February 19, 2014

Curmudgeon's Corner: A Bright Idea

Warning: this article, while containing real information which may prove useful, is nonetheless written as a work of satire. My purpose is to provoke laughter, not offense. To all those who find themselves offended by anything contained within this article: lighten up.

Welcome to the Curmudgeon's Corner, my new semi-regular series in which I will rant needlessly about the state of our country, the world, society, and the environment.

On today's edition of Curmudgeon's Corner we discuss an enlightening topic: light bulbs.
Photo by GeoffreyWhiteway freerangestock.com

As some people may know, there are new guidelines in effect as of January 1, 2014 which phase out the use of 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs (100 watt and 75 watt bulbs have already been phased out) in the United States (I believe Canada is implementing a similar plan on a different timetable). This came about from a 2007 bipartisan bill signed by President Bush that mandated that manufacturers produce more energy efficient bulbs. What this has effectively done is ban standard incandescent bulbs which are much less efficient than Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). You can still buy incandescent bulbs in the form of halogen bulbs which are more efficient than old incandescent but not as efficient as CFLs or LEDs.

This past weekend Kristy and I bought some LED bulbs to replace some of our CFLs that had burned out. LEDs cost more but they are even more efficient than CFLs and last longer (while also not containing any mercury!). The bulbs we bought use 7.5 watts instead of the 40 watt standard incandescent bulbs and so far we really like them.

But as with everything in this country, light bulbs are a political flash point. Contained within the massive federal spending bill that was recently signed into law is language inserted by House Republicans that forbids the government from financially enforcing the phaseout. To which I say, of course they did.

Not even our light bulbs can escape the political bickering so commonplace in this day and age. How do we find compromise between regulation loving liberals who would like lights to run off of rainbows and good intentions and freedom loving conservatives who would like giant spotlights that run off of the tears of Mother Earth?

Photo by GeoffreyWhiteway at freerangestock.com

I personally think there is a very simple solution to this intractable debate about how best to light our homes: whale oil. Why nobody is talking about whale oil? We should go back to the days of using oil lamps fueled by our friends from the sea. Whales have had a good run, and climate change and ocean acidification are probably going to kill them off anyways. We should take advantage of them while we still can. Plus they have gotten awfully uppity since we stopped their wholesale slaughter. I've always maintained that what was good enough for Herman Mellville is good enough for me.

If you would like to actually learn more about this topic I suggest the following links:

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got to visit Republic. I love the hills there. Washington as a state might also agree with you more than Idaho. I have 'thing' for my neighbours. Such an amazing little state. Incredible variety. Another fog hint: Republic as far as I know is not prone to valley cloud. You may think I harp on it so much, but when you live under it for months in winter, you will relate. Happy hunting!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...