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.



Light Bulbs and the Nanny State by The Elephant's Child

Nick Gillespie of Reason shares my exasperation with the Light Bulb Police.  I think most people are really unaware of the approaching ban, and when they suddenly find out that they cannot buy normal light bulbs, that they are stuck with the revolting CFL bulbs, and that they are going to be forced to replace most of the fixtures in their homes, you are going to have a very angry populace.

Congress is undoubtedly too busy with attempting to get the budget under control to devote much effort to repealing the incandescent bulb ban.  Do understand that there is no reason whatsoever for the ban.  We are not short of electricity, we have natural gas supplies in abundance for at least 200 years.  And with natural gas so plentiful, the price of gas should drop.  We have plentiful supplies of coal as well.

So why are the Nannies banning incandescent bulbs?  Because GE, Phillips and Sylvania can buy CFL bulbs very cheaply from China, which sell here at a much higher price, and make lots more money.  These companies apparently wrote the bill that bans incandescents.  That kind of collusion used to be illegal, but who worries about things like that these days?  The administration, charged by the Constitution with enforcing the law, feels no obligation to obey the law itself.




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