Wednesday, February 21, 2007

But how many Jewish mothers does it take to screw in a CFL lightbulb? Australia is making moves to become the first country to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs, in exchange for compact fluorescent bulbs, which use much less electricity. These aren’t your grandparents’ Carter-era sickly white fluorescent bulbs, either: The only incandescent bulb I use is on a dimmer switch, with which ordinary CFL bulbs are incompatible, and the lighting’s better as well as cheaper in my apartment. Between Australia, California and Wal-Mart, we might just change the world. From the Times:

“The most effective and immediate way we can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is by using energy more efficiently,” Mr. Turnbull said. “Electric lighting is a vital part of our lives; globally, it generates emissions equal to 70 percent of those from all the world’s passenger vehicles.”

He pointed to International Energy Agency data showing that a worldwide switch to compact fluorescent lights could result in energy savings equivalent to five years of Australia’s present electricity use by 2030.

Australia already has minimum energy performance standards that apply to appliances, and a similar system will be put into effect for light bulbs. The standards would ultimately make it impossible to sell incandescent bulbs. Mr. Turnbull said the government would consider some exceptions, like medical lighting and low-power oven lights.


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