EPS (justeps) wrote,

Resist the Coming Darkness

There was a time when California led the nation, our politicians were responsive to their constituents, and respected for their dedication to public service. Those days are gone. We've destroyed our educational institutions, allowed our roads to fall into disrepair, and turned The Golden State into one great nanny state run amok.

Nothing exemplifies what's wrong in Sacramento more than the misguided ban on incandescent light bulbs. [alt. link] If there's anything that should be banned, it's the compact fluorescent lights they're pushing as replacements.

We've done a lot over the years to make our homes safer: getting rid of lead paint, asbestos, harmful pesticides (well, OK, we're kind of sucking at that right now), and testing for everything from radon to groundwater contamination. We're phasing out BPA. We even had people exchange their old mercury thermometers. So, what the heck are they thinking — putting dangerous CFLs where children (and others) risk concentrated exposure to hazardous materials in an enclosed area? Not to mention creating a disposal nightmare where none existed before? They're out of their freakin' minds.

Well, CFLs aren't the only option, they say. LEDs don't have [most of] CFLs' problems. Except they're expensive. Really expensive. But that's OK in a plutocracy, where screwing the poor, elderly, and disabled is a cornerstone of political decision-making. Oh, by the way, LED replacements for the now-forbidden 100 watt incandescents don't exist. We only recently got a viable substitute for 40-watt bulbs. Nothing brighter. But it saves enough energy to pay for itself in just — drum roll, please — 16 years! Of course, it only has a 10-year warranty, so I'm expecting a rude surprise about a decade from now. Those corrupt politicians will be termed out of office by then, thus can't be held accountable for their actions. Boo!

Consider writing to your elected representatives, expressing your dissatisfaction. If you can afford it, why not send along an Easy-Bake Oven (100 watt light bulb not included!) as a reminder of the joy they're taking away from our children (and future generations).

I think we all understand the problem: our population is growing, and we really don't want to be building more power plants that consume fossil fuels and contribute to climate change. But you know something's amiss when they're targeting the barest of necessities while at the same time turning a blind eye to Personal Computers with 1200 watt power supplies. (A decade ago we were happy with 250. You need 1200 for your ATX motherboard now? OK, fine, whatever.) We really should be focusing our efforts on encouraging installation of residential photovoltaic systems. Need power? Make your own. Make your own without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Just keep your grubby hands off my light bulbs.

Tags: politics

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