Home > Uncategorized > BREAKING NEWS: Congress Passes Sensible Legislation

BREAKING NEWS: Congress Passes Sensible Legislation

In a surprise move, Congress has passed what seems to be the first sensible act in more than 50 years. While still upholding traditions of senseless government meddling dating back to roman times in other areas, Congress has certainly taken a shocking detour in permitting 100 watt incandescent bulbs to continue being sold past the December 31st deadline imposed in 2007.

However, observers caution that this isn’t a sign of change coming to Washington. Rep. Ron Paul and his son Senator Rand Paul, well known proponents of decent lightbulbs, apparently got the entire Congress drunk and slipped the provision in to the FY 2012 budget while everyone was watching Nancy Pelosi do a keg stand. Nathan Fellows, of Augusta Maine had this to say:

Those mother fuckers, I just bought 20 of the damn things today.

But seriously folks, the peoples cube has discovered a man with an ingenious way around laws banning decent light bulbs. Since light bulbs “waste” most of their energy as heat, it turns out they are more efficient heating devices than most devices designed for the purpose. Everyone familiar with the easy bake oven knows this.

One other interesting thing is in colder climates the energy savings is mostly eradicated. Strictly speaking estimates put lighting energy usage at 75% less using the CFL “swirly” bulbs. However considering that the heat not being put out by light bulbs needs to be replaced by oil furnaces or what have you, it drops to 17% in some cases. In certain instances there may even be higher greenhouse gas emissions by homes switching to swirly bulbs. But hey, like all trendy environmental policy, NIMBY applies.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/12/20 at 00:44

    The sources for your numbers have issues. First, they deal with places like Winnipeg. Second, they come from a single professor who didn’t offer up and methodology whatsoever. Nobody else has confirmed anything he has said. Third, the higher emissions comes from a power company (in the same area as the professor) that didn’t produce any real numbers, nor did it even bother to take into account the fewer overall emissions that would be emitted by virtue of its only lessened need.

  2. 2011/12/20 at 01:03

    Yawn. Since we are talking about an exceedingly small amount of savings either way, I don’t care if they came from a cracker jack box.

    Lets inconvenience the entire population for the appearance of improvement somehow.

    Don’t get me started on low flow toilets, the real unseen evils of government regulation of choice.

  3. 2011/12/22 at 08:59

    The total energy savings adds up when everyone does it.

  4. 2011/12/22 at 13:06

    It adds up to not much. When they come out with “compact florescent” water heaters, furnaces and refrigerators, than you’ll have some savings. You have consider that residences only make up something like 20% of energy consumption, and only 12% of that is used for lighting. Not many business’s will be switching anything, simply because they already, by far, use florescent tubes.

    Give people the choice. They save electricity, yes. They last longer, yes. The light quality, it’s getting better, but it still sucks. Reduce pollution, maybe, at least a little bit. If they are indeed so great, than we don’t need nanny barring their production. If the small energy savings is less valuable to a person than having decent light and keeping their dimmer switches, that person should be able to choose what they want. They are the ones paying for it.

    Just a funny thought, but if the EPA had existed when electricity was harnessed, they would have shut the project down forthwith. Kind of like cars. If they invented the car today, rather than 100 years ago, there is no way people would be allowed to bomb around in giant hunks of metal, killing thousands and injuring millions every year.

    First they came for the light bulbs…

  5. 2011/12/22 at 23:23

    75% of the total energy used to light homes is not insignificant, no matter how much you declare it, nor how much you cite flimsy numbers without checking your sources.

  6. 2011/12/23 at 00:59

    Really? Because it seems pretty insignificant to the individual. Many of whom may place more value on the quality of light from the old bulbs than they do on the rather small savings they get from the new ones. I think you might have missed my point.

    Again, not that I can figure out why its anyone other than my business what I purchase, including how much electricity. If you wish to make people feel more of the cost of the electricity they purchase and consume, there are better ways of doing that than legislating what they can buy. Even better than that would be limiting the amount of electricity you can use! Why not, why bother with regulating all sorts of devices from computers to light bulbs and refrigerators. Just limit people to some measly ration of daily electricity.

    On the other hand its a democracy, right Michael? Even though it isn’t and never has been, if enough people want access to the light they want they can just change things right?

  7. 2011/12/23 at 01:33

    I think you missed the point. I said the total savings add up when everyone does it. That’s a good reason for not reversing the higher standards. I don’t care whether people save two cents or two hundred dollars individually.

    The point of legislation like this is to help avoid higher overall costs and strain on the system. It’s the same reason people in the west are often restricted in how much water they can use, except they don’t have a choice.

    And yes, we have a democratic system. If people don’t like things like this light bulb issue they can elect people like Rand Paul who can change it for them.

  8. 2011/12/23 at 02:57

    And so it has been changed. But this is still a traditional folly of people and governments to assume they know what is best for the whole. Best is completely relative, to some saving power, to others avoiding head aches from florescent bulbs, still others its pollution. Regardless, we don’t need light bulb regulation any more than we need power consumption regulation, by anything other than a relatively free market.

    The water use issue doesn’t really make sense, while they are both finite, we are rarely in scenarios where there is simply not enough power, eg. there is little or no scarcity.

  9. 2011/12/24 at 02:20

    What we should do is allow everyone to do everything without any punishment other than monetary as brought on by markets. I hate forests, lakes, clean air, and a lack of radiation, too.

    Your entire belief structure is absolutely ridiculous, Nate. You’ve premised your views on the idea that all that matters is your own economic well-being. Your wallet is not the most important thing in the world, no matter how much you declare it over and over. By seeking out the best way you can get cheap things all you do is reveal the cheapness of your own worldview.

    I’m more than happy to regulate industry to conform to particular standards if the situation calls for it. That means a better environment and cheaper costs in the long run. Or maybe we should go back to allowing car manufacturers to produce vehicles that get whatever mileage is convenient to them? $10 gas would be awesome.

  10. 2011/12/24 at 04:14

    You have premised your entire world view on the idea that no ones interests ever align, that no one will ever do the proper thing and that the only effective way to achieve the “proper” outcome is through force, which is exactly what the state is.

    And you call the idea that peoples interests work out to be the same in the long run ridiculous? If segments of the population that don’t want the bulbs now don’t buy them, will industry not be forced to provide what they do want? Adapt and develop solutions to accommodate the problems those individuals had with the original product?

    But no, what you would do, under a mask of good intentions is force everyone into a one size fits all box, ignore not only peoples wants, but their needs as well.

    And just for the record, fuel efficiency didn’t just crawl out from under some government regulation, it crawled out of oil shortages and high prices. Sure the government has played a role, but you are naive to think that the only way good things happen is through force of government.

    And here I was thinking you were an atheist. Clearly not when you think the state is all powerful and the source of most if not all good in the world.

  11. 2011/12/24 at 09:36

    I presume everyone has an interest in a healthy planet for the long term. Each step counts. And as it happens, this one adds up to be much more significant than you care to admit.

    You can’t deny that cars would be less efficient, cause more gas demand, and be a large factor in higher oil prices today. You can thank Uncle Sam you pay $3.30 right now instead of $9.30.

  12. 2011/12/24 at 09:57

    Your presumptions aren’t evidence for action. Everyone does have an interest in a clean planet, that is true, but that interest isn’t exclusive.

    You can thank Uncle Sam that around half the price of a gallon of gas is taxes. We can also thank him that in order to make certain vehicles, companies have to have a fleet average mileage based on conditions that can’t be controlled, they can’t decide how many vehicles will get sold. That policy just drives the price of vehicles up. Certain classes of vehicles are always going to be less efficient, I doubt very much that the people buying cars appreciate paying a premium to subsidize production of bigger vehicles.

    Regardless, our current crop of cabinet members contains several people that, by their own admission, want gas prices that high.

    And I can very well deny that, there is every likelihood that cars could be more efficient. It all comes back to that fleet average requirement. It’s wonderful that GM has had to spend hoards of money researching how to squeeze another 2 MPG out of a trucks engine, but I’m betting that money would have been better spent on research where much higher efficiencies can be had.

  13. 2011/12/25 at 01:50

    Let me be more blunt: I presume everyone has an interest in not losing millions of miles of coast line around the world, having more frequent and more intense storms, not having water supplies cut thin or off, and not handing a big pile of shit over to the next generation.

    But, of course. Money being put into research to make things more efficient – something that has actually already been accomplished all around the world – probably makes things less efficient. Good logic.

  14. 2011/12/25 at 02:34

    It is good logic, it’s done all of the time, most prominently in medicine. Does it make sense to spend money researching a disease that a small number of people get or that a huge number of people get? Researching something where there is a high degree of success or a low one?

    By far there are more cars than anything else on the road and by far cars are driven the lions share of all the miles the people drive. Money is not an unlimited resource, every dollar spent on the small increase in mileage bigger vehicles have got over the last 10 years is a dollar not spent where gains are there for the making, smaller, more prolific vehicles.

    Money in does not automatically mean success out and it certainly doesn’t mean that truckloads of money in will lead to truckloads of improvements.

    And I’ll see you down by some of those millions of miles of coast line that I doubt very much are going anywhere. There is a giant bin someplace filled with AGW doomsday predictions that haven’t come true. I don’t doubt that we have an impact, I just seriously doubt how much of one we have and have had. They have been making doomsday predictions for 30 years now about the world “ending” within 10 years, as you can see, they were all right so far.

    But since we are actually on the subject, what about the millions of acres of cultivable land the prophets are predicting will open up in currently unusable areas? I assume if you buy all the horrible things that you also buy into some of the positive predictions. The very same research unit that had it’s emails leaked all over has theorized that the planet warming could open up enough lands in Africa to possibly take care of the hunger issues they now face.

  15. 2011/12/27 at 01:59

    It makes sense to fund research in all areas. Science is filled, absolutely filled, with examples of people discovering one thing while looking for another.

    You have a very narrow view here. The auto industry sells plenty of large vehicles, such as trucks, SUVs, and minivans, and the mileage increase in those matters. What’s more, developments in productions of those engines does spill over into development in other areas. Just look at things like NASCAR. The developers for race cars are designing their products to go 200+ mph, but that doesn’t mean those designs haven’t found their way into the average vehicle.

    It’s obvious you don’t take global warming seriously purely for economic reasons. Purely. That’s stupid.

    The positives of global warming are far outweighed by the negatives. The only people who say otherwise are employed by Rupert Murdoch.

  16. 2011/12/27 at 09:53

    Of course it makes sense to fund all areas, but it makes a significant amount of sense to direct funding mostly to areas from which the most success will come. You are right, they sell lots of those vehicles, but that doesn’t make as much difference as the miles those vehicles are driven. Compared to cars, miles driven by trucks and SUV’s is a pretty small sliver. I know where it makes the most sense to focus my attention.

    It’s obvious that you seemingly will support anything that is allegedly helping to “save the world” regardless of cost in money, lives or quality of life. Also, regardless of the effectiveness, because you know, appearances are the most important thing!

    Well, when some of the doomsday predictions actually come to fruition, I’m perfectly willing to change my opinion. Until than I’m skeptical and not willing to support things that will lower quality of life for little or no return. I’m simply not willing to throw in with a process that has been awash in money for years. Something about massive endless grants has lead to certain results in the past… what results are those… ah, I remember now, whatever results get you more grants.

  17. 2011/12/27 at 11:49

    I’ve kind of lost interest in this, feel free to have the last word. My attention span for online discussions is only a few days tops.

  18. 2011/12/29 at 02:26

    1) The standards for trucks and other large vehicles is very low in the United States. The money necessary to make them all more efficient is not a massive toll on the money necessary to make smaller vehicles more efficient; they aren’t held to the same standards.

    2) Government standards have made the air cleaner and forced the auto industry to do something it would not do on its own. Despite what your ideology tells you.

    3) You don’t understand the science behind global warming, nor are you even concerned about it. All you’re seeing is that it makes reality quite inconvenient – just not right away. This will bite you in the ass.

    4) I don’t care if you change your opinion once your ass has been bitten. The vastly different growing seasons and regions, wildlife, fish stocks, and overall health of the planet is where my concern lies.

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