Capitalism is Good for the Environment

Capitalism is Good for the Environment

September 7, 2006 Posted by J. Scott Moody - No Comments

This has nothing to do with taxes, but I was so struck by these numbers that I just had to share this story. Its the story of the humble light bulb. A revolution is brewing in the lighting industry and its going to save us all alot of money and help the environment along way.


This article chronicles the development of the Compact Flourescend Lightbulb (CFL). The CFL has been around for some time, but the story goes on to tell how Walmart (Yes, the same Walmart that is vilified in the popular media) is beginning and alliance with GE (primary manufacturerer of CFLs) to double/triple the number of CFLs sold each year. What does this mean for your wallet and the environment:
“Compact flourescents emit the same light as classic incandescents but use 75% to 80% less electricity. What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity is saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gased nor exhausted into the atomosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads. That’s the law of large numbers–a small action, multiplied by 110 million. The single greatest source of greenhouse gases in the United States is power plants–half our electricity comes from coal plants. One bulb swapped out: enough electricity saved to turn off two entire power plants–or skip building the next two. Just one swirl per home. The typical U.S. house has between 50 and 100 sockets (astonish yourself: Go count the bulbs in your house). So what if we all bought and installed two ice-cream-cone bulbs? Five? Fifteen?”
Of course, I would never suggest to anyone that they do something that I wouldn’t also do. In fact, in my household, all my bulbs I use regularly are CFLs. They last 5 o 7 years and–especially with Maine’s high electricity costs–pay for themselves rapidly. Go on . . . be a part of a revolution!
Just remember, CFLs were invented in the United States, not the Soviet Union. Capitalism is good for the environment.