Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Environmentalist Rip-Off

Within the constraints of our budget, our church is trying to be as green as possible. One thing we did was to replace all of our incandescent bulbs with the new energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. We expected to save money both by lower usage of electricity and by the fact that these expensive bulbs were “long-lasting.”

The fact is, these new bulbs don’t last nearly as long as the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. For some reason, these newly-installed bulbs are failing less than a year after they were installed. While we are hopefully saving some money by lower electricity usage, that savings is probably being more than offset by the high failure rate of these expensive bulbs.

I’m wondering, is this another rip-off of the American consumer? Obviously the labeling and advertising are misleading, because these aren’t long-lasting at all. I’m now wondering whether the wattage printed on the packing is true as well. I suspect these unscrupulous manufacturers are cashing in on the “going green” movement by selling us substandard goods at a high mark-up (made overseas, of course, so they can make truly obscene profits).

Moreover, some environmentalists are now raising concerns that these bulbs, when discarded in a landfill, may pollute more than incandescent bulbs. What makes this even more of a rip-off is that I read somewhere that by some date in the future, we won’t even be able to buy incandescent bulbs any more. So we’ll be stuck with higher cost bulbs that may or may not be good for the environment. Of course we aren’t being offered LED lighting, because that would significantly reduce electrical usage and be truly long-lasting. Why aren’t these being offered? It makes you wonder how serious the government and industry is about saving energy.

Once again, the American public pays the price for questionable benefits and inferior technology.

No comments: