Skip to comments.How Do You Get Conservatives to Buy Energy Efficient Products?
Posted on 05/05/2013 4:57:10 AM PDT by raybbr
Back in 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared war on energy-efficient light bulbs, calling "sustainability" the gateway into a dystopic, Big Brother-patrolled liberal hellscape. When the lights went off during Beyoncés halftime set at the last Superbowl, conservative commentators from the Drudge Report to Michelle Malkin pointed blame (erroneously) at new power-saving measures at New Orleans Superdome. And one recent study found that giving Republican households feedback on their power use actually encourages them to use more energy.
Why do conservatives, who should have a natural inclination toward conservation, have a beef with energy efficiency? It could be tied to the political polarization of the climate change debate.
A study out in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined attitudes about energy efficiency in liberals and conservatives, and found that promoting energy-efficient products and services on the basis of their environmental benefits actually turned conservatives off from picking them. The researchers first quizzed participants on how much they value various benefits of energy efficiency, including reducing carbon emissions, reducing foreign oil dependence, and reducing how much consumers pay for energy; cutting emissions appealed to conservatives the least.
The study then presented participants with a real-world choice: With a fixed amount of money in their wallet, respondents had to "buy" either an old-school light bulb or an efficient compact florescent bulb, the same kind Bachmann railed against. Both bulbs were labeled with basic hard data on their energy use, but without a translation of that into climate pros and cons. When the bulbs cost the same, and even when the CFL cost more, conservatives and liberals were equally likely to buy the efficient bulb. But slap a message on the CFLs 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 Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Business.
The chart below, from the report, shows how much liberals and conservatives value each argument for efficiency: While liberals (gray) valued all three equally, conservatives (white), were significantly less moved by and most at odds with liberals over the carbon-saving argument.
Here’s a perfect example of “green” out of control.
The obama feds are going to spend $121,000,000 dollars to build a glass skin around a 32-story federal building in Cleveland to save $700,000 in energy costs per year. The payback would take over 170 years at current costs.
The building is already 46 years old. Odds are it will be torn down in a few years and replaced with another stimulus project fed building that will only cost a billion or so dollars.
Another “benefit” of the $121 million project is the creation of 60 short-term construction jobs.
And wasn’t Bachmann’s main beef about the government trying to BAN 100 watt light bulbs?! She was and is against government interfering with our lives.
Even the title of this piece suggests coercion: “How do we get conservatives...” Force them, that’s how!
“Last week, Energy Department researchers found that rules requiring utilities to use renewable energy were under attack in over half the states they exist in; such laws might have better luck fending off Bachmann-esque fusillades if they re-focus their rhetoric around their cost-savings, energy independence, or other benefits,...”
LOL. The problem is that message would have to be focused on explaining to conservatives how requiring utilities to use renewables is a “cost saving measure” for which consumers will have to pay about 25% more.
I cannot stand being told what to buy. Moreso if it comes with a moral imperative - then I really cannot STAND it. Will never buy those lightbulbs. Have purchased a box of plastic market bags, forbidden here in the ‘Occupied Territory’ of Pasadena, so Cal. Same with ‘raised in the wild’ salmon. I’m even feeling a proclivity towards white bread. Land of the FREE, so let it be.
The researchers are falling short in their conduct of research if they haven’t done a pre-experiment study of samples from the populations of interest in the study. That pre-experiment work should have sought potential explanations, unless there was a specific theory being tested and that does not seem to be the case in this report.
If you slap a label on a product that signals the product is being sold by your enemies, that is, people who have in the past and who are actively working to reduce your quality of life and do so by insulting you with hateful stereotyping, you will reduce your interest in that product. It doesn’t have anything to do with conservative/liberal or energy efficiency. It has to do with the purchase of the product also funding your enemy. If that fact is hidden, the likelihood of purchasing the product is unaffected.
And “green” products don’t work properly. Anyone purchase a washing machine recently?
Complete List of President Obamas Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures
(as of Thursday, October 18th, 2012)
Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($69 million)*
AESs subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.5 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDels subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
Abound Solar ($374 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsens Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
UniSolar ($100 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chems subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($10 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
You obviously aren’t following Cheryl Crow’s advice and are using more than one square of TP per wipe!
I call it the Honda Pious.
We purchased LED bulbs for the house a few at a time, we have noticed a huge savings on out electric bill.
Stop trying to shove it down our throats. Conservatives are smarter and if the value is there then we will buy this stuff on our own not because you force us to at the point of a government gun.
Goodheart said while tackling climate change is driving force behind her lobbying, she more often finds herself talking about jobs and the economy, especially when addressing small business owners.
The first love of any Conservative worth his salt is TRUTH.
Conservatives learned many years ago the environmentalist movement is based on lies. If it has one of those Green labels on it I know there is a lie somewhere beneath the surface. From Rachel Carsons Silent Spring to the present the environmentalist have been lying to the public about the damage that mankind is doing to nature. So for me they have to be doubly convincing to sway be to their side.
The CFL is a good example. It may save you money in the long run but its utility is limited by a number of factors. Many of the bulbs can only be used when mounted in the upright direction or their life is greatly reduced. All CFLs (to my knowledge) are temperature sensitive. If they are below 40 degrees F they will take a few minutes to brighten up. They cant be used out doors unless in a water tight enclosure. If you have children in your house you dont want these things where a child might break them because they contain mercury. In any of these environments an incandescent light bulb would be superior.
I could go on and come up with similar list for just about any Green product you could name. So why not let the consumers make their own choices? Let the citizen choose whether they want to be Green. Not everyones circumstances are the same. Not everyones needs are the same. These Green products are not necessarily the best product for every application. Why do we need Congress and the president make these choices for us? If it takes laws to make us be Green obviously those who want us to choose a Green product havent made their case sufficiently convincing to sway us to their side.
I just had three CFL bulbs burn out in the last few months. They were in the kitchen and dining room (where we spend a lot of time). The kitchen one, especially, was turned on and off several times a day.
They were installed over 4 years ago. I never have had one die early. They were fairly cheap in a six-pack at HD. We got the warm color and I can’t see any difference between them and the old bulbs that only lasted about 3-4 months.
I’m always amused by definitions of ‘efficiency’ that ignore price efficiency. One would expect people motivated for evil profit to make decisions governed by price. ;)
Also forbidden in the people’s republic of Austinistan. I simply borrow boxes from the store and use the boxes to carry in my groceries.
I stand corrected. It is the TOYOTA Prius. Still a smug-mobile!