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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Saturday
Apr042009

How Many Congressman Does it Take to Screw Up A Light Bulb?

I have wondered since the inception of the cf light bulb how many are hitting landfills, and when broken, spew mercury in the atmosphere. Could our government be the originator of one of the biggest new pollutants in the marketplace today? If every bulb sold in 2014, as required by law, is a CF bulb, how much more damage will our government do to our atmosphere? The same government that gave us ethanol, couldn't possibly be guilty of another mistake that will be ignored and excused away. After all, ethanol is a new energy loser. More btu's used than saved. Billions of tax dollars and higher food prices keep the product afloat. Mandated increases of ethanol will make it worse as time passes.

The NY Times, of all publications, ran an article citing the pitfalls of the wondrous cf bulbs. According to the Times, the bulbs, which are supposed to last 10,000 hours and save as much as $5.40 a year in power costs, are dying in a few hours. Supposedly the government pushed to cut the prices and forced manufacturers to use inferior components. They don't work well in hot places with little airflow and don't work with dimmers or three-way sockets. They take up to three minutes to reach full brightness. 

Because of the mercury they are not to be put in the trash. They must be taken to recycling centers like Home Depot or one of the few government run centers in metro areas. Sure, we lazy Americans will do just that. What's your guess how many go to landfills? If it's 10%, how many bulbs a year is that? Since they don't last the advertised 10,000 hours, but some burn out in mere hours or days, it's a big number being displaced every year. If the average cf bulb user goes through 6 a year and 50% of the 300,000,000 of us use the bulbs, that's 900,000,000 a year. If 10%, which I think is low, throw them in the trash, that's 90,000,000 being broken in the trash truck in your neighborhood on the way to the dump. So, you may be getting high levels of mercury right in your street. Who is the watchdog on this?

Not one word from the EPA, the environmental freaks, or Gore about the potential dangers of this. No one's out checking landfills to see how many bulbs are ending up there. This will be swept so far under the rug by this group and the media that it will take some special task force to open up this can of worms and get these bulbs outlawed. It's called selective toxic waste. If it's designed by environmentalists, mandated by the government, and endorsed by the media, it's acceptable pollution. Especially if all the bulbs are produced in China where we know quality control is job one.

Just remember. If you break one in your house you are to: Clear people and pets from the area and open a window for at least 15 minutes(if this is in Alaska in January there goes the energy savings for the next 5 years). Avoid vacuuming. Scoop up big pieces. Get the rest with sticky tape. Put in a jar or sealed plastic container. This can go in the trash unless local rules prohibit.

And, for the estimated 90% who might be taking them to Home Depot, walk. If you make a special trip the gasoline will offset the energy savings for the next five years. 

Since this is the crown jewel of the government's green energy program for the last 5 years, don't you just wonder how many more light bulb ideas will come from Dr. Chu's 50 billion a year budget in the next year or so?

Do we just elect stupid people or do they do the stupid training once they get to Washington? 

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