Monday, April 30, 2007

Compact florescent bulbs

While I am absolutely, positively sure it is a bad idea to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of the newer longer lasting, and more efficient compact florescent bulbs, I have not made up my mind if it makes practical sense to switch over. The thought of a lower electric bill, and more importantly less time on the ladder changing bulbs is attractive. I have been kind of watching to see what happens on the theory that if they are really better they will quickly overtake the market. While many on the Left would have the swith over compulsory tomorrow based on what little they know about the subject, with these kinds of decisions the devil is in the details. For example, what about the manufacture of these new gizmo's is so expensive? Are there environmental implications associated with the manufacture? What happens when they break? The metaphore Neo-neocon brought up today on another subject applies; is the blind man only touching part of the elephant?

There is a way to know, and be as close to right as possible- let the market decide. Let millions of people try both, and if there is a compelling advantage, ol' Edison's bulb will become hard to find.

Here is a little tale about a lady who broke one(hat tip Moonbattery). She then duly called around to find out if there was anything dangerous inside and......Voila', they are full of mercury, a toxic hazardous substance. While it is a bit of an apochryphal tale, the point is solid. Next time someone chastizes your incandescent light bulb ask them what they know about mercury mining, mercury toxicity, the effect of mercury in local dumps on the water supply, etc. guaranteed blank stare.

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