Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Welcome to the EU’s New Dark Ages

Under the latest stupid EU ruling the manufacture and import of 100 watt incandescent light bulbs in Britain will be banned in favour of the CFL energy-saving variety - by which you can’t see to read – or write - brush your hair, wipe your arse, tie your shoe laces or shave without cutting your own throat.

According to the latest 1,286,498 page paper report from the Brussels’ based Energy Saving Trust, which is estimated to cause the devastation of three hectares of rainforest per printed copy - Compact Fluorescent Lamps (energy-saving bulbs) use what the boffins and anoraks claim is ‘a lot less electricity than standard bulbs’.
How much they don’t actually seem to know just yet – although the prestigious Twatford Institute for Advanced Guesswork asserts the CFL bulbs use 45% less power than a standard 100 watt incandescent type – but put out a scandalous 80% less light.

However they claim that changing your 100 watt bathroom light bulb to one of their super-duper nasty poisonous mercury-filled energy-conscious bulbs could save the average household £590 in energy over their projected lifetime of 10 years - plus the all-round carbon saving would prevent three families of polar bears from drowning and be the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road or cancelling every Thomas Cook 'Yobettes' binge drinking vacation flight from Heathrow to Mallorca from now until Doomsday.

Wow - save the poxy polar bears – a good enough stand-alone reason by itself. But while cutting carbon emissions and cheaper electricity bills might entice many, others are less than happy.

Commonplace whinges about the new bulbs include the sad facts they’re twice the price of the traditional 100 watt bulbs, take too long to warm up, they’re pig dog ugly, they give off piss poor light and they contain the arch-evil toxic heavy metal : mercury - making them potentially hazardous and hard to get rid of re-cycling wise – plus a full chemo-hazard suit job for clean ups if one gets dropped and smashes – covering the floor with lethal shards of highly noxious glass that polar bears – or local council sneaks - might tread on.

According to informed campaigners energy-saving bulbs can trigger migraines, exacerbate leprous skin conditions and lead to other serious health problems – including ingrowing toenails, brain tumours, halitosis and total blindness.

One opponent, Frank Snott, a part-time tomcat peeler from Smegmadale, decided he couldn't face life without 100 watts. "I've bought a 15-year supply of the old-fashioned 100 and 150 watt incandescent light bulbs so fuck Al Gore an’ all this global warmin’ bullshit," he told the Cormorant Strangler’s Gazette.

Under EU legislation any bulb with frosted, opal, pearl, amethyst or other semi-precious finish - unless category A energy savers - will be henceforth banned from the 1st September 2009 – with all clear bulbs not stamped with the new Cyrillic Eurocode banned from the same date.

So, as our 120-year long love affair with 100 watt bulbs is about to become yet another sad victim to Big Brother / Nanny State stupidity and be declared anathema as of tomorrow - what, we ponder is going to be the next Messianic banishment edict to be announced by the topsy-turvy madmen running Brussels – and by proxy – the UK : candles, oil lamps and Coleman lanterns to be verboten by 2015?

According to the Ministry for Wasting Time & Money website, if you can’t see properly after installing CFL bulbs and keep bumping into things then eat more raw carrots, buy a flashlight and go for an eye test at Specsavers.”


Panta Rei said...

Yes and it doesn't make sense
EVEN if you agree with energy or emission reasons given

The strange and unpublicised EU and industrial politics that went on before the ban took place:

Europeans choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (light industry data 2007-8)
Banning what people want gives the supposed savings - no point in banning an impopular product!

If new LED lights -or improved CFLs- are good,
people will buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (little point).
If they are not good, people will not buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (no point).
The arrival of the transistor didn't mean that more energy using radio valves were banned... they were bought less anyway.

Supposed savings don't hold up,
for many reasons:
( onwards
about brightness, lifespan, power factor, lifecycle, heat effect of ordinary bulbs, and other referenced research)

Effect on Electricity Bills:
If energy use does indeed fall with light bulb and other proposed efficiency bans,
electricity companies make less money,
and they’ll simply RAISE the electricity bills to compensate
(especially since power companies often have their own grids with little supply competition)
Energy regulators can hardly deny any such cost covering exercise...

There is no shortage of energy:
People -not politicians – pay for energy use, and if there was an energy shortage, the price rise would lead to more demand for efficient products anyway – no need to legislate for it.

Does a light bulb give out any gases?
Power stations might not either:
Why should emission-free households be denied the use of lighting they obviously want to use?
Low emission households already dominate some regions, and will increase everywhere, since emissions will be reduced anyway through the planned use of coal/gas processing technology and/or energy substitution.

A direct way to deal with emissions (for all else they contain too, whatever about CO2):

The Taxation Alternative
A ban on light bulbs is extraordinary, in being on a product safe to use.
We are not talking about banning lead paint here!
It's just about consumption.

Even for those who remain pro-ban,
taxation to reduce consumption would make more sense, also because governments can use the income to reduce emissions (home insulation schemes, renewable projects etc) more than any remaining product use causes such problems.

A few Euros tax that reduces the current sales (EU like the USA 2 billion sales per annum, UK 250-300 million pa)
raises future billions, and would retain consumer choice.
It could also be revenue neutral, lowering any sales tax on efficient products.

However, taxation is itself unjustified for similar reasons to bans, it is simply preferable to them...

Of course a ban is underway, but supposedly with a review of the phase-out process in a few years time.. for what that's worth, or not!

Panta Rei said...

By the way,

The man responsible for the ban,
EU Energy Commisioner Piebalgs,
is now responding to protests,
defending his ban on his blog
by saying it increases choice….

so that's alright then :-)

and comments...