Yesterday I was listening to talk radio and the discussion was on light bulbs. Now why would light bulbs be discussed on a politics show? Well, for good reason: The government wants to phase out traditional bulbs for fluorescent bulbs, which are more energy efficient. The problem? They want to make it mandatory that these new bulbs be used! Over eight months ago my representative Michelle Bachmann introduced a piece of legislation called The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. Her rationale is that the government has no right to tell consumers what kinds of light bulbs they can use. This argument should be enough!
Why am I writing about this now? Well, the only time I remember hearing about this is when a girl in one of my political science classes got worked up over it, to which she apologized. There was not a heated debate about it, in fact, I don't think any of us really cared. But now that I think about it, I should care and you should too! Once the government starts mandating what light bulbs we can and can not use, what is next? Are restaurants going to be shut down that use styrofoam?
Here is the major problem with 'green' legislation. Is our environment important to our sustainability? Yes. Should we be concerned about pollution? Yes. Should the government force us to make changes? Absolutely not. I believe that if enough people start to care about the environment, the free market will react.
For example - McDonalds used to use styrofoam packaging for their fast food. When people (and the company) realized what a detrimental effect this had on the environment, they switched over to a cardboard-based packaging. I can't remember the last time I went to McDonalds and there was styrofoam packaging. A more recent example - Davannis. I believe at many locations they still use styorofoam packaging. If enough people who care about the environment make a fuss about it, management will switch over to a different form of packaging. There is demand for a Davannis with-out harmful packaging, so inevitably it will be supplied.
I have just started looking into how the 'green' movement in government has been a movement of control. I'm not going to straight out say that there is nothing good about the movement to go green, but I am realizing more and more the problems with trying to push this agenda through Congress. The worst part is anyone opposing certain facets of it, as Bachmann has with the lightbulbs, gets labeled as someone who hates the environment. Just look at the comments the people over Tree Hugger had in response to the news about the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice act. I have nothing against energy efficient light bulbs, but I do have a problem with the government telling me these are the only bulbs I can use!