Dim: Congress drafts rules to phase out incandescent bulbs

People complain about social conservatives needing to stay out of their bedrooms. But globwarming greens are fooling around in every damned room in my house. First of all it was the 1.6 gallon Al Gore toilet (last item), introduced by Federal compulsion, which accomplished in two or three flushes what the ol’ three-gallon Bemis could do in one. And even if Sheryl Crow says she was joking about the infamous “one square” advice, the family of rich green wackos in Manhattan wasn’t joking about not using any TP for a year.

And now, it’s light bulbs.

I hate fluorescent lights. They make everything look skeevy and bloodless and washed out. I can’t avoid them at work, but I like to read and live by halogens and incandescents at home. it’s a luxury, I know, but a surprisingly affordable one–especially since they’re cheaper than the fluorescent bulbs. Where I can get away with fluorescent bulbs to save energy, I do. The market sees to that.

But now the Democratic congress is going to try to mandate fluorescent bulbs everywhere. (Link requires subscription.) I guess the Obamessiah family’s ongoing light switchover that Mark Steyn wrote about is just too slow, and so Congress had to do something.

Thing is, almost every business I have entered in the last decade or so has already switched over to fluorescent lights wherever they can. It’s the standard in warehouses, factories, and cubicle farms across the country. When was the last time you saw an office lit by a table lamp? No, this one is aimed at the home consumer, who can’t be trusted to light his house in a pretty way.

Whatever rule is proposed by the groups would likely be incorporated into energy legislation passed last week by the Senate Energy Committee that the full chamber is set to debate by the end of the month, committee aides say. This bill, the Democrats’ first major energy initiative since taking control of Congress in January, calls for new efficiency standards for appliances and motor vehicles and mandates the use of more alternative fuels, such as ethanol, by 2022.

While the move could face resistance from some consumer groups and from low- and fixed-income constituencies, Energy Committee aides say there is bipartisan support in Congress for a new lighting standard.

I’m not certain why the market won’t take care of this. It couldn’t be that someone is making a profit, could it?

Manufacturers expect over the next decade to provide consumers with other choices as well, since CFLs don’t work as well in applications such as reading lamps.

“It’s the right thing to do,” says Randall B. Moorhead, vice president for the North American affiliate of Royal Phillips Electronics NV of the Netherlands. “But we’re also hoping we’ll make some money. It’s not entirely altruistic.”

No? Knock me over with a feather.

BUMPED: You guys in the comments are awesome. I like the term “Gore-bulbs” and the suggestion we use Coleman lanterns instead.

I’m bumping this because I hope it will be discussed more in the upcoming campaign. For all the perceived busybodiness (is that a word?) of the Christian right, there is an even more overwhelming busybodiness practiced by the Greenie Left who claim jurisdiction over any activity of your life that affects the environment. It is a rights issue. As commenter Buzzy observed:

It has little to do with CFLs and much more to do with individual freedoms. When government tells me what bulbs I can use to light my house I draw the line and resume stocking the bunker.

It’s one thing to convince me that CFLs are a better choice for intelligent energy consumption and quite another to take my choices away by government decree.

It is a rights issue, and this is just the first step. Here’s where it’s going, under Euro/Blairite IngSoc:

Pressed to meet European Union targets for reducing landfill volume, many local councils now collect refuse only once every two weeks. As flies and vermin gather while food scraps achieve a fine perfume, residents have grown so enraged that bin-men are under repeated physical attack.

The logic of fortnightly collections — if you can follow it — is to encourage recycling. Lest widespread consternation over garbage seem petty, fortnightly collections now emblemize a broader source of indignation: the U.K. government’s self-righteous “green” justifications for reduced services on the one hand, and thievery on the other.

Halving the frequency of waste removal conveniently saves money. A host of other new “green” measures in the U.K. will make money: $200 fines for poorly separated recycling, or microchips implanted in wheelie bins to weigh residential refuse — dragging Britain’s surveillance culture to a new low, and facilitating charges for waste disposal by the kilo. Furious that they are already paying once for this service through local taxes, some householders have ripped the microchips from their bins.


Environmentalism has become the fashionable fig leaf to cover for extortion. If a tax is “green” it is “for the sake of the planet,” and fairness doesn’t come into it. Neither, apparently, does greed. Hence Britain’s petrol duty — the fourth highest in the world at over $4 a gallon plus 17.5% VAT levied on both the fuel and the duty ( in the U.K., even taxes are taxed) — has nothing to do with sticky fingers; it’s to confront the all-purpose bogeyman of global warming.

That’s Lionel Shriver in the Wall Street Journal; the piece is still behind the subscription wall but I hope it pops out on opinionjournal pretty soon. People with libertarian instincts need to hear this–even if social conservatives might want to stop drugs, gay marriage, and abortion, the pseudo-religious zeal of the globwarmers knows no bounds and their coercive agenda is targeted at things that everybody does and uses: cars, light bulbs, garbage pickup. And, as I said above, toilets.

Meanwhile, the people who do this live in energy-guzzling mansions, travelling on private jets, perhaps salving their conscience with expensive carbon offsets, while they figure out what kind of light bulb you will be able to buy.

Now that is an inconvenient truth.