Saturday, May 17, 2008

#397 To Change A Lightbulb

#397 To Change A Light Bulb

This is not just another light bulb joke: How many environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?

Who knows. Thing is, it's changed. We're going to stop making regular Tom Edison bulbs at some point, and we'll put in those little corkscrew things that use mercury. More light with fewer watts. Sounds like a plan, right?

Just don't break one. You have to call in the hazmat squad to clean it up. Too bad some of us didn't know that when we broke one and are now larded with more mercury than a school of Newark tuna. Oh, well. At least the environment is cleaner, General Electric is one bulb's worth richer and you can almost see in the kitchen.

These corkscrew bulbs? They need warm-up time. They don't just go on. They fade up. Dramatic. Adds a little flare to your life when you come stumbling into the foyer late at night, flip the switch and your house lights up like a stage. Keep telling yourself you're not going blind, you're saving the environment, making GE richer and screwing the electric company out of charges for countless costly kilowatts.

What's hard to understand this: the utilities are in the business of selling you electricity. So if they keep telling you to conserve, what's in it for them? Are they trying to scare away customers? Or is it that they've simply learned that you won't listen and talking conservation makes them seem like good corporate citizens? "Look at us, we're putting your welfare and the environment ahead of our profits." Who believes that.

The whole conservation/environmental thing has become pure politics with nothing behind it. Climate change is happening. The left wingnuts want you to believe it's all human made and if we don't stop, we will soon kill the planet. The right wingnuts want you to think it isn't or that it's all natural. It won't be long before those same right wingnuts decide it's God's punishment for (choose one) (a) homosexuality, (b-1) abortion, (b-2) contraception, (c) failure to accept Jesus into your life, (d) a "Democrat" Party plot to destroy your personal initiative, (e) insulting Islam (f) antisemitism (g) all of the above.

Not to worry. When the oil runs out and the corn runs out and the lights go out, you can always cook, warm yourself and see in the dark by burning the furniture.

Anyone remember the Perry Como song "Light One Little Candle"?


--There are too many "think tanks." It's time to start emote tanks. Why should thinkers have all the tanks?
--Ace is making a toothless comb for bald guys. They're going to be more expensive than regular combs. That's because breaking off the teeth has to be done by hand.
--Congressmen are looking more unruly these days. The House is going to debate a dress code. If it passes, you'll not only pay for the Escalade lease, you'll pay for the rent-a-suit.

(note: by popular demand, the thrice weekly schedule resumes Monday 5/19/08)

(c) 2008 WJR


Anonymous said...

I think the mandate to switch the style of light bulbs was lumped in with an energy policy that also increased the amount of ethanol in gas. It is unimaginable that a.) the public is so uninformed about the funcamental importance of energy policy to the quality of life, and b.) how misdirected national energy policy seems to be.

We seem to find the money to build malls, 'mcmansions', and massive vehicles to move us from one to the other, but under it all is unglamorous energy. Corkscrew lightbulbs may add a bit to GE's botom line, but these have no place taking up such a large fraction of what passes for the public debate.

Let's just not buy the argument of 'big oil', that we're not building nukes because of the environmental wingnuts.

pipskippy said...

I have to say that I've replaced almost all incandescent bulbs with fluorescents, and I'm incredibly pleased with the result. The new CF bulbs are far, far better than anything before, regarding spectrum of light. I remember replacing my living room fan/light fixture with CF bulbs - 3 x 60 standard bulbs changed out for 3 x 13 watt CFs. The room was so bright I had to unscrew two of the three CF bulbs. The quality of light for reading was so much better, that's when I decided to change them all.

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