Congress is banning incandescent bulbs. Thomas Edison invented them, and they’ve only worked for 120 years. Since the government knows what is good for you, they are banning these bulbs for the collective good of everyone. Global warming fanatics and reality deniers, rejoice. For now.
The replacement bulb is the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb (CFL). They supposedly last longer and use less electricity, and will be your only bulb of choice as of the year 2014. These bulbs are 6 to 8 times more expensive than the bulbs currently available. So while saving dimes a month on your electric bill you get the privilege of being robbed at the store. Since Congress wants to outlaw competition, don’t expect the bulbs to become cheap. If that sounds like a kick in the pants, it’s only because it is. (And fear not, this is the government, they’ll get around to kicking you in the other side soon enough.)
Another reason that Congress should not play with the free markets: These bulbs can kill you. The CFL’s contain mercury, a toxic substance. One woman broke one of these bulbs in her house by accident. Knowing they had mercury, she wisely called in for help. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection showed up at her home and found the mercury level to be 6 times the state’s safe rate. Estimate for clean-up? $2,000. (Either start stocking up on the old bulbs before they disappear, or buy a hazmat suit.)
So thanks to Congress, in 6 years, hundreds of millions of Americans will be bringing billions of bulbs of mercury poisoning into their homes, and then discarding the mercury into trash heaps. Seven years from now, look for the headlines about the mercury problem in America’s landfills and streams, and get ready to pony up to clean it up.
Global warming fanatics and reality deniers should be the first in line to volunteer to clean this up, without them we would never have this problem. We have our doubts as to whether they will take responsibility.