Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Utterly Ludicrous

The Battle of the Bulb

For the EU, asking for the right to choose one's light bulb seems akin to the apocalypse. Less apocalyptic in the United States, perhaps, but both Europe and North America are bent on eradicating the incandescent and elevating the CFL. The arguments include stopping global warming (less energy per bulb, less energy use, fewer carbon emissions) and the simple goal of energy efficiency.

Yes, the incandescent light bulb produces more heat than light. And it is singled out for scorn by the energy-efficiency avant-garde. Does that mean it should be replaced only by CFL bulbs which government experts proclaim better? Those experts seem heavily influenced by Sylvania, GE, and Phillips, world leaders in the bulb business. As Tim Carney saliently observes, had Edison marketed his incandescents like "his 21st-Century heirs at General Electric, he would have lobbied Congress to outlaw candles in 1879" (fire hazard!).

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