Those who have looked into this near-beyond saving problem called climate change may have thought that the primary cause was the agriculture industry. Understandable, given the large carbon footprint it creates through massive chemical production, GMO use, and the overall transportation of the materials.
While I don’t want to diminish the horrible part agriculture plays in the world’s destruction, recent research has shown that it in fact isn’t the worst contributor potentially. I use the word potentially because right now, it is doing the most damage, but potentially speaking it could be reversed and right now, we’ve got a bigger problem; perfluorotributylamine (PFBTA).
What makes this chemical so bad are a couple of things:
- A single molecule of it has over 7000 (not 9000) times the climate change impact of Carbon Dioxide over the course of 100 years.
- It has no natural removers (i.e. while plants breakdown CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, PFBTA remains.
It’s biggest source is the electronics industry, though manufacturing of artificial blood has also been reported as a cause. The good news is we don’t have enough in the atmosphere (.18 ppt) to cause concern. The bad news is, if we get enough in the atmosphere to cause concern, it will be too late to do anything. This isn’t like DTD where we can allow it to remain in the environment without worrying too much. Regulations need to be discussed now, because we all know corporations will start a huge fight that will drag on the conflict for some time. The sooner we get discussions rolling, the better.
Silent Spring came just in the nick of time, but it would be foolish to think we can rely on another last-minute rescue to help us out now. We are a new generation of progressives aiming to make a difference in our world. No point in standing by that claim if there’s no world to make a difference in.
This article is part of a series of reports by the YPV community aiming to raise awareness about the importance of science in our society and the need to substitute defense spending with funding for it.