David M. Russell

Memory dims for want of a bulb

In Commentary on September 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

A shadow is falling across the globe as one of the brightest spots in our lives is extinguished forever. Okay, so that’s hopelessly corny but can you believe it? Incandescent light bulbs are about to go the way of the dinosaur. By the end of this year we won’t be able to buy them anymore as they are to be replaced by compact fluorescent lamps.

It’s all in the name of sustainability so there can be no argument against it: old-fashioned bulbs generate way more greenhouse gases than fluorescent lamps so they’re being switched-off by government fiat.

Interestingly, I can’t remember any political party in the past decade unveiling a policy platform that promised to dim our lives. And that is just what is happening. At first I thought my eyesight was failing because every time I replaced a bulb, my world shrank a little. Sure, I felt good that I was saving the world but a nagging inner voice kept asking why that world was getting smaller even though I was being as green as a frog.

The fact is that these new lamps are not as bright as the old ones. Their advocates – disturbingly young people with eyesight so good they can see in the bloody dark – don’t notice the difference. Lucky sods. They are so full of joy for the world as they preach the virtues of these new forces of darkness that they ignore the downsides – and there are quite a few of them.

For a start, the new fluoro lamps contain cancer-causing mercury which is also labelled a neurotoxin (don’t let any Russian spies get to you with this stuff). Nor is there yet any safe way to dispose of them. Our beloved federal governments (both persuasions are guilty) have put hands over their eyes so they can see no evil. Their sustainability approach is to ask us to store dead lamps at home or work until someone figures out something we can safely do with them.

And these people expect us to believe they deserve to run the nation! As the old saying goes: they couldn’t organise a root in a brothel.

But those dreadful entrepreneurs that the former government nurtured during its decade in office have recognised a money-making lurk when they see it and will recycle these mercury-ridden lamps safely for a hefty fee. They don’t say how they do that safely so keep a watch in your local creek for fish glowing in the dark. Just kidding.

It’s a wonderful state of affairs, isn’t it? We have to pay way more for these new lamps. They pollute the world with a deadly neurotoxin/carcinogen. There is no safe disposal scheme. We have to pay an outrageous price to supposedly get rid of a few safely. They don’t light up our lives as well. And they look bloody ridiculous.

Thank heavens those relics called candles will not yet be sacrificed on the altar of sustainability. Sure, they may create greenhouse gases but I’m now convinced there are faults far worse than that. Hey, maybe in a few years’ time we’ll be able to spot old folks staging light bulb parties just to celebrate a few bright moments in their dotage. Theirs will be the well-lit houses shining with an inner light.

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  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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