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Light Bulbs and Clean Energy Should Not Be Part of "Culture Wars," Yet They Apparently Are

1 min. read

This is fascinating, although in an exasperating sort of way.

...slap a message on the CFL’s packaging that says “Protect the Environment,” and “we saw a significant drop-off in more politically moderates and conservatives choosing that option,” said study author Dena Gromet, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


On the right, both climate change and questions about global limits on oil production have exited the realm of empirical debate and become full-blown fronts in the culture wars. You're required to mock them regardless of whether it makes any sense. And it's weird as hell. I mean, why would you disparage development of renewable energy? If humans are the ultimate creators, why not create innovative new sources of renewable energy instead of digging up every last fluid ounce of oil on the planet?

Once again, this reminds us that there’s an aggressive, ongoing effort by the fossil fuel lobby to push clean energy policy into the culture wars.  In this case, purchasing a more energy efficient light bulb - particularly if it costs no more than a standard, incandescent bulb - should be a relatively simple decision, certainly not one in which politics come into play. And yet, mention that the more energy efficient bulbs help the environment, and somehow the decision gets complicated by political and "values" considerations.

This isn't just the case with light bulbs either, but also with clean energy, as J. Patrick Coolican points out. The pressing question for those of us in the clean economy, then, is how to combat this phenomenon. It's also a pressing question, we'd add, for politicians who understand the urgent – even existential – need for our country to develop abundant energy that’s clean and cost-effective.