Remember kids, only Genuine UN-brand conservation leaves your conscience squeaky-clean

In an attempt to reduce energy usage, and thus reduce greenhouse gases, Canada bans incandescent lightbulbs. Environmentalists… rejoice?

“I see it as an end-run around the United Nations system,” Beatrice Olivastri of Friends of the Earth Canada said. “Anything that is a U.S.-related program is clearly outside of Kyoto, so that to me is very worrisome.”

It’s related to the US, it must be BAD! BAD!  All those saved kilowatts will just go to buy blood for oil! 

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  1. *sigh*

    I don’t understand the obsession with Kyoto by environmentalists. isn’t that the one that lets developing nations pollute free and clear?

  2. The new generation of light bulbs cost a bit more but last about seven years and use much less energy. The downside is that many of them contain mercury and need to be disposed of like paint and chemicals at special toxic-waste centres.

    well, take me off a shelf and put me in a bag, because I’m sold.

    1. Mercury is bad stuff

      It’s bad stuff. It can hopefully be recycled (at a pretty high cost) but many flourescent lamps get broken accidentally in transit, when being installed, when being replaced, and in when being transported/stored again to be recycled. That doesn’t even include those who don’t even try to recycle them/reclaim the mercury or who break them up into small pieces (I’ve seen this many times) and throw them into the garbage to be landfilled.

      I’m an electrician, I’ve dealt with the recycling issue on large remodel and total-gut refits. One is lucky if they are trying hard to get 90-95% of them out without breaking and releasing the mercury. Less if you are in a hurry and the budget is tight. I did a government job at a VA hospital and we were getting fined if we went below 98% recycling. We tried HARD -but the fines were less than the extra labor up to a certian point (95%) so we just gave up and shot for 95. This is in the tens of thousands of lamps (4 per 2×4 ceiling troffer fixture). It adds up fast. It’s a LOT of mercury released.

      Lets not even go into the transformer (ballast) issue. At least they are not making the old type with PCBs in them but half still contain DEHP (di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate) and that is just as nasty.

      The real future of low-energy-consuming lighting is LED technology. In 10 years incandescent and fluorescent lighting will be used only as “effect” lighting like neon is today. LED’s will be so much more efficient than any other prior tech that they will all look equally wasteful.

      1. Re: Mercury is bad stuff

        heh, no worries. I was being totally sarcastic.

        have you read this?

        and out of curiosity — where in virginia were you working?

        1. Working

          VA, as in Veteran’s Administration. “VA Hospital” for the sick/injured army guys and vets.

          I’m actually NOT working right now. I got pissed off at the world for various reasons (taxes, the new manditory drug testing shoved down our throats by the union, my divorce and my inability to keep my house therafter…the list goes on) -and just quit working for a while. I’m a housewife right now for my GF who has a decent job and doesn’t mind too much to let me stay for free as long as I cook, clean, do laundry and work on finishing her condo that is in a constant state of remodel since her big flood disaster in ’01 that the insurance wouldn’t cover.

          As for that crazy lady with the plastic over the door of the bedroom -good lord! talk about over-reacting! Just vacuum the crap up and let the room air out a while. Big whoop! It’s just one single lamp. I’ve been around thousands of lamps that have broke -many broke in my face as I put them in or were taking them out. I’m more worried about getting CUT with the glass (such cuts just take forever to heal with all that crap from inside of the bulbs) It hasn’t seemed to have hurt me or my brain workings… NARF! NARF!

          1. re: va hospital


            . . . don’t mind me.

          2. Re: va hospital

            Government jobs like working for the VA are a real PITA. It’s one more reason why I had to quit. I was having a nervous breakdown. The VA job was the last one I did and one day I just had to go into the shop and tell the owner of my shop that I had to hang up my foreman’s spurs and needed to quit. I agreed to stick around for a while and help train my replacement and get him up to speed but I had had it.

            A layman just can’t understand how FUBAR the government, and especially the military way of doing things really is unless they have done it and experienced it firsthand. I had a half-dozen guys working on the project and the guy who took over couldn’t get it done with 10 men on site. I had a reputation for getting stuff done with less -it’s how you get to be a foreman running the big jobs instead of crappy little 2-men jobs. But this wasn’t quite big enough to warrant that many guys because it was stretched out over 2 years and phased into many small bites. But that job was the straw that broke my back. The job was losing money at that point because the project manager had misjudged the labor it would take to do the job added to the fact that it was over a year behind schedule even getting started so it was bid at an earlier labor rate before 2 raises had made it much more expensive. We were screwed going in and I bashed my head in for 18 months trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. once I turned the job over it became a bloodbath and it lost a lLOT of money for my boss (over a million). I feel bad, but I did what I could. I had to get out while my brain was not yet on fire.

  3. Beatrice Olivastri is not a “friend of th Earth”–but rather is a Friend of her own fucking ideology

    Idealists who are more attached to their theoretical ideals more than they are attached to concrete facts that might help accomplish their idealistic goals, but don’t fit within their accepted idealistic means…


    They cannot fathom compromises.. and see getting at least half way there as a failure to get all the way there rather than as an attempt to get closer..


  4. I keep wondering who is going to be exempted from these feel-good light bulb regulations. Certainly the film biz. While we use flourescent (special, expensive ones) for occasional lighting, incandescent is what the rest of the bulbs are. And what of car headlights, and flashlight, and blinkers, etc. This is just the usual huggy-enviro bullshit that will be more burden than boon.

    1. Dimming

      That is the big problem with fluorescents. They CAN be dimmed but it takes special ballasts and dimming electronics and it isn’t cheap. Plus most can’t be dimmed more than 80%.

      1. Re: Dimming

        and don’t get me started on the associated RFI

        1. RFI????

          Don’t talk about RFI. Us mere mortals have no say what goes on in the magic radio frequencies. The FCC owns them and there is no other government entity that rules with the complete iron fist that FCC has over the radio frequencies. They are not ours to control or fuss about. They have the sole purview of the airwaves and us hoi polloi just do what we are told and take what we are given and should just shut up about if we know what is good for us.

  5. without a corresponding plan for recycling all those compact fluorescents, the polution problem is *worse*, not better because of the mercury contained in them.

    1. I’d heard arguments on sites (slashdot, digg mainly) suggesting how the mercury content of CFLs is still less than the mercury emissions produced by coal-fired power plants while they generate the extra power required to operate incandescent bulbs over the same lifespan as the CFLs. Not sure what that’s worth in the long run, but it doesn’t do anything for the fact that CFLs create a localized mercury contamination risk…

      1. I heard the same argument, and the trick is apparently the form the mercury takes in CFL’s is a more immediate threat to health than the mercury that is emited via smokestacks.

        just repeatin what i hear….

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