February 5, 2007
What did the corned beef say to the sliced tongue? "I'm on a roll!"
Here's another insane environmentalist moment, this time from my native state again -- California, the granola state: land of fruits, nuts, and flakes. Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, representing Van Nuys (that's a small city within the city of Los Angeles, in the southwest end of the San Fernando Valley), chairman of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, has introduced a bill to ban all incandescent lightbulbs by 2012.
No, it's not a rib. Sorry:
A California lawmaker wants to make his state the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs as part of California's groundbreaking initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act" [this part may be a rib!] would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
"Incandescent lightbulbs were first developed almost 125 years ago, and since that time they have undergone no major modifications," California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine said on Tuesday.
Well, yeah. That's because, to quote Mary Poppins, they're "practically perfect in every way" (except they burn out too quickly).
This stands in stark contrast to fluorescent lighting, which makes me sick. I mean that literally: they flicker at some frequency that gives me a headache and makes me feel a bit queasy. When I used to work in a office, I bought a regular lamp and put it on my desk, so its light could drown out the finicky, flickering fluorescent flapdoodle overhead.
Nowadays, I always buy the GE Reveal bulbs, which are as much like outdoor light as one can get in an inexpensive lightbulb; and I like a lot of lumens... in the living room alone, we have two 150-watt bulbs and a 100-watter. That's another reason I detest fluorescent lights: they turn everything a weird, pasty-purple-ish color that makes me feel like I'm on Mars, except without the low gravity.
This brings me to the point of this post (you knew there was going to one in here somewhere): Is there anything more typical (and telling) than a lefty who is so totalitarian, he even wants to tell you what kind of lightbulb you're allowed to use? Well, maybe the Al Gore "two-flusher." Both are indicative of the Left's hatred of human choice. When they say they're "pro-choice," they certainly don't mean you to have the choice to disobey them.
They are, as Thomas Sowell dubbed them, the "anointed;" and they are anointed because they have "the Vision"... the Vision being of a man-made utopia run by -- well, by people like them. The Vision includes a rather colossal ego that compels the anointed to declare (now I'm quoting George Bernard Shaw) that "the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature." (Antony and Cleopatra, Act II)
In the present case, Mr. Levine evidently doesn't like to read much, or to do anything else involving the eyes after sunset. Thus, he sees no moral or ethical impediment to telling everyone else to pollute his home with awful, color-changing, eye-straining fluorescent lightbulbs. The wishes of hoi polloi are of no account.
But of course, the reality is that even if this abomination passed -- it would just mean a huge black market in California incandescence: we would all order lights from the internet; and if they passed a second law prohibiting the operation of the U.S. Mail or requiring inspections to ensure that nobody is obtaining the forbidden fruit, we would find a way around that, too. Maybe some enterprising mafioso would ship lightbulbs into the Golden State hidden inside bales of medical marijuana or boxes of condoms destined for Van Nuys Middle School.
And I doubt Assemblyman Levine would even care: the important thing is to make a statement; whether the plan is actually plausible -- or even possible -- is an engineering detail. (As a minor aside, it's also evident he wrote his own hagiographic Wikipedia entry.)
Liberals... can't live with 'em; can't ditch 'em in the Mojave Desert with defective cell phones.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 5, 2007, at the time of 5:36 AM
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Tracked on March 13, 2007 5:00 AM
The following hissed in response by: nk
I do use those little corkscrew-like neons in the uninhabited areas, not because they save me electricity but because I only have to change them about once a year. Otherwise, the kitchen and the bathrooms have flood-light type bulbs and what you said for the rest of the house.
I came across, passingly, California's insane energy policies during the Enron scandal. Did the state really reduce electricity production while the population was increasing, and drove out those producers it did not outright shut down by capping rates?
The above hissed in response by: nk at February 5, 2007 6:34 AM
The following hissed in response by: Robert Schwartz
"they turn everything a weird, pasty-purple-ish color that makes me feel like I'm on Mars"
You must be a woman.
The following hissed in response by: LarryD
NK, basically yes. They capped the rates the distributors could charge the consumers while making them (the distributors) pay the the highest rate any of their suppliers charged to all of them. It couldn't have been designed better to drive the distributors into bankruptcy. One would think that that was the goal of the Cal. legislature.
On Compact Fluorescents; A lot of the latest generation emit a more natural spectrum and have a longer life, I can't speak to the flicker issue since I've never noticed a flicker in any fluorescent bulb that wasn't getting ready to go out.
And there are CFs that emit the same lumens as a 100-watt incandesent.
The following hissed in response by: bill
The terrorism deniers are the first to the junk science party. How cool is that? Tells you want they are all about, global socialism.
I too use those funny little lights in the attic and some closets. You don't have to change them, but use the big ones, because they don't put out much light.
Why isn't he answer to the junk science nuts arguments "use nuclear power". That is, if the objective really is to reduce CO2. Do you know how much CO2 would be reduced just doing that? Take a look at the new PBMR technology.
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
My whole house is lit with flourescents, except for the dining room chandelier, and I'm working on that. I prefer the higher light output, the color doesn't bother me, and they save me money. It was my choice.
If you want to attack this legislation with other than the ridicule it richly deserves, just paint it as an "attack on the poor," who cannot afford the higher cost of flourescent bulbs. Or insist, in the name of basic fairness, that all government buildings must comply before the mandate takes effect. Since most state capitols have great, elaborate (sometimes solid gold) chandeliers in which flourescents will not fit, there is a possibility that somebody in the legislature would eventually uncover the folly.
The following hissed in response by: TheBeardedDragon
A quick comment on compact fluorescents and then to my real concern: There have been major advances in the quality of the light output from compact bulbs. The light output of the "quality" bulbs is very close to natural light. The flickering issue is generally not a problem with compact bulbs as long as you purchase quality bulbs. They will burn out before they start to flicker. This is in no way an approval of the ridiculous bill (will halogens, mercury halide, and the rest of the high intensity bulbs/high power consumption bulbs be included in this bill). Where does the ACLU stand on this issue of apparent bulb bias?
My real concern is that you are using 2-150 watt bulbs and 1-100 watt bulb. What type of fixtures are you using for these bulbs? If you have these in standard light fixtures, they typically are only rated for 60W and you are creating a major fire hazard. The insulation on the wires and the insulation in the bulb fixture itself are rated to only handle the current generated by a 60W bulb. The wires and fixture will overheat and the insulation will be destroyed. This leads to the insulation “falling away” leaving BARE WIRES! Typically the wattage rating is stated on the side or underneath of the light fixture.
In every house I have ever rented or owned, I have had to replace about half of the fixtures because previous residents had used oversized bulbs in the fixture and the insulation was destroyed. It is a major fire hazard that most people are totally unaware of.
The following hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin
When incandescent bulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have incandescent bulbs.
The goal here probably isn't to save energy or the environment but to set up another level of guilt. Guilty people are easier to control and manipulate.
The above hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin at February 5, 2007 9:45 AM
The following hissed in response by: charlotte
What typical nitnoid tyranny from our liberal betters. Flourescent lighting has improved but still feels oppressive to a lot of us, as do eco-mandates run amok and into our living rooms. Are Christmas lights next to be banned? My next residence will be enviro-engineered during its renovation because I desire the challenge of reducing utilities usage, but having the law tell me what kind of lighting quality with which I have to live is too much. Better to cap or penalize electrical usage over certain amounts and leave it up to us how we expend energy. (After China et al are capped, of course.)
Light bulb posts are subject to the following bad jokes, sorry in advance!
Q: How many Californians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Six. One to turn the bulb, one for support, and four to relate to the experience.
Q: How many Progressives does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, really. Dems, educators and the media encourage us to remove our source of light by leftward turns and then to remain in the dark.
Q: How many environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Ewww. Nobody wants to see Algore screw in the light…
The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH
The problem of buttressing a philoshical argument with practical objections is that it can lead to entirely pointless argument about the practical issues. In this case your readers from the left will read your argument as follows: "Dafydd objects to the ban on incandescent bulbs because fluorescent lights flicker and give unpleasant-colored light."
Now I happen to know that even if you were to be convinced that the bulbs gave off the most beautiful light you have ever seen if wouldn't change your argument in the least. Laws about what kind of light bulb people can use represent nanny-state totalitarianism at its worst; that's what you (and I) object to -- and not the relative merits of the light bulbs in question.
It's a bit like the seat-belt debate where some liberatrians find themselves on the wrong side of the facts. There's some risk of that here, too. Glenn Reynolds has found a brand of compact fluorescents he likes in terms of light quality. And I'm pretty sure the new fluorescents don't flicker like the old ones since they have an electronic ballast (photo , schematic) that eliminates the problem.
The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH at February 5, 2007 12:19 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
My real concern is that you are using 2-150 watt bulbs and 1-100 watt bulb. What type of fixtures are you using for these bulbs? If you have these in standard light fixtures, they typically are only rated for 60W and you are creating a major fire hazard.
I use one 150-watt bulb in a 150-watt-rated free-standing lamp on the west side of the room; one 150-watt bulb in the other 150-watt-rated free-standing lamp in the northeast corner of the room; and one 100-watt bulb in the 100-watt-rated free-standing lamp in the southeast corner of the room.
Each of these lamps is plugged into a separate high-quality, surge-protected power strip.
Did you imagine I had a single overhead fixture with three sockets, each rated for 60 watts, into which I had screwed two 150s and a 100? Really -- honestly -- I am not as stupid as I look!
(For which the world must be grateful...)
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 5, 2007 5:20 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
...And my computers are all plugged into a Belkin uninterruptable power source, and I back up my entire system once a week (and the entire blog -- about 240 MB of HTML text, by the way -- every couple of days).
And my Christmas lights are all friggin' LEDs!
(And they're still up, as is the plastic tree. I should probably take them down, since I don't live in the South.)
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 5, 2007 5:26 PM
The following hissed in response by: charlotte
"And my Christmas lights are all friggin' LEDs!
(And they're still up, as is the plastic tree. I should probably take them down, since I don't live in the South.)"
That's smart, but do you remember to clean inside your duplex outlets for higher efficiency? We southerners use Windex and metal utensils... :)
(My tree was put back in the attic in a timely fashion- a whole week ago.)
The following hissed in response by: Texas Jack
Guess it's up to you where (and how) you live, but if I was a successful writer like you I do believe I would find someplace better to live than California. Like for instance Dallas, if you want a big town, or Austin, if you want a liberal town, or San Antonio, if you want a beautiful old town, or even Houston, if you want the best, and don't mind a hurricane every now and then. Son, we'd be right proud to have you and your lady join us down here in the land of milk and honey and republican state legislators and no fruitcake laws about which light bulb you can use.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Actually, we wouldn't mind living in Texas; Sachi is more conservative than I, and we both love horseback riding, though we haven't had much practice.
The problem is that all my family are here in Southern California... and when I floated the idea that Sachi and I might move to Texas, it really upset my sister. (Not the Texas part, but the moving away from this area part. I think she would have been equally upset were we to consider moving to Massachusetts.)
But at some point, it might become an irresistable proposition... depending on what happens with housing prices and taxes here in the Goldplated State.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 5, 2007 11:22 PM
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