How many liberals does it take to screw UP a light bulb?
by Madeline Deneen
The federal government’s light bulb mandate threatens our environment, health, and freedom…
The latest nanny state ban will absolutely impact each and every one of you…and not in a good way. The federal government’s prohibition on the production of incandescent light bulbs is now taking effect in 2014. Many of you may be thinking, so what? I heard that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), the most popular alternative to incandescent bulbs, are much more energy efficient, right? Wrong.
The paradox is CFLs’ claim to fame is that they use less mercury than incandescent light bulbs, since CFLs use less energy, they draw less energy from coal-fired power plants, reducing the amount of mercury vapor that’s emitted as a pollutant, thus shrinking our carbon footprint. However, there’s a huge difference between mercury vapor that comes from a known and regulated point source, being the coal-fired power plants, and vapor that accumulates when CFLs break unexpectedly in homes, stores, warehouses, and elsewhere. Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury when the bulbs break, they release mercury vapor that is harmful to people and the environment. But no need to worry, the government’s got your back! Aware of the risk of exposure, the EPA has written a detailed guide for how to respond to a broken CFL. Instructions include, among other things, evacuating the room in which breakage occurs, shutting down central heating and air conditioning, airing out the room, carefully collecting bulb fragments and dust with rolled up duct tape, and placing all clean up materials in airtight bags in a protected outdoor area until you can get into your car and drive to a special recycling location (e.g., Ikea and Home Depot stores), to properly dispose of the broken CFL. Considering the dismal statistics regarding Americans’ recycling habits, I think its safe to say most of us will not be prepared to handle the transformation from a home to a HAZMAT zone when one of these suckers break.
The bottom line: CFLs will break. And when the bulbs are not disposed of properly, which they most likely won’t be, they will probably break in the trash or during trash removal, releasing mercury vapor in homes, dumpsters, garbage trucks, landfills, and more, and eventually resurface in our water and in our fish. Waste management workers will be exposed to the potent neurotoxin mercury, as will adults, children, infants, and pets. While the amount of mercury in each bulb is small, it is still significant. The effects would accrue in areas where many bulbs break, (e.g., where delivery cartons are dropped, in garbage trucks, etc.).
Shedding light on the dangers of CFLs…
Patient groups and other sources have discovered that CFLs exacerbate symptoms in those with a variety of medical conditions including, but not limited to, wait for it…wait for it…
lupus, cancer, epilepsy, xeroderma pigmentation, eczema, autism, electrical sensitivity, dermatitis, some kinds of porphyria, people taking antipsychotics, and other illnesses.
CFLs have also caused symptoms in those with no relevant pre-existing conditions, like skin problems, eyestrain, headaches, retinal damage, and changes in color perception. These problems have been officially addressed by the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA), which issued a precautionary advice press release and a fact sheet with warnings for the general public. The U.S. FDA subsequently released a fact sheet with similar warnings, and Health Canada initiated studies of the health effects of CFLs, focusing on both UV and electromagnetic field exposures.
Oh, it gets better…
Researchers from Stony Brook University found microscopic cracks in the protective, phosphor coating in all of the CFL bulbs they analyzed and found high levels of UVA and UVC present in all of the bulbs, and UVB in more than half of them. The researchers then exposed skin cells to the bulbs and the results were disturbing, exhibiting damage comparable to going outside without sunscreen. Researchers actually recommend you stay 4 feet away from the bulbs…As someone of Irish descent, I thought the midsummer sun was my only concern, but now I have to hide from my reading lamp! Wow! Indoor sunburns, how progressive! But hey, look on the bright side, now you can save a buck and cancel that LA Tan membership. Just slap on some tanning oil and lay out in your living room, with the lights on of course. For those of you who are pasty, but too claustrophobic to brave those MRI machine-like tanning beds, now you have 4 whole feet to get baked, and you don’t even need to leave your house!
Why we’ve been kept in the dark about CFLs…
Governments all over the world, environmental advocates, and liberals alike have promoted CFLs as a way of curtailing electricity use, saving money, and reducing our carbon footprint. I believe I have sufficiently covered how mass CFL use will destroy the environment, thus undermining the green fallacy, but what about saving money? Although, CFLs are more expensive than the common incandescent bulb, they are the cheapest alternative and are alleged to last much longer. However, in a “Mythbusters” experiment testing the longevity of CFLs, (episode 69) they failed miserably, burning out at just 5.1% of their listed lifespan, thus rendering them not cost effective.
Progress for the sake of progress
Fortunately, I have been blessed with the gift of common sense, and if you’re still reading this and enraged with the government, you have been too. We are not liberals. We will never be able to wrap our minds around why some completely dismiss the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” which lies at the core of this light bulb insanity. Liberals would rather see injuries such as the disgusting foot pictured below, victim of stepping on a CFL fragment, than tolerate using Thomas Edison’s good ole 1879 invention, the incandescent light bulb. Did Thomas Edison really need to die twice?! Progress for the sake of progress is never the answer. Of course progress in the right direction, or positive progress is always encouraged, but CFLs are not better than the incandescent light bulb just because they are newer. They’re not better, period.
Brazil and Venezuela are to blame for kicking off the incandescent light bulb phase-out craze back in 2005. The EU, Australia, and Switzerland started in 2009, Russia and Argentina in 2012, and now Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, South Korea, and our own “Land of the Free” will institute the phase-out, which has been dubbed “light bulb socialism,” in 2014!
Obviously, CFLs are detrimental, but from a consumer point of view, how’s the product? People are willing to accept awful side effects from products that are good on the surface, like a McDonald’s “Big Mac,” for example. Undeniably terrible for you, you’re probably better off eating your own feces, since at least that doesn’t contain FDA approved worm meat, but many find these greasy hunks of mysterious grayish matter delicious, and are willing to suffer the consequences. However, CFLs suck not only because of what they mean for our health and environment, but on the surface as well! They are not delicious according to consumers in the EU, who prefer incandescent bulbs to CFLs. CFLs emanate cold, unnatural, dull blue light, rather than the natural white light we’re accustomed to, which explains the migraines and eyestrain frequently experienced as a result of extended CFL use. Bulk purchasing of incandescent bulbs was reported before the EU light bulb ban was in effect, clearly indicating a consumer preference. The panic was noted by many retailers in Britain, Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Poland, with a 150% spike in light bulb sales in 2009, when compared to 2008.
The politics of light bulbs
Bogus POTUS said in his 2012 State of the Union address, “I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution,” referring to his support for the 2011 Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule issued by the EPA. It appears that MATS is just Obama and the EPA’s most expensive weapon to fight his “war on coal,” since the rule is focused on the trace amounts of mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants; however, as previously mentioned, mercury released in a room or contained area from broken CFLs is far more concerning. Despite the overwhelming risks associated with CFLs, Obama has put his money (excuse me, OUR money) where his mouth is by being a fierce advocate for the incandescent light bulb phase-out, insisting they be replaced with CFLs. 100 and 75-watt bulbs were phased out in previous years, but now, as of 2014, the ever common 60 and 40-watt light bulbs will no longer be produced, so start stockpiling America!
Liberals and the economy don’t mix…
Believe it or not, incandescent light bulbs were actually an American industry! But now that’s over. General Electric (GE) closed its last remaining major U.S. incandescent bulb factory late 2010, as a result of the incandescent bulb ban, costing over 200 jobs. Environment activist groups and delusional liberals alike promised the ban would create green jobs, but try telling that to Pat Doyle, who worked at GE’s Winchester plant for 26 years, “Everybody’s jumping on the green bandwagon. But we’ve been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE,” Doyle told the Washington Post (September 8, 2010). But, hey, the ban did create jobs! In China. The manufacture of CFLs is labor-intensive and too expensive to be done at U.S. wage rates. Since CFLs are already more expensive than incandescent light bulbs, production in the U.S. is simply not feasible. If GE produced CFLs in America, the bulbs would be 50% more expensive than they already are.
“Light Bulb Socialism”
Our freedom is at stake. Shouldn’t the purchase of a product so dangerous be a consumer choice and not forced? Clearly a question not even considered by our tyrannical federal government. Per usual, our elitist President and representatives think they know best, abusing the federal regulatory process to make our decisions for us. Government regulation of consumer choices such as this very one threatens our freedom, since it is also in direct violation of the Constitution. The enumerated powers granted to Congress in conjunction with the interstate Commerce clause absolutely do not permit the federal government to decree what kinds of light bulbs we can or cannot use. It is time to stand up America. Stand up for your environment, your health, and most importantly, your freedom!