Ooops. In an earlier post, I criticized congressional legislation to ban incandescent lightbulbs and mandate the use of Compact Fluorescent Lights. There is no such legislation. Instead, there's legislation that mandates bulbs meet energy efficiency standards that only CFLs and impractically expensive LEDs can meet. I apologize for the error.
That said, the point still stands. The sort of plans to curb carbon emissions that the Democratic Presidential candidates are both necessary and sufficient to meet the challenges of global warming. These plans place an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions, auction permits to produce the allowed level of emissions, let emitters buy and sell permits on the open market, and will then rely on the price system to help individual consumers adjust their personal habits to the new low-emissions regime as they see fit. Domain-specific efficiency standards like this CFL business are, by contrast, neither necessary nor sufficient. I'm not going to take to the streets to protest against incandescent bulb bans or increased CAFE standards, but I do think the legislative battles over this stuff are fundamentally a waste of time.
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