Here is an editorial from today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
The fate of Americans making conventional incandescent light bulbs shows the “green” future touted as U.S. manufacturing’s salvation is yet another faulty government premise.
Congress effectively outlawed incandescent bulbs as of 2014 (the measure was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008). The Obama administration portrays their leading “green” replacements — spiral-shaped compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which American engineers developed in the 1970s — as a bonanza for U.S. manufacturers.
Yet The Washington Post reports that when General Electric this month closes its last U.S. incandescent bulb factory in Virginia, that plant’s 200 workers won’t go on to make CFLs for GE. No, they’ll simply be jobless. GE can’t compete with Chinese makers of labor-intensive CFLs.
Compact flourescents indeed use less energy than incandescents. But their “green” benefits are as dubious as their benefits for U.S. manufacturers. The mercury they contain makes routine disposal a pain and a broken CFL practically a hazmat incident — hardly eco-friendly characteristics. They’re also vulnerable to temperature extremes and don’t emit light instantaneously.
Producing unintended negative consequences while failing to deliver promised economic and ecological advantages, compact fluorescent bulbs exemplify yet again just how off-target government “green” policies are.
Christopher Fountain at For What It’s Worth has this idea for disposing of used compact fluorescent light bulbs:
if voters from all over the country sent them to Washington – how about September 30th? – anonymously, we’d shut down the Capitol while hazmat teams ran around like chickens. I’m sending out a link to this suggestion to all my fellow whacko bloggers, in the hope that readers with dead, burned-out CFLs will save them and, after wiping off fingerprints, mail them on the 30th.
Please help spread the word: September 30 is Send Your Light Bulbs To Washington Day!
Congress has gone green, according to a story in USA Today. The House of Representatives has switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Over 4,000 of these light bulbs have been installed in Senate buildings.
So when we say your Senators and Congressmen will know what to do with your burnt out or broken compact fluorescent light bulbs, we’re not kidding.
Go ahead! Send your light bulbs to Washington. They’re the experts. They’ll know what to do with them.
Writer and commentator John Walsh says what lots of people are probably thinking about the European Union’s ban of incandescent light bulbs:
From a week today I shall be a marked man. An outlaw. A renegade, beyond the reach of polite society. Call me a dreamer but I believe there are others like me, out there on the hillsides, like wartime maquis or partisans, storing and stockpiling our precious supplies. I can’t be sure. This could be a one-man crusade….
Didn’t I mention what it was? Sorry. It’s light bulbs. As of 1 September, that’s it for light bulbs. Finito. It’s Goodnight Vienna for old-fashioned, Osram 40-watt or 60-watt, I’ve-just-had-a-good-idea light bulbs, the ones shaped like Philip Larkin’s head. Also the incandescent 100-watt ones that floodlight your kitchen. They’ve all been banned by European law, and nobody will be allowed to make them, import them or sell them in British shops after next Tuesday – from which day I’ll be stockpiling them like Fagin under the floorboards of my home, arranging secret “bulb drops” in Brockwell Park with the bloke from Herne Hill Electrical Goods Ltd and organising meetings in my draughty, lamplit cellar with similar suburban mavericks with whom I’ll plan the backlash …
The Brussels legislators want everyone henceforth to buy energy-saving bulbs, the harsh ones with fat filaments like tubular pasta. I could tell you that I think they’re rubbish, and they don’t light a room properly, but you’ll think me a whinger. I could point out that, by 2012, we’ll all be required to use compact fluorescent “green” light-bulbs from Chinese factories where many workers have been poisoned by their mercury content, but you’ll think me alarmist. My main objection is that I cannot stand any longer being told what to do by manufacturers, governments and shops…. I object to being forced by politicians to change the way I use light, and the strength of the light I use, because it will supposedly have an effect on climate change. It’s a simple objection, but a fundamental one. It’s, literally, elemental.
Send your used compact fluorescent light bulbs to Brussels, Mr. Walsh! Proper disposal is required to avoid serious health risks and environmental damage. The experts in Brussels are surely smart enough to handle the light bulb disposal problem in the proper way.