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Congress’s Bright Idea

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jul• 17•11

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Great piece by Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe about The Fluorescent Light Bulb Industry Scam of 2011 going into effect in December. That’s when perfectly good, reasonably-priced  incandescent bulbs will begin to be outlawed to boost/mandate fluorescent bulb sales. The new law was driven entirely by fluorescent light manufacturers.  

Writes Jacoby: 

“Defenders of the ban insist that moving to compact fluorescent will save money in the long run, conserve energy, and be better for the environment. But countless Americans have found the case against CFLs more persuasive: They are more expensive to buy, are slow to reach full brightness, don’t work with dimmers, contain toxic mercury, and can’t be used in many ordinary fixtures. And, to many people, fluorescent light feels cold and sickly.

“But even if the case for CFLs were unassailable, since when is it the government’s job to make consumers’ choices for them? Americans have no trouble adopting a superior technology once it’s ready for prime time – no law was needed to force people to switch from vinyl records to CDs, or from landlines to cell phones. Deciding what light bulbs to buy is probably a challenge they can also handle without congressional interference.”

A lot of smart people also suspect that fluorescent lighting contributes to migraines.  Two people I know who suffer from them swear to it.  But they don’t have lobbyists in Washington.  They’ll have to buy the new migraine medicine when Fluorescent Lighbulb Syndrome — or FLS — is identified.  (Warning. May cause: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision problems; change in sexual ability or desire; chest pain; confusion; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; new or worsening mental or mood problems (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucination, hostility); numbness or tingling of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; painful or frequent urination; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; seizures; severe or persistent headache; severe stomach pain; severe weight loss; shortness of breath; sudden, severe dizziness or vomiting; slurred speech; uncontrolled muscle movement; unusual weakness or tiredness.)

Think those Tea Party hardliners could toss light bulb repeal into the Big Ugly? 

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One Comment

  1. Your Friend says:

    You shouldn’t believe everything you read. Dimmable CFLs are available. You can even get them in models that look like our precious recessed light bulbs.

    http://www.buylighting.com/Dimmable-Compact-Fluorescent-Floods-s/421.htm

    Even better are the new LED lights that are coming to market. You may not believe anything written in the NYT (journalists seem so suspect these days) but here’s a good article on the subject.

    http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/07/13/13climatewire-market-for-more-efficient-light-bulbs-moves-12837.html

    Sure, they’re $50 per bulb right now. But that market that Jacoby mentions will solve that problem, right? By all reports, these are the best lights ever invented.

    But this is really about the question of Climate Change. Do you believe that humans are having a negative impact on the global climate? If you do, then this is the kind of thing law makers should be doing about it. If you don’t believe in Climate Change, then let me know how the sand looks in there.

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