The humble incandescent light bulb is about to become history as Australia dumps it in favour of more energy efficient technology.
The more efficient technology? Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs, of course. The ones that cost more in energy terms to manufacture, aren’t suitable for enclosures as spotlights or downlights and contain that nasty neurotoxin, mercury.
The newly emerald tinged government’s spokesman for energy, water, climate change, global warming and any other difficult-to-believe issue you’d like to name – Malcolm Turnbull – has stated that this isn’t a matter of government ‘forcing’ people to buy CFL’s at all. Green groups are a tad miffed as Malcolm beat them to the punch on lightbulbs, apparently, but they think it’s a great initiative. No doubt it is, but seriously, is depriving people of choice in their lightbulb purchases really going make any real impact? Consider the cost for starters. CFL’s are more expensive to produce, therefore to buy. The incandescent bulb is dirt cheap, reflected in it’s cost to the consumer. At last inspection, the cheapest Bannerman could buy a CFL for was around $6.00. An incandescent bulb is less than 10% of that cost. A little like the GST in many ways. We’re going to be forced to buy and use CFL’s because Incandescents simply won’t be available. Like it or lump it.
Australia’s net annual greenhouse gas output, according to a UN study, approximates 530 million metric tonnes. Banning incandescent lightbulbs, according to Malcolm, will save some 2 million metric tonnes of CO2 gas “over time”. Other sources have quoted the saving at somewhere between 400,000 Mt and 800,000 Mt. The question of cost -v– benefit comes to Bannerman’s mind.
Of course, it’s not the done thing to nitpick these initiatives. None of us are snowy white when it comes to aiding our species’ long-term survival. Best to be seen smiling and waving rather than with rotten fruit in hand.