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Congress Temporarily Saves the Incandescent Light Bulb

December 16, 2011 2 comments


Tucked away in the 1,200-page bill that keeps the government funded through the rest of the fiscal year is a teeny, tiny, little provision that denies the Obama administration any of the money that would be necessary for it to enforce new energy efficiency standards that would pretty much eradicate the incandescent light bulb.

Yes, that’s right…for the time being anyway…the old light bulb continues to live on!

For some reason, this has been a huge priority for congressional Republicans- presumably because of the symbolism of it all; playing on the resentment of Americans being forced to use those weird, foreign-looking, squiggly light bulbs by squinty-eyed, bespectacled, nerdy, little, carbon foot-print-measuring, bureaucratic, government weasel-heads.

I’m going with the GOP on this one. You can only judge these things, I think, based on your own experiences. And my one experience with the new fangled light bulbs was not a pretty one. Saw it in the drug store one day and thought, “Oh what the hell, let’s see if these things do as advertised.” So I brought it home, took out my incandescent bulb in my bedroom lamp and screwed in the new one.

The packaging says, “lasts five years!” What a deal, I thought. Yeah, they’re a little expensive but totally worth it for five years, right? Ten minutes after I put that new bulb into the lamp, it popped and died. I was totally outraged. There is a huge difference in my book between five years and ten minutes. Huge. I fished the old incandescent bulb out of the trash can and happily screwed it back in again.

With visible disdain (visible at the time only by my cats), I tossed the failed new fangled bulb into the trash. I felt duped. Violated, even.

Look, I’m as environmentally conscious as the next guy—no—more so. I don’t even own a car. I have the tiniest little carbon footprint of anyone I know. I love the earth and the trees and the grasses and all of God’s creatures. I would even be in favor of the eradication of the incandescent light bulb if it would buy our lovely planet just one more day. But the thing you’re replacing it with- HAS TO WORK.

Otherwise- back off, Mr. Government Bureaucrat Guy. Don’t make me buy a 1960 diesel pick-up truck without a catalytic converter- ‘cause I will mess the earth up. Big time.