Are all these environmental issues just a big money making con?

 This subject is relevant to white goods because it’s now used as a well established marketing tool employed by all manufacturers and it shapes how many of our household appliances are designed and marketed. Although I haven’t written a direct article on this topic before I’ve long since been a sceptic about man-made climate change and wrote a lengthy article recently entitled, Do we really need to dump our old inefficient appliances to save money and the world?

I don’t claim my article proves anything, and concede I could be being over-sceptical but I wanted to explore my concerns and still welcome any clarification on the subject.

Millions of Appliances needlessly scrapped

I’m sceptical about the claims of man-made climate change because I can’t help thinking if the earth is really in such serious danger and we are causing it then governments would surely clamp down severely on the people destroying the earth instead of just charging them money. Instead of passing essential laws to save the earth from imminent destruction they’ve mostly just raised taxes on many things and just made it more expensive collecting lots of extra tax. Large companies can even carry on destroying the earth as long as they use carbon offsetting which involves paying for the privilege. I just find it hard to believe the earth is under such serious threat of destruction and the main method of preventing it is to raise taxes and try to persuade people not to do it by making it a bit more expensive to do.

It has to be said that there’s little doubt we are seeing major climate change in places, what is contested though is whether it is being caused by us or it is natural. Clearly, natural and often dramatic or catastrophic climate change has always occurred throughout the earth’s history. Maybe its just something we can’t stop? My own personal conspiracy theory is that it’s a ingenious ruse to prevent India and China from developing any further and taking over as the main super powers, which has been on the cards for some years now.

Recently I’ve seen several articles about what’s been dubbed, “climategate”, where hackers have apparently got hold of many emails from some of the main scientists responsible for the statistics “proving” man made climate change at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, where they have apparently colluded to delete and manipulate data that contradicts their claims. The Telegraph has published an article saying Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

Relevant links – some very interesting links on the topic -

So should we reject all this talk about environmentally friendly household appliances?

This whole affair has yet to play out fully, who knows where it will lead. In the interim period I’ve never had any objection to appliances and indeed any product we buy using less energy, using less water and costing less to use. There’s nothing wrong with saving money, in fact it’s a great idea. I just think manufacturers need to make sure they don’t address one “problem” only to cause others such as making washing machines that don’t rinse so well ( Why can’t modern washing machines rinse properly? ) and we don’t get conned into scrapping perfectly working “old” appliances to buy one that’s supposedly cheaper to run but doesn’t necessarily wash or rinse as well or last anywhere near as long – working out more expensive.

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Comments

  1. It’s all a rip-off and a big con! People with less money suffer the most every time.

    New products, especially washing machines, are not as well made as they were 25 – 30 years’ ago and get scrapped because most people don’t have them repaired, they just buy a new one instead every time. More landfill on the parts that can’t be recycled!

    More and more products are being made in China, but the do-gooders don’t moan about the thousands of miles these goods travel from China to be exported and they don’t moan about China’s poor environmental track record. Neither do they moan about the poor quality of these Chinese-made goods that break quickly and end up in our landfill! Instead, they tax us to death for using cars and petrol, tell us off for using water, so now we have new washing machines that don’t rinse properly and cause no end of allergies (and require running extra programmes without detergent to make them rinse clothes PROPERLY).

    It’s all a money-making excuse and if the government can justify charging us just for driving into a city (e.g. the congestion charge in London) for “environmental reasons”, they can!

    Is this the future we want?

  2. avatar Oliver Shaw says:

    Hi WMUser,

    Bang on.

    This is the most truthful article I have seen in along time. I too feel all this global warming is a complete load of utter shyte. All it is, is “JOBS FOR THE BOYS”, none of it is true. I mean a washing machine using alot of water on rinses, which does not add electricity consumption is bad for the envioronment how?

    The latest thing which absolutely disgusts me is the advert on the TV where a Dad is reading a bed time story to his daughter about if we do not clean our act up there will be no bright future. So they are tring to scare children now. How dare they upset children with this bullsh1t.

    As you say WMUser it is just another government tax idea, how many more I wonder. Also as you say until China and India clean their act up why is the UK always being told what to do, this country takes everything so literally, it is pathetic.

    This is supposed to be a democratic society, we have no choice, are always being told what to do and as you say you cannot buy a washing machine that will rinse properly.

    Everything is about “Environmental reasons” there is no coincidence in Mental being in EnvironMENTAL is there? I find all these claims extremely offencive. Especially the stupid congestion charge, fortunately we do not have that up here in West Yorkshire, no doubt it will come though.

    My comment on the other article is quite interesting. DO WE REALLY NEED TO DUMP OUR OLD APPLIANCES TO SAVE THE WORLD? That shows my views on people like AMDEA.

    This is a topic which I feel VERY passionate about, so sorry about the rant!

    All the Best,

    Oliver.

  3. avatar Damon Hart-Davis says:

    Hi Andy,

    After our old Zanussi died after many years of service, I bought a replacement that spins a bit faster and that can wash cold, and in our experience (largely my long-suffering partner working with me to test various washes and detergents for effectiveness and measure power consumption), I think that we are saving ~0.5kWh/day on washing, ie maybe 50%. Out of a total household consumption of ~5kWh/day for 4 of us, that’s quite significant I think.

    http://www.earth.org.uk/note-on-Zanussi-ZWD14581W-freestanding-washer-dryer-REVIEW.html

    So the efficiency improvement is there for the taking, as still gets our clothes clean!

    Compare with our new dishwasher which barely saves any energy compared to a 10-year-old model, but does seem to clean and dry better for the same inputs…

    As to your point about “governments would surely clamp down severely”, I think that they are *already* doing as much as they dare, eg witness how mid-term elections are coming up in the US restricting what the President could promise, whatever he believes…

    Rgds

    Damon

  4. Hi Oliver, I agree with everything you said.

    I have posted a comment on the page Do we really need to dump our old inefficient appliances to save money and the world? so I will just link to it, rather than post the same views here:

  5. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool believer in Global Warming and in being environmentally friendly, however I’m afraid I am finding that with every passing day yet another fatal flaw is being exposed in all the environmentally friendly schemes that we, the end-users, are being asked (and in many cases forced) to engage in.

    Washing machines now use cold water to fill with and low water levels. This means that, amongst other things, laundry is not washed properly (there is extensive debate about this on other boards on this site but for now please accept that I have proved this to be the case in my own washing machine and at least 2 test organizations that I have heard in programmes on BBC Radio 4 have concluded the same), laundry is not rinsed properly (this is widely accepted and seems to be the cause of little or no controversy) and machines break down more regularly because of the extra wear and tear on parts from longer washes to try to compensate for the poorer cleaning “power” and from being gunged up with vile and germ-ridden muck caused by the low temperatures.

    However, it’s not just washing machines.

    It has recently come to the National News and Media attention that modern TV’s use around 400% as much electricity as older, CRT based, sets.

    Energy Saving Light Bulbs are now becoming a widespread and large scale problem because disposing of them safely once they are dead is simply not happening in many (possibly most) areas of the UK. There is also the issue of whether they are bad for our health in operation, which is contentious and seems far fetched but is certainly not yet disproved, and it is now publicly acknowledged that the claims about light output which are made have been much exaggerated and that in fact higher powered “energy saving” lamps are needed to match the output of tungsten lamps than has previously been claimed. (The latest figure that I have seen quoted by Which? states that rather than 11 watts of energy saving power to match the output of an old 60 watt bulb it is in fact more like 22 watts of Energy saving power that is really needed – this makes the savings much less attractive.)

    Energy Saving Recommendations have been exposed to be seriously flawed, for example the leading Energy Saving advisory body in the UK has admitted, in writing, that it only tests appliances which the manufacturers ask them to test, so there are likely to be much more efficient appliances on the market, which do not get recommended because they are never put forward for testing. The same organisation has also admitted, in writing, that they make no claim at all that modern appliances save energy over older models, simply that the appliances which they test are the best currently on offer.

    There has been a huge move to using Combi boilers rather than traditional hot water systems, and yet combi boilers use more gas (often up to 5 times as much) compared to traditional ones and frequently are designed to have a working life of just 6 years – neither of these “features” is environmentally friendly in the least.

    And yet, despite all of the things that Joe Public is being asked or told to do, big businesses and The Government in particular continue to gobble up fuel and produce waste products at ever increasing rates and are exempt from most of the schemes that apply to domestic users.

    My faith in the green initiatives has dwindled over the past year to almost zero and I sadly find myself concluding that in fact Joe Public can’t really make any positive difference at all because commercial users more than outweigh any good that we do. However, at the same time, Joe Public is being swindled out of vast sums of cash, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not, in order to make these doomed attempts to be green.

  6. avatar Oliver Shaw says:

    Hi WMUser and Dave,

    Where did you hear that about Combi-boilers, Dave?

    Ours is nearly 8.5 years old, gets a bit clogged up with limescale from time to time, but a 10 minute job to put it right. It has a washing machine (IAR Siltal), dishwasher, shower and two baths connected to it, not to mention four sinks and the central heating system. It is cheap to run, about the same as the traditional boiler at our last house, and that was only for central heating and it was a smaller house. Our gas bills are certainly not excessive. There are three of us in this house, 3 baths/showers per day, about 9 dishwasher loads per week and the washing machine connected to the hot water does about 10-15 loads a week (My Bosch has a cold supply on a Y adaptor so does not count, it does 4 loads a week though). The heating is on quite alot this time of the year. None of our bills are that high infact, so I can say hand on heart that combi boilers are efficient.

    It is not an Condensing boiler, just a normal combi.

    The energy efficient light bulbs are just crap, the light they give off is awful, I much prefer the soft light of the traditional filament bulb. They have now banned pearl light bulbs. What can I say, these people are just useless, time wasting buffoons! Every time you turn on the TV you hear environment this, environment that, to say I am p155ed off having rammed down my troat on a permenant basis would be the understatement of the century.

    This planet has heated up and cooled down more times than I have had hot dinners, so cannot see how man has altered it, or if so it will be so slight beyond beleif.

    No longer can you make an informed choice, if you buy a new washing machine for example it will take in excess of 2 hours, will not wash or rinse properly and will not last. My Bosch(now about 16 years old, 5 years younger than myself!) is the opposite to this shyte, it works and keeps working and whats more keep my excema and dermatitis at bay. I also intend to keep it going indefinatley if at all possible.

    I how ever do not believe in global warming in the least, my own choice, not swayed either way by others. As Myself, Dave and WMUser are on the recieving end of this claptrap I am disgusted to be putting up with it and wish we could do something about it.

    The way I feel about the government, if it has a profit margin (tax) they love it if it hasn’t they hate it. There is only one way of summing them up absolutley F***ing useless. They government are as useful as AMDEA.

    I have seen massive changes in my life (21 years and 2 days) and really am disheartened about what is happening to the country, what will it be like in 20, 30 years, if this carries on life will not be worth living. We will be told what to do and when to do it and how to live our lives. As and when I have children what will it be like for them, it upsets me to think of it.

    Is this what we really want?

    All the best,

    One very annoyed Oliver.

  7. avatar Oliver Shaw says:

    Oh, quite right about low temperature washing being disgusting, Dave.

    I have washed on 40 in the past and was not happy with the results, towels are not clean and fresh. So it is 60oC all the way. I always have “Higher Water Level” selected and “Short wash” where appropriate. I always use Persil Biological powder (not the colour stuff, the proper job with bleach in), or Ariel as a second best if the shop havn’t got any Persil.

    Whites-Cotton 60oC.
    Coloureds-Cotton 60oC.
    Overalls/Work stuff-Cotton 60oC.
    Bedding-Whites Economy 60oC. (Good at removing skin lotions, and the Bosch has “Whites Economy” too Dave, its 60oC on mine though, not 70oC like it was on the Hoover).

    The only time I wash on less is when I wash my Hi-Vis work jacket on Synthetic 40/50oC, I select “Pre-wash” if needed as well. The stupid thing is not supposed to be washed above 40oC and it attracts muck and only people in dirty jobs wear them as well, stupid ain’t it?!!

    I even wash my best clothes on 60 as well, and contry to popular belief they are not ruined but spotless and my suit trousers are at least 10 years old.

    My machine is spotless and Andy has said a maintainence wash once or twice a year is sufficient. So it is better to wash at high temperature so the machine does not get rotted away inside from the slimey mass.

    Washing at 30/40 is only saving in the short term, it could put your machine in land fill many years too soon (as people do not repair anymore) and a monthly 90/95 will cost as well, not to mention wear and tear from 12 washes per year with nothing in the machine. So it would seem counter productive to wash at low temperatures, I could be wrong though, perhaps I’m a mucky beggar!!

    Oliver.

  8. I’ve just embedded a 5 minute YouTube video to the bottom of my original article above entitled, Global Warming – Al Gore sued by 30,000 Scientists

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