March 21, 2008

The Incandescent Underground

Poisonous Light Bulbs: Bad Idea
On a trip to the city to buy supplies this week, I stopped at the Sam's Club in Omaha, Nebraska. Its one place where I can buy big sacks of rice, flour and other bulk staples for really reasonable prices. One of the items on my list was 40 Watt light bulbs. To my surprise, Sam's Club had only the new over-priced compact fluorescent devices for sale. No incandescent bulbs at all. Why? Because global warming fascists have managed to sneak through a law effectively banning incandescent light bulbs starting in 2012. This makes me sick.

To begin with, I don't like fluorescent lighting. The color temperature is insipid. The electronics emit a buzz you can hear. As a tightwad, however, I can sacrifice comfort or pleasure if to do so will offset these negatives with significant overall savings. Compact fluorescent bulbs don't fill the bill. I can buy incandescent 40 W bulbs for less than a quarter apiece; the fluorescents are invariably many times more expensive.

Now it is being reported that the initial high price of the fluorescent bulb isn't the only cost involved in switching from incandescents. The damned things are made with mercury. Enough mercury that you need to take special precautions not to poison your household if you break one. Costly precautions. Its enough to make me decide to put up a supply of incandescent bulbs in a clandestine cache. I'll get blackout curtains for my windows to foil the light bulb police and such neighbors as might rat me out to them. My mother wouldn't have dreamed that light bulbs would lead me to a life of crime. Sorry, Mom.
In keeping with my status as the greenest man in America, I have always used light bulbs of the lowest wattage I can stand. I got the idea from one of my more intelligent uncles, a dentist in Washington, DC, nick-named 10 Watt Robbins. He is gone now, but his tightwad lighting policies live on in me.

Most bulbs in my home are 40 Watt incandescents. The kitchen and bathroom each rate a 60 W light, so I don't poison myself cooking or taking medicine. Area lights, such as I have, are all 25 W. I have big fluorescent fixtures in my shop, but I never use them unless I lose something on the floor. I turn all my lights off when not in use. I save money and, quite incidentally, pollute the earth very little. Leave me alone.

I shall not yield to eco-fascism. Long live the incandescent underground!

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