Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Curly lights and the birth of nations . . .

Coupla' years ago I started replacing regular light bulbs with CFLs. You know. The curly bulbs that sequester mercury to be leaked into the environment someplace, somehow, someday. But they use less electricity so less coal must be burned or less water must be dammed to make the electricity to light them up. For using less electricity is is good.

And we are going to need the electricity to run our cars. Or else we are going to grow food and use up lots of energy to turn food into alcohol and run our cars on that. And screw the people who might have been able to use a few extra calories and need the food.

Using less so-called fossil fuel (so called to imply that there is an exhaustible supply of oil left to us by our brothers, the dinosaurs, so we should be frugal as they are making no more oil, being extinct) using less will benefit the environment because we buy oil overseas from people who will screw up their own environment to get oil for us, and maybe fire-off a few suicide bombers with the cash they get from selling oil. For screwing their environment to help our own environment is good.

Anyhow, I stuck some of the curly bulbs in my bathroom about a year and a half ago. These were the bulbs that cost too much but would last six years.

Guess what? I've now got two of 'em sitting on my desk, all used up, as I type this epistle to posterity. Oh, and I didn't replace one of the "bad" incandescent bulbs in the bathroom at the time, thinking I'd put a curlycue in when it burnt out. And guess what. It's still working and I'm perturbed off. This is not good.

I figure there's a worldwide eco-hysteria going on, and only some of the concerns and solutions to eco problems are legitimate. But others are expensive solutions to imaginary problems, constituting commercial windfalls. But I'm okay with that. If you come to believe that wearing a daisy chain of beer can tops around you neck treats your hypothyroid condition -- go for it. If you become convinced that riding a bicycle to work twice a week will prevent male pattern baldness, peddle your silly ass off with my blessing. And if you want to buy curlycue light bulbs, you should be able to do that all you want. And maybe you're right; Mother Nature will love you and will give you a kiss on the cheek and a friendly little goose in gratitude for your use of curlycue light bulbs and a hybrid car to drive your bike around in a bike rack on the back. Wear a knit cap, so we can identify you as "one of those" from afar. For you are good.

And you are not being compelled to be good - you're doing it of your own free will. That's double good. Right?

But when I see that laws have to be passed to make all of us begin buying an expensive alternative to solve environmental concerns, I have to wonder. I particularly wonder when the testing to support the legislation avoids testing the value judgments implicit in the proposition, and tests only the performance efficiency of obtaining the goals implicit in the value judgments.

Hey, if it makes sense, we'll do it. You don't need a law.

But when a great deal of money is involved, like buying stuff like lightbulbs, electricity, and gasoline, I think we should be suspicious. Ordinarily I would say, follow the money. But in this case, there are politicians' sticky fingerprints all over the legislation that changes consumer buying choices, so I would say, you probably don't have to follow the money. Since politicians are involved and laws have been passed, that is enough for me to think we are being scammed again.

Because it is obviou$ly ea$ier to convince a few corrupt and venal politician$ that they ought to pass a law requiring all of us to do buy something then it would be to convince us that we ought to buy that thing. Being free to make our own decisions, we might otherwise conclude that the product is of doubtful utility when it is of doubtful utility. So our freedom to make such decisions must be eliminated. By law.

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