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Government in your home

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By Duff Hale and Paul Perry

Observing the environmental or “green “ movement over the years, it has become painfully obvious it’s not so much about the environment as it is about forcing people to change their lives and live the way environmentalists think they should. 

Reasonable conservation has morphed into environmentalism, which for many seems to be a substitute religion. Gone is the concept of stewardship in favor of nature worship. 

David Horowitz called environmentalists “watermelons. “ Green on the outside, red on the inside. In many cases that rings true. When stripped of all its trappings, the environmentalist movement is very Marxist. Stripped of sensible conservation, the movement seems to be more about using government force to preserve left-wing urban preferences than anything else. 

Have you stopped to think of all the ways government has stuck its nose into your home? Probably not, but if you did you’d undoubtedly be shocked. And, it is all done under the guise of saving the environment. 

Think about it. Dishwashers that don ’ t clean dishes, toilets that barely flush and showers that sprinkle. These problems can be traced to government mandates that resulted from pressure by environmental groups. 

Indeed, government is back with more mandates that essentially ban the incandescent light bulb

What’s next? Probably the television cable box. These are laws of unintended consequences. 

In 2007, government ordered st ricter efficiency standards on the old-fashioned incandescent bulb. As of today, according to the industry, they can’t meet those standards, and come January incandescent bulbs will effectively be banned. 

In response, the public is hoarding the old bulbs which cost about thirty cents apiece compared to about $5 for those newfangled compact fluorescent light bulbs. The new CFL bulbs require a ten-step process, recommended by the EPA, for clean up if broken because they contain poisonous mercury. In response to the public backlash, Congress is considering reversing its de facto ban. 

Representative Joe Barton, R-TX, is sponsoring repeal legislation. All this begs the question: Just how many congressmen does it take to change a light bulb? Apparently not enough, as the first measure failed on July 12 on a 233 to 193 vote. Joe says he ’ ll keep on trying. 

The movement to remove phosphates from dishwashing detergent began in the Washington state legislature as an environmental-protection measure for nearby waterways. 

This metastasized to an additional 15 states, ultimately leading to the federal ban last year. 

The ban has had minimal impact on water quality, but after individual states banned phosphates, the industry had to spend millions to re-formulate their products. Additionally, the new products don’t clean dishes nearly as well. 

Appliance dealers complain customers are thinking their dishwashers are on the fritz calling for service. Some customers want to return the appliance or buy a new one, even though the new one won ’ t clean any better than the old. One dealer said, “ People hate their dishwashers now. “ 

Many folks now rinse their dishes more before they go in the dishwasher, resulting in greater water use. 

The low-flow toilet is another government mandate intended to help the environment by conserving water that has frustrated the public and perhaps caused environmental issues of its own. 

Most have solved their problem with the “ Al Gore toilet “ by multiple flushes, defeating the whole purpose of water conservation. 

This has caused a multimillion-dollar plumbing problem for San Francisco. The new mandated toilets have backed up enough sludge in the sewer pipes to create a rotten egg stench, causing the green city by the bay to spend $100 million to dispel the smell. 

Nearly nine million pounds of bleach going into the water supply to disinfect the detritus has caused environmentalists to shriek to high heaven. It’s their problem; they created it. 

If you have an old shower head on your shower, it may flow at a rate of five to 10 gallons per minute. 

Several years ago government mandated shower heads could allow no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. If you are not as squeaky clean as before, you now have the rest of the story. 

Some studies seem to indicate that people are spending more time in the shower and/or using more cleansing products in reaction. What effect does that have on water use and quality? 

These are but a few examples of how government has intruded into your homes and lives and how the law of unintended consequences also applies to knee-jerk regulations. 

Keep in mind, the auto you drive to work every day is highly regulated as to its emissions and that can affect safety by necessitating lighter materials, your mattress has chemicals in the fibers to retard fire but which might also be a health hazards and the list could go on and on. 

There was a time when government didn’t have time to interfere in your private doings.

At the very least, government seemed more cautious and thoughtful before it did intrude.

A generation of Captain Planet and hyper-environmentalism on our tubes and in our schools seems to have radicalized environmental legislation, perhaps causing us to do too much out of fear and not enough from thought. 


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