Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big, Bad Bulb Bashers

The Guardian newspaper is reporting that China has announced plans to phase out domestic incandescent light bulbs within the next 5 years. The Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that this measure will reduce China's CO2 emissions by 48 million tonnes per year.

I have no clue how much volume 48 million tons of anything might be, but it sounds bloody big. I know a normal amount of CO2 is  beneficial to trees and plants (a farm journal reports that even they can get too much), but I don't know what good it does us. In fact, isn't that the stuff we breathe out as fast as we can?

Lately, an old beau (a REALLY old beau) has been writing to me. I have been horrified to discover he is living his twilight years as a hidebound conservative.

I, on the other hand, am so open-minded I fear my brains may be falling out. Further, I am not grumpy and carpy about the world going to hell; I've become a fighter for, and a happy-go-lucky acceptor of, all things new - if they sound useful, kind or productive.

Let us consider this matter of incandescent  bulbs as opposed to the newfangled twisty ones. My OLD beau is almost apoplectic when discussing them. And nothing I say will dissuade him from his scathing criticism of their proposed phase out.

He is so adamant that  I almost started questioning my own eyes...and checkbook.

About five years ago, my daughter replaced all the light bulbs in seven of our barns. Except for our high wattage security lights, the barns used 25 watt incandescent bulbs. They have been replaced by a similarly "dimmish" CFLs that are never turned off. Only two of about 25 have gone bad in five years.

In the house, I have replaced all my incandescent 100 watts with 26 watt CFLs. Same good light to read by. Two of them are on continuously. They have not been replaced ever.

Yes, it does take a few seconds for the light to come on full power, and yes it has been necessary to change the harps on some of the lamps, and yes, they are more expensive.

But, not to have had to buy and change a bulb in five years (some barn bulbs require ladders to reach) - that's a pretty damn good exchange! Besides, they are not a cold light...they are a warm and cheery illumination.

I must admit that the ultimate inspiration for writing this screed is a video I just watched of John Stossel's barbed criticism of the  mandated use of the new bulbs. Now I know for sure they are some kind of  wonderful, and the mandate will prove beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants.


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