The new energy bill (passed by Congress and just signed into law by President Bush) will outlaw the traditional incandescent light bulb over the next several years, requiring instead more expensive “energy efficient” bulbs as part of the fight against global warming. Of course, if these new bulbs are more cost-effective in the long run, then there’s no need to mandate their use. And if they aren’t, then this is just another burden on consumers. Either way, it’s a violation of the individual rights of producers and consumers of the incandescent bulbs.
This is on top of the recent shameful capitulation by the US on global warming policy at the recent international Bali conference, in which the US gave into the demands of the rest of the world.
Those who think that the Republicans and/or the religious conservatives will provide any kind of principled defense against the anti-reason and anti-human views of the environmentalists are in for a rude awakening.
Here are some links to recent news stories.
From USA Today, 12/16/2007:
“It’s lights out for traditional light bulbs“
Turn out the lights on traditional incandescent bulbs.
A little-noticed provision of the energy bill, which is expected to become law, phases out the 125-year-old bulb in the next four to 12 years in favor of a new generation of energy-efficient lights that will cost consumers more but return their investment in a few months.
The new devices include current products such as compact fluorescents and halogens, as well as emerging products such as light-emitting diodes and energy-saving incandescent bulbs.
…Under the measure, all light bulbs must use 25% to 30% less energy than today’s products by 2012 to 2014. The phase-in will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70% more efficient.
(Disclaimer: I have no idea how the still-legal “energy-saving incandescent bulbs” differ from the forbidden “traditional incandescent bulbs”.)
From AP News, 12/19/2007:
“Bush signs bill boosting fuel standards“
President Bush signed into law Wednesday legislation that will bring more fuel-efficient vehicles into auto showrooms and require wider use of ethanol, calling it “a major step” toward energy independence and easing global warming.
…The bill also calls for improved energy efficiency of appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, and a 70 percent increase in the efficiency of light bulbs. It also calls for energy efficiency improvements in federal buildings and construction of commercial buildings.
From the Christian Science Monitor, 12/17/2007:
“Bali Climate Deal Marks a Geopolitical Shift“
…South Africa said that the US position “was most unwelcome and without any basis.” Then Kevin Conrad, who headed Papua-New Guinea’s delegation, rose and turned Mr. Connaughton’s comment on its head.
…Confronted with the prospect of overwhelming isolation, [chief US negotiator] Dobriansky relented, saying, “We will join the consensus.”
…Many longtime observers say it was the most stunning reversal they had ever seen at one of these meetings.
From the Christian Science Monitor, 12/20/07:
“Many Religious Leaders Back Climate-Change Action“
Religious groups in the United States and around the world have steadily adopted pro-environment positions. At Christmastime this shift has been particularly evident regarding global climate change.
…More than 100 influential evangelical leaders have signed the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) to fight global warming, the [Christian] Post article says. They’re asking governments and individuals to reduce CO2 emissions.
The ECI concludes that global warming is real. The Post article quotes from the initiative’s statement:“Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures…. Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better.”
…According to one recent poll mentioned in a story by The Economist, two-thirds of Evangelicals want immediate action on global warming. The story continues:“The new mood reflects a generational change among evangelicals, says Andrew Walsh, a religion-watcher at Trinity College, Hartford [Conn.]. The younger lot wants to focus more on issues such as AIDS and the crisis in Darfur – a cluster of concerns that have more in common with climate change than with crusading against homosexuality.”
Although I’m sure it’s unintentional, I find it ironic that the environmentalists and the evangelicals are teaming up to extinguish Thomas Edison’s traditional incandescent light bulb, the long-time symbol of reason and thought.