December 26, 2013

Technology hating, Heritage and #CFL and #incandescent lights

Traditional 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs can no longer be sold in the U.S. after Jan. 1, though stores can sell what they have in stock until they run out.

And, this bit of government regulation, helping do a small bit of fighting global warming and saving consumers money, has wingnuts going bat-shit crazy, of course.

So, what else to do but respond to the lies and distortions behind the crazy-making?

I just had to do some quick blogging about a new level of technology ignorance, and even more, willful twisting of public policy, by the Heritage Foundation.

Here's what I replied to Nicholas Loris' inanity on this issue, and more.

Ohh, per your link to your previous column?

CFLs now work fine with dimmers. (But, I guess linking to a column nearly seven years old, without checking on how technological or other changes might have affected things, is par for the course.)

Here's the details on that:
Most screw-base CFLs do not work with dimmers designed for use with incandescent lamps. These CFLs will have a label on the lamp and/or the packaging stating "not for use with dimmers. However, certain special screw-base CFLs are designed to work with standard incandescent lamp dimmers. These CFLs will be labeled "dimmable" or similar language on the lamp and/or the packaging. However, due to small differences between different brands of dimmers, not all dimmable CFLs work with all types of incandescent dimmers. Some dimmable CFLs, however, will work with all major brands of incandescent lamp dimmers.
And, if they're still somewhat problematic?
You can change dimmer switches to CFL-designed ones, without doing entirely new wiring. Of course, given the anti-tech ranting of Loris, it's no surprise he doesn't mention that, either.

The idea of them working poorly in cold is overblown. And, since the average American runs heat on high and AC on low anyway, it's even more overblown. And, again, it's probably out-of-date information, too.

Beyond this, on these two issues, the future is LEDs, not CFLs, in all likelihood, anyway.

On the matter of choice and budget constraints for people on tight budgets, when was Heritage ever concerned about poor people? Oh, I forgot. NEVER!

(This one always makes me laugh, whenever a conservative individual or think tank trots out the "thinking about the poor" argument. I guess it's red meat for the followers, who think they:
A. Have to keep up appearances and
B. Are actually fooling somebody when they do this.)

Besides, at an estimated electricity savings of $6 per year per bulb, actually CFIs save families money. (And Loris has that story linked, showing how narrowly the wingnuts can cherry-pick.)

Ditto on his claims about CFLs destroying jobs. When did conservative (or neoliberal) free traders ever worry about a few hundred jobs being sent over to China? What a laugh.

And, of course, CFLs aren't the only alternative to traditional incandescents.

Finally, per your energy efficiency? Actually, wrong again. The EIA graphic he links to shows the rate of energy efficiency increasing after 1970, which is when government regulations started coming into play.

Of course, CFLs are really all part of the Agenda 21 plot to steal our precious bodily fluids and our golf courses, Mandrake.

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