Senator demands US create morally superior light bulbs
We'll not follow China, Bush
Somebody pull out the red, white and blue paint. Light bulbs have turned patriotic.
US Senator Barbara Boxer today urged Silicon Valley's leaders to think of energy in nationalistic terms. This fine country has the strength, talent and will to curb its energy hungry ways and become a model for the rest of the world. Anything less and we're nothing more than Red China worshiping wastes.
“If the public keeps involved in this . . . it becomes something of a patriotic goal that we will lead the world on this challenge,” Boxer said, during a mini-energy summit held at AMD's Sunnyvale headquarters.
“The President has said, 'What is the point in doing anything (on energy consumption) when China and India will surpass us in a couple of years.' Well, since when does an American President look to China for leadership in the environment.”
“We don't sit around on an environmental question that threatens our people. We can't wait for China. We have to be the moral leader here.”
Boxer's repeated attacks against Bush came as the Democrat called for a non-partisan attitude toward global warming policies. The obvious irony no doubt shocks you.
Consumers should buy compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent ones, adjust their thermostats and walk more, if they want to be real Americans, according to Boxer.
The Senator plans to turn global warming and the US's energy policy into one of the central issues in the upcoming presidential campaign.
The US currently makes up about 5 per cent of the world's population, while it chews through about 25 per cent of the energy. So, clearly part of the American spirit revolves around crude oil foot baths and air conditioned dog houses. Boxer will need to do more than throw Communist China at us to stop such practices.
Boxer addressed a number of Silicon Valley executives and politicians, during the meeting at AMD's headquarters.
It's no secret that green computing and energy have become all the rage in these parts with many hoping that breakthroughs in related technology will fuel a new wave of growth in the Valley. As so often happens, the hypesters have beat the energy drum so hard and so often in recent months that the whole subject has already become tedious.
Although, even the crustiest cynic would admit that the energy saving crusade proves a far better and more tolerable cause than Web 2.0 fluffery. ®
Jeez, Fred; relax...
"If electricity were a good, efficient way to heat a house, then you wouldn't be heating your house with heating oil/gas/franklin stoves/whatever. This is not to mention the fact that many people who are happy to have an incandescent light in winter just crank the air conditioning up a little higher in summer to compensate. And air conditioning is way the heck less energy efficient than heating."
Having lived in homes with electric baseboard heating, I'm well aware of its deficiencies. My current apartment is oil-heated, which is why I said "adjunct"...
I agree with you, as well, about the inefficiencies of air conditioners. Which is why, with the exception of last sumer when my daughter (asthmatic) was living with me, I don't use them. I use fans.
The question remains: Is it more efficient, in order to achieve a given room temperature in winter, to use a CF bulb and more heat, or use an incandescent bulb and less heat? Or is it a draw?
"On my last visit to Ms. Boxer's office, the entire place was lit with fluorescents, and the two desk lamps I saw were CF. I can't speak to her house, since I have never had the pleasure of visiting it."
Fine. Excellent. That, at least, answers part of the question asked. Thank you.
As to, "California is the third to lowest energy usage per capita state in the US. " the key phrase here is "per capita". All that means is that you've got a lot of people to divide up the facts that Cali is still the nation's second-highest TOTAL consumer of natural gas, petroleum, and electricity. (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/sep_sum/plain_html/rank_use_per_cap.html) Note that little Rhode Island, with FAR fewer people to split the load, used the least per capita.
One point that I didn't mention above and which, again, I have not seen addressed, is the cost issue. Yes; I understand that, in time, the price of the average CF bulb may come down to be within the same range as the average incandescent, but that doesn't help low-income people *NOW*. I have, at times, been in a position where I could barely afford 99 cents for a light bulb. Had I had to pay $4.50 for one - however much longer it was going to last - I would have ended up sitting in the dark.
How did the California law address this? (I really am curious!)
And, Fred, as a personal aside: If you want to show people the correct way to be responsible about energy, you might want to avoid having these sentences all in the same posting:
"It's amazing the spleen that people vent when someone asks them to act like responsible adults.
"(T)here are a lot of us who don't need to heat our houses, but we definitely make up for that in the summer with our air conditioning.
"And air conditioning is way the heck less energy efficient than heating."
Having spent almost 3 years (1988-1991) living in L/A. without having an AC unit in my apartment, I believe that the vast majority of people living there don't *NEED* AC, but use it anyway just because they can.
Don't CFL bulbs contain mercury? Secondly, to get the same amount of light, you actually have to use more of them, no? And the talk of them outlasting incandescent bulbs is marginal at best (excluding 3 way bulbs). The ones I've purchased 15 dollars for 3, I've had two burnout within a few months of installing them.
Given the three to four individual lightbulbs that may be in use at any given time in my house, screw it... I'm going to start stashing incandescent bulbs.
Oh yeah, global warming is still a myth!
It's amazing the spleen that people vent when someone asks them to act like responsible adults.
A few facts for y'all:
California is the third to lowest energy usage per capita state in the US. And yes, there are a lot of us who don't need to heat our houses, but we definitely make up for that in the summer with our air conditioning.
There are fluorescent lamps that dim, though they take special bulbs. (I have one.) There are three-way fluorescent lamps, working by the simple expedient of having two bulbs. There are CFL spots and floods; I own a flood. It works fine. And finally, yes, there are plenty that will work below 30 F, though you'll have to look for one that is rated properly.
If electricity were a good, efficient way to heat a house, then you wouldn't be heating your house with heating oil/gas/franklin stoves/whatever. This is not to mention the fact that many people who are happy to have an incandescent light in winter just crank the air conditioning up a little higher in summer to compensate. And air conditioning is way the heck less energy efficient than heating.
On my last visit to Ms. Boxer's office, the entire place was lit with fluorescents, and the two desk lamps I saw were CF. I can't speak to her house, since I have never had the pleasure of visiting it.
California, and in particular the Silicon Valley, is the national leader in research on alternative energy generation. The state makes grants, and the venture capitalists are encouraged to get on board. And Ms. Boxer is quite heavily involved in the alternative energy movement (c.f. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/04/05/042789.html ) and has quite a bit of credibility here because of it.
As for the energy situation in California, that is due to state politics, not national. Energy deregulation, shoved down our throats by PG&E, has really caused a great deal of harm to the state, and we're only now beginning to figure out ways to recover. But blaming Boxer for that fiasco is just as fair as blaming Clinton or Bush... it's a state issue, at least at the moment, not a Federal one.
As for the personal attacks on Boxer, I can only assume that they mean she's doing her job.