More Harm Than Good?

I’m going to start this post by saying I love my home, my planet, and I am not out to intentionally destroy the thing. That would be stupid.

But equally stupid is this rush to create “green” products in a frantic dash to “Save The World”. Yes, we should take care of our home and try to keep it clean. But mankind spent centuries being ignorant of the ways of the earth, and the planet is still spinning along. I could go off on an entire tirade about perceptions of global “warming”–as if the planet is not allowed to have fluctuations by slight degrees over the past few decades or longer–but I will save that rant for another time.

Primarily because today I am pissed off about compact fluorescent light bulbs. Environmentalists are jumping for joy over these things because they use significantly less electrical energy. (I’ll admit, I still don’t get what that’s about. It’s not like my toaster oven is jettisoning mass quantities of noxious gases into the atmosphere 24/7. Gabi will have to explain this to me, obviously.) Anyway, the thing I hate about these things is the quality of fluorescent light. To put it bluntly, it sucks. Life under fluorescent lights looks almost as bad as me in a bright gold shirt–which I wore to work yesterday under the guise of “school spirit.” Hmm. The color of the light is all wrong, the shadows are too harsh, and maybe it’s just me, but fluorescent lighting freakin’ hurts my eyes. I’m sure I must be the anomaly in this, because everybody else just seems to go ga-ga for the things.

Only one problem: if you throw these wonder-bulbs into the garbage after they burn out, you could poison the fucking water supply. Yep, each of those little suckers contains 5mg of mercury inside. You read that correctly: mercury. What kind of nutjob creates or markets or sells or distributes these bulbs in the name of environmental friendliness (which is usually stated right on the damned box!), when the contents include fucking toxic substances?!? I am almost literally banging my head against the wall in frustration over this! Are people really so quick to make a buck, so quick to profit from this new “green” wave, that they do things that fly in the face of the actual advertised benefit of their products?? Wait. Don’t answer that.

What infuriates me almost as much is that the media coverage over this story isn’t nearly as outraged as I am! The CBS article I found online basically painted this as a consumer information story, and said that the people involved in producing or selling compact fluorescents were pretty much “hoping” (and I do believe that was the word used) that retailers would take on the responsibility of educating the public as to the proper way to recycle these bulbs in order to keep our planet safe. Unfortunately, words like “retailers”, “responsibility”, “educating” and “public” make me not want to hold my breath.

Or drink the water.