action by the time government identifies ALL harmful gasses.

Perhaps all chemicals should be illegal for use in manufacturing until they're cleared by an international committee.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.