Jim Manzi weighs in on the war on incandescence:

What’s so funny about this is that CFL proponents (or more precisely, proponents of laws that would make it illegal for you to use incandescent bulbs in your house) often refer to “inefficient incandescent technology that has barely changed since the invention of the tungsten filament nearly a century ago.” This profoundly misunderstands technology. The best technologies last hundreds or thousands of years, and become so much a part of the built environment that we don’t even think of them as technologies anymore: books, stone houses, woven shirts, fire. The fact that incandescent bulbs have lasted as long as they have and that a law is required to make people give them up probably indicates that it is a great technology.

People like the kind of light that these bulbs give off. Why focus on just this technology that allows the aesthetic pleasure of pleasant light, but is “inefficient” because we get the same number of lumens with fewer units of CO2 emissions from another technology? Why not pass a law that all new or repainted buildings – homes, offices, everything – must be painted white? It would increase the albedo of the Earth and thereby reduce AGW with certainty, in spite of no loss of the functional efficiency of buildings. And what about this desire for wool, silk and cotton clothes? Shouldn’t we pass a law making it illegal to wear anything not made of petrochemical products like rayon and polyester, if we determine that the net AGW impacts of more animals is greater that the impacts of greater refinery utilization? One way or another, of course, all clothes should have to be white ...



For what it's worth, if an incandescence tax were really the most cost-effective way to fight global warming, I would happily pay an extra buck or two for my incandescent light bulbs. Happily. But of course, nobody's offering me that choice.

Fortunately, there's no way the American people will stand for this. The tree of liberty must be refreshed by the excess mercury from compact fluorescent light bulbs! Maybe this will be the issue that catapults a Huckabee-Jindal ticket into the White House in 2012 ...

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