Tag Archives: CFL idiocy

But they won’t allow cell phone towers anywhere near schools or playgrounds


Who ya gonna believe: me, or your own dead eyes?

Who ya gonna believe: me, or your own dead eyes?

CFL bulbs will blind you and cause skin cancer, doctors say.

How would you view a man who’s stockpiled a lifetime supply of old-fashioned lightbulbs because he believes low-energy bulbs could lead to blindness?

You might well dismiss him as dotty. But the man in question, John Marshall, is no crank. In fact, he’s one of Britain’s most eminent eye experts, the professor of ophthalmology at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. So concerned is he that he has boxes stacked with old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs at home.

‘I bulk bought incandescent lightbulbs before the Government made it illegal to import them,’ he says. ‘I can’t give you an exact number, but I have enough to see me out.’

Nor is he alone in his concerns about modern lightbulbs. Another eminent British professor, John Hawk, an expert in skin disease, is warning they may cause sunburn-like damage, premature aging and even skin cancer.

He doesn’t have any low-energy bulbs in his house, explaining: ‘I have lots of old-style bulbs I bought in bulk when they were available.’

Sustained exposure to ultraviolet light wavelengths from CFLs increases the risk of two seriously debilitating eye conditions, macular degeneration and cataracts, the professor claims.

With macular degeneration, the macula, which is at the centre of the retina, becomes damaged with age. A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye. These are two of the leading causes of blindness in Britain.

‘If you are in a country with high levels of ultraviolet light, your eyes will age faster,’ he says. ‘This is why the incidence of cataracts is earlier and greater nearer the equator, where sunlight is at its strongest, so there is more light across all spectrums. CFLs may have a similar effect.

‘The exposure can also significantly increase your risk of macular degeneration. The biggest risk factor for this is age, as it commonly starts to affect people from 60 to 80.

‘You will almost certainly exacerbate that risk with low-energy lightbulbs,’ adds the professor, who last month warned his colleagues of the dangers at Optrafair, a national education forum for opticians.

Global warming hysteria kills.



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Fire at will, Gridley

Bombs away!

I’m still a lawyer, goddammit, and I can figure out free speech issues as necessary. If Amazon can ship CFL light bulbs to consumers, then surely we constituents can send a few to our representatives in Washington. So let’s do it! I’m sending along this post to some of my more influential friends on the Internet, like Walter Olson at Cato Institute and of course the peerfesser at Instapundit, but any of you folks with Facebook pages who want to join in, please do so. I ask again – what will Washington do with a million “toxic” light bulbs? they’ll have to evacuate the city! Such fun.

If we can make this a national movement, there’s no need to dig up our individual Senator’s address. Just send a bulb or two to the Hart Building.  They may have to forward the packages to the reps at their Montana summer retreats but my guess is that everyone will run screaming from the building, leaving the light bulbs to await for the senators’ return this fall. Go for it.

UPDATE: Cool! Instapudit has mentioned this Alice’s Restaurant movement. So dig up your damned CFLs (a failed one would be most appropriate but I toss mine, mercury and all, into the trash so I’ll have to send a working model) and mail away. I’m going to ask at the post office, discretely, whether they have a hazmat sticker I can affix. Wouldn’t that cause some consternation at the Hart Building?


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The incandescent bulb ban hits in six months

Don’t worry though. Yeah, CFL bulbs don’t work and will pollute your home and landfills with mercury but there are new LED lights that do work, supposedly. Of course, they cost $50 per bulb, but that’s only a problem for those earning less than a half- million per year, eh?

I’ve been predicting for at least two years now that the real tea party revolution won’t hit until the light bulb ban takes effect. I wonder whether the Republicans are too stupid to get ahead of the wave by repealing the law or are they brilliant strategists, determined to let the ban come and then saddle the Democrats with the voters’ outrage?


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CFL bulbs

I just replaced a CFL bulb, again, for my mother. I noticed, when opening the package, that GE claims it “lasts 8 years!”. The one I was replacing was maybe four months old.  As Ma pointed out, GE’s claim (no warranty on these things, of course) is valid only if you don’t actually use it. What a hoax Congress has foisted on us.


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I’ve said it before: the rebellion starts when they take way our light bulbs

Germans go nuts as incandescent bulbs disappear from store shelves. The Germans are an orderly people, Americans less so, and when Americans realize that Congress has foisted this crap product on us, rendering recessed lighting useless and exposing us to $40 bulbs that require hazmat teams to dispose of, they’re finally going to understand what’s wrong with a powerful, centralized government. Or that’s my hope, anyway.

In the meantime, EU officials profess not to be concerned.

“You can . . . look at it the same way that you’re looking at improvements of washing machines and fridges, where consumers don’t even notice that the fridges [have] become more efficient,” said Andras Toth, a policy officer in the EU’s energy directorate.

The difference, Andras, is that efficient washing machines and refrigerators work better than the appliances they’re replacing. CFLs do not – they are the next low-water toilet, only far, far worse.


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The lights are going out all over Europe

I doubt we will see them go on again in our lifetime. Coming to our very own United States of America, Land of the Free, the same idiotic ban on incandescent light bulbs. Not a popular move across the sea but our own tree huggers will no doubt bless the darkness.

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What I’ve been saying

Washington state spawns a population of phosphate smugglers.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

Washington State has turned its residents into a group of drug runners — crossing state lines to buy dish washer detergent with phosphate.

At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?

At some point soon, it will happen. It’ll be over an innocuous issue. But the rage is building. It’s not a partisan issue. There is bipartisan angst at out of control government made worse by dumb bans like this and unintended consequences like AIG’s bonus problems.

If the GOP plays its cards right, it will have a winning issue in 2010. But it is going to have to get back to “leave me the hell alone” style federalism where the national government recedes and the people themselves will have to fight to take their states back from special interests out of touch with body politic as a whole.

I’ve been predicting that the rage will erupt when incandescent lightbulbs disappear but I certainly agree with the author – if the Republicans want to take advantage of the coming rage, they should start distancing themselves from this crap, now.

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Domes leak; CFL’s suck

The observation about domes was Stewart Brand’s (“The Whole Earth Catalogue”) summation of the failed “back-to-nature” movement by the late 60’s hippies. The conclusion about compact fluorescent bulbs is reported today by The New York Times.

SAN FRANCISCO — It sounds like such a simple thing to do: buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, save the planet.

But a lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts.

Take the case of Karen Zuercher and her husband, in San Francisco. Inspired by watching the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” they decided to swap out nearly every incandescent bulb in their home for energy-saving compact fluorescents. Instead of having a satisfying green moment, however, they wound up coping with a mess.

“Here’s my sad collection of bulbs that didn’t work,” Ms. Zuercher said the other day as she pulled a cardboard box containing defunct bulbs from her laundry shelf.

One of the 16 Feit Electric bulbs the Zuerchers bought at Costco did not work at all, they said, and three others died within hours. The bulbs were supposed to burn for 10,000 hours, meaning they should have lasted for years in normal use. “It’s irritating,” Ms. Zuercher said.

Irritation seems to be rising as more consumers try compact fluorescent bulbs, which now occupy 11 percent of the nation’s eligible sockets, with 330 million bulbs sold every year. Consumers are posting vociferous complaints on the Internet after trying the bulbs and finding them lacking.

Experts say the quality problems are compounded by poor package instructions. Using the bulbs incorrectly, like screwing low-end bulbs into fixtures where heat is prone to build up, can greatly shorten their lives. [like your recessed lighting and overheads – ed]

Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components.

“In the pursuit of the holy grail, we stepped on the consumer,” said Michael Siminovitch, director of a lighting center at the University of California, Davis.

Compact fluorescents once cost as much as $30 apiece. Now they go for as little as $1 — still more than regular bulbs, but each compact fluorescent is supposed to last 10 times longer, save as much as $5.40 a bulb each year in electricity, and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal in power plants.

Consumers are supposed to be able to protect themselves by buying bulbs certified under the government’s Energy Star program. But experts and some environmental groups complain that Energy Star standards are weak, permitting low-quality bulbs with too high a level of mercury, a toxic metal contained in all compact fluorescents.

“The standard essentially establishes a floor, which sorts out the junk, with the expectation that the rest is good,” Mr. Siminovitch said. “It’s not.”

The government, which will begin enforcing tighter specifications this year, [Congress has banned incandescent light bulbs, beginning in 2010 – ed] says it must seek a balance between quality and affordability to achieve its goal of getting millions of additional consumers to install the bulbs.

“Something that is perfect but not affordable wouldn’t serve the broad interests,” said Peter Banwell, the Energy Department’s manager of product marketing for Energy Star.

Here’s a hint for the idiot politicians who have banned them: there is already a product that is perfect and affordable and has worked successfully for over 100 years – it’s the incandescent bulbs. Voters may not revolt over paying high taxes, although I hope they will. When they have to deal with these Congressionally mandated bulbs, find that they’re junk and then discover that they can no longer buy incandescents, we may finally see the anger at Washington I’ve been dreaming of for years.

UPDATE: Don’t forget “Celebrate Civilization Hour” tonight at 8:30 PM! Turn on all your incandescent bulbs!



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Wrap them in toilet paper and ship them to Detroit

You may not want those damn CFL bulbs but Detroit needs them. Don’t forget the toilet paper.

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It will happen here!

Millions of Britons swarming store aisles grabbing the last 100 Watt light bulbs before EU ban goes into effect next week. [hat tip, reader CH)The reader who suggested we’d be imprisoned on terrorism charges if we dropped CFL bulbs in the Capitol was probably right so in the alternative why not send an unbroken bulb to either:


Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (shut down San Francisco!)

U.S. Congress/District Office, 450 Golden Gate Ave., 14th Floor – San Francisco, CA 94102

Barbra Streisand
160 West 96th Street
New York, NY 10025

Or heck, just your own Senator, c/o:

724 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Remember, we’ll be subjected to the same asinine prohibition beginning 2012 so we have just three years to fill Washington with mercury. Mail early and often!

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CFLs and a call for civil disobedience

Why don’t a hundred people or so gather at the Capitol and each drop a CFL bulb in the new billion dollar Visitors Center (the one Harry Reid likes so much because he is now shielded from his constituents’ BO)? What good would that do? Bring the government to a complete screeching halt, if these EPA cleanup guidelines are followed.

What to Do if a Fluorescent Light Bulb Breaks

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are lighting more homes than ever before, and EPA is encouraging Americans to use and recycle them safely. Carefully recycling CFLs prevents the release of mercury into the environment and allows for the reuse of glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights.

EPA is continually reviewing its clean-up and disposal recommendations for CFLs to ensure that the Agency presents the most up-to-date information for consumers and businesses. Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection released a CFL breakage study report Exit EPA Disclaimer on February 25, 2008. EPA has conducted an initial review of this study and, as a result of this review, we have updated the CFL cleanup instructions below.

Pending the completion of a full review of the Maine study, EPA will determine whether additional changes to the cleanup recommendations are warranted. The agency plans to conduct its own study on CFLs after thorough review of the Maine study.

Fluorescent light bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal below. Please also read the information on this page about what never to do with a mercury spill.

Before Clean-up: Air Out the Room

  • Have people and pets leave the room, and don’t let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  • Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.

Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

  • Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  • Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug

  • Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
  • Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding and Other Soft Materials

  • If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
  • You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.
  • If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

Disposal of Clean-up Materials

  • Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.
  • Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.
  • Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

  • The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window before vacuuming.
  • Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.


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From the people who’ll be bringing you the Trabant II

edisonObama is gung ho on flourescent light bulbs. Here’s what one happy fan has to say about them:

He keeps talking about changing light bulbs!

Is he talking about those CFCs?! Hate, hate, hate them. Have them all over the house. A couple weeks ago, my husband accidentally broke one. Have you ever seen the clean-up instructions for them? Total nightmare. All of that over a stupid broken bulb. I will never install one in the house again, and if regular bulbs are banned, I will buy a storage shed and fill it with enough regular bulbs to last years.

More on the total nightmare that was this bulb breaking:

It broke in a storage closet. You have to throw away any bedding that comes in contact with the broken pieces. Bye bye, down comforter. Bye bye, two upholstered baby seats. You have to wipe down EVERYTHING with damp paper towels because the powder with the mercury fills the air and settles on everything. Hello, wiping down every single holiday decoration we own and other miscellaneous objects. Every tried to wipe down an artificial tree? Me neither–bought a new one. Oh, but really you aren’t supposed to just wipe up the powder; no, you have to pick up every bit of it with TAPE! Have you ever had to go over your entire carpet with tape before? It is not fun. Venting out the house and turning off the central heat was fun that day too. I like hanging out in a forty degree house.

And since the EPA wants you to use these bulbs, their directions are actually less strict than the study they’re derived from recommends. That study recommends replacing the carpet!Over alight bulb!!!

I don’t even know why these made it to the marketplace.

As noted here before, many times, if these awful things did what they promised people would buy them without a governmental edict. My liberal friends think that people are too stupid to decide these matters for themselves but they, wise, beneficent graduates of Ivies as they are, will step in and tell the dolts what they need and what they must use to heat and light their homes, where and how to educate their children (you did notice that Obama, an opponent of school choice in Washington D.C., is sending his kids to private school?) and what to drive. I admire my friends’ confidence in their native abilities and keen intelligence but I do wish they’d leave me alone.


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