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  1. #1
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    Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    An interesting article to share from HSI:

    Light bulb manufacturers have convinced environmentalists and lawmakers that the compact fluorescent light (CFL) is more energy efficient than the incandescent.
    Okay. No problem. When you go to buy a new light bulb, if you care to spend the extra money (CFLs cost about six times as much as incandescents), you might feel good about helping the environment. Nothing wrong with that. Enjoy.
    Problem is, those light bulb makers have quietly mounted a very successful campaign to MAKE you buy their new bulbs. No choice. Their new bulb is your new bulb.
    This past December, President Bush signed an energy bill that will make it illegal to manufacture or sell incandescent light bulbs as of 2014. So if you prefer incandescent light, too bad for you. Within a decade, every home in the U.S., including yours, will be lit with little glowing swirls of mercury.
    --------------------------------------------
    Mercury rising
    --------------------------------------------
    In the e-Alert "A Modest Proposal" (2/6/08), I told you about the Environmental Protection Agency's tips on how to clean up after a broken CFL. Tip number one suggests you open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes to reduce exposure to mercury.
    And why don't you want to be exposed to mercury? Because it's a neurotoxin. What a fantastic idea! Let's fill fragile tubes with a neurotoxin and place them all over the house!
    Another tip suggests that when broken CFL debris is on the carpet, you should pick up fragments and powder with sticky tape before vacuuming. But an HSI member named Ed spotted a problem here. Ed writes: "If you vacuum the mercury you will blow the mercury around the room through exhaust of the vacuum cleaner."
    Good point, Ed. So to the EPA's tips we can add this one: If you break a CFL in a carpeted area, roll up the carpet, put it on your front lawn, and call the EPA to come take it away.
    Environmentalists claim that filling our homes with CFLs will actually lower our exposure to mercury. Here's how the logic goes: About half the electricity in the U.S. is supplied by burning coal, which emits mercury into the atmosphere. But CFLs are energy efficient, so less coal will be burned, and less mercury will waft on the breeze.
    And that would be a strong pro-CFL argument if we only used electricity to light our lamps. I don't about you, but at my house the refrigerator, the televisions, the computers, the central air, the microwave and dozens of other appliances all run on electricity. I've got a hunch that most of that burning coal is going to keep right on burning.
    --------------------------------------------
    Green to partly green
    --------------------------------------------
    When an HSI member named John read "A Modest Proposal," a CFL went on over his head and he wrote with this question: "Does the danger also exist in the long ones in use for years?"
    By "long ones," of course, John is referring to fluorescent tube lighting that many of us already use in our homes. And the answer is yes the long ones contain mercury and are dangerous when broken. In fact, they're even dangerous when they're not broken in the home. If they're not carefully recycled, they end up breaking in landfills and the mercury may become airborne or migrate into water supplies. According to a U.S. Navy web site, fluorescent tubes in landfills create the second largest source of mercury pollution. You have to imagine that CFLs will only contribute to the problem.
    But no, no, no that won't happen at all, according to environmentalists. Because CFLs will be recycled. See? Problem solved!
    Or that's what will happen in some imaginary perfect green world. Meanwhile, back here on earth, who's kidding who? Millions of burned out CFLs will go straight into the trash.
    --------------------------------------------
    Where's there's smoke…no fire?
    --------------------------------------------
    Out of curiosity I recently purchased a CFL, and was astonished to read this note included in the packaging: "May cause interference to radios, televisions, wireless telephones, and remote controls. Avoid placing this product near these devices."
    You've got to be kidding. In our increasingly wireless society, this is going to be the only type of light bulb we can buy? And in rooms where I have a television, I may have to decide between TV or light? Who in the world came up with this insane plan? And even worse who decided to FORCE it on us?
    But wireless interference is just one of the annoying little problems with CFLs…
    * CFLs don't work well (or sometimes at all) in very cold weather, so operation of porch lights and outdoor security lights in northern states may be erratic in wintertime
    * If a CFL is turned on and off frequently, its energy efficiency drops and its highly-touted life expectancy decreases
    * Most CFLs can't be used with dimmer switches or timers
    * CFLs won't fit in many existing lighting fixtures
    * CFLs may smoke or smolder, but don't worry we're assured they won't catch fire
    Energy Star a government program that encourages energy conservation offers this hilarious procedure to follow when a CFL fills a room with smoke:
    "If you have a product that does begin to smoke or smolder, immediately shut off the power to the CFL and, once it has cooled, remove it from the light socket. Then, send us e-mail…to alert us of this incident. Please include the product manufacturer's name and model information that is included on the CFL base and if possible an electronic photo. Also please tell us how the CFL was used open or enclosed light fixture; indoors or outdoors; base orientation up, down or sideways. Then visit the manufacturer's web site to find customer service contact information to inform them of the early failure."
    When a CFL in my home starts smoking I'm going to get rid of the foul thing. I'm not going to send Energy Star an e-mail, and I'm not going to tell them how I was using it, and I'm not going to visit the manufacturer's web site.
    But then maybe someone is busy right now writing a law that will force me to do those things.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I know that when I was cleaning churches and businesses, that there was a special disposal method for flourescents. Basically, we put them in a special (EPA approved) box, and they would break once they penetrated the box at a certain distance, and then you could just throw away the bulb.

    I never looked into the box, (I'm not completely stupid) so I don't know how the collector operated, but you had to turn it in and get a new one every "x" amount of bulbs you broke into it.

    Revenge effect and unintended consequences loom everywhere. Even in "green" solutions, and especially in gov't mandated solutions.


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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I hate the fact that they don't fit some of my enclosed light fixures. I really have to use the old bulbs. I think this is like the goverment getting involved in the digital T.V. deal. It's just a clever way to make us go buy new things like light fixures. I have 1 flat screen T.V. and now I have to go buy addapters of some sort for my childrens t.v's or get flat screens for there bedrooms. My kids don't deserve flat screens by the way. There good kids but let's not get crazy.



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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    "They can take our lives, but they'll never take, OUR LIGHTBULBS!" or something like that.


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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    There was an opinion column in the Daily about this last Friday.


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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I was listening to rush Limbaugh on this, and a new study was published that said it is dangerous to even go near a piece of carpet that a flourescent broke on. They also can't be dimmed. These Environmentalist wackos are screwing everything up!



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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I have three of them in my garage as an experiment. They light up well in the cold after three minutes.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I have them outside my house, and in the winter they take like 15 min to get gonig. It really sucks! I hate the darn things. Plus I like my lights dimmed sometimes, and you cannot do that with CFL's. Plus they give off odd colors, so they make your paint job look well just odd.


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775

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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    I was listening to rush Limbaugh on this, and a new study was published that said it is dangerous to even go near a piece of carpet that a flourescent broke on. They also can't be dimmed. These Environmentalist wackos are screwing everything up!
    Actually, they can be dimmed but you have to pay even more for "dimmable" bulbs. Hopefully the technology on these things will improve and all the negatives go away.



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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    Why can't they make them look like the old bulbs so they fit everywhere?



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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    Certain light fixtures will have to be changed out to even fit with comopact CFLs. Buy stock in the light fixture and buld making companies.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    Quote Originally Posted by cyismydog View Post
    I was listening to rush Limbaugh on this, and a new study was published that said it is dangerous to even go near a piece of carpet that a flourescent broke on. They also can't be dimmed. These Environmentalist wackos are screwing everything up!
    You can regurgitate his rhetoric pretty well. Congrats!



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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    California beat the federal government to it on mandating the use of the CFL.

    Electic rates in this area are substantially higher than in the lower 48. Our municipal electrical utility is powered by diesel generators and diesel costs a lot up here since it has to be barged and can not be trucked. I have been using the CFL since I have lived in this area and have found that they more than pay for themselves. I also haven't had any of the fixtures fail so I haven't had to deal with the disposal issue.


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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I've been into slowly replacing my bulbs with these new ones. I've never heard of the issues with the mercury though...yikes.


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    Re: Hoard your Light Bulbs Now

    I've replaced about every bulb in the house with the newer bulbs where I can. hard to tell if it really helps though, I think the heat bill is what kills all of us the most with the high cost of gas.


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