Thursday, August 21, 2008

From my cold, dead hands!

Quick quiz: how can you use one of these to save the world?
Answer: you can't! It's a freakin' lightbulb!

So, on Monday, the apartment complex put a note on our door that basically said, "We know how to run your life better than you do. To that end, we will be invading your apartment, stealing all of your incandescent light bulbs (which only terrorists and Nazis use anymore, you environmentally insensitive clods!), and replacing them all with CFL bulbs. You are immune to Mercury poisoning by now, right? Well, either way, we're not liable for that just like we're not liable for the fact that our front gate hasn't worked correctly in the last year. How could we be? We were saving up to buy these CFLs for you so we can SAVE the WORLD!

"Plus, your electric bill will be lower by 33%! 'Kay thanks, bye!"

My response was basically this: "You can have my incandescent bulbs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands!" And to prevent them from entering with their special key, Ashley and I left the deadbolt locked. This meant Ashley had to go out the back door and hop the railing to get out and run errands, but the evil enviro-communist plot was thwarted. Long live full spectrum incandescent light!

So, some of you unenlightened (pardon the pun) people may be asking, "What have you got against CFLs, anyway? They're more efficient and last longer. What's not to love?" Well, let's run down the list.

  1. CFLs, like any fluorescent light, contain mercury. Should one break, the mercury emitted exceeds EPA standards.
  2. CFLs are not bright. I had one once, and to use an LDS analogy, it was like being in the terrestrial kingdom as opposed to the celestial glory of incandescent light.
  3. CFLs emit a very narrow spectrum of light. The light makes you feel like you're in a warehouse, not in a home. It makes me feel "blotchy." (Ten points for the first person to get that movie reference...)
  4. And I can go on... But I won't.

So, those are the practical reason. However, the most important reason is more of a philosophical reason: I do not compromise with something that I think is wrong. And I think this whole global warming hysteria is wrong. And so, even if it does cost me a few extra cents per month, I will stand my ground. Because really, that's all it will save; your lights are NOT the main source of power consumption in your home. It's your refrigerator, your AC, your microwave, your computer, your dryer, and your speaker system that do the bulk of the work.

Most of those things are rated in kilowatts, while your light bulbs are rated in watts. If I leave a 60 watt bulb on continuously for a whole month, that's 43.2 kilowatt hours, or approximately $3.28 in Austin, TX. A 20-watt CFL run for the same time costs $1.09. Your AC run continuously for the same time would be $136.80. Your refrigerator would be $29.55 (like, if you left the door open so it never turned off). Now, if you only a light for, say, 8 hours a day, the normal bulb costs $1.09 a month, and your CFL is $0.36, for a grand total savings of about 73 cents. "But it adds up, right?" Oh yeah. If you live to be 80, you would save $696.19 per bulb. Now that's what I call a retirement plan. I'll keep my full-spectrum incandescent light, thank you very much. Greater safety + better light - minuscule savings + pissing off environmentalists = win!

From my cold, dead hands!


Jill Rogers said...

Michael gets ten points:

Mr. Waturi: "And what's this lamp for? Isn't there enough light in here for you?"
Joe: "The florescents affect me. They make me feel blotchy and puffy. I thought this this light would..."
Mr. Waturi: "Get rid of the light. This is not your bedroom, Joe. This is an office. Maybe if you start treating this like a job instead of some kind of a welfare hospital, you'll shape up!"

MUAH HA HA! (of course typed by Jill, as Michael is somewhat inable to do so now)

David Merriman said...

Yay for Michael! You get ten points. I'm pretty sure you can exchange them for a speedy recovery. ...Or at least some elbow pads. ;) Get well soon!