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Let There Be Light!!

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 06-15-2008 09:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

http://youtube.com/watch?v=e-LOtKIIKcg

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


1 posted 06-16-2008 05:10 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

           Representative Poe is a deeply funny man with a fine sense of irony and a nose for the ridiculous.  I admire these qualities about him.  He seems to be able to deflate the stodgy and the self important aspects of the left with a wonderful sparkle and wit.  I admire that as well.  The self-righteous aspects of any political point of view are among the least attractive aspects about them.

     Certainly the little twisty florescent bulbs have their draw-backs. predominant among them their problems with disposal.  One of the problems they do not appear to have is the cost of running them.  Congressman Poe in his wisdom seems to have omitted that while they may have a higher initial cost, they are enormously less expensive to run and ten to last up to five years each.  They pay for themselves after about a year or a bit more in the saved cost of the electricity (you might to run the math for yourself, since I'm frankly bad at it).  Sometimes you can buy the things on sale for a substantial discount.

     I have never had any trouble with TV problems because I, as do most of my friends, use cable TV.

     Because you can use lower wattage ratings for these bulbs and get the same amount of light as higher wattage incandescent bulbs, you also have the option of sometimes using higher wattage florescent bulbs in the same sockets (if they fit) and getting larger amounts of light from fixtures than you may be used to, still at less cost.  I've generally stuck with keeping equivalent light levels and saving a bit more money.

     A side benefit happens to be that we don't happen to need to use quite so much gas, oil and coal, which may have something to do with why a representative Poe from a gas and oil exporting state, would feel the need to bring up the constitution on this matter.  And to use his wonderful rhetorical talents on it.

     You see, while the constitution is silent silent silent on the subject of incandescent light bulbs versus florescent light bulbs (apparently the framers did not intend for us to regulate them in any way at all, right?  Otherwise they'd be be in there, according to the logic Mr. Poe seems to be using.), the constitution was explicit about the need to regulate commerce between the states and to make sure that disputes between the states were regulated by fair laws.  The Supreme court was to have final say about any disputes that actually arose about the equitability of those laws.  The Administration was responsible for setting up the actual bodies to do the regulation.

     Hence, as the constitution directs, the congress established laws enabling the E.P.A and the legal system has since been busy working out how the details are to be enforced.  The various administrations since the E.P.A. was established have directed it with various degrees of enthusiasm  and with various amounts of enabling funding in the directions it saw as most clearing carrying out the mandate the E.P.A. was given.

     In other words, Congressman Poe is laying the groundwork for a counterattack on any attempt to cut into energy consumption—by the E.P.A. or environmental groups—by suggesting in advance that control of the burning of coal and oil resources and curtailing of oil profits is unconstitutional.  

     I would not be terribly surprised if at some point a Republican legislator from someplace didn't try to list  Tobacco products as an alternative fuel.

     Your pardon, there, Balladeer, for my little joke.  Clearly no Republican would stoop so low.  There's no way Tobacco could be sold at a high enough price to make it worth anybody's trouble.  And previously it would have been Dixie-crats selling their souls and other people's bodies for the Tobacco dollar.  It's not really a partisan issue.

     In summary, Balladeer, I would suggest that it would be worth your while to shop around and see if you could find some decently priced florescent bulbs configured for incandescent slots if you're not using them already.  You'll save money and will save the environment a lot of unnecessary stress.  Check and see how long it would take to pay back the cost of a hundred watt bulb.  Remember, a florescent bulb will probably last you much longer than an incandescent bulb, so you'll have to buy extra incandescent bulbs as well, and then pay roughly three to four times the money every month for electricity.  Which means that somebody is making extra profit from fuel oil and is competing with the cost of oil that will be used to refine your gasoline and heat your home and everybody else's who uses the same power source.  All this drives up everybody's cost of oil and gas powered anything by that much extra.

     In some states, as part of a power savings program, the power companies give away power audits to help consumers save money on their fuel bills.  They give away or subsidize the cost of these light bulbs and the cost of more fuel efficient furnaces  and insulation.  They make money on it and cut their cost from the fuel suppliers as well.  It's good public relations, they get a bit of a kick-back from the installation companies and get a chance to make sure that the work is good.  Everybody wins.

     What's your thought on that sort of think, Balladeer?

    
Balladeer
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


2 posted 06-16-2008 10:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Are you saying then, Bob, that you are in favor of these light bulbs, Bob, as an effective and worthwhile way to cut energy usage? I realize that they represent basically the entire congressional energy saving program but is it realistic and beneficial?
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


3 posted 06-17-2008 06:10 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Balladeer,

          I use them myself and I find them pretty good.  Whether they are the whole of a nutritious and balanced breakfast, and will give me the zip and vim I need to have a healthy day all by themselves, I don't know.  But you ought to give them a try for some local use and see what you think.  Go to a discount sales outlet to buy them initially, because they are expensive, but they will pay for themselves and will cut your electric bill.  Then let me know what you think of them.  It takes maybe a slight fraction of a second before they turn on, and that's a bit disconcerting until you get used to them.  Poe is very very funny, and I hate to do anything to discourage such a wonderful sense of humor, though.  I could listen to him darn near all day long.

     Best from here.  Bob.
Sunshine
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Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


4 posted 06-17-2008 10:52 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Just this weekend we were discussing this very issue - and it is simply another way [but with a lot more hazards attached to these particular light-emitting bulbs] to sell US something that perhaps, overall, is far more dangerous [cost of lives if not handled properly?] than the savings we won't know about for several years to come. I'm all for "energy saving methods" [i.e., boxing groceries vs. plastic and/or paper bags [boxes to be used over and over again!] [and wouldn't it be nice if someone developed oh, say, five totable corrugated boxes that slip one into the other for storage convenience between uses?] but I digress - we need to develop such energy savings devices without having to worry for our health.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-506347/An-energy-saving-bulb-gone--evacuate-room-now.html

Grinch
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since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


5 posted 06-17-2008 12:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I happily use the new bulbs - it doesn’t make sense NOT to.

Of course care should be taken when dealing with any product containing mercury, mercury is a cumulative poison, once in your system the body has no natural way to get rid of it, but the mercury in one of the new bulbs is a miniscule amount - if you want a visual aid the total amount contained in each bulb would sit comfortably on the period at the end of this sentence. You’d need to be exposed to a carton full of broken bulbs over a sustained period for it to be detrimental to your health.

If you want to avoid mercury poisoning Mike then you’d be better off avoiding, among other things, laptops, PC monitors, washing machines, fridges, heating systems, air-conditioning units, TV’s, florescent tube lights used in all commercial buildings, batteries, teeth fillings and eating large fish. They all contain much more mercury than the new bulbs and consequently a far higher risk of mercury poisoning.

If you’ve avoided everything that contains mercury but mercury poisoning is still a real issue to you I’d consider switching to the new bulbs as soon as possible, simply based on the fact that current methods of generating electricity releases more mercury into the atmosphere than the bulbs ever could.

Less electricity production equals less mercury - it doesn’t make sense NOT to use the new bulbs given that choice, and you save money too!

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


6 posted 06-17-2008 02:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I have some of both and don't have a problem with either.  
Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


7 posted 06-17-2008 04:16 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Sorry, but I don't think Congressman Poe is funny so much as disingenuous. He simply MUST know better.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) provide the same light for 75 to 80 percent less electricity. That's not a small thing. Swap out just one incandescent 60 watt bulb in America's 110 million households and you've saved enough electricity to light all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island for the same period. In terms of oil not burned or gases not spent into the atmosphere, that one bulb is equivalent to taking 1,300,000 cars off the road.

And that's just one bulb per household. I can't find the resource today, but several months ago I read that if every incandescent bulb was replaced with an equivalent CFL, America would no longer have to import its oil. I probably read that wrong, but there's absolutely no doubt that a mass switch to CFL will make a profound and lasting effect on America's energy problems.

While the Congressman laments U.S. legislation that will take effect in 2014, that time table will, in fact, make America one of the last in the world to ban the sale (not the use) of incandescent bulbs. Brazil and Venezuela were the first to start phasing out incandescent in 2005. Canada has announced a plan to phase out the bulbs by 2012, the Philippines by 2010, Italy by 2010, Belgium by 2012, Ireland by 2009, and the United Kingdom by 2011. And that's just a few. Any country that doesn't make the change is just incredibly stupid.

Are CFLs safe?

Well, considering we've had conventional fluorescent tubes used in millions of offices, schools, stores, and government building since 1938, it's a little hard to image that the new CFLs -- which have substantially LESS mercury than the tubes -- could really be that big of a problem.

As Grinch indicated, the amount of mercury is tiny, about 5mg. Compare that to the 7mg found in a little button battery, the whopping 500 mg found in a thermometer, or the truly stupefying 3,000 mg in an old thermostat. Here's the kicker, though. About half the power plants in America burn coal to produce electricity. Such a plant emits 10 mg of mercury to produce the electricity necessary to burn one incandescent bulb. Sounds like a complete wash to me.

The numbers, however, don't tell the whole story. No mercury, in any form, is good for you, but mercury vapors are particularly dangerous. If you break a fluorescent bulb -- either the old tube kind like I have in my garage or the new CFLs I have throughout my house -- you have to be really careful not to breath the fumes. Open a window, run a fan, and wipe the area with a damp paper towel to pick up the glass fragments. Don't use a vacuum, broom, or your hands. Seal all the fragments in a double plastic bag and take it to the nearest CFL recycling center (there's one in most Wal-marts, I think). Again, however, these precautions are absolutely no different than what fluorescent tubes have represented for most of the past seventy years. And think about it; how many bulbs do you actually break in a year? I honestly can't remember the last bulb I broke. (And now that I won't have to change a bulb for the next five to ten years, I expect to break a lot fewer of them.)

And, yea, because we don't want mercury in our landfills, CFLs shouldn't be thrown out with your regular trash. Neither should the old fluorescent tubes, most batteries, or your thermometers. Yea, right, like everyone is going to keep our landfills clean at the expense of their own convenience?

The answer, though, is pretty simple. You don't want beer and pop bottles going to the landfill? Charge a deposit and people will return most of them voluntarily. As usual, money talks.

Speaking of money, you can easily find out what your own savings might be by making the switch to CFLs. The CFL Savings Calculator is supplied courtesy of General Electric. You know? The company that invented the ductile tungsten filament and built a billion dollar industry on incandescent technology? Even GE has seen the light.    


Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


8 posted 06-20-2008 02:39 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I feel guilty for not acknowledging more about the new lights.  After reading Ron's comments I think they certainly deserve much more appreciation.
 
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