Quote Of The Day

“In fact, when I look back at almost every “environmentally friendly” alternative product I’ve seen being widely touted as a cost-free way to lower our footprint, held back only by the indecent vermin at “industry” who don’t care about the environment, I notice a common theme: the replacement good has really really sucked compared to the old, inefficient version.  In some cases, the problem could be overcome by buying a top-of-the-line model that costs, at the very least, several times what the basic models do.  In other cases, as with my asthma inhalers, we were just stuck.” — Megan McArdle

12 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • Generally, I agree with McArdle that environmentally-friendly solutions are typically less efficient. But sometimes the weight of other factors out-weighs “efficiency”.

    Case in point:
    I have a reel lawn mower (no motor). The mower costs much less than a motorized lawn mower. I also don’t pay for gas or maintenance of any kind. I have no need to store dangerous, stinky gas in my garage. The mower never breaks down. When I mow my lawn I get more exercise than most folks. And of course it is more environmentally friendly.

    However, to McArdle’s point, my mower is clearly less efficient than most; it does not cut some kinds of grass very well, and it generally takes me longer to mow my lawn than it would otherwise.

    On balance, I think I come out ahead.

  • Agreed. But there are trade-offs. Nothing comes free.

    The way you hear some environmentalists tell it, these organizations somehow evilly just hid these “no trade-off” solutions until they were forced to provide them.

    McArdle concludes her post with, “That is not necessarily an argument against the switch–if the costs are high enough, then we should go ahead and use the more annoying product. But it’s well to remember that there are tradeoffs–that indeed, “industry’s” reluctance is probably because they are well aware of what those tradeoffs are.”

  • Yup. I think she’s got that about right.

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