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.
Worth repeating. We are letting the enviro-bullies decide where we should shut them down.
Only weak minded idiots are taken in by ham handed guilt tripping.
At work I’m responsible for utility bills of about $50k per month. When a vendor sends me proposals for quality products with an immediate cost savings with low pay back time I’m interested. Unfortunately most of the time their proposals also have a column telling me how many tons of green house gas emissions I’ll save over time. I have to resist the urge to drag it right to the ironically named recycle bin on my desktop.
They should not be turned on and off at all. My older outdoor CFL's lasted 5-6 years staying on 24x7. Newer ones last less than that probably due to bad power at the new house (brown outs). Next switch will be to LED which can be turned off and on as frequently as desired.
Come to California if you want to see Pious drivers at full speed. If you're doing "only" the speed limit of 65 in the fast lane, it's only a matter of time before you find a jerk has caught up to you, tailgating and flashing his high beams. And during commute hours, about 1 in 16 of the times that jerk behind you wishing you were dead is driving a Pious.
I buy lots of energy efficient products, I just don’t buy their crap science.
I would flush this article but it would take two or three flushes to get rid of it.
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!
“The reason is that most conservatives have researched the “green” label and found, in most cases, it is used as a) a sales gimmick...”
That is the thinking of a real scientist. How could Wharton researchers not do the additional data collection necessary to identify these plausible, even obvious, alternative explanations? If I were speaking directly to the researchers, I might ask them if it isn’t reasonable that conservatives are more intelligent and aware of the nature of advertising labels and its (lack of a) relationship with actual product quality.
Why does the left label us this way
when they leave trash everywhere they go
they are destroying the planet not guys like me.
I’m a conservative, and live off grid ... I have 12 solar panels for 1440 watts; Ive owned enough L16 batteries to make a German U-Boat commander green with envy; a 4024 Trace inverter to convert from DC to AC; I live within my means and dont litter or pollute intentionally. I believe in non-GMO seeds, clean water and at one time even owned a diesel rabbit pick-up that I ran bio-diesel if it could be found. [hate the smell of the petro-diesel]
If I voted for Berry Id be a respected earth friendly person welcomed into their Ecotopia, my land would be considered a model of their vision for the world but since I own a self-defense weapon, it would be called a compound so they blindly hate my independence.
“...half of my salary goes to pay taxes so missing links to sit on their ass all day and collect welfare or warm the chairs in government offices, so my Green(tm) options are limited.”
You make a very important point. Societies that pay more in taxes or otherwise have low discretionary income are less environmentally clean, less innovative, and generally miserable places to live. The green movement and green parties of the world are very likely to create dirtier, less healthy environments.
Make NPVgreen > NPVconventional and make the green stuff work with the same convenience, reliability, and performance as the stuff that we know and like.
Your comment reminds me of PBS show on recycling:
What exactly happens after we smugly put our items in the “recycle bin”?
So they tried to trace it and it varied. Some items, I think paper and glass, had a pretty decent process for reuse. Aluminum (and other base metals) were the best, which is why the FREE MARKET pays people enough to pick up contains and turn them in.
But plastic was very interesting - and it is very hard to recycle (at least according to that show). About all they could find was that the plastic got bundled up and then put on a huge ship and sent to Taiwan. They could not figure out what happened after that. But since Taiwan actually paid for the plastic, one can probably assume they simply burn it for fuel.
But to the skinny, scrawny-faced, liberal in New York City, WHO CARES, for he did his part to SAVE THE WORLD.
And even that won't change the amount of oil purchased by other countries from the cesspools that hate the United States and the West, ie, the Islamderthals. Oil is a fungible commodity.
I, a CONSERVative, am just doing my part of conserving energy I assume.
Funny, here in Silicon Valley, the fastest, most obnoxious, most rude, and most dangerous drivers are always driving Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Prius! They’ll zoom up next to you and squeeze left in front of you, even though there’s a quarter mile clear behind you. They’ll cut you off every chance they get.
Or, I am conservative with my energy use as opposed to the more liberal users of energy.
That’s precisely why I’ve got a stash of hundreds of 60W, 75W and 100W incandescent bulbs. I smugly used 3 of the 60s yesterday and felt damn good about it.
I purchase LED light bulbs because they work well and though more expensive last longer use significantly less electricity. I was put off by the push to force everyone to buy crap florescent bulbs that take several seconds to warm up before reaching peak brightness which seemed to be the drive of the legislation banning incandescent bulbs.
As a conservative I don’t like having my options limited by nanny state government. The global warming bs certainly doesn’t help but I’ve never thought highly of environment nuts. Granted some positive things have came from their efforts but that good is largely dwarfed by the damage they have done to the economy and energy industry. Also most of the benefits from the green movement would’ve naturally came about on their own out of the best interest of companies. A hot energy inefficient processor for example would not cut it in the world of the smart phone/tablet.
The green movement has always had a core of misanthropy and that it is being used to justify horrors such as population control, restricted use of energy resources, and vast growth in government reach and taxation are all good reasons to be suspect of green initiatives of any kind. That said I will be happy to buy any product that works as well as the non green version for a good price that is justified by the benefit to me but never for some misguided feel good nature religion bull crap.
In the winter, I would highly recommend incandescent bulbs. They help reduce my heating bill. They are 100% efficient. Five percent of the energy they use goes towards lighting my house. The other 95% goes towards heating it. 100% efficient!
These are Par 38 Floods for our Museum headquarters. Also saved replacement costs for Halogen bulbs of about $500 as the tend to fail every two years. Flame me once....shame on me.. well. Nobody really knows how long these bulbs will last. Some folks say 50,000 hours.
That and steal hundreds of billions from us in taxes at gunpoint to “invest” in their utopian unicorn dreams. That never gets accounted for in retail price of the green toys.
We just remodeled our kitchen and were forced by the local government to spend about $3,000 on LED recessed lights we didn’t want or need. Conventional fixtures would have run way under $1,000.
I drive a car that gets ~38 MPG, it's also heavy... and 30 years old.
It's also a diesel that was made by GM doing a retrofit of their existing gasoline engine (ie it wasn't actually designed for diesel).
So when the car companies say crap like their small, light cars are good because they get 35 MPG it kinda pisses me off.
I would hook a goose-neck trailer full of coal to it and take a road trip through California.
Nuke the gay whales! Gee get it right.
It is tough in the beginning to pay for the LED’s. Just watch your light bill go way down. Also LED’s last a long time.
Some of the government idiots become useful idiots without realizing certain benefits accrue to the citizenry.
It is a Conservative Ideal to Conserve
Conservatives are Rational Ecologists
Conservatives are Good Stewards