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While the opposition to building new coal plants continues to grow, perhaps we should also add a lesser-known villain to the climate change culprit list: flat-screen TVs. Research is being conducted by Professor Michael Prather on a greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride that’s used to make flat-screen televisions, The Guardian notes this week. And the gas could have a worse effect on global warming than some of the world’s largest coal plants.
Prather and his colleague write in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, that the gas has:
“…a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialised nations’ emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even that of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants” via The Guardian.
Damn, I knew I had a good excuse for watching movies on my laptop. Prather estimates that production of the gas has grown to 4,000 tons per year and is expected to double by next year.
While not much research has been done on nitrogen trifluoride, Prather says the problem with the gas is that it is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
That’s not the only thing wrong with some flat-screen TVs. The New York Times called the plasma TV the “SUV of the living room” last October because it chugs so much power. Well, the average flat-screen TV is pretty expensive, almost $1,000 — or as CNN puts it this morning, the extra money a household spent on higher gas prices in the past year. A few good excuses to forgo the purchase.