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October 9, 2007
Beware the energy vampires
Your electronic devices "are sucking the money out of your wallet as you sleep," says Warren Swil in the Los Angeles Times. Most modern appliances—TVs, computers, microwaves, stereos, electric razors—have "standby" modes that make the device look like it is off. It isn't. It's in "a state of reduced activity that requires only minimal power consumption." Minimal is good, but millions of always-on machines "adds up to huge amounts of wasted energy." If you're willing to trade "convenience for conservation," turning off your electronics instead of putting them to sleep will cut your energy usage by up to 20 percent.
Give China a break
The danger posed by Chinese imports "has been highly exaggerated," says Peter Quinter in The Miami Herald. "Less than 1 percent of total U.S. goods imported from China" have been subject to recall, and the FDA lists only 16 "import alerts" for Chinese products—four fewer than for Mexico. And don't forget the "2.3 million dishwashers, 3.7 million candles, 620,000 pressure washers, and 72,000 air compressors" made in the U.S. that have been recalled this year. Instead of indulging in "the current China-bashing frenzy," we should focus on "raising product safety standards worldwide and strengthening the regulation of all goods that cross U.S. borders."
of The Week magazine.