Amidst all the current financial chaos, amidst global pandemonium and the spiraling economy, amidst the dangers from terrorism … you’ll be glad to know that the U.S. government is still hard at work protecting us from a threat so vile, so evil and so dangerous that it dwarfs all those other petty international and domestic concerns we face as a nation.
I refer, of course, to the incandescent light bulb.
And thank goodness, I say. After all, I’m certain that banning a safe, cheap and almost universally used product in favor of something expensive, dangerous, unattractive and difficult to dispose of is just what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Of course, there’s bound to be a little trouble with the vast majority of Americans who don’t like their lighting options being mandated by a bunch of Chicken Littles. This resentment will have to be subdued in some form or another.
Obviously, we can’t leave something this important up to the free market. If you let people decide for themselves how they want to illuminate their homes, they might choose something that goes against the scare-mongering and sky-is-falling propaganda of the greenies who (apparently) own Congress. Tsk tsk. Can’t have that.
As an aside, it’s never been explained to me why, if compact fluorescent light bulbs are so superior, they warrant their own personal disposal facility to keep from poisoning the air, groundwater, etc. Nor has it apparently occurred to anyone that the energy required to conduct this specialized recycling of CFLs and corral the dangerous mercury completely offsets the potential energy savings over incandescents. The extra time, energy, cost and gas requirements for people to deliver their used CFLs to recycling facilities also counterbalance any individual savings in energy consumption. And how about the fact that almost all CFLs are manufactured in China under staggeringly hazardous and environmentally dangerous conditions by non-union state slaves?
But I digress.
I don’t mean to cast doubt in anyone’s mind about the true environmental benefits of CFLs. After all, doubtless the medical complaints, the potential for groundwater contamination and the EPA requirements for cleaning up a broken CFL are all just right-wing nutjob conspiracy tactics to get We the Sheeple to bitterly cling to our incandescents just like we bitterly cling to our guns and religion.
The transition from incandescent to CFLs won’t be easy, of course. Mandated transitions never are. People tend to approach these things kicking and screaming because most folks have an annoying habit of wanting to think for themselves. Fortunately, the government schools are working on squelching that penchant, and in a few more generations we’ll be just like those genetically altered kids in the Star Wars “Attack of the Clones” movie. Can’t wait.
Don’t be alarmed when some houses burn down after CFLs are installed in circuits with dimmer switches or in track lighting (where they often smoke and cause fires). Also, people with light-sensitive medical conditions may suffer migraines, seizures, vertigo related to heart disease and other maladies. Even some green sites warn against a total ban on incandescent light bulbs, but doubtless they’re secretly in the pay of big oil companies or something. Besides, who cares? We should all do our part to save the earth, no matter what it takes or who has to suffer or die.
What isn’t clear yet is how this ban will be enforced, beyond making it illegal to sell incandescent light bulbs. Random home inspections? Nosy greenies reporting a warm, comfortable glow from their neighbor’s living room that can only mean one thing? Undercover cops who arrange “deals” to buy a couple of incandescents from the guy down the block? Gosh, the possibilities are endless. So is the potential for more fines, fees, and payoffs for “exceptions” to the law. Apparently, our jails are not yet full enough, so all those empty cells can now be filled with light bulb smugglers.
Naturally, crime will increase as even the mildest among us become offenders. Housewives will become bootleggers as they sell a few stockpiled incandescents to friends. Little old ladies will toss their CFLs in the trash instead of disposing of them properly in the nearest CFL recycling center. In our case, the nearest regular recycling center is 35 miles away from our rural farm, making ordinary recycling a challenge. No idea if or when a CFL recycling facility will ever become available. Don’t tell me anyone is going to drive 35-plus miles out of their way to dispose of the occasional burned out or (heaven forbid) broken CFL bulb, much less a little old lady.
I, for one, look forward to the day when my freedom to choose my lighting options is curtailed. I humbly realize that I’m too (ahem) dim to understand all the subtleties of the CFL revolution. I’m sure China will clean up its manufacturing techniques by the time the 2012 ban on incandescents comes around. I’m sure a Star Trek-type transporter will soon be invented so that millions of CFLs can be wafted across the vast oceans without using a single drop of diesel to power the cargo ships.
Yes sirree, I look forward to taking one more step toward becoming a government drone. It no longer infuriates me to hear condescending and pompous mandates from Big Brother about dubious environmental solutions. I’ve come to adore it when someone else knows what’s better for me than I know myself. I meekly acknowledge that my voluntary choice to live green isn’t enough, and I need a higher authority to dictate what’s good for me. The lobotomy scars barely show anymore.
If you would like to express your appreciation for this benevolent dictate that will alleviate all our concerns about global warming, I invite you to e-mail your congressman. Be sure to encourage him to put forth additional legislation to make your life more complicated, expensive and restrictive.
After all, it’s the American way.