Why Politicians Forcing People To Change Lightbulbs Is A Bad Idea
from the taking-away-natural-incentives dept
Earlier this month, we pointed out that Ireland had joined Australia in setting a date for banning incandescent lightbulbs. There had been talk about the US following suit, and now it (almost) has, approving legislation that would phase out inefficient bulbs by 2012, such as the incandescents that most people still use. Once again, though, we have to point out how counterproductive a move like this seems. Already, more and more people were moving to more efficient bulbs naturally, as they realized how much money they actually saved with them. For those who complained about the type of light given off by the fluorescents, that just gave more incentives for the makers of CFLs to make the light better match incandescent bulbs. The competition also gave more incentives to make CFLs cheaper and even more efficient, as well as coming up with ways to make the (already seriously overhyped) worries about mercury, less of an issue. However, if politicians take away the competition from incandescents, it suddenly gives the makers of CFLs a lot less incentive to come up with these kinds of innovations and breakthroughs.