Saturday, April 28, 2007

Eco-Morality: Light Bulb Lunacy Indeed!

The latest environmental bandwagon is driving me crazy. People asking me out of the blue if I have energy efficient light bulbs in my lamps? People who profess to be all pro-environment because it's trendy nowadays but one year ago were sinful in their consumption. I don't use the word sinful lightly either. Environmentalism is the new religion!

When I heard Australia was going to ban the incandescent light bulb I wasn't all that impressed.According to this article at "Incandescents will be banned by legislation in about 2009-10, though some special needs, such as medical use, may receive dispensation". Would I be considered to have special needs? Fluorescent lights give me a headache! While they don't give me a migraine (effectively not making me have "special needs") I truly can't stand the glow that they give off.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. I 100% agree with this article!!

Let me take you inside my bedroom. There is, of course, a bed. On each side is an identical night table--one holds my husband's books and pyjamas, the other, my own. Each table holds a small lamp. These, too, are identical -- silver base, beige shade. But the innocuous little light bulbs inside them are completely different.
Responsible citizen that he is, my husband has screwed in a compact fluorescent. I, on the other hand, refuse.

I cannot do it. The warm light of the trusted incandescent bulb is so important to me that I refuse to convert to the cold, blue light emitted by its environmentally friendly counterpart. The light it emits is, in a word, ugly. It is not the warm, inviting light of my beloved incandescent, and I refuse to allow it on my side of the bed.

Yet as Canada's government threatens to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012, I fear I will soon lose the welcoming light of my little 40-watter.

Our home is, in all other respects, a beacon of energy efficiency -- the greenies would be proud. We have installed low-flow toilets; a high efficiency washer and matching dryer; a new set of kitchen appliances, which all came with fancy EnerGuide logos. (We consciously sought out the most efficient models. Because of this, the fridge available in my price range hums so loud that I fear it's about to launch.)

When we renovated, we paid for an energy assessment and followed every single one of the report's recommendations. We installed a high-efficiency gas furnace with a programmable thermostat and replaced the water heater. We could not afford to replace the ancient windows right away, so instead sealed the windows with tacky plastic wrap.

I believe we should all do our part for the environment, but in a free in democratic society I don't like the word 'ban'. We tax cigarettes to death (no pun intended) in an effort to reduce consumption so why can’t we do this for incandescent light bulbs? A ‘ban’ just demonstrates that people are unable reduce consumption unless the government intervenes.

Also what happens to people who rely on lighting for their job? For example, photographers or make up artists?

Other bloggers have written great posts on this very topic.

Fred at Gay and Right talks about Light Bulb Facism and links an article about the mercury levels in the CFLs. He also has a few other great posts on this new eco-facism. Check it out!

Check this link out where someone recreated a booklet that was make up for the phase out in California. I had FAQ that addresses issues I brought up like headaches.

Either way in both Australia and Canada this enviro bandwagon also coincidentally aligns with potential elections in both countries!


Anonymous Cool Blue said...

I like the approach that Harper has taken with CFLs.

If you read the fine print Harper isn't actually banning the old bulbs, he's just setting minimum energy standards for bulbs. I don't know the exact number they'll use, but lets say that they set a minimum of 30 watts for a bulb.

This means that incandescents 30 watts and under will still be around, so the lady with the incandescent night reading lamp can keep buying bulbs for it.

This minimum energy standard will encourage development of new technologies, for example, GE is rumoured to soon announce that they've created a low-energy incandescent bulb.

I've used CFLs for about 7 years now throughout my house and the "cold blue light" argument is exaggerated. Yes, some do come in that colour, though CFLs which give of almost exactly the same colour as incandescents can be bought. You have to be careful though because for some reason manufacturers don't clearly mark which colour the bulbs are.

FYI: I saw you left a comment on my blog, I haven't deleted it, I'm just trying to figure out how to approve it (I'm new to blogging".

Fri Jul 20, 06:59:00 PM EDT  

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