An article in today's Washington Post made light of the "going green" movement, and like many other things in life I suppose there comes a time when matters of great consequence spawn caricatures and silliness is exposed as some of the examples in the Post article suggest.  The "greener" alternative, the article suggests, is not to embrace the latest green consumer product fad, but simply to consume less or not consume at all:  if you want to save resources, reduce your demand for them.  The Post editor did the public a disservice when the symbolic image that accompanied this article was a picture of broken incandescent light bulb with a genie emerging from the broken lamp with an energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), suggesting that buying a CFL was like buying a hybrid SUV that consumed more gasoline than a conventional SUV simply because it was a "hybrid."  CFLs actually consume less energy, and as a result the cost savings for consumers of electricity will exceed the higher cost of a CFL over the life of that lamp.  If the greener alternative is to consume less, you should buy more CFLs and replace your incandescent lamps even if you are initally out of pocket a few more dollars with your purchase, because you will consume less energy and you will be a less frequent purchaser of lamps.  There are more energy saving lighting products that are in development and are expected to be on the market in several years.  An initial purchase cost for these products may exceed the cost of today's incandescent light bulb.  I hope by then the Washington Post editors will be able to separate the serious from the silly and give recognition to what is truly going green.


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