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February 24, 2023

THE MORNING RANT: CFL Bulbs That Were Once Promoted By Environmental Activists Are Now Being Banned By the Same People

Barely 15 years after the government started banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs – to save the planet - CFL bulbs are now being banned because they are toxic and damaging to the environment.

Huh. Who knew.

Also, who could have ever predicted that the environmental activists promoting those little mercury bombs might someday reverse course?

Maybe in 15 years the greens will realize just how environmentally destructive electric vehicles are and start banning those too.

I have often made the comment (including on a recent Cut Jib Newsletter podcast) that the various state and federal bans on gas-powered vehicles in favor of electric vehicles are similar to the government ban on incandescent light bulbs in favor of CFL bulbs. The government chose a product to kill off, and the government also chose its successor. Consumers and the marketplace chose differently.

As it turned out, incandescent bulbs have been largely replaced, but not by CFLs. LED bulbs won consumers over instead.

There were so many reasons that consumers hated CFL bulbs, from the awful color light they produce, to the illumination time it takes before they produce light, to their ineffectiveness in cold weather. They are also potentially toxic if they break due to the mercury they contain.

Along those same lines, it’s possible that within 20 years cars will be propelled differently than they are now. Maybe all cars will be plug-in hybrids that still allow gas propulsion for long distance travel, or perhaps they’ll run on hydrogen. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the government-mandated EV will never be anything but a niche product, and few if any people will be driving them…if they’re even still allowed on the road. Between their combustibility and the massive strip mining required to produce the materials needed for EVs, there is nothing green about them.

Back to CFL bulbs, the same green government types that were mandating them not even 20 years ago are now banning them. In fact, they’re not just banning them, they’re now treating CFL bulbs like toxic hazmat.

Vermont to become first state to ban CFL lightbulb sales [The Hill – 02/08/2023]

Old or used CFL bulbs…cannot be discarded in the trash, but must be brought to a collection site or recycling center, Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation reiterated.

All mercury-containing bulbs also require special handling during disposal, as they can release harmful mercury vapor if broken or crushed.

If a CFL bulb breaks, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation suggests clearing the room immediately, opening windows or doors, closing all interior vents, and letting the room air out for at least 15 minutes before attempting to clean up any broken pieces. Do not use a vacuum, “as this may spread any mercury vapor,” the agency writes.

Vermont may have been first, but California’s ban on CFL bulbs is less than a year away. Where California goes, the rest of the nation’s leftists will soon follow.


California Bans CFL Light Bulbs [tcpi.com – 11/21/2022]

CFL light bulb bans started making their way through state legislatures last year, and California has become the second state to sign one into law. Vermont’s light bulb ban passed in May, forbidding sales of CFLs as of February 2023. California’s phase-out begins in January 2024.

Similar to how it played out with the light bulb wars, it will be funny to see today’s passionate EV advocates become tomorrow’s EV prohibitionists, and today’s EV fanboys realizing that they are now the target of the politicians who they thought were on their side.

*****

Speaking of compact fluorescent bulbs, one of the endearing things about my wife is her passionate hatred of those squiggly abominations.


Early in our marriage, I might have possibly tried to sneak some of those bulbs into our house one time to save a dollar or two on our utility bill, and to try to minimize the heat being generated inside our house during Texas’ brutal summer. She would not have it, and it was a non-negotiable, no-compromise position of hers.

Frankly, that kind of warmed my heart, as she was pretty apolitical at the time, so I saw this as an opportunity to rant about the left’s goals of banning incandescent light bulbs. (In retrospect, I realize that George W. Bush was President at the time, and he was allowing the left-wing permanent bureaucracy to get away with it.)

Best of all, when we would go on a weekend getaway to a B&B or a cabin in the woods, we’d have to take a four-pack of 60-watt incandescent bulbs with us just in case there were CFL bulbs in the place we were staying. She wasn’t going to let those awful bulbs ruin the atmosphere!

I wish each and every one of you a great weekend, and if you’re looking to, ahem, “set the mood” for a romantic weekend, you might try bringing your true a love a package of incandescent light bulbs.

*****

(I am in Orlando at the Heartland Institute's climate conference. If you have any interest in tuning in to see real scientists debunking the climate cult, the sessions are being live streamed today and Saturday, and can be accessed at this link.)

[buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com]

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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