Business & Media Institute
Thursday, March 27, 2008
What is it about government mandates that curse innovation to failure?
Ethanol turned out to be more environmentally harmful than the fossil fuels it was replacing via federal mandate. Now scientists understand the "green" compact fluorescent light bulbs to be dangerous because they contain mercury.
While scientists couldn't agree on just how beneficial compact fluorescent light bulbs were, journalists on network news shows had widely agreed that CFLs are a good thing.
"They last 10 times longer and they're really great for the environment," Kris Connell of Real Simple Magazine said on "The Early Show" March 10.
Each of the three broadcast networks has featured the bulbs and promoted them as energy-efficient, environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional incandescent bulbs. Journalists and others who support the bulbs touted their benefits but rarely focused on the potential risks.
NBC's "Today" show featured the bulbs on its "Today Goes Green" series Jan. 23, 2008, as one way average Americans can adjust their lives to be more "environmentally friendly."
"If every American home replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than three million American homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars," co-host Meredith Vieira said.
"Replace just one of your standard light bulbs with one of those curly compact fluorescent lamps," Diane Sawyer suggested on ABC's "Good Morning America" April 20. "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one standard bulb with a CFL tomorrow … it would be like taking 2 million cars off the road."
The Sept. 28, 2007, CBS "Early Show" even said "going green," including switching from traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs, was "good for your health, it's good for your pocketbook, and it's good for the environment."Full article here.