Being Green is Expensive

We went to buy new flood light bulbs yesterday and could only get new energy efficient bulbs that cost $10 apiece. A new book, Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies are Damaging America’s Economy, describes what’s in store for us as we encounter higher energy costs, food costs and healtcare costs in the name of being green.

“It Isn’t Easy Being Green”

Did you know you can no longer buy a traditional 100 watt light bulb? Did you know you can’t buy gasoline for your car without ethanol? These are just two of the ways in which environmental laws and regulations are changing your life. Add to them the myriad regulations that will make it more expensive to heat your home this winter or cool it next summer. To hear the environmentalists tell it, these changes are creating jobs — green jobs. But all the evidence suggests that more jobs are being destroyed than created — all the while making the economy less productive and pushing up the prices of almost everything we buy…

Much more is involved that wasting money. The green jobs agenda even promises to invade your home….

The book is written by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. As Heritage Foundation reports, she debunks the myth that green jobs can save America’s economy. Instead, it’s a disaster that will dramatically cost consumers money and jobs, and hurt the poor the hardest, while politically and financially benefiting  a “powerful nexus of union leaders, environmentalists and lobbyists.”

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15 responses to “Being Green is Expensive

  1. Dianna’s surname is very apropos for her book’s topic (Furchtgott).

  2. Back when I thought CFLs were a good idea I went and got CFL floodlights for the exterior of my home — the most powerful they had. The lights’ practical illumination range was perhaps 15 feet. From the second story of the house, that’s basically no range at all. Needless to say, I replaced them with incandescent units — 5 years ago. That’s often the lifetime suggested for ‘long life’ CFLs, which in my experience (I had them all over the house) are good for maybe 2 years on average.

  3. I have my ‘bad’ CFLs out doors. The bad one’s are the ones with the bluish tint to the light. The other’s have lasted at least 4 years. Some a little longer. Some a little shorter. The lights I have were subsidized. A futile effort on the part of the electric company to reduce demand.

  4. China will happily ship you any quantity of ‘heating bulbs’ of any wattage.
    http://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/hot-china-products/Light_Bulb.html

  5. The State of California wasted millions subsidizing CFL bulbs, which we all know are fragile and release highly toxic mercury if broken. Now they don’t have the money to subsidize LED bulbs which are a technological improvement in nearly every way. Nearly unbreakable, ultra-long life, reliable light. Why do politicians always seem to think that they are smarter than Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and the Free Market? Why does the public go along with their comical antics with our money like picking sure winners, aka, Solyndra?

  6. Friend of John Galt

    California’s exceedingly high electric rates also provide a considerable incentive to use LED-based bulbs. While walking through a shopping mall, I was surprised at the number of LED spot/flood lights I observed being used in display windows, etc. The typical 90% reduction in power usage and long life make these a good replacement for situations where they’re on for extended periods of time.

    The CFLs have never delivered anywhere near the benefits claimed. They output pitiful light when first turned on — getting worse in cold weather — and in lower wattages take several minutes to reach full brightness. Where used in fixtures subject to frequent on-off cycles, their life span is reduced significantly — bulbs that were frequently cycled on/off generally failed in as little as 6 months. While bulbs that stayed on for lengthy periods performed quite well.

    Of course, the unintended consequences — I switched many bulbs to CFL when I realized that I could get more light in fixtures with wattage limits. Since a “100 watt output CFL” used only about 23 watts, they could be used in a fixture nominally limited to 60 watts.

    I’m looking forward to the coming price drop in the LED bulbs — I’ve experimented with inexpensive LED rope lighting (to replace fluorescent) for under cabinet lighting which proved quite satisfactory, with 18 watts (priced >$25) replacing about 140 fluorescent watts. (Be careful in color selection.)

  7. Not everywhere in the world it’s summer all year round. What an incandescent gives of in heat you don’t need to add via heating. Coupled with the low cost, low pollution stress incandescents beat any solution anyday. But explain that to a brainwashed person.

  8. Incandescent bulbs need to run extremely hot to produce good light, or be equipped with dichroic reflectors that pass the long-wave radiation back where you are unlikely to want it (as in recessed ceiling lights). In either case, a heroic effort is spent for a mediocre result. I find that I need 500W of incandescent light in a small room to feel comfortable.

    Some CFLs are good; I’ve used a few and had no objections, but they were all in the range of 10-15W — they tend to last and produce good light (but there are bad fluorophores; I had to buy and return many to find out which ones were good). Same with LEDs: most are atrocious, but some are excellent and are worth more than they cost. You don’t have to be brainwashed to want them; it’s enough to want your space to be well-lit.

    Also, things keep changing. Two years ago, none of the LED lights on the market were worth their price.

  9. LOL! I already bought my stock, for ceiling can fixtures. Try http://www.lightbulbemporium.com

  10. Our local electric coop gave us a couple of CFLs about 4 years ago. Plan to get plenty of life out of them because they are on a shelf behind my stash of good incandescents.

    • I had an “energy audit” a couple of years ago. They replaced 15 incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs. I’ve had to replace 7 of them already. Almost 50% have burned out in just two years. Remember, the selling point was that CFLs were supposed to last 5 years. That’s a laugh. I see that many apartments are installing fixtures with two prong CFL outlets, so you can’t replace the CFL with an incandescent when you figure out how crappy they are. You WILL BUY the CFL!

  11. I use CFL exclusively. They work very well and save me more money than they cost. You do have to be careful about putting them in fixtures where they might overheat. If they overheat they will not last long.

  12. @Gene 500watt? You live in a concerthall or something? Well, i make do with 6 dimmed max 50 watt bulbs and mostly have them at half strength.

  13. @Petrossa: I spend most of my time indoors and I want my lighting to be as close to daylight as possible while I am awake. I know we can adapt to any light, but the more it differs from daylight, the more strain such adaptation causes in the long run (and there are threshold effects as well: for example, the threshold of melanopsin activation is pretty high, and it needs blue light, which is virtually absent in weak incandescent light).

    If you measure light intensity at a desk surface lit with a ceiling-mounted 500W incandescent light, you’ll get a daylight eqivalent of forest-floor illumination, or worse. With 50W, you’re on a forest floor at sunset. And you want a dimmer with that? Could as well use candlelight.

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