For people who are constantly pointing towards “science” to make the case that carbon dioxide is destroying the planet, liberal environmentalists sure don’t know much about science.
While the only emissions we ever really hear about is CO2, new federal data shows that another much more potent greenhouse gas is on the rise – and it is one of the key ingredients in the construction of solar panels. (RELATED: Read about why solar panels are about to get a bit more affordable.)
Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3) is a primary component in the manufacturing process of photovoltaic cells for solar panels. The emissions of NF3 are 17,200 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a period of 100 years. Statistically speaking, the United States saw a 1,057 percent increase in NF3 emissions over the course of 25 years, between 1990 and 2015, according to recent EPA data. By comparison, CO2 emissions increased by only 5% over the same period of time.
Ironically, the environmentalists in Washington DC who insist on subsidizing the construction of solar panels may actually be largely responsible for the spike in Nitrogen Trifluoride emissions over the past two and a half decades.
Dr. Michael Prather, a professor of Earth Science at the University of California, Irvine, told Seeker “By itself, NF3 is not going to create a climate problem, but everything adds up. Everybody should be paying attention to the pieces that all add up.” This of course begs the question – why aren’t liberals nearly as concerned about the rise of Nitrogen Trifluoride as they are about the rise of carbon dioxide?
The reason is simple: addressing CO2 emissions is in line with their agenda while addressing NF3 emissions is not. Over the past few decades, the progressives in America and elsewhere have intentionally caused mass hysteria about the “catastrophic” levels of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. John Kerry once said that addressing climate change and CO2 emissions was a bigger priority than the fight against the Islamic State. By citing phony science and obscure climate models, the progressives have convinced many of us that unless we decrease the amount of CO2 we are emitting, our planet will die.
Conveniently, the remedies for cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions always have to do with more laws, more regulations and more government. The man-made climate change narrative gives the liberals an excuse to target coal plants, commercial fisheries, farms, steel manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, and several other industries that are vital to not only our economy but also our livelihood.
As Barack Obama once famously said, under his energy plan “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” This is because his policies specifically targeted businesses that emitted significant levels of carbon dioxide. In this way, the government picks which industries succeed and which industries fail based on whether or not they conform to the left’s environmental agenda.
On the flipside, progressives most likely don’t address Nitrogen Trifluoride emissions because once again, it doesn’t align with their agenda. NF3 is one of the key ingredients in solar panels, the production of which has always been a centerpiece of the democrat party’s platform. If they were to take a bold, outspoken stance against NF3, they would be forced to admit that solar energy isn’t as efficient as they had been telling the American people.
The federal data that was collected ultimately concluded that the solar industry has been “a temporary net emitter of greenhouse gas emissions,” although newer solar panels have less of an impact on the environment than older ones. The scientists predict that by the year 2018, the solar industry will finally arrive at a turning point and begin producing a net positive environmental impact.
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