Friday, December 21, 2007

Banning the evil incandescent lightbulb

Unbelievable... Congress strikes again, including in their energy bill (H.R. 6) which.. yes, Bush signed... a ban on the incandescent lightbulb by 2020.

The law mandates that new cars and trucks get 35 miles per gallon by 2020, requires that 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and 21 billion gallons of other "advanced biofuels" be produced in the United States by 2022, and mandates that by 2020 light bulbs be 70 percent more efficient in their use of electricity, a provision that is understood, in practical terms, to ban the incandescent light bulb as of that date.

I guess it shouldn't make much difference. Obviously the lights are already "dim" or "out" in the heads of our elected officials....


Alia said...

Great..I think I'm the only one who doesn't think this is a bad idea. (And I've been looking all over the web.) I've been using the energy-saving bulbs since long before they became popular. I'd be totally solar-activated if I could afford it, and the way of the future (for this generation, IMHO) will be LED lights.

Light bulb manufacturers are being given ample time sufficient to upgrade their factories, to research and contract with newer materials corporations.

This will boon a competitive free market in this specific area of "energy".

One of the down sides to watch for? California, for example, invoked a pre-recycling dump fee some years back: You buy a tv, CRT, you pay up front for a "dumpage" fee. Then when you take the "dead" item to a dump, you end up paying another fee.

In the 70s, I was already learning about solar energy and panels. But I couldn't afford them for myself. There was another side problem: Everything I'd read revealed little to nothing was known or understood about what to do with DEAD energy panels -- was there an environmental negative impact report done? Not to my knowledge. It seemed to be a huge "hush-hush" matter -- this issue of discarding panels.

Germany has recently and successfully tested a mat which could be lain atop a rooftop, for example, as opposed to having to install those huge panels.

This is excellent news.

There was also a firm in CA in the 80s which marketed a paint which reflected light (interior rooms) and contained some solar elements in the paint substance.

Through all this, and all these years, what I'm witnessing is a huge and fantastic market shift and wave into the future, and I don't resent it at all.

It's possible that beyond 2020, folks hording their standard bulbs could still use them, but they'll be paying on the outside for their larger energy bills.

12 years is ample time as a goal setting, for folks to adapt, learn and better refine the industry of lower energy usages.

Perhaps unlike in the here and now, in re HDTV's. A lot of people may be quite shocked to learn that in 2009, their standard TVs are not going to be able to pick up, by rabbit ear or antennae, a picture.

I just don't really see the eventual phasing out of the standard lightbulb as along the lines of denying a person their 2nd amendment rights -- and this is the response I've been seeing elsewhere on the web, Mata.

"I'll give up my freedom to purchase standard light bulbs when they pry that bulb from my cold dead hands..."

Things we like are often phased out. Products we like disappear from our market sphere and domain. It makes us unhappy. But it also means, sometimes and very often, we find something even better.

Furthermore, all those bulbs will probably go for sale on the world markets, making light bulbs for third world country folks a lot more affordable while their countries go through what it takes to build more fuel efficient energy plants.

Downside, domestically. YES. We can all count on the fact that we, the taxpayers will be funding "energy savings bulbs" for low-incomers, etc. And since we are also paying for their utilities...

And so, it glows...

MataHarley said...

Ya know, Ms. Alia. I've got no problem with those who choose to use the energy saving bulb. Me, personally, don't like the lighting it creates. A bit harsh for my tastes, and I prefer the warm glow of incandescent. For as much as I use lights, and an electric bill of $35 monthly, I can't see mandting me to use these bulbs doing much to save the planet..

And that's what bugs me about the Congressional energy/security bill. This is being done under their rights to "promote the general welfare" by regulating how power is used. And the choice for use of either bulb has now been taken away.

And it's the loss of choice that I lament.

There is one aspect of demi-god Gore that I agree with... that newly built homes, and existing homes be retrofitted to be more energy independent, pulling from the grid just the extra they need. This is, not only more feasible, but is actually a great security measure. For the USA to be on four main power grids, and terrorists able to knock out any one and send 1/4 of the nation into darkness and chaos is absurd.

However only those in the financial bracket of the Bushes and Gores can afford the latest technology.

And part of the cost problem is caused by Gore's insistence on the carbon offset/emissions trading "cure". It is financial business incentive to stick with fossil fuels and not develop the alternative energy sources - of which it will take a combination of many to maximize power gathering - so that you and I can afford it.

So the hypocrisy of it all just takes my breath away. They inhibit affordable development with the emissions trading plan. Then come up with a half-ass bandaid - mandating what kind of bulbs we can use. This is small peanuts in the energy conservation numbers.

BTW, on the digital TV broadcast and loss of analog... the 2009 changeover date is a reprieve. The geniuses in Congress originally mandated the broadcast industry to dump NTSC and analog broadcasting by 2006.

However, since they know nothing of which they legislate, nor the amount of cash it would take for the broadcasting companies... and production companies who create the product to broadcast... to change over to the new format, it could not be done within that window.

I'm actually all for getting rid of NTSC (the "square" picture we've had for eons) and swtiching to widescreen HDTV as the norm. However, as I worked 17 years in that business, I can tell you it's not a simple nor cheap transition.

But I again had to shake my head at the idiocy of the elected elite, mandating regulations that could (and did in LA) drive many small operators out of business with mandated increased overhead. This mandate affected everything from cameras to editing equipment. Location filming had to change, post facilities required new, more expensive equipment to comply. Last, but not least, the transmission equipment also required updating. Most of that has been done, which is why you now have dual broadcasts... both analog and digital now.

So while I agree with energy conservation and much of what you said, I disagree that it is forced upon us, and the manufacturers, by a very disingenuous Congress, responding to bad science and popular "feel good" hype.

T'aint often we disagree, eh? LOL

Alia said...

I'm not sure that we are so much in disagreement, Mata. For starters, over and over again do people show themselves quite capable of following the "sheeple" in private and governmental bureaus: Bored children means "depressed" or ADD/ADH; 10 lbs over the BMI indicates "obesity" or even worse -- diabetes. This is crap. And it is legislated as a science. Species deserve special protections otherwise people "will die"; Earth first. This is done all the time masquerading as something which is not.

And people buy into this whole hog. Every single bleepin' day.

US Military "slaughters" innocents -- are amazing headlines which spout lies, and yet there are so many believe this is presented as "truth."

Now, congress is asserting they're phasing out incandescent bulbs in order to reduce energy consumption through streamlining and better technology.

No one here is asserting a sensationalist "ism" in order to prate at a goal as the bunkum-artistes do.

And as far as the "Gore-Left" is concerned, we learned already in California that the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is the unspoken language of the elite left. If newer developments were in fact permitted to fluorish in California, Real Estate would NOT be so pricy. Add to this, the eco-Gore-Left will never permit the growth in any type of newer utility functionality. Unless one is thinking along the lines of experimental "programs" (Altamont Propeller Highway, immediately comes to mind). We could drill offshore CA, so we had to drill in Mexico. It's those plants CA had vested interests in which SAVED Californian's during the "energy crisis" brought about by Democrat horrid handling of utilities and grid dispursements.

Just so you know, D-Lynn Woolsey's neck of the woods is proposing to put METERS on PRIVATE WELLS. Why? Rohnert Park got "overdeveloped" and its current water supplies cannot support the population. Why can't it support the population? Because the Democrats have taken in more non-payers (non-paying taxpayers) as "new citizens" than they've got resources to "properly"
supply to them. Oh, aren't they so damned "humane".

However, caveats in that mantra are always brokered if one is an illegal immigrant, self-described "low-income" and ad nauseum.

No. I do NOT wish to pay for their overages in energy consumption just because I'm a bloody taxpayer PAYING for their privilege to overconsume energy. I'll pay for their newer bulbs once, then they are on their own thereafter and can stiff up for penalties or have their electricity shut off when they abuse utility power.

This, of course, then means others such as yourself wishing to use incandescent bulbs will be paying higher costs in utilities. I'm so utterly stunned by your low energy bill, Mata. $35/Month is FANTASTIC!

There will still be incandescent light bulbs, a market always does arise when one is banned. Prohibition never has/never will work.

The problem is that utilities are PUBLIC entities, meaning we all pay for developments. These are not private entities. If the Public Entities have approved this move towards energy bulbs, it's almost as if a shadow government has agreed to make this so and Congress is merely approving how the finances work to make this work.

Lastly, Economics. As more purchase, the prices become much more affordable. Therefore, energy bulbs have become reduced in purchase price over the years. The same will also hold true for LED's. Which as my dear ones know, is exactly what to get me for my birthday, etc. LED bulbs. I guess you could say... these "turn me on". :)

The alleged environmental "friendlies" have brought us all to this impasse. Can't build what we need to support whatever the heck a feel-goodiste politician does.

Railing about this won't solve the problem. Screaming at those "non-payors" doesn't solve it either.

We need alternatives. Further we are in this war for the term. Our current utilities are aging, these are used to the hilt, and something has got to be done so that we can be more efficient while being much more difficult for enemies of the US to take out and down.

Our utilities are vulnerable, and therefore a greater liability.

As I've said, I would choose to become thoroughly dependent of the grid. Any grid. As more people over the next 12 years become better informed and begin to make choices which involve alternative energy technologies, the prices for same become much more affordable.

Once upon a time, former President Bush spoke about a million points of light. And there's a bit in there I'd like to expound upon.

Friends of ours nearby have a huge home which has a generator I can only dream about. There are about 30 households, who know to go to their home should the grids fail -- this invitation has been tiered -- the elderly and frail first shall be taken there.

In other words, public resources such as FEMA, Red Cross and other shelters will be preserved from at least 30 households coming to them for assistance. In my opinion, these friends of ours have a "public good" going.

Now imagine should more and more households think the same way. In all manner of urgency, each of these semi and/or fully independent households become as beacons of light to those in need.

The energy reduced bulb is a step in the right direction. The incandescent bulb will still be available; and I hardly think there are going to be bureacracies designed to go house to house looking for users of the bulb. Users of the bulb will have to watch their meters and perhaps use energy less, or it will show at the meter.

Yes, I have utterly no problem comprehending the creepiness of that.

I felt exactly that way about school teachers being credentialed as "facilitators" in order to interview my children to learn whether or not my children were eating the "right kinds of foods" at home, whether I had guns, etc.

None of their damned business, said I. But there is a break point upon whether or not looking after each other is indeed a "public business". The problem lies in the domain of all the taxes we must pay for those who do not work, who do not practice good health -- WE END UP PAYING EXORBITANT prices for these people, for their remedy and care.

So, no, I don't think incandescent bulbs are going to disappear. I think the market economy will take care of itself, and free choice will remain on whether or not one choose to use energy-saving bulbs or incandescent bulbs.

I learned something new today: the navigation systems in certain GM cars will become obsolete alongside each our standard analog TV sets in 2009.

I don't have such a navigation system; but I did think about the people who'd bought those cars and how angry they might feel now. And then I thought again: Most those will probably automatically go for a newer, non-obsolete car with digital analog system, anyway.

Heh. I still use my oil-filled lanterns in the evening, Mata. :) I still hang clothes on a line.

But think, Mata. I used to some great projects as a co-troop leader in a Girl Scout troop (non-pc) using incandescent bulbs, paper mache to make mariachi shakers. lol. Could become the newer "in" project among the youth. Can you imagine what all is going to happen in the art world with all these incandescent bulbs floating around?

Drink coffee, you die; global warming, The big Quake will hit and CA will slide into the ocean.

Basic economics does prove over and over again, but that while LED technology

Alia said...

Well, I really should have edited that post before posting it.

Apols for the errors.

MataHarley said...

HR6 language says general service incandescent bulbs cannot exceed 40 watts. Candlelabra types cannot exceed 60 watts.

Parties (I assume manufacturers) can petition for exemptions under certain (and vague, as usual) conditions.

But what it comes down to is you won't be able to buy a standard screw in light bulb with more than 40 watts. Downright worthless for anything other than mood lighting... LOL

They've shelved dealing with the three ways until further down line. And I have to wonder what will happen with my kitchen hallogen lamps with all this... Will I be forced into replacing my lighting because of this?

Lots of questions... few answers. And for what? A lot of hooey... :0)

Here's the link to the new law.

Alia said...

Everyone I'm reading currently in the conserv branches is on the same page with you, Mata.

I'm a stick in the mud, here. I think in time, the newer bulbs will better. I'm not a lib, and we'll either get more "how many x's does it take to change a lightbulb" or we'll see an end to those jokes.

I concur that the newer bulbs do not emit the light we need.

But just a note: Some of the newer bulbs take time to warm up. My daughter and sil installed the newer bulbs in their great room ceiling. When they flipped it on, it was so dark and dim.. and within a few minutes, Voila! the room was fully light.