March 27, 2008

The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.

Thank you, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

Via James Lileks, via Instapundit.

Give me freedom of choice on my light bulbs, or I will start a movement to ban your evil mercury fluorescent bulbs of death.

186 comments:

Beldar said...

There's no reason why a well-informed marketplace can't be trusted to make appropriate decisions about these and competing products.

What's very troubling is the rush toward governmental inference with the market before the necessary information has even been gathered and distributed.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

When I moved into my home in July, after some extensive rehab and redecorating, I decided to use those nee high falootin, cute, curly cue light bulbs. Not out of any sense of altruism or concern over the environment, but because they last longer and are cheaper to use.

Big mistake. The light they emit- harsh white- brings out the yellows in the color of paint on my walls. It creates a very depressing atmosphere. I went back to those old fashioned light bulbs.

If they pass a law, I will be stocking up on incandescents. My next project- wood burning fireplace. I have to get it done before they outlaw them too.

Note, I love the phony claim that the bulbs save energy. If I want to dispose of them, I have to drive cross town to a state agency. I have to burn gas to save the environment.

bearbee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearbee said...

what...you...do...not...like...being...
told...how...to...live...
every...nanosecond...of...your...life...
how...odd...

Hoosier Daddy said...

There's no reason why a well-informed marketplace can't be trusted to make appropriate decisions about these and competing products.

Well the operative word there is 'well-informed'. Taking a look at the housing 'crisis', it would seem there were a lot less well informed people out there than we may want to give credit to. All that did was fuel the socialist argument that the consumer is simply too stupid to make intelligent choices on their, hence, the government will do it for you.

What's very troubling is the rush toward governmental inference with the market before the necessary information has even been gathered and distributed.

It's not troubling if you're an AlGore devotee who insists the debate is over on AGW.

MadisonMan said...

You can have my incandescents when you pry them from my cold dead fingers!

Freedom of Choice, is what you want. Freedom from choice, is what you've got. Sorry Devo.

MadisonMan said...

How can I mention devo and not link to the video?

Freder Frederson said...

All that did was fuel the socialist argument that the consumer is simply too stupid to make intelligent choices on their, hence, the government will do it for you.

Consumer? Considering the Fed's bailout of Bear Stearns and the need to print (or create) hundreds of billions of dollars in the last few weeks, it looks like the "geniuses" on Wall Street are simply too stupid to make intelligent choices on their own.

I heard Robert Rubin say on NPR that no one could have predicted the meltdown in the subprime mortgage market or the sharp downturn in real estate prices. He should have asked me. I predicted it years ago.

What is so earth shaking about efficiency standards for lightbulbs, we have them for a bunch of other household products (e.g. furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators).

As for not liking the light these bulbs give off or the mercury content--the industry is working hard to rectify those problems and even better technolgies are in the pipline (e.g., LED bulbs).

So quit your bitchin' and do something unselfish for once.

TMink said...

Beldar wrote: "What's very troubling is the rush toward governmental inference with the market before the necessary information has even been gathered and distributed."

Beldar, if I may be so bold as to do a little editing, all in good fun and friendship mind you! I would have stuck with: "What's very troubling is the rush toward governmental inference."

Giving myself a little dose of my own medicine, I can further improve by more snippage! "What's very troubling is the government!"

Good point, thanks for letting me have a little fun.

Trey

former law student said...

I broke one of those fragile twisty bulbs and now I found out I should have cut out a big swath of the carpet. Do NOT vacuum. Have a glass mason jar at the ready to pick up the debris and seal it. I can only pray we do not end up mad as hatters.

Freder Frederson said...

It's not troubling if you're an AlGore devotee who insists the debate is over on AGW.

Regardless of AGW, conserving energy is a good in and of itself.

Simon said...

Beldar said...
"There's no reason why a well-informed marketplace can't be trusted to make appropriate decisions about these and competing products."

Well, sure. But the problem is, what's an "appropriate" decision? The market works fine when "appropriate" means the "best" product is - that is, the product that best balances price with utility. But the people who pushed the lightbulb ban have a different metric for "appropriate": they want consumers to pay more for a product that has no particular utility for them. That's something the market can never accmplish because it's antithetical to the concept of the market. The new bulbs had been on the market for years; the persistence of incandescent bulbs indicates that the market had already made a decision that was, in one sense, "appropriate": it decided that either the new lightbulbs weren't any more environmentally friendly, or being environmentally friendly wasn't worth the added cost. But that wasn't the "appropriate" result from the environmentalist perspective. if your starting point is the adoption of a particular product and the suppression of another, then it's obvious that the market has failed to achieve that goal and regulation is therefore necessary.

Such is the mantra of Hayek's planners, represented today by the group that now calls itself the "progressives": choice is absolute, sacrosanct, and inviolable, with the singular and sole exception that when people make the wrong choice, then we'll have to take the choice out of your hands for the common good.

Pastor_Jeff said...

conserving energy is a good in and of itself.

Then what are you doing on the computer, for heaven's sake? You're being immoral by even commenting!

Freder Frederson said...

I broke one of those fragile twisty bulbs and now I found out I should have cut out a big swath of the carpet. Do NOT vacuum. Have a glass mason jar at the ready to pick up the debris and seal it. I can only pray we do not end up mad as hatters.

I just love you conservatives. When it is mercury coming from coal power plants, there is absolutely nothing to worry about and it is just a big kerfluffle blown out of proportion by environmentalists and nanny-state liberals. Now that there is mercury in something you don't like we are all going to die.

Btw, there is a lot more mercury in a conventional fluorescent tube than the compact ones (and they break a lot more easily). Why is this suddenly the end of the world?

Pogo said...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C.S. Lewis


Smoking, light bulbs, dietary fat, speech codes.
Soon to follow: mandatory exercise, correct haircuts, one child per household and compulsory abortions.

Liberal fascism.
What is not compulsory is forbidden.
Because we know what's best for you.

MadisonMan said...

Regardless of AGW, conserving energy is a good in and of itself.

I had a lengthy reply agreeing and then bemoaning the linkage of everything to AGW. Bleah. Blogger ate it. Blogger Gods like crisp posts.

Sell energy conservation as a means to stifle cash flow to corrupt nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Freder Frederson said...

But the people who pushed the lightbulb ban have a different metric for "appropriate": they want consumers to pay more for a product that has no particular utility for them.

The problem with your argument Simon is that apparently you don't understand that the purchase price of a bulb is not its true cost. Simple economics tells you that when you buy something like a light bulb that a rational consumer should factor in the life cycle costs and there is no doubt that compact (and conventional) fluorescents have a much lower life cycle cost than incandescents because of their lower energy consumption and longer life.

So consumers are paying more, not less, to stick with a 130 year old technology.

AlphaLiberal said...

No matter how you dress it up, this is more of the effort to claim a right to pollute.

There is no such right to pollute.

In other news, high efficiency bulbs without mercury are in the pipeline. But, of course, conservatives who love to waste, waste, waste will oppose those bulbs, also.

Tim said...

"Because we know what's best for you."

Even as they know nothing, they know that.

Tim said...

"There is no such right to pollute."

Says you.

Simon said...

Pastor_Jeff said...
"[If conserving energy is a good in and of itself, t]hen what are you doing on the computer, for heaven's sake? You're being immoral by even commenting!"

LOL. It's like the definition of pork - "pork" is any project that you think is a waste of money but that someone else thinks is a good investment. Energy is "wasted" when it's used in a way that you don't think is valuable but that someone else does.

Pogo said...

Here's a nice soundbite typifying Democratic thought:

At a town meeting at the Brian Coyle Center in South Minneapolis on Saturday March 8, 2008, MN State Senator Larry Pogemiller(D) said this, ostensibly about roads and schools:

"I think it's simplistic and naive to say people can spend their money better than the government."

"The notion that everybody can individually spend their money better than government I, I just think is trite, wrongheaded and anti-democratic."

Listen for yourself.
Typical socialistic coercive liberal fascism.

AlphaLiberal said...

Tim, are you saying there is a right to pollute?

It's really, genuinely sad to see conservatives rail against energy efficiency as they do when supporting gas guzzling cars and energy wasting light bulbs.

So much for the pro-efficiency conservative. Another myth bites the dust.

And, please, the idea that the energy industry reflects a working free marketplace is a very bad and very costly joke. Deregulation has resulted in consumers being ripped off across the country. (To our conservative friends, that would be a bad thing).

AlphaLiberal said...

By the way, if people are ticked off at high gas prices, you should direct your ire toward gas guzzlers.

Our high gas prices are driven by high demand. And the millions of wasteful gas guzzlers on the roads today are driving up gas prices.

Pogo, indeed. "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Pastor_Jeff said...

Sell energy conservation as a means to stifle cash flow to corrupt nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Ah, now that's energy conservation I can get behind.

Energy conservation is a relative good, not an absolute one. We could reduce energy consumption to zero by living in caves and not lighting fires.

The simplistic cry of "conserve energy" is meant to stifle debate and give the impression that there are simple solutions which selfish people don't want to adopt out of pure malevolence. Who's going to be the first to move into the cave, though? Not Al Gore, obviously.


There is no such right to pollute.

There is no life on earth without pollution of some kind. There's a good debate to be had about how much and what kind, looking at various economic and quality of life trade-offs, but that debate is shut down by absoloutists who live in a fantasy world where magic ponies poop free, clean, and unlimited energy -- and lollipops.

Justin said...

Freder Frederson said...

As for not liking the light these bulbs give off or the mercury content--the industry is working hard to rectify those problems and even better technolgies are in the pipline (e.g., LED bulbs).

Then maybe the government should wait until the industry is finished "rectify[ing] those problems" or the "even better technologies in the pipeline" are ready before legislating. Why force everyone to buy immature technology? Especially when it's also dangerous?

Tim said...

"There is no such right to pollute."

I'm exhaling carbon dioxide; I've got my lights on; I've used the toilet and the shower; I've eaten breakfast and thrown away the yogurt container; my coffee grounds are in the garbage (don't even begin to talk about composting...); I've run two loads of laundry going AND my computer is on.

I have yet to be arrested by Algore's Kyoto-Compliance "There is no such right to pollute" Police for, well, it should be obvious by now - polluting.

So shove that sh*t-for-brains nonsense up your tailpipe, pal.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"But, of course, conservatives who love to waste, waste, waste will oppose those bulbs, also."

No one likes to "waste, waste, waste." Some of us do resent government telling us what's "waste," however, and resent even more being asked to waste our money on the latest liberal fad. Me, I use the weirdo twisty bulbs. I don't care about some nebulous mercury content, and I don't care about spending a few extra bucks. But I can afford to do so, and to my eyes, they're not especially worse than the normal bulbs. Other people may disagree about the quality of the light, or not have the money to spare, however, and that makes their choice to stick with regular bulbs a rational choice in the market. It's a choice that progressives want to preempt in the name of progress (we are told).

Tim said...

"By the way, if people are ticked off at high gas prices, you should direct your ire toward gas guzzlers."

This is only slightly right.

The lessor value of the dollar AND the extreme growth in demand for oil by China and India explains most of the increasing prices for oil.

But you'd have to access the super-secret business news reports on the TOP SECRET Internet to find that out.

So sorry you don't have access.

Simon said...

MadisonMan, if you get an error page, sometimes hitting refresh will prompt you to resend the POSTDATA and the comment will go through.

Sornie said...

The fact that Bachmann has enough time to focus on something as miniscule as light bulbs shows that she has no place being an elected rep from suburban Minnesota beyond her current term. As for properly recycling the CFL bulbs without expending extra fuel, combine your trips, think ahead and stuff the burned out ones (every 8 or so years) in a closet and as people become more energy conscious, recycling programs will become more readily available. Fluorescent is the norm in office settings and they have no problem recycling the bulbs, why can't homeowners do the same?

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo:

Please report for your guvmint issued haircut which will be provided while you run the guvmint mandated 3 miles on a treadmill.

Pastor_Jeff said...

fluorescents have a much lower life cycle cost than incandescents because of their lower energy consumption and longer life.

So consumers are paying more, not less, to stick with a 130 year old technology.


And your point is ...? That people shouldn't have the right to buy more expensive products which they happen to prefer?

I happen to use both CFLs and incandescents. But CFLs really produce harsh, ugly light. Maybe after working all day in offices with flourescent light, people want to go home to a warm, inviting incandescent glow.

Why should they not be allowed to?

Freder Frederson said...

Other people may disagree about the quality of the light, or not have the money to spare, however, and that makes their choice to stick with regular bulbs a rational choice in the market.

I know you're not reading my posts, but you are simply wrong, wrong, wrong. Buying incandescent bulbs is an irrational choice if you are concerned about cost.

Freder Frederson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Interesting response from "conservatives*" on the "right to pollute."

A) They embrace pollution as a necessary fact of life which should not be opposed, and,

B) They insult anyone disagreeing with A.

Not much of a thinking process occurring there. Pretty rudimentary skills at reasoning and logic. No wonder "conservatives*" hate science so much.

* - Modern conservatives, ironically, hate conservation of nature or energy and oppose same at every chance. Hence, this dip's bill and the vitriol against efficiency and for waste.

AJ Lynch said...

Sornie:

Hello!!! In case you were not paying attention, Bachmann's proposal is a response to a bill that was passed already by Congress banning regular light bulbs. I suspect Congress already wasted many many many hours to pass that dictatorial piece of feelgood tree-hugging crap.

Freder Frederson said...

And your point is ...? That people shouldn't have the right to buy more expensive products which they happen to prefer?

Simon's point was that rational consumers choose incandescent bulbs based on price. My point is that he apparently doesn't understand basic economic concepts even though he worships a bunch of economists.

I guess it just goes to show that even people who claim to be "rational" consumers can't even be trusted to understand the most elementary economic concepts (like life cycle costs).

Pastor_Jeff said...

Buying incandescent bulbs is an irrational choice if you are concerned about cost.

Again, so what? Buying a Cadillac is an irrational choice if you're concerned about cost. Cost isn't the only factor in a purchasing decision. That's where there are ... brands! Choice! Markets! All the things that government planners want to take away in the name of efficiency.

I've got news for you -- humans don't like being told what to do or forced into uniformity, especially in the name of what someone else thinks makes sense. Government is supposed to exist for the sake of people, and not the other way around.

AlphaLiberal said...

Finally, before I reapply nose to grindstone, let's remember Michelle Bachmann is just doing her best to fill Katherine Harris' clown shoes.

bearbee said...

"I think it's simplistic and naive to say people can spend their money better than the government."

"The notion that everybody can individually spend their money better than government I, I just think is trite, wrongheaded and anti-democratic."


Schmuck

downtownlad said...

This is the same rabidly anti-gay Michelle Bachman who said that God told her to run for Congress, and who hid behind Bush's to spy on a perfectly legal GLBT rally.

Ann has some strange friends these days.

Bachman thinks that the government shouldn't be able to choose our lightbulbs, but that they can prevent us from choosing who we want to marry.

I have a word for people like Michelle. It's four letters, starts with C, and rhymes with runt.

former law student said...

Regardless of AGW, conserving energy is a good in and of itself.

fred would sacrifice his infants and toddlers to the energy gods. Those who feel differently should follow the state of Maine's clean up recommendations:

http://www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/homeowner/cflbreakcleanup.htm

Regarding electric power plant emissions: Those are diluted by the Earth's atmosphere, not concentrated in my living room. Note that allowing thorough ventilation is the first step to reduce the hazard of a shattered compact fluorescent.

Regarding four-foot fluorescent tubes: Those are thicker-walled and much sturdier than the little twisty tubes. Brushing the end of a fluorescent tube against a hard surface will merely scrape the steel electrode pins, not shatter the tube. Further, not living in a factory or supermarket, I have no fluorescent tubes in the living quarters of my home.

I would gladly wait for the LED lamp, even though it uses large quantities of arsenic in its production.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hoosier Daddy…
It's not troubling if you're an AlGore devotee who insists the debate is over on AGW.


Especially since Al Gore stands to make a few billion dollars out of it.

Fred Frederson…
I heard Robert Rubin say on NPR that no one could have predicted the meltdown in the subprime mortgage market or the sharp downturn in real estate prices. He should have asked me. I predicted it years ago.

HA HA HA HA HA! You really cannot be serious! Robert Rubin? Who oversaw the near melt down of Citi-Bank due to its poor credit practices? That Robert Rubin? Citi had to be bailed out a wealthy Arabian who owns a piece of it. If he had not stepped in, the government would have had to bail them out. Man, you are a comedian. Robert Rubin- expert banker. HA HA HA HA HA!!!

BTW, I also predicted the melt down around five years ago. You cannot artificially inflate any market to keep it going with out it crashing. That is what all those ridiculous mortgages did.

Fred Frederson…
So quit your bitchin' and do something unselfish for once.

Not just no, but hell no!

Justin said...

downtownlad said...

[Michelle Bachman] hid behind Bush's to spy on a perfectly legal GLBT rally.

Hid behind Bush's what?

Pastor_Jeff said...

Simon's point was that rational consumers choose incandescent bulbs based on price.

Really? Where did he say that? What Simon wrote was:

Other people may disagree about the quality of the light, or not have the money to spare, however, and that makes their choice to stick with regular bulbs a rational choice in the market.

Simon said (heh - Simon said) that people come to different conclusions about the value of products based on various factors, and that their decisions are rational based on their own valuation. Cost is only one factor. Why is that so hard to understand?

Geez, do you want me to make your argument for you? Here: "The market cost of incandescent bulbs doesn't relfect their true cost because of environmental impact and energy use. Government should put an energy inefficiency tax on them to reflect their true cost to all consumers."

That's at least an argument we can debate. Simply saying "People shouldn't be allowed to make decisions I don't find reasonable" is rather pointless. And stupid. And megalomaniacal.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Consumer? Considering the Fed's bailout of Bear Stearns and the need to print (or create) hundreds of billions of dollars in the last few weeks, it looks like the "geniuses" on Wall Street are simply too stupid to make intelligent choices on their own.

Yes Freder the consumer. That is the person that actually has to make the final decision on buying a service or product. I can offer an attractive variable rate loan on a truckload of dogshit but it inevitably boils down to the consumer to determine if its a good purchase.

People who were purchased truly deceptive loans, yes, help them out. People who bought homes in excess of 4-5x their annual income on a variable loan, interest only loan or other dumbass scheme, screw them. Trust me, I saw a lot of that crap going on. Oh I only make $100K a year but I can purchase a $450K home with ZERO down with a lovely 5.45% variable interest rate. I'm no Rainman but even I can do that math.

And I missed where I was defending the geniuses on Wall Street. Or are you just showing your ass by making a wrongheaded assumption as usual?

downtownlad said...

“It’s part of Satan I think to say that this is “gay.” It’s anything but gay.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

“You have a teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says “Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.” The mother says “Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.” The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, “Hmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.” And you think, “Oh, that’s, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.” Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

“(He) also fails to acknowledge other psychological factors that could contribute to homosexual youth committing suicide, like family problems or abuse or maybe the fact of what they’re doing.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

“This is a very serious matter, because it is our children who are the prize for this community, they are specifically targeting our children.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

Interviewer: “Answer the question, do you hate homos?” MB: “No, but ask my kids! (laughter)” — Senator Michele Bachmann, Tom Barnard Morning Show, KQRS, broadcast May 12, 2005.

downtownlad said...

Justin - She hid behind a bush.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
This is the same rabidly anti-gay Michelle Bachman who said that God told her to run for Congress, and who hid behind Bush's to spy on a perfectly legal GLBT rally.



Oh Christ,
Give the gay stuff a rest already. Man, you are a narrow minded, one issue, deranged puppy.

downtownlad said...

I'll give it a rest middle class guy when I get my rights.

As long as people like you and Michelle Bachman are going to discriminate me and turn your life's agenda into making gays second class citizens, I will NOT give it a rest.

Middle Class Guy said...

Pogo said...
"I think it's simplistic and naive to say people can spend their money better than the government."

"The notion that everybody can individually spend their money better than government I, I just think is trite, wrongheaded and anti-democratic."

Reminds you of anyone Pogo? Someone who raised taxes on the Middle Class while he lied and said he was raising taxes on the wealthy? Someone who said that people are not responsible enough to spend, save, or invest their own money wisely so the government has to step in and spend their money for them? Then he raised our taxes? Took money out of our pockets when it was unnecessary?

Guy’s name was Bill Clinton, the former Liar in Chief.

bearbee said...

But CFLs really produce harsh, ugly light.

When I made my first purchase, I bought a both 'day light' quality and normal.

The 'day light' is harsh and too bright with a slight bluish tone while the normal gives a warm tone not unlike the incandescents.

Simon said...

Sornie said...
"The fact that Bachmann has enough time to focus on something as miniscule as light bulbs shows that she has no place being an elected rep from suburban Minnesota beyond her current term."

The issue isn't lightbulbs. The issue is to what extent the federal government can reach into our lives and homes and make decisions for us. This is merely one iteration of the larger problem with the progessive's command-and-control mindset.

Please do furnish us with a list of appropriate topics for a member of Congress' concerns.

Pastor_Jeff said...
"Buying a Cadillac is an irrational choice if you're concerned about cost. Cost isn't the only factor in a purchasing decision."

Exactly.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
I'll give it a rest middle class guy when I get my rights.

As long as people like you and Michelle Bachman are going to discriminate me and turn your life's agenda into making gays second class citizens, I will NOT give it a rest.


Boyo, I have never discriminated against gays. I do not care about gays, one way or the other. But you sound like a two year old.

Original Mike said...

I'll be happy to use CFLs when they produce a pleasing, warm light. Until then, I'm hoarding incandescents.

former law student said...

Fluorescent is the norm in office settings and they have no problem recycling the bulbs, why can't homeowners do the same?

Until now, I had thought only Republicans thought that individuals and big corporations had the same powers, abilities, and resources. Good to know that whatever Trammell-Crow can do, an individual can do.

AlphaLiberal said...

pastor Jeff, you were close. I will improve on your post:

The market cost of incandescent bulbs doesn't reflect their true cost because of costs their use impose on others that are not reflected n the market price. Incandescents seem cheaper because the costs of their pollution are shifted onto other people external to the transactions.

Hence, the economists term "externalties." It's an example of market failures by which the market falls far short of the perfection it's so often claimed to have.

Personally, I think a carbon tax is the best and most elegant policy, that would actually use market mechanisms for something useful. But it's a tax and, so, cons will turn red in the face.

--------
All of which leaves us with that age-old question. What are conservatives conserving, anyway? Not much!

Freder Frederson said...

Really? Where did he say that? What Simon wrote was:

This is where he said that:

"But the people who pushed the lightbulb ban have a different metric for "appropriate": they want consumers to pay more for a product that has no particular utility for them."

He later changed his tune a little without acknowledging my post (because he is a petulent child) and said there were other factors why people wouldn't buy CFLs. But his original post stated clearly that "consumers pay more" for CFLs. This of course is untrue. The initial capital cost of CFLs may be higher, but because of lower energy consumption and longer life, the cost of CFLs is much less than that of incandescents. This is a basic economic principle.

downtownlad said...

You've aligned yourself with Michelle Bachman. Therefore you are responsible for everything she has ever said. Guilty by association. The exact same rules you've used against Obama and his association with Wright.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Our high gas prices are driven by high demand. And the millions of wasteful gas guzzlers on the roads today are driving up gas prices.

Yes and it has nothing to do with the fact that we have ample supplies right here in the US of KKKA and get, lefty enviros don't want to disturb some flea in ANWAR when we could add those supplies to the world market and drive down prices. And provide some good paying jobs you Dems always say are being outsourced.

By the way, my MAZDA SUV gets better mileage than the 73 Chevy I drove in high school. But I suppose anyting other than a Prius is a gas guzzler to you.

downtownlad said...

For the lightbulbs, they should just have a (large) tax on incandescent lights. If you still want them, you can get them, but you should have to pay extra for them.

I should also add that those who use incandescent lights are supporting the terrorists. It causes America to use more foreign oil, which causes Arabs to have more money, which they give to terrorists, which goes to kill Americans. And that is the truth.

former law student said...

The initial capital cost of CFLs may be higher, but because of lower energy consumption and longer life, the cost of CFLs is much less than that of incandescents. This is a basic economic principle.

OK, Mr. Economist, what is the discounted payback period for a 20 W compact fluorescent? State all your assumptions.

Freder Frederson said...

Incandescents seem cheaper because the costs of their pollution are shifted onto other people external to the transactions.

It's more than that, incandescents only seem cheaper because they are cheaper to buy. Even without the externalities, they use more electricity and burn out quicker, so the individual consumer ends up paying more in electricity and bulbs by using incandescents. CFLs now run less than $4 a piece--an incandescent you can pick up for about .50 each. But the CFL will last at least four times as long and save you a lot more than $2 in electricity over its lifetime.

Freder Frederson said...

For the lightbulbs, they should just have a (large) tax on incandescent lights. If you still want them, you can get them, but you should have to pay extra for them.

I happen to agree with you. I also think that rather than setting fuel efficiency standards for cars we should just increase the gas tax.

But you and I both know that new federal taxes are a non-starter.

Pastor_Jeff said...

All of which leaves us with that age-old question. What are conservatives conserving, anyway?

The right to be left alone? The right not to have well-meaning nannies use government power to intrude into every aspect of our lives? The idea that government is best which governs least? The freedom for others to make choices which I don't like?

Not much.

rhhardin said...

I remember a difficulty trying to get Buildings and Grounds to come up and clean up some construction debris before a false floor was laid over it.

``We don't do that kind of work. We just clean up mercury spills and stuff like that.''

``How big a spill do you need?''

``We'll be right up.''

Pogo said...

they use more electricity and burn out quicker

Bullshit. Those supposedly long-lived compact flouro bulbs seem to knock out at the same time as every other damn bulb in my house. Not cheaper at all.

And I toss them in my garbage. If forced to 'recycle' them, I'll toss them in Freder's garbage.

Pastor_Jeff said...

his original post stated clearly that "consumers pay more" for CFLs. This of course is untrue.

Well, I think you're nitpicking over words to try to find fault. It's "of course" true that incandescents do cost less than CFLs. CFLs have a lower lifetime cost (except mine, which seem to die after far fewer than 10,000 hours).

It's a bit like saying that a Taurus with a lower sticker price costs more than a Camry because of lifetime maintenance costs. The person buying the Taurus is paying less at the dealership, however, which is certainly not an irrational decision (well, in the case of a Taurus, maybe).

In any case, Simon's larger point stands -- people make their own valuation of cost and benefit, and should be allowed to do so without the government telling them the "right" choice is.

downtownlad said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SJ4wtwcrybM&feature=related

Original Mike said...

Pogo said: Bullshit. Those supposedly long-lived compact flouro bulbs seem to knock out at the same time as every other damn bulb in my house.

I've been hearing that more and more. Is the long life of CFLs a myth?

Freder Frederson said...

OK, Mr. Economist, what is the discounted payback period for a 20 W compact fluorescent? State all your assumptions.

5.6 months, assuming you are replacing a 75 watt bulb and .08 per Kwh. I didn't use an interest rate to get a true discounted rate because the calculator I found here didn't and I was too lazy to modify the xcel spreadsheet (and it wouldn't change much since the payback period is so short). Your annual savings would be about $9.73

former law student said...

The right not to have well-meaning nannies use government power to intrude into every aspect of our lives?

The "liberal" dogooder can't resist nannyism even when it does nothing to further his goals. Compare San Jose, California, and Ann Arbor Michigan. For years, San Jose has had curbside recycling, with only economic incentives to do so. For a base amount, households could recycle as much as they wanted while only being able to throw out a certain amount of stuff. People who generated more waste had to pay more for a bigger garbage can. Buying garbage bag tags allowed disposal of unusual amounts of garbage. The scheme worked, and the amount of the waste stream going to the landfill dropped precipitously.

In contrast, when curbside recycling was proposed for Ann Arbor, it was immediately coupled with a garbage inspection plan, with mandatory fines for residents who inadvertently put recyclables in the trash. Establishing a garbage police represents the worst kind of nannyist thinking.

Freder Frederson said...

Well, I think you're nitpicking over words to try to find fault.

Gee, not like anyone ever does that to me!

But Simon pretends to be a legal expert. He should know the importance of precise language. He made a statement that was patently untrue and modified only when I called him on it. (Eventhough he claims not to read my posts.)

Pastor_Jeff said...

Your annual savings would be about $9.73

Those are nice assumptions they built into the model -- $7.50/hour labor cost and 15 minutes to replace every bulb. So incandescents really "cost" almost $2 each just to change them.

What is this, a no-bid government contract?

Freder Frederson said...

Those are nice assumptions they built into the model -- $7.50/hour labor cost and 15 minutes to replace every bulb. So incandescents really "cost" almost $2 each just to change them.

I actually zeroed those out in my estimates. I thought those were pretty ridiculous too.

AlphaLiberal said...

It's also worth pointing out that more evidence of global warming dropped into the ocean this week. The costs of pollution are skyrocketing!

Antarctic Ice Shelf Disintegration Underscores a Warming World.

And, for pastor_jeff, you might want to check out the Interfaith Power and Light movement. (There's a pun in there...)

Pastor_Jeff said...

He made a statement that was patently untrue

Again, Freder, I think you're nitpicking. It is not "patently untrue" that incandescents cost more than CFLs. They cost less, but have higher lifetime costs. Getting a TV at a rent-to-own store costs less than buying it, but also costs more in the long run. But it's not "patently untrue" to say you pay more for a TV at Best Buy than at Aaron's.

rhhardin said...

CFLs don't save energy if you heat your house with resistive heat, as most around me do.

Every watt the CFL saves runs the furnace an extra watt in compensation.

In the summer it's another matter. But in the winter, there's no energy savings at all.

Original Mike said...

So incandescents really "cost" almost $2 each just to change them.

LOL. I stopped believing the cost estimates I read in the press long ago. An imaginative fellow with an agenda can get any number he wants.

Freder Frederson said...

Every watt the CFL saves runs the furnace an extra watt in compensation.

Wrong! Just like you don't light your house with your resistive heat radiators or furnace, you can't heat your house with light bulbs. Most of the wattage in lightbulbs goes into the creation of light, most in resistive heating to the creation of heat. It is far from a one for one trade off.

Pastor_Jeff said...

AL - Thanks for the link. I do believe that Christians have a responsibility to be good stewards of creation.

I'm not so sure about our ability to "reduce the effects of global warming" on any meaningful level, though, since the major determinant of climate change seems to be that giant yellow fusion reactor in the sky.

Original Mike said...

Most of the wattage in lightbulbs goes into the creation of light...

Way, way wrong Freder. The reason incandescents are so inefficient is exactly because most of the energy goes into heat. Learn some physics.

MadisonMan said...

I've been hearing that more and more. Is the long life of CFLs a myth?

I've not found that to be true. When we changed houses 8 years ago, we put in some CFLs, and we've had to replace just one -- last fall. The incandescents have all been replaced in that time.

Smilin' Jack said...

For some reason CFL advocates underestimate the environmental benefits. In particular, they don't mention that living in that awful, depressing CFL "light" should significantly increase the incidence of suicide, and of course committing suicide greatly reduces one's carbon footprint.

"There is no right to pollute" is a principle that can be extended well beyond CFLs, however. For example, nothing contributes more to pollution than having children--not only do they continue to pollute after one's death, but they have children of their own, and so on forever. The environmental damage is infinite. When is government going to address this problem?

bearbee said...

Popular Mechanics

AlphaLiberal said...

"CFLs don't save energy if you heat your house with resistive heat, as most around me do."

Yeah, not so much. This is a very inefficient way to heat.

And you just know there's a link to elaborate!

Also, pastor_jeff, the only way the sun is responsible for global warming is for it's energy millions of years ago now being released through the today's massive combustion of fossil fuels . As well as terraforming by humans reducing the planet's ability to capture CO2.

Please check our more from the Interfaith Power & Light links. (I agree, Christians have an obligation to be good stewards).

Simon said...

Pastor_Jeff said...
"In any case, Simon's larger point stands -- people make their own valuation of cost and benefit, and should be allowed to do so without the government telling them the 'right' choice is."

That - coupled with your earlier observation about cost not being the sole determinant of market value - was indeed my point, with or without nitpicking over the wording. I'm sure that my comment could be misread by anyone with sufficient desire to misrepresent the point, but that's not something I'm especially concerned about. :)

Original Mike said...

When is government going to address this problem?

Already has. It's called Roe v. Wade.

(Sorry. Couldn't resist)

AlphaLiberal said...

Every light in my house is CFL and it's just fine by me. Indeed, the correlation among "CFL light haters" with the dislike for environmental stewardship makes me wonder if there's not more to the story.

Freder Frederson said...

The reason incandescents are so inefficient is exactly because most of the energy goes into heat.

I was comparing it relative to a resistive heater. And there are lightbulbs (e.g. halogens) that create even more heat than incandescents.

Now who is nitpicking.

former law student said...

The State of Maine's CFL breakage study report was released last month. The Popular Mechanics article dates back to last July, and does not report on any lamp breakage study.

http://www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/homeowner/cflreport.htm

Icepick said...

Daaaammmmmmnnnnn! You guys are AMAZING! You've even managed to turn light bulbs into a partisan political issue!

Okay, let's try a brief run-down. [Note that I am a small government conservative.]

First, a more correct 'conservative' position would be to state that conservatives are reluctiant to interfere in market decisions, and are very reticent to give government power over both the market place and over individual choices. This does NOT mean that conservatives are in favor of waste!

However, the 'liberal' position that the government SHOULD be encouraging (or even mandating) the use of CFLs is not Socialism!

Governments at all levels regularly interfere in economic matters - everything from printing money to local zoning laws are economic interference of one variety or another. Interference can be done for purposes of creating a stable economic environment (e.g. government mandated insurance such as the FDIC or PBGC), maintaing existing community standards (e.g. strict zoning laws) or for protecting the common good (e.g. eliminating lead as an additive in gasoline and paints). THESE ARE ALL LEGITIMATE REASONS!

So to the conservatives I say settle the hell down and argue the merits/demerits of particular legislation and quite making EVERYTHING a question of Soviet Communism versus The American Way of Life. And to the Liberals I say settle the hell down and acknowledge that conservatives may actually have non-selfish reasons for opposing this or that piece of legislation. You know it's not all about OOOOOIIIIIILLLLL and our stoke options....

Pogo said...

The point is not whether CFLs are or are not superior to incadescents; instead the point is this:

Liberal dogooders routinely adopt fascist coercive government rules and regulations to gain control over more and more of the private sphere.

In health care, nationalized systems come to believe that every aspect of life can be brought under the purview of the State. (e.g. see England's nursery rhyme police)

The primary difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals love the state and want to grant it more and more control over individuals, whereas conservatives fear or even loathe the state and want to be left the hell alone as much as possible.

P.S. Bush is not a conservative, but a goo goo Rockefeller Republican.

Original Mike said...

Alpha. I didn't find anything in your link that supports the argument that a Watt of waste heat from a light bulb does not offset the need to consume a Watt of power for heating (assuming you heat by electricity, as rhhardin does).

Pogo said...

Governments at all levels regularly interfere in economic matters

And it's when they stray from protection of property and enforcement of contracts into dictating what I may or may not buy that it veers away from the small government ideal, indeed falling quite far from the mark.

Original Mike said...

I was comparing it relative to a resistive heater.

So am I. Your just wrong.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm sure that my comment could be misread by anyone with sufficient desire to misrepresent the point, but that's not something I'm especially concerned about. :)

Simon, quit lying and admit you are wrong for once.

Your initial post was all about price, utility and cost. Nowhere did you mention aesthetics, quality, or not being able to afford the up-front cost. In fact you also said this:

"the market had already made a decision that was, in one sense, "appropriate": it decided that either the new lightbulbs weren't any more environmentally friendly, or being environmentally friendly wasn't worth the added cost."

I have warned you before. If you are going to lie about your previous posts, you should at least wait until another thread. Lying in the same thread just makes you look bad.

former law student said...

However, the 'liberal' position that the government SHOULD be encouraging (or even mandating) the use of CFLs is not Socialism!

Eliminating incandescent bulbs from the marketplace shows a distressing habit of liberals to focus only on the upside while denying any downside. Someone with small children at home could rationally want to avoid the risk of poisoning them in case of accidental CFL breakage. This is a prudent choice that the nanny state activists would deny them.

Another example is the move to eliminate bottled water from the marketplace, ensuring that the thirsty will be forced to choose between Coke and Diet Coke when they want a cold beverage to drink. The liberal alternative is to carry around a stainless steel bottle filled with tepid water, the neck of which is covered with bacteria.

bearbee said...

former law student said...
The State of Maine's CFL breakage study report was released last month. The Popular Mechanics article dates back to last July, and does not report on any lamp breakage study.

http://www.maine.gov/dep/
rwm/homeowner/cflreport


Live Link

Freder Frederson said...

Alpha. I didn't find anything in your link that supports the argument that a Watt of waste heat from a light bulb does not offset the need to consume a Watt of power for heating

Since you don't believe government estimates or what liberals tell you anyway, do a simple experiment. Get an electric space heater and the equivalent wattage in bulbs. Stand in front of both. See which generates more heat.

dbp said...

Electricity does not in any way support terrorists: Most of our electricity comes from coal, which we are blessed with an abundant supply. Most of what isn't coal comes from nuclear and hydro.

As for a tax on incandescents: Why? They use more electricity, so consumers of them are already paying more to use them.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

``Every watt the CFL saves runs the furnace an extra watt in compensation.''

Wrong! Just like you don't light your house with your resistive heat radiators or furnace, you can't heat your house with light bulbs. Most of the wattage in lightbulbs goes into the creation of light, most in resistive heating to the creation of heat. It is far from a one for one trade off.


Actually it's one of the lovely facts about physics that it is one for one. The light hits the wall and bounces around until it becomes heat, watt for watt equal to what you put in.

Run a fan and all the fan energy turns into heat, watt for watt.

Energy is not destroyed! It all turns to heat.

The only way to postpone it is to use a motor to raise a weight. And even then you get it back when the weight breaks loose and crashes to the floor, giving you all your watts back as heat.

The only exception for house heating is light escaping out a window, a negligible escape.

Even the most efficient light heats your house 100% watt for watt, just with fewer watts, leaving the furnace to take up the slack.

Original Mike said...

Freder, you don't understand the concept of efficiency (heat energy out per electrical energy in) do you? Give it up. Stick to things you understand.

Pastor_Jeff said...

This discussion has inspired me to take surface streets to my area pastors' lunch, cutting 5 miles off the trip by not taking the interstate.

Cheers!

Original Mike said...

Actually, rhhardin, I think the strength of your argument depends on the location of the light bulb. In a lamp located in a room, I think you're right. In the case of a ceiling fixture, most of the heat probably goes into the attic. The electrical heater is better designed to transfer the heat to where you want it. But that's not what Freder is arguing. He's got some pretty mixed up ideas about energy and efficiency.

Icepick said...

Now for CFLs versus incandescents....

There ARE legit arguments for not making CFLs the only light bulb choice available.

First, CFLs don't fit in every light fixture at this point. This will probably be fixed over time for most fictures but probably not for all fixtures.

Second, the light quality just isn't as good as an incandescent bulb. There have been improvements on this front, and doubtless there will be more in the future, but some people may want to pay for the better light quality. Let 'em.

Third, it takes CFLs longer to reach full brightness than it takes an incandescent bulb. Reports usually say it takes about a minute for the CFL to reach full brightness, but in my own experience it often takes longer. I can imagine situations where one would want full intensity faster than that.

Fourth, I read recently that CFLs don't always have better life expectency than incandescents. Apparently improved life expectency comes from bulbs that are turned on and remain on for significant periods of time. Therefore if one has a bulb in a location where a light is only on for brief intervals, the overall cost of an incandescent might be cheaper. (For example, closets.) This might explain some of the short life spans people have been mentioning lately. (NOTE: I can't find the article where I read this. This point may be incorrect. I welcome any link proving or disproving the assertion. However, I have been hearing more stories of people having CFLs burn out at the same rate as incandescents. This might explain it.)

That said, CFLs do have notable benefits.

First, they do last longer! I have some ceiling fixtures in the house I rent where incandescent bulbs would burn out every two months or less. The problem is that the area does not allow for the heat to dissipate, causing the bulbs to get hotter than they otherwise would have. I put CFLs in a year ago and haven't had a problem since. The same is true for the floor and table lamps we use regularly. Just on replacement value the bulbs have saved me money. (Not to mention the irritation that I have avoided from not having to change ceiling lights.)

Second CFLs do consume less energy, although that hasn't really been that big a benefit for us. Living in Florida most of the energy bill comes from running other appliances, not lights. Still, a penny saved .... And as Freder mentioned engineering efficiences are good in their own right.

(As an aside: Using lightbulbs to generate heat is horribly ineffiecnt.)

Third, the curly bulbs look good. This wouldn't matter usually, and it is a minor point, but we do have a couple of places where the bulbs are visible. The curly bulbs are visually appealing.

So to sum up: While the light from the CFLs isn't quite as good as the light from incandescents, there isn't that big of a difference if you buy a decent CFL. The bigger problem is that it takes them longer to reach full intensity, but one gets used to that. Personally I recommend using them anywhere where you will have a light burning for any length of time on a regular basis. I just wish that CFLs would fit in the outside fixtures of our house.

Freder Frederson said...

Even the most efficient light heats your house 100% watt for watt, just with fewer watts, leaving the furnace to take up the slack.

Watts are a measure of power, not heat. The power can be consumed through mechanical energy, light production, resistance.

You people need to take some remedial physics.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Already has. It's called Roe v. Wade.

Which appears to be the only individual choice liberals think someone should have.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"Someone with small children at home could rationally want to avoid the risk of poisoning them in case of accidental CFL breakage."

Right, another good example. Consumers are in a far better position to assess a product's utility vs. cost to them, which of course includes the risks and concerns that go along with any advantages. I should be clear that when I'm talking about customers determing a product's utility to them, I'm referring to their determination of the sum of the pros and cons of the product - its uses, naturally, but also potential problems and costs that arise from it. So aesthetic concerns of the kind Ann has in mind subtract from a bulb's utility to her, and safety concerns of parents with small children, likewise. That seems pretty obvious to me, but of course, I'm not an economist, so perhaps I'm abusing the term somewhat.

Simon said...

dbp said...
"As for a tax on incandescents: Why? They use more electricity, so consumers of them are already paying more to use them."

I suppose that Alpha will argue that this is a cost that consumers don't consider when making purchasing decisions.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

And it's when they stray from protection of property and enforcement of contracts into dictating what I may or may not buy that it veers away from the small government ideal, indeed falling quite far from the mark.

So you're saying you want lead back in the paint, and want to fire everyone at the USDA?

Freder Frederson said...

Here's another example. A microwave oven consumes about 1200 watts of power. You could run it all day and it would never produce the same heat as a 1200 watt space heater or even 12 100 watt bulbs. Electric furnaces and heaters generate more heat per watt because not only do they create heat directly because of resistance in the element but because the light they emit is more energetic and actually warms the surrounding air.

Icepick said...

Eliminating incandescent bulbs from the marketplace shows a distressing habit of liberals to focus only on the upside while denying any downside.

Well then your position should be to argue the merits of particular cases instead of constant talk of "the distressing habits of liberals." For one thing, it's more likely to actually, you know, convince people to see things your way. For another thing it avoids generating heat without light when discussing policy matters. For the love of Pete, we're talking about freakin' light bulbs here, not nationalized healthcare or abolishing private property!

Original Mike said...

Watts are a measure of power, not heat. The power can be consumed through mechanical energy, light production, resistance.

You people need to take some remedial physics.


Remedial physics? I teach physics at the graduate level. Heat is a form of energy. Power (measured in Watts) is the time rate of energy consumption, generation, or transfer.

Really, Freder, do yourself a favor and give it up. I don't have time to explain the idiocy of your microwave argument nor the nonsense about light heating air.

Freder Frederson said...

Consumers are in a far better position to assess a product's utility vs. cost to them, which of course includes the risks and concerns that go along with any advantages.

Yes, I am sure the average consumer knows how much mercury is in a CFL and the potential for harm to children. People on this site don't even know that a watt is a unit of power, not heat. That is why consumers stopped buying lead paint and industry stopped making it without the government getting involved at all.

I love these circular arguments. The government shouldn't be involved in product safety or mandating the content of products because consumers are best able to judge safety. Yet without the information provided by government regulations, consumers would be unable to make an informed choice.

George said...

A few years ago I put fluorescents in almost every fixture in my home.

I took them all out a few weeks ago and put back good 'ol incandescents.

Why?

More pleasing, brighter light that also created heat.

The fluorescents did seem to last longer, but my sense was the manufacturers were making exaggerated life-expectancy claims to boost sales.

I'd also like to see Congress turn its attention to credit card companies and their loan-shark tactics and rates, the rip-off prices charged by printer companies for ink cartridges, and if somebody could do something about the weather, I'd appreciate that too.

Oh, wait, some people are trying to do something about the weather.

Nevermind.

Freder Frederson said...

Really, Freder, do yourself a favor and give it up. I don't have time to explain the idiocy of your microwave argument nor the nonsense about light heating air.

You actually teach physics? At a graduate level? You're kidding! Please say you're kidding. Light doesn't heat air? Please explain what radiant heating is then. Or why it is warmer in front of an uninsulated window than an opaque wall.

Freder Frederson said...

The only way to postpone it is to use a motor to raise a weight. And even then you get it back when the weight breaks loose and crashes to the floor, giving you all your watts back as heat.

And original Mike, why didn't you criticize this egregiously wrong statement of physics.

You even agreed with his wrongheaded statement that fans convert all their power consumption to heat.

Original Mike said...

You actually teach physics? At a graduate level? You're kidding! Please say you're kidding.

At the University of Wisconsin, buddy.

I don't have anymore time to waste on you. You want to sound like a dope, knock yourself out.

Freder Frederson said...

He's got some pretty mixed up ideas about energy and efficiency.

rhhardin was saying that the only form of power is heat. You implicitly agreed with him and dismissed my corect characterization of power (that it can consumed through be mechanical, friction, resistance, light emission, heat).

And you say I sound like a dope!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For the love of Pete, we're talking about freakin' light bulbs here, not nationalized healthcare or abolishing private property!

Actually, we are more talking about government intruding into every freaking aspect of our lives. It's the camel's nose under the tent. Give them an inch and soon they will have absolute control.

California is proposing that we install thermostats that can be remotely controlled by the government to regulate our household temperatures from some remote centralized energy czar's office. How hot or cold I want to keep my house is my business!!

We can't use transfat to cook with now since it has received the government's bad housekeeping seal of disapproval. Tough, cookies. I'm stocking up on transfat laden Crisco. Wadda gonna do? Have the pantry police check my pumphouse for contraband toll house cookies and pie crusts?

We are no longer allowed to teach our own children values that we hold near and dear, but instead must submit to indoctrination by public school drones. Home schooling? Forget it. Opt out of sex education or homosexual agenda propaganda? No way.

We can't let our children play outdoors or on bikes without being dressed a full suit of armour. They must be strapped in back seat of cars until they are teenagers like little prisoners. No more life lessons like learning not to fall of your bike or you will get hurt. The government must protect us at all costs from everything with stupid labels on items. Like car sunshades that say remove before driving. DUH. You can't legislate away stupidity.

I just got some cough syrup that says 2 teaspoons every 4 hours by mouth. !!!! What other direction do they think I'm gonna take that shit?

People are tired of being manipulated every moment of every day by the government. What next? When we can have sex and the approved methods?

Screw em. I'm stocking incandescent bulbs. Come and get me!!! I'm also stocking shotgun shells. Have a nice day :-)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder said The government shouldn't be involved in product safety or mandating the content of products because consumers are best able to judge safety.

Nice try but product safety isn't the reason for CFLs over incandescents. If incandescents were shown to cause cancer, tumors or anal bleeding then you'd have a point. The rush to CFLs is being touted because of the deluded notion that continued use of incandescents will melt the polar caps not because they're safer.

Original Mike said...

rhhardin was saying that the only form of power is heat.

No, he said: "CFLs don't save energy if you heat your house with resistive heat, as most around me do. Every watt the CFL saves runs the furnace an extra watt in compensation."

and, in theory, he's correct. In practice, as I noted above, that's only true if the light bulb is well situated to transfer it's waste heat to the living space (e.g. a table lamp.)

You implicitly agreed with him and dismissed my corect characterization of power (that it can consumed through be mechanical, friction, resistance, light emission, heat).

No. You don't consume power. You consume energy. Power is the time rate at which you consume energy.

And you say I sound like a dope!

On that, you are correct.

Freder Frederson said...

When we can have sex and the approved methods?

Actually, it is Simon's favorite Supreme Court justice who thinks the state should be free to mandate this (and jail those who violate the rules).

former law student said...

The government shouldn't be involved in product safety

Excellent example. The government banned lead paint because ingesting it might poison children. Now the government is promoting and even mandating CFLs even though they might poison children. What happened to the concern for the children?

Further, would government drop the lead paint ban if it found that lead painted walls made rooms brighter, so that less energy would be needed to illuminate them? Given the emphasis on energy savings above all else, I suspect they would.

Freder Frederson said...

and, in theory, he's correct. In practice, as I noted above, that's only true if the light bulb is well situated to transfer it's waste heat to the living space (e.g. a table lamp.)

No he's not correct (and note how he said that if you lift a rock and drop it all the energy is released as heat). A 1200 watt heater is going to give off a lot more heat than 1200 watts of incandescent light bulbs. And a 60watt halogen bulb creates a lot more heat than a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

A watt of electricity consumed does not produce the same amount of heat regardless of the device, which is what rhhardin was claiming.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Keep your laws off my abode!

chuckR said...

This reminds me of having the misfortune of building a house just after the government decreed low flush toilets. The first round, 'beta release', toilets were replaced within a few years - insult to injury, they never saved water. The replacement 'Rev 1.0' toilets with pressure assist were noisy and developed leaks in their innards. Their replacement 'Service Pack 1' toilets seem to be OK, for now.
Scorecard: For me, landfilling four toilets and a tank, several hundred bucks. Government bureaucrats getting to feel good about themselves for the illusion of helping the environment, priceless.

FWIW, I decided to have a majority of fluorescents, plus some halogen spots and metal halide reading lamps. I neither need nor want some gov't nitwit overriding the market. But if they need a Office of CFL Compliance czar....

former law student said...

Well then your position should be to argue the merits of particular cases instead of constant talk of "the distressing habits of liberals."

You're free to come up with counter examples, if you believe my judgment is mistaken. If your objection is that your feelings are hurt, think of my feelings when I go to a liberal website and see my positions characterized as "Reichwing" or "Wingnuttery." No one there seems to care if I'm persuaded or not. But I'm tough enough to lick my wounds and soldier on.

I just remembered another example of liberals' failure to consider all the consequences of their initiatives: Bleeding heart liberals in California want to raise the price of protein for poor women and children 25% by mandating more space for laying hens.(According to a UC Davis professor.) The increasing cost of grain has already raised the price of eggs 23%. Increasing the cost of egg production will cause many California egg producers to go out of business, to be replaced by no-less-"cruel" out of state eggs, because California law cannot impede interstate commerce in eggs. Shipping eggs in from out of state will increase the amount of CO2 produced, and thus add to global warming.

Freder Frederson said...

Now the government is promoting and even mandating CFLs even though they might poison children.

As I noted above, fuorescent lights have been around for a long time and have always had mercury in them. To claim the danger posed by CFLs (which are certainly less prone to breakage than conventional fluorescents) is somehow new is just disingenuous.

Also CFLs are less likely to break or cause fires than conventional bulbs, so in the grand scheme of things are probably actually safer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder, out of curiosity, as your father-in-law's illustrious military experience established your bona-fides as a expert on things military, can you point to a family member to demonstrate your knowledge on physics or thermodynamics?

Original Mike said...

note how he said that if you lift a rock and drop it all the energy is released as heat.

He's right.

A 1200 watt heater is going to give off a lot more heat than 1200 watts of incandescent light bulbs.

Wrong.

rhhardin said...

``Even the most efficient light heats your house 100% watt for watt, just with fewer watts, leaving the furnace to take up the slack.''

Watts are a measure of power, not heat. The power can be consumed through mechanical energy, light production, resistance.

You people need to take some remedial physics.


Yes but it's a rhetorical choice to do it all in watts, because if you say kwh everywhere, or even worse joules, nobody will read it.

Watts they know about, and there's nothing they can't follow in the argument.

All of the energy that goes into other forms (light, sound, etc.) winds up as heat, and that heat heats the house watt for watt like the furnace.

Run the TV all you like in the winter : it's free.

rhhardin said...

Here's another example. A microwave oven consumes about 1200 watts of power. You could run it all day and it would never produce the same heat as a 1200 watt space heater or even 12 100 watt bulbs. Electric furnaces and heaters generate more heat per watt because not only do they create heat directly because of resistance in the element but because the light they emit is more energetic and actually warms the surrounding air.

No, it all becomes regular heat at the same watt for watt rate.

If you're in a closet, and turn on a light, and then turn it off, where does the light already generated go? It was energy and now there's no light.

Is it some other form of energy instead? If so, what form is it?

(ans : It's heat. The walls are hotter, the clothes on the hangers are hotter. All the energy that was light is now heat. There's no place else for it to go.)

MadisonMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen, I'm almost positive that Crisco has already been reformulated and contains no trans fats. It has made no difference in the cookies I bake, near as I can tell.

I suggest lard for pie crusts anyway. DEEElicious!

Freder Frederson said...

He's right.

Okay, now I know you're lying about teaching physics.

You do mechanical work energy to lift the rock and put it in a state of potential energy. That potential energy is converted to kinetic energy when it drops. Most of it is released as mechanical energy as it breaks and sprays shards of whatever it hits. Very little heat is released.

Except for when we want to heat our homes, heat is mostly wasted energy. Generally we try and convert heat to more useful energy (e.g., using it to boil water, turn a turbine and generate electricity)

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon said:
dbp said...
"As for a tax on incandescents: Why? They use more electricity, so consumers of them are already paying more to use them."

I suppose that Alpha will argue that this is a cost that consumers don't consider when making purchasing decisions.


Hey, partially correct! it's all about the "first cost" and cash flow. It's also about product availability, point of purchase marketing and other influences on consumer choice.

It's also the hidden costs of pollution, paid by other people in different places and times, and external to the direct transaction.

Original Mike said...

Most of it is released as mechanical energy

and when those pieces come to rest, the energy resides where?

dbp said...

"It's also the hidden costs of pollution, paid by other people in different places and times, and external to the direct transaction."

So are these other people going to be getting this tax money?

A more efficient way of getting people to conserve electricity is to charge more for it.

I don't know if even you would argue that there is any savings in putting a cfl into a closet where it might only run for 5 minutes/day. The electricity saved would never pay for the higher bulb cost.

Freder Frederson said...

and when those pieces come to rest, the energy resides where?

The energy has been expended as mechanical energy (getting the pieces from point A to B). Heat is not the only manifestation of energy, not even close.

Sofa King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

The energy has been expended as mechanical energy (getting the pieces from point A to B).

Expended. Now that's an interesting word. What does it mean in this context? Please explain. I thirst for understanding.

chuckR said...

fred^^2 said "The energy has been expended as mechanical energy (getting the pieces from point A to B). Heat is not the only manifestation of energy, not even close."
But that mechanical energy eventually finds its way to heat. Take a car. 3/4s of the energy goes out the exhaust. The useful mechanical energy is expended in bashing the air around - which heats it - and in internal frictional dissipation - which manifests as heat at bearings, brakes, tires, etc. Potential energy is just heat that ain't happened yet.

Original Mike said...

Expend - To use up (American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Ed.) So the energy vanishes. Into the ether, I guess. No wait. There is no ether. Freder. Please help.

Hoosier Daddy said...

All this science talk is boring. Lets keep talking how this is a socialist government plot to micromanage our lives. Where’s Trooper? Get in here man and see if you can find a Traci Lords connection to this topic so I can join in. Let’s liven this thing up. I’d even tolerate a Titus’s hog story right now.

Hey Freder, the only physics I know is when I hit someone they fall in the opposite direction but I do know that a falling object passes through the air which causes friction which causes heat. The faster and farther it falls the more heat it generates. That’s why the shuttle has those heat shield thingies and the crew prays really really hard that they work.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofa King said...

No he's not correct (and note how he said that if you lift a rock and drop it all the energy is released as heat). A 1200 watt heater is going to give off a lot more heat than 1200 watts of incandescent light bulbs. And a 60watt halogen bulb creates a lot more heat than a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

A watt of electricity consumed does not produce the same amount of heat regardless of the device, which is what rhhardin was claiming.


Fredfred. You are wrong. Stop this silliness. Every photon produced by a bulb, unless it travels to the edge of the universe, will be absorbed by some matter. In an enclosed room, it will be just about 100% absorbption, so even if the light bulb's surface doesn't rise a single degree, it will still result in an increase in the temperature of the environment. When they are absorbed they are turned to heat. I'm surprised you don't understand this. In fact, a 1200 watt resistance heater is nothing more than a very bright light bulb that happens to produce light just outside of the spectrum we are able to see. Surely, you don't think that the biological limitations of our sight affect the physical universe?

Original Mike said...

Maybe black holes are involved? You could hide a lot of energy in a black hole.

kimsch said...

On the costs of cfl versus incandescent brouhaha that's been going on...

Some consumers feel that incandescents are cheaper because the initial cost is lower than that of cfl bulbs. Other consumers know that by paying a premium in price now, they will save over time.

The government does this all the time as well. But they are in the cheaper initial cost group. Less than 10 years ago roads in my area were completely ripped out and re-paved with 12 or more inches of concrete. For a while the roads were okay. Now they are really bad. Patched with asphalt, great chunks have been cut out and replaced with asphalt, etc.

Now, if the government had spent a little bit more initially and used fly ash in the mix the road would have lasted longer. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal energy production. So using captured fly ash in concrete is good for the environment as well because the waste product is recovered for another use.

But then again, if the government used something like fly ash in concrete for roads and the roads subsequently lasted longer, the union road builders wouldn't be able to repair and replace the roads as often...

rhhardin said...

The energy has been expended as mechanical energy (getting the pieces from point A to B).

That's actually a form of a mistaken intuition that everybody has, an intuition that makes gyroscopes seem mysterious and unintuitive.

The intuition that everybody has is that if you push on something, it moves.

And of course if you push on a gyroscope, it does not move, at least not the way you expected.

The actual fact is that if you push on something, you change its velocity. Usually this results in its moving the same direction, and the difference doesn't come up. But when the gyroscope starts moving, the displacement only shows up a quarter turn later, and that baffles the intuition. It moves perpendicular to the way you pushed.

Anyway here we have somebody who intuits that energy disappears having moved an object from A to B, a reasonable intuition. Bafflement would only show up when the electric bill was lower than usual, which might take weeks.

Trooper York said...

"Maybe black holes are involved? You could hide a lot of energy in a black hole."

Just ask Flava Flav!

Original Mike said...

Has anybody seen Freder?

Simon said...

[Sidebar - apologies to Alpha, I didn't intend my comment about what I assumed he'd argue to sound quite as snarky as it looks in hindsight]

Freder Frederson said...

Expend - To use up (American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Ed.) So the energy vanishes.

Actually the potential energy stored when the rock was lifted has been expended, so in a sense it has vanished since you can't recover it. Of course the net balance is 0. Actually, a little energy (an unmeasurable amount in almost all terrestial events except perhaps nuclear explosions) has been lost to entropy as the disorder of the universe has increased.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe black holes are involved? You could hide a lot of energy in a black hole.


Titus, can you provide some elaboration on this?

On second thought, never mind.

Trooper York said...

"Maybe black holes are involved? You could hide a lot of energy in a black hole"

On the other hand, Flava lost one of those big clocks he wears inside Brigitte Nielsen.

Original Mike said...

Actually, a little energy (an unmeasurable amount in almost all terrestial events except perhaps nuclear explosions) has been lost to entropy

Your propensity to bullshit knows no bounds, does it?

former law student said...

Actually, a little energy (an unmeasurable amount in almost all terrestial events except perhaps nuclear explosions) has been lost to entropy

Your propensity to bullshit knows no bounds, does it?


"A man's got to know his limitations" -- Dirty Harry

Hoosier Daddy said...

Your propensity to bullshit knows no bounds, does it?

Actually Mike I think he was mocking you.

That's the only conclusion I can come to after reading that.

Freder Frederson said...

See this is where I get myself in trouble. I misstated the concept of entropy and equated it with the true destruction of energy. It is not.

What I should have said that every time energy is released, entropy increases, and the energy of a system available for useful work is lost.

Pogo said...

You can argue about how many watts can dance on the head of a pin until my eyes bleed, it still does nothing to explain why the State should have the power to make this decision for me.

That's the bullshit meat of this bullshit issue.

Criminey, but I want to stick a poker in the next scientist who thinks that because he can prove the "best" way to skin a cat that he wants to legislate his will into existence.

And by what right do you make that decision, or any decision, for me?

Pogo said...

Does it not strike anyone else as ludicrous or even insane that we should require federal legislation to permit us to buy the kind of light bulbs we wish to buy?

Original Mike said...

Pogo, surely you're not calling Freder a scientist are you? I can assure you, he is not.

Original Mike said...

My understanding is that the people behind this ban are the greens, of course, and the light bulb manufacturers. They're going to make a killing.

Pogo said...

No, Mike, not at all. Nonscientists will use science, pseudoscience, and total bs to pass laws that are simply an extension of their own will dominating over others. Power-craving scientists will also do this.

chuckR said...

freder has been mucking around the 3 laws of thermodynamics.
For the non-technical these are:
1 You can't win
2 You can't break even
3 You can't get out of the game

Kinda like dealing with the government.

My offer to become the Federal Office of CFL Compliance czar is still open.

blake said...

I'm torn by my desire to stick it to the DWP and my desire to stick it to Nature.

Although, I will agree with Pastor Jeff, et al: The CFLs I have used have not been especially long-lived, and when they come out of the package busted, it hurts a lot more: You have to take them back or eat the $10, versus tossing a 40-cent bulb in the trash.

Original Mike said...

You can always get out of the game, Anjin-san.

blake said...

By the way, is no one (else) gonna call Alpha Liberal on his "Climate Progress" horsehockey?

The earth stopped warming in 1998.

The oceans are not showing any signs of warming over the past five years, in contradiction to the predictions made by AGW proponents.

The calculations used in predicting global warming assumed infinitely thick atmosphere. (Corrected calculations are far more predictive than the doomsday one.)

The various ice shelf issues are cyclical and natural.

And Antarctic ice is thickening at record rates.

blake said...

I trust with ABC and NPR and other left-leaning, AGW-sympathetic outlets in my citations, that I won't be accused of being an oil-company shill.

(Though, if any oil companies want to throw a few million my way, I'll put together a simulation that shows that the vacuum created by drilling oil is filled by pure love from Mother Earth.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm almost positive that Crisco has already been reformulated and contains no trans fats. It has made no difference in the cookies I bake, near as I can tell.


You're correct of course. I'm buying up the store generic brand of shortening which is still transfat. Probably doesn't make any difference, but its the principle of the thing. In the depression, they used bacon grease in place of butter for cookies. Sounds bad. Tastes good.

The reasons that I dislike fluorescents is nothing to with the cost of the bulbs but has to do with practicality.

1. CFLs don't turn on quickly in cold weather and sometimes not at all. I don't want to wait 3 minutes after turning on the porch light to see if it is a skunk or a mountain lion or just my cat outside.

2. I use incandescents to keep the pipes in my pump house and workshop from freezing in the winter. A 40 watt bulb on near the floor or near the pipes does the trick. If not that then an expensive and wasteful pumphouse electric heater.

3. There is no place to dispose of the hazardous bulbs within a 200 mile radius of my area. No collection facility. Nowhere! Used CFLs will end up in the trash and right into the local landfill. Pollution and wasteful again.

4. And most importantly the light is obnoxious. Colors look horrible, nauseatingly ugly. Many of the bulbs have a flicker that gives me a migraine.

And yes. I do wish they would bring back lead paint. The paint has better color qualities, dries better and goes on smoother. People just need to teach their children not to eat the walls and exercise some supervision over their own children and their environment (crappy peeling cribs). Lead based paint is not dangerous when used as intended ..AS PAINT. Why should it be everyone's fault because some people are irresponsible.

Original Mike said...

blake asked: By the way, is no one (else) gonna call Alpha Liberal on his "Climate Progress" horsehockey?

I have my hands full with Freder and freshman physics.

Trooper York said...

"I have my hands full with Freder and freshman physics."

I would do it but I have my hands full reviewing Traci Lords videos. Well at least one hand full.

Michael said...

MadisonMan: How can I mention devo and not link to the video?

Dude, you rock!

"Devo took its name from their concept of "de-evolution" - the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society. Their music echoed this view of society as rigid, repressive, and mechanical..."

And quite appropriate, too, given the subject.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I would do it but I have my hands full reviewing Traci Lords videos. Well at least one hand full.

Well instead of falling rocks, perhaps we can ask Freder how much heat is generated....oh never mind.

Make sure you have water nearby. Don't want to catch the couch on fire.

Trooper York said...

"Make sure you have water nearby. Don't want to catch the couch on fire."

Not to worry, I have a slow hand.

Michael said...

Original Mike: Is the long life of CFLs a myth?

The first modern CFLs (the twisty ones) I purchased at Sam's Club a few years back each lasted about a month. I don't remember who made them, but a month isn't even close to the break-even point.

The next time I bought CFLs, I kept the receipt, which I have right here. All three are Sylvania 23W Full Spectrum bulbs, all three purchased at Menards on 10/09/06, all installed into the same ceiling fan fixture within days of purchase (the same fixture in which the previous CFLs died prematurely in), and all are still working. They are warrantied for 7 years.

Chip Ahoy said...

Al Gore said people who question global warming are equivalent to flat Earthers. Well I question his answer to man-made global warming and I know for certain the Earth isn't flat. It's bumpy.

Cedarford said...

AlphaLiberal said...
No matter how you dress it up, this is more of the effort to claim a right to pollute.
There is no such right to pollute.


That is real shit for brains thinking.

All human activity pollutes. Certain things like growing crops, transportation, need of each human to engage in pollution-causing respiration, urination,defecation, the heating of homes and making your way around after sunset with artificial lighting are deemed "essential".

So they are legal and sanctioned.

They all cause pollution.

The shit for brains argument is based on childlike declaratives that sound true to people with arrested development:

There is no right to drive a SUV.
There is no right to eat chickens or cling peaches.
There is no right to pollute.
There is no right to heat your house at 72 DEG when you could get by with a family wearing Jimmy Carter cardigan sweaters and limit yourself to 50 DEG.

The correct perspective in our society is that we are FREE to do things as we wish, unless proscribed by law. Especially things essential to existence, income, standard of living.

****************
God, I agree with a few posters. The ignorance of Freder and a couple others about energy, power terms and Newtonian Laws of Thermodynamics & Physics is amazing.
To clueless liberals bent on imposing their energy beliefs on the people that truly understand energy solutions, Bernoulli is a brand of olive oil, not an energy balance equation.
It gives a hint of why they want 40 million more energy-using, polluting immigrants, but believe our solutions are rejecting all coal, nuclear and going with CFL lightbulbs, blessed solar energy, and magic unicorns that poop out pollution-free energy. Unicorns that will double as our transporation solution by 2100 as we go from hydrocarbon vehicles to riding magic unicorns....
*********************
People pushing CFLs do not look at the whole impact on society.

1. Human factors engineering has changed out CFL lighting back to regular lighting in businesses that saw a higher absenteeism and lower productivity under harsh CFL light.

2. And stores selling goods, clothing, and beauty products made to be seen under natural or incandescent light have dropped CFL.

3. Regular lightbulbs are cheaper in about 80-85% of our house's lighting fixtures - where lighting needs tend to be infrequently undertaken. Basement, closet lights, garage, tool crib, outdoor lights, garden shed, guest bedroom. My wife, my kids, and me - who do a lot of reading (daughter involuntarily) - prefer some incandescents on the remaining 15%.
4. Lighbulb energy conservation is an absolutely trivial pursuit of (1) ending our reliance on oil
(2) fighting global warming.

a. Oil has virtually no role in US electric power generation.
b. Lighting is a small fraction of anyone's power bill, and if they amout to 10%, and your monthly bill is 100 doallers going to twice as efficient CFLs does not save you 5 dollars, because half your electricity bill is unrelated to use - it is transmission and distribution and capital investment recouping cost.
c. The actual domestic lighting national requirement is so low as a function of net electric use that three CO-2 free nuke plants are adequate to cover all America's domestic electric lighting load. Regular or CFL. With no real pollution if used nuclear fuel (99% recyclable) is reprocessed (the one form of recycling environmentalists want forbidden).
d. One extraneous shopping trip or "indulgent road trip to the beach" or so, uses more energy, in the form of irreplacable oil, than an environmental zealot/Nanny State believer saves proudly converting his whole house, inc refrigerator light, to the politically correct CFLs.
****************
Pogo said...
Does it not strike anyone else as ludicrous or even insane that we should require federal legislation to permit us to buy the kind of light bulbs we wish to buy?


Yeah. Sanctimonous cocksuckers and physics-ignorant idiots like Freder abound.
Another solution that would really piss them off would be going back to kerosene or natural gas lighting, throwing in highly radioactive thorium mantles just tossed in the trash as added vexation. Nice warm light, less efficient than incandescents. Can't be banned without banning nat gas or kerosene and the lamps are a cake to build...

Then there is Dust Bunny's tubload of transfat death, Crisco. May she stick a wick in a few cans of the used stuff and invite a few of her "government meddler" friends over for a nice fried dinner.

Ralph said...

This discussion has inspired me to take surface streets to my area pastors' lunch, cutting 5 miles off the trip by not taking the interstate.
Which, depending on how much accelerating you had to do for stoplights and traffic, may easily have taken more gasoline than the longer interstate route.

Trooper, I recommend Crisco if you're still at it. Transfat is fun whereever it's applied.

Trooper York said...

I am a Johnson and Johson baby oil man myself. If you use Crisco, dogs start to follow you home.

delut6 said...

Have you used CFLs? long term? My experience was that they burned out about the same as - or faster than - incandescents. Why would I want the downsides of the CFLs with no economic benefits?