Dim Bulbs

Hot on the heals of Earth Hour, George Will and the New York Times (isn’t it a sign of the Apocalypse when Will and the Times are on the same page about anything?) bring you an inconvenient truth: Those fluorescent bulbs you’ve been buying to save the planet might not be all they’ve been built up to be. Ah…the greatness of unintended consequences.

Mercury water anyone?

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9 thoughts on “Dim Bulbs

  1. Wow, the power of bad media…

    There are a few questions that come into play. How much electricity is being used equals how much carbon is released into the atmosphere equals how much money you spend. The list could go on. Generally CFLs (which contail elemental mercury, which is not as bad as toxic oxidized mercury) are considered the best alternative for the technology that produce the lease amount of waste that is cost effective.

    Your fear of about “mercury water” is a valid concern. So lets stop it where the bigger issue really is.

    Our biggest producer of toxic oxidized mercury is generated by something you actually believe in. Which is a cheap but terrible way to produce energy; burning coal… In fact the top 50 polluting coal plants in the US pumped out 20 tons of your mercury in 2007 alone. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2008/2008-11-21-092.asp

    The answer to CFLs is already here. LED bulbs will eventually fall in costs and be an affordable option that will not create the waste.

  2. Hey C, Thanks for the comment and thanks for your unending efforts to save us from ourselves. Of course you know that I don’t really care about Mercury water (I find that it has a nice, piquant, after-dinner flavor) and that I would argue that the fact that coal is a cheap way to produce energy precludes it from being terrible.

    We’ve never discussed this, but what are your thoughts on the cheapest form of (efficient) energy, nuclear power?

  3. I after rereading my statement, I didn’t make clear (and I know you don’t really care) that yes CFLs contain mercury but in reality less mercury is reintroduced into the atmosphere than burning coal to power normal lights.

    I can already foresee what you are going to say… Wind, wave, and solar are the only way to go. In the long run it is much cheaper and more “green” than any of the other older technologies including nuclear. Not sure if you saw this… pretty impressive. http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/03/20/first-solar-passes-1gw-solar-capacity

    There is also a new development on cold fusion that looks promising (glad Bush is out of Office or he might try to ban the development the oil guy he is ;-/ ). http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.a67cf72fe27770f9ec992da18169937d.a1&show_article=1

  4. Ah, Cold Fusion, the Alchemy of the 21st century. Maybe you and RH can get together and get a patent on it.

    Impressive indeed – it only took 7 years for them to produce what a nuclear reactor produces in a year. And of course, like the article says, as long as we can find a place where the sun shines, unabated by clouds, 24×7 and 365 we’re good to go.

  5. Yeah jjack-off, don’t you understand? It’s all about fear and intent. If we take our feet off the gas (probably a bad analogy when supporting a Climate Change argument, even if you are making an attempt at sarcasm) for one moment, then people could begin to question other aspects of Global Warming supporters and their arguments. The fact that the bulbs may not deliver on their promises or may even be harmful to the environment is not the point. The point is that by buying the bulbs, people are expressing that fact that they actuually care about the environment. It wouldn’t matter if these lightbulbs were filled with deadly Plutonium. The point is that that we all demonstrate our desire to help the planet in the manner proscribed to us by the government, and Al Gore (Insrt standard internet Nazi symbolism at this point).

  6. Awesome! Now we just need to convince the Chilean government to let us put enough solar panels down there to power the US (because really, who cares about the rest of the world) and we’re good to go!

  7. The land is unusable and unlivable… Might as well do something with it. It would boost their economy. I doubt they would have to many issues with it.

  8. Sorry, I didn’t mean to jump into the middle of the spat you guys were having. However, I do want to point out to ‘C’ that I will not believe any of you enviromental types are serious until you start promoting nuclear energy.
    Also, just kepping you honest, the are lots of animals that live in the desert whose habitats would be much more affected by miles and miles of solar panels than a few caribou would be affected by a couple of oil platforms in Anwar.

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