Life as a lemming

Yesterday we were ready to plummet into the depths – today we are a step further!

I must say I find this a little unfair, because we really need to distinguish between the lighting experts, the designers, architects and investors, und the "lemmings" in our society. I certainly do not wish to slight or speak disparagingly about the broad public! Not at all! I believe that it is incredibly important to educate the wider public so they are better informed. This is not an easy task and can sometimes be a bit on the tedious side. But it is important! It is the apparently simple things in everyday life that reveal just how poorly informed society is. And I am proud of the progress that has been made in Germany in the recycling industry – which is, by the way, a business worth billions offering thousands of jobs, Mr. Trump!

Whether the people responsible for advertising campaigns to promote recycling also see it that way – the fact that the wider public are a bit slow on the uptake, I mean – I cannot actually say.

"Choose the one you like best!" They are referring to an alternative to the incandescent lamp. But it is not really about which alternative you like, but about which is the most energy-efficient! Strictly speaking, when it comes to sound, healthy light our favourite was and still is the incandescent.

Again, we find the quality of light juxtaposed to saving energy. The message becomes confused and gives rise to the wrong impression! How can a society learn to appreciate the quality of light, when energy efficiency is propagated as being the only quality criterion?

The wider public of lemmings may well feel out of their depth when it comes to terms such as cool white and warm white, Kelvin and lumens. And then old lamps, small and non-descript though they may be, also need to be disposed of properly.

"Yesterday we were ready to plummet into the depths – today we are a step further" is a tongue-in-cheek lemming metaphor. Disposing of energy-saving lamps is important because we don’t want to have to calculate how much mercury would otherwise be released into the environment. Whatever we do, let’s not talk about it. Let’s leave it to sport stars like Fabian Hambüchen – an Olympic gold medal winner this year – to lead the way, and hope that the wider public will follow like lemmings.

In the past, lemmings were believed to have wandered around in groups of thousands in search of food, only to commit suicide as a herd by jumping off a cliff into the sea. But that is a myth invented for a Disney wildlife documentary. Rumour has it that this scene was staged for the sake of the film.

It only goes to show what harm can be done by the media: what we believe we know about the behaviour of lemmings is the result of falsely propagated information.