Two excellent bits of reader email on the removal of phosphates from dishwasher detergents. The first is from a reader who has been pumping up his new detergent by adding his own phosphate. He notes that the customer review section of one trisodium phosphate product on Amazon features people thumbing their noses at The Man.
The other note is from a friend who's an industrial chemist and did his post-doc work on detergents. He points out that the problem with much modern environmentalism is that it's just rent-seeking among different environmental goals:
The salient point for everyone is you often can’t make a “positive” green change without having an upstream or downstream “negative” green change. The sad part is that there will be a higher energy and water resource cost unless new product approaches come forward. P&G has made the case for energy cost savings through petro-derived detergents in laundry having a greater sustainability impact that knocking down palm trees in Indonesia to make renewable but less effective detergents.