American Elephants


Oh Swell, Those Twisty CFL Bulbs Linked to Increased Eye Disease. by The Elephant's Child

Liberals seldom investigate the unintended consequences of their good ideas. They do get enthusiastic about new ideas to improve the world, increase control of the bitter clinging masses, and just neglect to look at the details.

Saving the planet has ranked very high on their agenda, particularly since Obama promised to halt the rise of the oceans, so anything that promised to cut down on CO2 emissions, or energy use, seemed like a good idea right off the bat.  Who would have suspected that people would get indignant over changing their lightbulbs to a different kind that would save them money in their electric bills?

Well, as usual, unintended consequences rise up.  CFL bulbs — the twisty fluorescent kind— have not only gotten much more expensive, but now scientists say that they can harm the eyes.  New research from the Australian National University has warned that the global trend toward using fluorescent bulbs may cause a 12 percent rise in UV-related eye diseases like cataracts and pterygia.

So does all the saving on our electricity bills, which energy secretary Steven Chu insists is good for us whether we like it or not, outweigh the cost of all the cataract operations? I have no idea what pterygia is, or what medical attention it might require.

So many liberal solutions turn out to be worse than the original.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How are CFL bulbs a “liberal” thing?

You are an idiot trying to make something out of nothing.

Comment by Frank

Because no respectable conservative would think that government has to tell us what kind of light bulbs to use, and not just ask us to consider it, but force the lightbulbs we have been using off the market. Conservatives would point out that you can possibly save a little money by using CFL bulbs if you choose.

The problem, of course, is that most people don’t like the damn things. They flicker, they take forever to turn on, and the light is unpleasant. The halogen bulbs that are supposed to make up for the failings of CFLs— even the manufacturers admit that the technology is not ready for prime time. They are exceedingly directional, and have baffles to try to spread the light somewhat unsuccessfully, and they cost an arm and a leg.

The idea was to “save the planet” by using less energy by “reducing our dependence on foreign oil” but “foreign oil” does not produce our electricity. Conservatives are inclined to let the free market work: Those who are anxious to save on their power bills and don’t mind the CFLs will choose those, those who like incandescents buy the usual kind. Free markets, free choice. Liberals always want to order everyone around. We don’t tolerate name-calling around here.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

The meager savings from using the ugly light CFL’s is so nominal. It equates to less than a half a tank of gasoline a year. Take one less trip to Costco or the mall. Turn your a/c off for a day, hang your clothes to dry, insulate your house, and use lightbulbs
that don’t cause cataracts and eye strain. My optometrist said that he makes so much more money off young people who need glasses now due to CFL’s. Nuff’ said.

Comment by Sue




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