Those of you who know me on a close personal level know my revulsion to the latest way the environmentalists are reaching their ever-growing tentacles into our homes and our lives: the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb.
You know what I’m talking about: The ugly-as-sin coiling lightbulbs that cast a cool (and unflattering) pallor over everyone and everything in a room. I was reminded again of my discontent as I read Ann Althouse’s blog post this morning over my coffee. She, too, is stockpiling incandescent light bulbs, a habit I picked up awhile back when I realized that they’re slowly being phased out. She expresses the loss so well that I’m copying it here:
Last week, I walked through a beautiful Art Deco building lobby and hallway, where there were gorgeous bronze light fixtures that no longer glowed: The incandescent light bulbs had been replaced by fluorescents. The whole look of the interior was destroyed. I felt like crying. All of our rooms and lobbies and hallways are about to have the life sucked out of them, by a Congress that has no feeling for beauty and the effect of light on human emotions.
Yeah, it’s a damn shame. One blogger describes the people pushing these this way: “These are the same people that think that tofu is a good substitute for steak.” He nailed it, there.
One of the first changes we made after moving into this house was to replace the fluorescent lighting in the bathroom and kitchen. It was one of the best decisions we made. I felt like I was walking into an igloo each morning as I went to make coffee, and women know the horrifying effects of fluorescent lighting on their complexions. Retail stores, in particular, should be worried for their clothing sales once all the lighting in the dressing room areas are lit by CFLs. Trying on bathing suits is hard enough without having fluorescent lighting highlight every flaw.
Before someone suggests that we try out some CFLs, I’d like to point out that we just did. And they’re already gone. Supposedly, they last double the time incandescents do. Not in our experience. We bought some for a new ceiling fan; they began this annoying flickering the second night, and one burned out on the third. They were replaced soon after. They take about two minutes to warm up, and most importantly, THEY ARE FLOURESCENT.
One more gripe about these monstrosities: They contain low levels of mercury, which–if not properly recycled–leach into the air and ground at the landfill. They require special disposal, which most states have not allowed for. If you happen to break one in your home, you find youself wondering if you just nuked your fetus as you cleaned it up. NPR even has addressed this issue. Given the justified worry over mercury in common vaccinations given to children and pregnant women via the flu shot, one wonders whether these concerns have placed certain sectors of the liberal, anti-vaccination, pro-environment crowd in somewhat of a pickle.
Count this as one more little way that the government–via the well-meaning environmentalist crowd–are hindering private innovation and encroaching on our day-to-day existence. One wonders if they didn’t read the bill and didn’t realize that they outlawed incandescent lighting. (Now, since when does Congress just not read bills?!?)
Sidenote: Read the comments at the Althouse link. Very interesting and humorous: “Dim bulbs Macht Frei!”