Here is the jist of our article(s). It is a perfect example of everything bad related to free trade and globalization
with a massive utility pushing it to even lower levels. First Energy electric utility in Northern Ohio announced they
were going to send "free" energy saving light bulbs to all their customers under a new dictate from a state bureau
to satify certain energy consumption standards. They were going to charge their customers for the amount of savings in electricity
involved with the program to make up what income would be lost in the program. The program was met with public opposition
and First Energy was forced to postpone the program. They are now back at it again offering more bulbs in the deal. It
is a ridiculous program from start to finish.
1. The energy saving light bulbs are the result of "dirty"
manufacturing in China with mercury out in the open. Workers put in long hours per day at a improverished workers wage. (
We reference an informative web page below about this terrible process where workers are poisoned.) At the
same time, thousands of workers at GE will lose their job. The union put in a full page ad in the PD some time ago about this.
Many workers including women - some even pregnant- get cut in the manufacturing process where mercury is out in the open.
2. The PD published an article about a year ago about a new software company that rates a product in terms of its
effect on our ecology according to the distance and energy used to transport the item in the USA. Hopefully, they will do
the same thing internationally. The energy saving light bulbs have to travel 8000 miles to get here from China with
a tremendous cost to the environment.
3. The energy saving light bulb and other so called "green" products
use up tons of energy transporting the item to the US. China has about 80 percent of this market. The bulb has to travel 8,000
miles to get here using long haul ocean, air, rail and truck fuel which heavily pollutes the air in the transportation. There
is also a need for additional packaging and shipping containers. Many of the containers are stockpiled in the US since we
have nothing to ship back to China. Just think what this all cost in terms of the environment and jobs in the USA.
4. The bulbs contain mercury and there is a debate about this as to how much of a negative affect, the mercury in the bulbs
represent. However there are many warnings about cleaning up after one the the bulbs are broken. ( In China, the broken bulbs
during manufacturings are left in big open containers where they are being made. ) And now there are new reports about UV
radiation affecting people using these bulbs.
5. I do not understand how this give away received an OK by First
Energy lawyers. Imagine a little child playing with their stuffed teddy bear dragging it through an area where a mercury
bulb was broken. The stuffed teddy bear will act as a lethal weapon to that child when they play with it or sleep with it
for just a few months.
Think of all the other possibilities where the general public is not aware
of the consequences. Here we have a large corporation, pushing foreign made products on their users, putting US workers out
of work where the affect to the environment may be more negative than positive. There are no walls in the sky that partitions
poisons. They are also pushing globalization and free trade that are the major cause of our economic crisis rather than local
value added economies. The push for casinos in Ohio are centered on providing local jobs and this is gambling where it takes
a vibrant economy making things in balanced geopolitical settings. Our economy based on making money on money instead of making
things is burning out. President Obama bails out the financial communities who caused most of the problems in the first place.
Now we have a large utility putting one of the last daggers in the last of the private sector production workers in the USA.
New local regulations for old freight ships using the Great Lakes will put some ships out of business in
the U.S. Nothing is said about all the old freighters on the high seas bringing the imports for thousands
of miles. There is no logic flow in any of this. VP Gore who won an award for his green advocacy,
ignored all of it. President Bush, President Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama wear the
( This article follows the article by Michael Scott who quoted me and my published letter
more than year ago titled : A darker story behind the dark side of energy saving light bulbs. See at http://www.phillyfuture.org/node/5297