Live Earth = Front for Royal Philips Electronics climate profiteering

Live Earth is backed by Royal Philips Electronics, which wants legislation to ban incandescent light bulbs. This is simply corporate profiteering at its worst.

While Philips says the purpose of this legislation is to “increase energy efficiency,” its real purpose is to force people to buy Royal Philips Electronics products that they would not buy unless laws forced them to do so. If this legislation ever passes, we will stock up on a lifetime supply of full-spectrum incandescent bulbs. If the bulbs were really eye-friendly and cost-efficient, the marketplace would drive their purchase. No legislation was needed to make people trade in their horses and carts for automobiles, or slide rules for electronic calculators and coimputers. The fact that Philips is pushing for self-serving legislation to force people to buy its products (along with our own experience with Philips’ products) tells us everything we need to know.

We’re all for energy efficiency, and we saw some full-spectrum compact fluorescent lights that promised to save something like $40 or $50 in energy over their lifetimes. Something that delivers 100 watts of light for 25 watts of power–a no-brainer, if the light was as friendly as incandescent light. This comes to about a 40-60% annual return on the investment, so we decided to try these bulbs. It turns out that their “full spectrum” light is so eye-unfriendly that we can use them only for incidental lighting and not for reading. These were not made by Philips, but we assume that Philips’ are no better (given its push for legislation). The bottom line is that Philips, and the other compact fluorescent light makers, are not up to the job of making bulbs that will make incandescent ones obsolete.

“Not up to the job” is our general perception of Philips, given our experience with a Norelco shaver (so poorly designed for maintainability that we had to use a soldering iron to replace the rechargable battery when it stopped holding a charge) and a DVD recorder that just stopped working after about 2 years of ownership. We will not buy anything from Philips in the future if we can possibly avoid it. It is no surprise that this company needs legislation to force people to buy its products.

CAP = Climate Action Partnership = Climate Action Profiteers

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