There’s No Conserve In Conservative

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

The latest incoherence from the Right has to do with incandescence, as in incandescent light bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, a bill mandating higher efficiency standards, passed by massive majorities in Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush, has put the kibosh on inefficient incandescent light bulbs. Obviously, an example of socialism/communism/fascism run amok.

H.R. 2417 is a bill sponsored by Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) that will save the incandescent light bulb. The debate on the debt ceiling did not hinder the vote on this critical legislation. The vote was Yea: 233, Nay: 193, but required a two-thirds majority because it was brought up by the method of “suspension of the rules.”

Barton seems to be concerned with the mercury content of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). This was the same Barton who was not concerned with the 1,235 pounds of mercury that are released into the environment every year from just one coal-fired  power plant. As can be seen from the chart above, the worst case exposure to mercury from a broken CFL is equivalent to eating a 6 oz. can of tuna.

However, all of this faux outrage is moot. Philips, GE, and Sylvania, are producing incandescent light bulbs that meet the EISA standards. The Philips line is called EcoVantage.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the economic benefits of switching to more efficient light bulbs will include:

savings of $100 to $200 plus per year in the form of lower electric bills in each American household.

H/T: Kevin Drum, Stephen Lacey.

52 thoughts on “There’s No Conserve In Conservative

  1. When I read this story in the news, the first thing that occurred to me is the real motivation may be to keep electric use high. High use equals more coal to be mined and burned. Mercury is a cover story. I use 13 watt florescent bulbs in my home. They put out the same (or more) light than a 60 watt incandescent. Cost a little more but last several times as long. I also find they are not susceptible to vibration in the ceiling fans, which are notorious for ‘eating’ light bulbs, even if they are the heavy use kind. Another advantage is, they do not put out a lot of heat for the air conditioner to have to overcome. Additionally, less wattage puts less load on the house wiring, again reducing heat.

  2. The root problem for these cognitive deficient mullets is that the law says nothing at all about what types of bulbs can or can’t be used. What it says is how efficient the bulb must be. Manufacturers are actually making great strides to improve incandescent bulbs meet this goal. That would never have happened had the law not been passed & the masters of the universe felt a threat to one of their money making outfits.

    CFLs are not the only type of bulbs that meet the guidelines (just the cheapest at the moment) and research is taking place with other technologies also. But clear thinking and honest discussion do not feed the fear, hate and anger of the morans that support the politicians who feed them poison so as to keep themselves in power & their masters world ever in control.

  3. The Joseph Welsh put down of Joe McCarthy of “have you no shame” can be addressed at all these faux conservatives. They see themselves as guardians of corporate wealth. In their sense of duty to their office. Ranking
    first of course is their own well-being. Ranking third is their responsibility to their base. Fourth is to their particular district and fifth is to the nation.
    Look at from a percentage of dedication perspective as if on a pie chart:

    1. 50%
    2. 25%
    3. 20%
    4. 4%
    5. 1%

    Nevertheless, their meme is that their opponents are unpatriotic

  4. There’s No Conserve In Conservative……

    Nal when I first read this title….I was almost sure it was going to be about the real spenders in the Government….But this is as appropriate….because if it has to do with making coal mine owners more money…then they have an obligation to the campaign contributor to do it….

  5. CFLs hurt my eyes. I am glad that they are not the only thing we can use… LEDs are the way to go, if anything though. Bright and energy efficient.

    As for the article, yeah, this is kinda stupid. The standards say nothing about the type of bulb.

  6. I’m trying to figure his motivation, other than objecting to the gummint telling him what to do. There are no coal mines in his district, nor incandescent lighting plants or even lighting parts makers, to the best of my knowledge.
    If it’s simply a way to get his name in the news, certainly there are better ways to do it. That leaves money. Who would pay him to bring this up? Is there an electric utility in his district that would be affected? An electric meter manufacturer?
    C’mon Joe, fess up. It’s just the crazy talkin’.

  7. KW,

    If you would ever meet me…You’d think I was fairly conservative….I am fiscally…but…socially and what you do in your own life so long as it does not affect me…go for it…That is a moral compass that I chose not to direct…

    The point is not all conservatives has lost common sense…what they lose is their moral compass…and sell out who they are…because they want to fit in….what was good growing up was the 60s and 70s pretty much everyone that I knew was independent….no one really strived to fit in….then the 80s came and reality set in…..

  8. Bunk … I have been using the “squiggle” bulbs in my lamps and light fixtures for years. I prefer the 14W & 23W FRESH2TI Twist Medium Screw Base Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb as they also eliminate odors which is helpful in basements etc.

    I have no trouble reading by the light of these bulbs.

    There was an immediate and significant reduction in my monthly electric bill as soon as I switched the entire house over to them and they last forever … I’m talking years, not months.

    The only places I don’t use these bulbs are my dining room chandelier and a specialty fixture in one of the bathrooms.

    OS is also correct as to the reliability of these bulbs in ceiling fans. It is quite remarkable.

    As to the mercury matter ….

    Our house is well over a hundred years old. When we moved in 40 years ago all the wiring was knob&tube and there were working gas light fixtures in all the rooms. Room by room the house has been restored and two years ago we had a specialist in to check for lead, mercury, CO2 etc. … everything was perfectly clean. Considering the fact that I had been using these bulbs exclusively for 3 years before the tests were done should tell anyone that Joe Barton’s concerns are without merit and, more than likely, a total fabrication.

    I am going to repeat something which I consider to be very important:

    There was an immediate and significant reduction in my monthly electric bill as soon as I switched the entire house over to them and they last forever … I’m talking years, not months.

    Replacement time will vary according to use but I replace my bulbs once every two years whether they need it or nor for the odor eating value. The packaging claims that average use is 10,000 hours which I consider to be an under-estimate.

    As I noted above, my house is well over 100 years old. The basement of an old house can smell musty but mine never does. I leave two of the 14W bulbs on all day and night which is how I know that the 10,000 hour claim is an under-estimate. Do the math. Every two years when I go down to change these bulbs, they are still shinning brightly.

    Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) is an idiot!

    (I also found a perfectly marvelous gadget for making espresso that only costs $30 and produces the best cup of espresso I have ever had. I gave away all my fancy machines and use this device exclusively … email me and I’ll send you the link.)

  9. I consider myself a progressive environmentalist, but have to say that do not like the CFL bulbs at all!!!! Bad light, Annoying humming sound, and – last but not least, I don’t want to bring toxic material into my house. I am happy with this outcome.

  10. Blouise, I think you fail to understand the claim presented.

    The use of these bulbs does not necessarily result in a higher mercury level in your home. It is the destruction of the bulbs that presents the release of mercury.

    When your flourescent bulb goes bad, how do you dispose of it?

  11. NoWay,

    Uh-huh

    We have a “special” collection date here every six months … bulbs, batteries, air conditioners, lawn mower oil, paint, the list is long and disposal is by the book:

    “Management and disposal by businesses of fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing bulbs are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Universal Waste Rule (UWR) and Subtitle C hazardous waste regulations.” http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/

    (We also have a twice a year “shredding” date for documents.)

  12. Van,

    No humming sound from any of my bulbs … try spending a little bit more to get a better product.

    It takes a couple of seconds for full light … full light by the time one opens the book or powers up the Nook.

  13. One of the problems to overcome is that not all light bulbs are created equal. “The light bulb conspiracy” documentary is an eye opener and “cheap” florescents flicker and wear out quickly negating any advantage especially if you consider the increased cost and energy to produce.

  14. Michaelb,

    Yep … didn’t waste time or money on the “cheap” product. Don’t buy cheap toilet paper either.

  15. When your fluorescent bulb goes bad, how do you dispose of it?

    Same way as I get rid of the rest of my garbage, I put it through the blender and then feed it as a surreptitious treat to the annoying neighbor’s barking dog. Environmentally and emotionally satisfying.

    re: the complaints…My entire house is CFL and I have never experienced a hum. Also, I regularly work on tiny computer parts and read incessantly and have never noticed any degradation in detail from use of CFLs compared to incandescent lighting.

    I can understand the reluctance of people who don’t want to switch though, I do so miss ritual of cranking the Model T to start it up.

  16. Blouise, I used to work for a state agency. The toilet paper had splinters in it. Literally.

    The late astronaut, Wally Shirra, once said that it gave him pause when he considered he was going into space on equipment from the lowest bidder.

    Moral of the story: Do not buy on the cheap. Quality remains long after cost is forgotten.

  17. Ok Blouise,

    I’ll bite…the LBD Rules is what other than elegance defined by Channel….I don’t want to dress it down but thinking about the TP tails…..which become the tales….

  18. I’m with Blouise and culheath. I have no trouble reading and prefer the cooler light of the fluorescents and never has a hum. I actually haven’t checked my electric bill to try to extract the benefit of any savings because I prefer the quality of light. I wouldn’t go back to incandescents as long as there’s an unread book in the house. :-)

  19. AY,

    One searches for the perfect little black dress … cost can be a factor but … the quality, fit, and the style are paramount for that dress should last for years.

    Some women apply the perfect little black dress rule to a husband … ;)

  20. Ok, Blouise,

    I’ll bite….I thought that there was some sarcasm in the BDR such as laughing when TP was stuck…..I know that it is the perfect all occasion dress that can be dressed up or down…

    But how the hell does that apply to men….they look great and natural in anything that they do?

  21. Just to add my 2cents you can not only get different wattage for these bulbs ,you can also get different varieties of lighting,bright white,bright etc.Also saw them in colors.

  22. Anonymously Yours
    1, July 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    Ok, Blouise,

    I’ll bite….I thought that there was some sarcasm in the BDR such as laughing when TP was stuck…..I know that it is the perfect all occasion dress that can be dressed up or down…

    But how the hell does that apply to men….they look great and natural in anything that they do?

    ———————————————————————–

    AY … you are a babe in the woods and for all your days spent in that lovely convertible, I suspect you are putty in a woman’s hands.

    Picking a husband is like picking that perfect little black dress … cost can be a factor but … the quality, fit, and the style are paramount for that husband should last for years … take your time and don’t walk out of the store with the first thing you see or, horrors upon horrors, one you haven’t tried on.

  23. How do CFLs work?

    Older CFLs used large and heavy magnetic ballasts that caused a buzzing noise in some bulbs. Most CFLs today — and all ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs — use electronic ballasts, which do not buzz or hum.

  24. AY: “But how the hell does that apply to men….they look great and natural in anything that they do?”
    —————-

    I have only one word for you, dear sir, “Mankini”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mankini

    There are so many links I could have posted under the warning: ‘Don’t open this link unless you want your eyes to melt like the Nazi’s at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ but had second thoughts. Just search the word, you will get your fill of those links quickly enough.

  25. Good advice, blouise. My ex brother in law just married the first woman he met after the divorce. He met her on match.com. Just hope the black dress stays little and does not grow too much with age. Bought a little black dress last year with 3/4 length sleeves. lol

  26. Blouise,

    I am been known to be malleable…But I do not think that I could fit in a BD nor should I try….The hair on the legs and the horseshoe mustache would be a dead give away….

  27. LK,

    I am sure that there are straight males would wear one of these…I on the other hand think that it would look better on the opposite sex…but that is just me…

  28. SwM,

    ” Bought a little black dress last year with 3/4 length sleeves. lol”

    Me too … ah, well … gravity

  29. Poor Nal … he posts a really great article and then has to suffer trolls and us … he probably wants to throw us out of the shop.

  30. Blouise sez: “Poor Nal … he posts a really great article and then has to suffer trolls and us … he probably wants to throw us out of the shop.”

    ********************************

    It may be all my fault. It ran off the rails when I brought up the matter of the toilet paper the State issued us. Paper so cheap it had splinters in it. Somehow the discussion took a very strange turn after that. I do not, however, take any responsibility for the trolls.

  31. OS,

    We used to get like this every Friday night from about 10:00pm till after midnight … it’s kinda like sittin’ on the front porch, swingin’, talkin’, and drinkin’ lemonade.

  32. Something weird has happened to my computer. I have no idea what is going on so I may be away a bit until I can sort this out. It’s tough not being as smart as your toys.

  33. Blouise 1, July 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    OS,

    We used to get like this every Friday night from about 10:00pm till after midnight … it’s kinda like sittin’ on the front porch, swingin’, talkin’, and drinkin’ lemonade.

    ————-
    :-)

  34. So I’m more entitled to engage in polygamy than choose my own fucking light bulbs?

    Jesus H. Christ chief…

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