Thursday, June 26, 2008
I've been lampooned over at the Fundy Post for my crazy ideas on the market. Fundy Post pointed out my apparently insane comment:
Finally, there is Zen Tiger, who thinks the Consumer should choose.
I tried to gamely defend the idea that the consumer, ultimately should get to choose what product they wish to buy with their money, but was shot down in flames:
There is no point in consumer choice if one option is markedly better than the other for all of us,
perhaps I'm taking this out of context? Let me add his rider clause:
There is no point in consumer choice if one option is markedly better than the other for all of us, but is sold at fabulous prices because the manufacturers know it will last longer than their usual product and so gain them less revenue.
Well, to me the last part of that idea is really a separate issue about market competition or at worst, price fixing - something that is only effective in a monopolistic situation, which ironically, would be more likely to occur by enforcing the first part of the idea. Or maybe you could go down the "truth in advertising" route?
Now, we were talking about the new light bulbs but ideas are important. Does the Fundy Market Mentals stand up to deeper scrutiny? Any-one game to discuss?
Just remember - if we leave the left in Government we might get a lot more people deciding which options are better for all of us - consumer choice be damned.
As well as the link to the source, here's where I came across my skewering: No Minister - Brains before Beauty.
And perhaps related: Ban the Bulb - Comments (and photo) from BBC News. The comments include:
I believe traditional light bulbs should be banned and there should be a fine for anyone who uses them after the date in which is declared. This mainly is because that the new energy saving light bulbs save so much more energy with the same amount of light produced. It is not expensive and it would save this high energy demanding country a considerable amount of money and less pollution through oil and coal. In addition I also believe that petrol prices are too high as cause of burning oil for electricity.
Sara Simpson, Norwich, England
The sad truth of most environmentalists is that in promoting energy efficient technologies, they rarely present information on the manufacture of those technologies. How much energy is consumed in manufacturing a single CFL, compared to the standard incandescent? I notice that statistic is significantly absent here. Do the energy savings of the bulbs outweigh the energy use to manufacture and ship to end-user? If not you've just off-shored your energy consumption.
Josh Berkow, Buffalo USA
I use energy saving bulbs where I can but find that it is difficult to use them in existing fittings because of their size. What about putting pressure on light fitting manufacturers to design for energy saving bulbs?
Mike Cleator, Mansfield UK
While incandescent light bulbs do use much more electricity than compact fluorescents, what Dr. Prescott chooses to ignore is the quality of the light they produce. Incandescent lamps produce a white light spectrum that is nearly equivalent to that of the sun, whereas fluorescent bulbs always have certain colours missing, even if they are the so called "sunlight" or "full spectrum" type. The chemical composition doesn't allow most red and green frequencies to be produced by a fluorescent light; even if it has been modified, it will never equal the output spectrum of an incandescent lamp.
Marit, Ithaca, New York, USA