Goodbye 100w, 75w Incandescent Lamps

I think what he was saying was that people operate in their own best interest because they know what is in their own best interest. Unfortunately, government is no better a predictor of what is in my best interest than me, so while I may make a number of decisoins that work to my detriment, by and large I will make decisions that overall work best for me.
More unfortunate is the unreliability of information that comes from government, because once a person has achieved power, he/she will often do things to maintain that power. Because, by and large, he/she will do what is in his or her own best interest, and maintaining power falls in that category. That includes lying about a variety of things in order to have a compliant public. That lying includes lying about motive, perhaps even to oneself. You must separate the wheat from the chaffe in politics, electing people who are not yet in the power grab mode, or you have to remove the motive to maintain power, which was the reasoning behind the inclusion of term limits in our system.
It is very easy right now for people to believe that about George Bush, but these same people won't take a look at those on the other side of the aisle. The old saying, though, is "Follow the money". I look at people who have made a fortune on the global warming-as-man- made concept, who try to maintain control of that concept by saying that "debate is over" when it clearly is not, I see people threatening the careers of those who dispute the idea of human causality of global warming. Then I look at the careers and lifestyles of people in this camp and I wonder how the two can square with one another. For example, how much money has Al Gore made on the global warming issue? How does he live his own life with regard to things like energy consumption?
Given the unreliability of such prognosticators, I don't rely on their data. I do, however, rely on the data supplied to me in the form of an electric bill every month. I have also purchased spiral flourescent bulbs, and I have done so based upon my own interest. You may call it selfish, but I have a family which relies upon me for efficient control of income versus expenditures, so I try to maximize the value of my money for them as much as or moreso than for me. I am sure that (Frank, I think ?) probably has a similar thought process. This is the kind of control of which people are capable, as the closer information is to you, the more reliable it tends to be, which is also one of the reasons we have the economic system we do. Another reason, of course, is the understanding that people will tend to act in a manner which is best suited for them and those for whom they are responsible. In other words, the information and the actions are localized.
A ready example of information being localized here is your assumption that Frank believes in being selfish. You don't know fully his motivation for his decision to purchase things which save him money. Only he knows that, and therefore only he is generally in the best position to determine what is best for him, based upon is own values, his personal financial situation, his family situation, etc. As a wise man once said, walk a mile in his moccasins.
What is of greatest concern to me here is that idea that someone's reason is more important than his action. We have an economic system in the U.S.A. set up to tap into individuals' self interests. This is specifically because any system devised to have a centralized authority looking out for our interests is necessarily going to involve people with power and the self interest to hold onto that power. We further have as part of our political system intentionally decentralized authority in the form of multiple branches, and amendments to our Constitution preventing them from being the sole arbiters and disseminators of information, primarily because information from those attempting to maintain power can be unreliable based on their motivations.
Were global warming shown verifiably to be minimal and wholly unrelated to human activity, would this be good news? If so, do you think such news would be received happily by those who currently make a living decrying it? Do you think, for example, that Al Gore would readily accept that? As a parallel situation, consider the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton: Do you believe that they truly act on behalf of black people, or do you believe, based upoon their careers and lifestyles, that they are acting in their own interests at this point (regardless of the motivations you may believe they had at the start)? Do you believe that, if they got everything they demand, including an end to all racism, they would simply close up shop? Or are their careers too closely tied to the perception that racism exists everywhere, and that they might attempt to foment dissent when none is necessary? They have a product to sell, just as global warming decriers have a product to sell (and perhaps both have an agenda to advance). Just as the makers of spiral lightbulbs have a product to sell. None of them care why you buy the product, only that you do, and the greater your purchase, the better it is for them.
The difference is that, as more people enter the market for spiral lightbulbs, the market widens, and economies of scale dictate that the price will go down. The price has continued to rise with the other two, because they are nebulous products.
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