A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dimming Liberty's Torch

Timothy Birdnow

The DOE has hired an ad firm to stump for energy-saver light bulbs.

From the article:

"The campaign comes as conservative groups have launched an attack on provisions in a 2007 energy law that require traditional incandescent light bulbs to be more efficient. Republicans, led by Rush Limbaugh and others, have blasted the light bulb efficiency standards as an example of federal overreach, arguing that they limit consumer choice."

End excerpt.

Notice the attempt to say it is Rush Limbaugh leading the GOP. Also notice that they say the argument is about consumer choice, and no other reason is given. It should be pointed out that a free society does not regulate things unless they pose a direct danger to the public. This should be an argument about freedom versus paternalism. This is the same thinking that has been employed by every tyrant and dictator in history. The Russian Tsar saw himself as the father of his people, and were he around today would likely impose such a regulation. Free people make these decisions, not governments.

But there are other arguments against these things. They put out less light. They are far more expensive. They pose a hazardous waste risk if they break, requiring a hazmat team to do cleanup. The government regulates the amount of mercury a person can be exposed to, yet they are going to require dangerous, mercury-filled devices be put into every home. Thermostats must be digital these days to avoid the off-chance of the mercury in them spilling, but light bulbs...

And depression can result from low light levels; it is a notorious problem in northern areas where long winter nights lead to depression and suicide, and now we are going to impose low light levels on the public at large. Depression is already at epidemic levels.

The article also states:

"The average household can save $50 a year by switching 15 traditional incandescent light bulbs to more efficient ones, DOE says."

End excerpt.

Hmmm. Really?

Sure you can save some money on energy, but it costs you even more to replace your 50 cent bulb with a five buck CFL. It costs even more if you go with LED (around $25 dollars a bulb). Replace all 15 bulbs with CFL's and you are talking about $60 - a loss of ten bucks. But it doesn't stop there. These bulbs were originally advertised as lasting for several years but it is now said that they last at most a year. I get only slightly less out of my Edison bulbs, and then I can cushion dive my couch for a replacement. It's going to get DARK for poor people before payday; those bulbs are no longer cheap afterthoughts.

And they put out dimmer light. As a result, instead of getting enough light from your overhead fixture you are going to have to add a lamp, and so your costs increase. Granted, you probably still come out ahead on energy costs, but at what price? You now have TWO lights running instead of one, and they are both dim. Your eyes bother you. You find it hard to read.

In the end you lose money.

And God help you if you break the damned thing!

The whole notion of CFL's is predicated on the theory that you will bring prices down if everyone has to buy. It's the same reasoning employed by Obama and the Democrats on their Obamascare scheme; force people to accept it and it will get cheaper due to lack of competition. Or, uh, does that make it more expensive? No, wait, cheaper because of higher demand. Like the Chevy Volt; new CAFE standards could drive the price of gas-powered cars to beyond the volt costs, then people will have to drive the golf carts to be able to afford to drive at all (their car loans will be bigger than their mortgages). Perhaps we can establish a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for car loans? Bring the government into "affordable driving" schemes. Siphon money off for Democrat re-election campaigns and securitize those loans. Create a driving bubble...

If anyone wanted an electric car, if there was a real demand for them, they would have been developed. There is no real demand for them, and there is no real demand for CFL's. Governments can create an artificial demand, but that always recoils in hideous ways. The consumer is hurt in the end. Consider low-flow toilets; government banned the five gallon toilet, and sewage systems nationwide are backing up. There was no demand for low-flow toilets; they exist solely by government decree. And they do not work as well. Engineers knew what they were doing when they decreed five gallons was required to flush a toilet properly.

But the point was, and always has been, control of the public. Force the public into a straightjacket of regulation and intervention. Get the average citizen used to the idea that government can and should tell us how to live, how to work, how to exist. Make people believe they are children of Obama-the-Most-Benevolent. Make Americans into a permanent adolescent class, dependent on the good shephards in our intelligentsia.

There is a reason why the Statue of Liberty holds a torch; light is the necessary ingredient for freedom. Unfortunately, our government is working dilligently to darken our way.

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