Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Light Bulb Ban

On Monday we are due for an exciting, an enthralling, an unimaginable political movement that will shake the United States, nay the entire world.

It seems that our personal freedom is at stake. Can we as people really sit here and allow our government to dictate what light bulbs we are required to use? I am glad this is the priority for certain members in our political realm... honestly,
reading up on this and how this is being treated reads to me a like blow to what we have become.

I remember hearing stories of how people came together during the two World Wars and made sacrifices. Rationing on how they used their resources. Doing whatever they could in order to give our soldiers and our country the extra support it needed. Now, we live a world where I hear corporations sacrificing their employees in order to give raises to the executives. Doing whatever they could in order to make that extra income so they could live the life of luxury.

United we stand?

Are we really united as a nation? Seems to me like we are split. We have our own thoughts and opinions; we form groups, clicks, parties, communities all for different causes. Some beliefs clash with others and so debates and arguments come into play. However, the divide between our social classes continues to grow. Regardless of what happens, I can't help but want to scream, what in the world is happening that light bubs, NASA and NPR are the cause for whats happening to our country. Is this really what we need to focus on?

People aren't stupid; we see through the bullshit that comes out of our politicians and the news. Instead, we are naive and comfortable. We don't know how to get together and stand up for one cause. We figure someone else will step up to the plate. Or, we don't know where to start. I can raise my hand and state that I don't agree, but that is just a start.

But our country is still new. I'd like to think that we are slowly entering a new era. Similar to that of enlightenment. More and more people are becoming connected. This virtual hub is slowly changing, and although the time of youtube videos of cats is far from fact having this, can bring a lighter mood to an otherwise dull day; we are also seeing the potential it can have on creating change, and spreading knowledge.

Tweet me, @photoserg on your thoughts, or leave em here. Till next time my virtual friends.


Trista said...

THANK YOU! I'm glad that I'm not the only one outraged that Big Brother is slowly but surely taking over our lives.

I have a million and one things to say about this, particularly about how our government (and even some private companies) are mandating more and more ridiculous things and dressing them up as favors to us, as if they're providing us with security or in this case, saving the world. To this very general statement I just made, I'd like only to quote Benjamin Franklin, who said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Obviously the quote applies more to the securities and less to the saving the world)

Now, moving back to the topic of light bulbs, I was doing some research (inspired by your post, of course) on the differences between CFLs and incandescents, and actually found many articles that claimed that Castro banned the importation and sale of incandescents in Cuba in 2005. Since no one cites sources these days, I kept researching until I found a credible source--and surely enough, in Castro's autobiography, it states that on April 21, 2005, Castro announced in a television appearance that incandescent light bulbs would no longer be sold in Cuba (Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, pg. 654).

I often make references to our government turning toward communism, and learning this just fuels my fire. To re-expand the topic, it isn't just the issue of light bulbs that allows us to draw parallels with communism. Think of all the other mandates that our government has imposed on us and just ask yourself, "Is this something that a communist government would enforce?"

While I do agree that more people are becoming aware of the guise of our leaders, I still don't know if it's at a quick enough pace to stop this train wreck. Next year's election is VITAL to our country's well-being.

Trista said...

Not to mention... when you really start to research the differences between CFLs and incandescents, there really IS still an argument to be had about whether or not CFLs are truly more beneficial in the big picture.

More thoughts to come on this as I research more.

ncchapman said...

I honestly don't see what the big deal is. It may be a gross overstatement but I think consumers are lazy. I think that the people who actively try to purchase things that are energy efficient and 'green' and those who don't are 50/50. I for one am all up on that stuff that's energy efficient but have seen many friends pass by it in order to save a few dollars. Basically, I think that if educated consumers can still rationalize not being efficient then what is so bad about taking the choice away from them? I get that it's revoking freedom but our society is built on this idea that it's all about the individual. There's a real lack in the sense of community, or bettering the good of a society rather than yourself. I've thought to myself "I buy all this energy efficient stuff but what impact am I really having". I think a lot of people feel that way and that's the problem. This is something that's only become apparent to me in the last few weeks. How important it is to work together, how much easier it is to obtain a goal with a team effort. Maybe I'm a communist.
Do you object to the government wanting all cars to be fuel efficient by 2025? I just don't think that we should be able to have to choice to live destructively because innately we are all hedonistic assholes and it shows in what we've done to our planet.

Trista said...

Main principles of communism:

1. Seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively, and that control over the distribution of property is centralized in order to achieve both classlessness and statelessness.

2. Based on the principle that the goods and services produced in an economy should be owned publicly, and controlled and planned by a centralized organization.

3. Asserts that that goods and services should be distributed among the populace according to individuals' needs.

4. Asserts that both capitalism and private ownership of the means of production must be done away with as soon as possible in order to make sure a classless society, the communist ideal, is formed.

5. Seeks to limit the number of people who control the economy to a small group.

(summary via this article.)

Trista said...

I think that to assume that a complete stranger both A) Knows more than you & B) Has your best interest in mind is a naive way of thinking. Perhaps if you were to assume one or the other you might be safer--but both? That's dangerous.

I think as a whole, we tend to forget that just because someone says it, doesn't make it so. Thomas Sowell explains it best:
"The prevailing vision of our era is long overdue for a critical re-examination--or, for many, a first examination. This vision so permeates the media and academia, and has made such major inroads into the religious community, that many grow to adulthood unaware that there is any other way of looking at things, or that evidence might be relevant to checking out the sweeping assumptions of so-called 'thinking people.' Many of these 'thinking people' could more accurately be characterized as articulate people, as people whose verbal nimbleness can elude both evidence and logic. This can be a talent, when it supplies the crucial insulation from reality behind many historic catastrophes." (The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, p. 6)

The debate over whether CFLs are truly a wiser choice isn't about rationalizing, it's about determining the facts. If you Google CFLs, you'll find that many of the articles contain the same arguments and phrases as one another, and they often cite the same sources (the EPA, DOE, EnergyStar--all of whom are related). If you actually start to break down the "facts" and "statistics"--by which I mean taking them out of the article's context and applying them to reality--you should begin to recognize some holes in certain statements.

For instance, this article states that "while the [CFL] bulbs contained an average of 4 milligrams a few years ago, many now use as little as 0.4 mg. By comparison, mercury thermometers contain about 500 mg of mercury, and older nondigital thermostats contain about 3,000 mg." (Their source is here) At first glance, you may think, "Wow! What a difference!" but upon further inspection you should realize that comparing the weight of mercury content in a CFL bulb to the weight of mercury in a thermometer or thermostat is like comparing apples to oranges. Mercury in a thermometer is in liquid form, while mercury in a CFL bulb is in gas form--so naturally the gas is going to weigh less. Facts and statistics are useful when given in the proper context, but when placed in the wrong context, they're not necessarily facts at all, and they're VERY dangerous.

There are other examples, but I think this demonstrates my point enough. Besides, I'm not really sure who's fired up enough about this to read the entire post! :)

Besides, I haven't even mentioned the money trail! Always follow the money trail! I think my husband (oh, Serg, by the way--surprise! Nick and I got married) would be better equipped to explain how GE--one of the top manufacturers of CFLs--is closely and financially related to our current central government.

And, yes, I do object to the government mandating fuel efficieny regulations, as I believe in conservative government. here's an interesting article from CNN on the topic.

ncchapman said...

Thanks for the article from CNN. That was really interesting. And congratulations on your marriage!

SMJ said...

What would the world be like if... at these times, we would first consider how we are fulfilling our personal responsibilities before focusing on our rights.
What if each of our leaders did the same? What if we could trust them to endeavor to be better citizens today than they were yesterday?
What if we considered ourselves to be part of a collective was more important than our individual self? We can't really expect to focus on what we personally want without everyone else doing the same.
I'm not implying we should drink the koolaid but to consider instead what the blind consumption of the koolaid produced for the collective. Was the consumption of the koolaid a good move for everyone in that group? So, before blindly following any leader do consider how this will affect your family, children, neighbors and generations to come.
In the case of the light bulb, follow the money/commodity trail. Who will benefit from this decision monetarily? Our countries decisions seem to be made with regard to the money/commodity. Going green is a big business.
We are entering a new era. We will have to change the way we think in order to survive. What if the cast of Survivor refused to vote anyone off? What if the contestants on American Idol collectively agreed they would only perform as a group and not individuals? We could go on and on listing the TV shows that celebrate, encourage and market the elevation of one individual at the expense of another and involve the whole world,willingly, in that process. We are so easily led.