I suppose that everyone knows that by 2014 we will no longer be able to purchase incandescent light bulbs in this country. Compact fluorescent bulbs will be what you must purchase. So, I decided to do some “investigative” reporting.
The compact fluorescents cost ten times more than an incandescent bulb, but are alleged to last ten times longer than the old fashioned bulbs, so, I guess, that’s a wash. We are told that these CFL’s will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but will also reduce our electric bills. Indeed, the package of a General Electric CFL bulb I looked at recently proudly proclaimed that the bulb would shave $35 off your electric bill…over the life time of the bulb.
There are a few drawbacks though. CFL’s contain mercury, which is toxic. So, if one breaks, the EPA tells us that we should immediately open a window, and leave the room for 15 minutes lest we breath in the mercury. The above link gives an assortment of other helpful hints on what you should do next.
And, because these bulbs contain mercury, disposing of them when they burn out is not exactly easy. Among other suggestions, the EPA tells us that we should take them to our local hazardous waste drop off location for disposal, and that there may be a “small” fee for this.
But, I came across a bigger drawback the other day.
GE is shuttering the last remaining [incandescent] light bulb factory in the country, in Winchester, Virginia.
I don’t know how many American jobs will be lost when this happens. But, what I do know is that on a recent trip to my local hardware store, I found many types of these CFL’s, and every one was made in China.
So, while the nanny state rolls merrily along, Americans are losing their jobs, the ability to choose the type of lighting they want, the ability to chose their own insurance plan, the ability to choose their own doctor, and, more to the point, their freedom.