The light bulb wars are back.
In 2005, Fidel Castro easily switched his Freedom Island from incandescent light bulbs to the postmodern fluorescent ones. Castro was 4 years ahead of the camp of peace. In 2009, his European comrades followed the example of their great role model. Well, they're not quite the second ones in the world: the second pioneer after Fidel Castro was Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. ;-)
Starting from Tuesday, September 1st, 2009, the EU companies won't be allowed to produce and the shops won't be allowed to sell any conventional light bulbs with a milky or otherwise obscured surface as well as the transparent classic 100-Watt incandescent light bulbs - or any light bulbs above 80 Watts: see e.g. UPI. In one or two years, the cutoff will be lowered and new light bulbs will be banned, and so on. In 2012, only "efficient" light bulbs will be allowed and by 2016, they want to ban even the halogen lamps.
While Fidel Castro had some rational economic justifications for his decision (well, he simply wanted to reduce recurring blackouts), the reason behind the same policy in Europe is that the Eurocratic wise men think that American imperialist Thomas Alva Edison is causing a catastrophic global warming. ;-) Well, there are cases in which Fidel Castro looks relatively sensible, moderate, friendly to America, and pragmatic.
It's pretty clear that the total "warming" that classic light bulbs may have contributed since the birth of Edison was less than 0.01 °C, i.e. also less than a one-day fluctuation. Only a relatively small portion of the "man-made" CO2 comes from electricity production; only a very small portion of electricity is used for light (most are electric motors): this reduces the figure by more than an order of magnitude; only a part of light came from these light bulbs; only a part of the electricity is produced in coal-burning plants.
Is this 0.01 °C per century enough to justify the extermination of a technology that may turn out to be more environment-friendly and pleasant for our eyesight and general health (the new ones may lead to fatigues, migraines, and worsening skin conditions)? The "unfair ban" will also reduce the fun in the U.K., The Sun notes.
The ban is considered an aesthetic calamity by artists. Claims about their luminosity are exaggerated, The Telegraph says. And I am really puzzled why the same greens - who are often so negative about all kinds of new technologies and unusual chemicals (besides GMOs and similar things) - don't have any problem with the mercury that no one can cheaply recycle, with the flickering light, and with other things. Groupthink and the current predominant obsession with CO2 are the two only explanations I have.
Czech President Václav Klaus introduced his new book, "A Blue Planet In Danger" ("Modrá planeta v ohrožení"), today: Czech Press Agency, picture. It is an expanded version of his "Blue Planet in Green Shackles": much of the stuff will be new. Klaus means the book summarizing his opinions that have become "mainstream" as a small contribution to the Copenhagen conference. I was also invited but a lot of work with a garden, a cat, staircase cleaning, shoppings, and many other things had a higher priority today. ;-)
See also: Neosocialism Threatens Europe (Klaus's talk in France)As he was christening his new book, Klaus explained that it is a fatal silliness for the political leaders to dictate the citizens what they should do, what they are allowed to buy, and how many times a day they should turn on the light bulb: video in Czech. See also picture I, picture II of Klaus with a boxed light bulb saying "This is an illegal 100W light bulb: but it's good and makes you free."
Klaus said that this conclusion is self-evident and if he were a normal citizen, he would go to a shopping mall before September 1st and he would buy a sufficient reserve of the good old Edisonian light bulbs, in order to have enough of them - a sustainable supply - until the end of his, surely "no longer so long", life. Because he's a president, he will probably kindly ask someone else to do this job for him.
Well, even before they heard Klaus's recommendation, some Britons rage against the dying of the light while the Europeans already began the hoarding of the soon-to-be a scarce commodity, as the retailers have observed. ;-) This is so similar to the hoarding of various products during the communist era! And it has the same underlying reason, too: arrogant imbeciles who think that they're able to control the society in a better way than its own mechanisms.
(Not only Klaus but the official Czech representatives in Brussels have objected to the ban, arguing especially with situations where the conventional light bulbs are superior - e.g. short-time lighting upon the stairways. Most Austrians disagree with the bill, too.)
Alternatively, Klaus may ask his friend, top singer Ms Lucie Bílá, to provide him with a few hundred pieces: see the video clip above. ;-) If you like the song ("Text Message", from her ex-lover who has moved on), check what she's able to do with her face. :-)
As a conscious citizen of Europe, I have filled my stocks with the 100-Watt "standard light" sources, as they're still being called. The clerks claim that they will be able to order them even after September 1st. There's some confusion because some sources indicate that only bulbs strictly above 100 Watts (not 100-Watt ones) will be banned since Tuesday. At any rate, one piece costs CZK 10 = USD 0.45 only, and on the internet, the price can be even lower, CZK 6. I surely recommend you to make this cheap investment that you may find very helpful in the future.
Around 85% of the voters in online polls, e.g. on the website of Radio Impuls, oppose the ban.
Solar energy prices
I was just told how it's possible that people buy solar panels: your solar energy may be sold to the EU network for 11.91 CZK/kWh even though the normal electricity price is only 4 CZK/kWh. Virtually all the money that these people get are subsidies paid for by the taxpayers.