It is light, bright and has been around for 120 years. But from Tuesday the 100 watt bulb bows out from Britain.
Under new EU rules the manufacture and import of 100 watt bulbs and all frosted bulbs will be banned in favour of the energy-saving variety.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, compact fluorescent lamps (energy-saving bulbs) use 80% less electricity than standard bulbs.
They could also save the average household £590 in energy over their lifetime of between eight and 10 years, and if all traditional bulbs were replaced, the carbon saving would be the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road.
Well, thank you for those spurious figures, Auntie. Now, tell me, are those your figures or are your English Literature-educated science editors just regurgitating other people's figures unquestioningly again?
And who are the Energy Saving Trust, eh? To find out, let us turn to Charlotte Gore's excellent fisking of this colossal load of crap.
Well they’re a ‘non-profit’ organisation 90% funded by the Government and includes as members The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Secretary of State for Transport, The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and The First Minister for Scotland. It gets 2% of its funding from the private sector, and boasts the membership of most of the utilities and energy producing interests, all of whom seem terrified of being perceived as un-Green by consumers.
So when the BBC reports the views of the Energy Saving Trust like this, they’re not really quoting an independent, reliable source—it’s the Government advising the Government—again.
In short, it's a classic contender for fakecharities.org—I shall go and add it as soon as I can.
Anyway, do read Charlotte's piece in full, as she addresses a number of different points including the quality of the light. However, I shall quote her conclusion here, because there's a little thing that I want to add...
And once again I’m brought back to wondering why. Why do this? Presumably the answer is “because the market has failed! People are still buying cheap bulbs that give off better lighting instead of expensive bulbs that aren’t as good. We must do something!”
Yet the market hasn’t failed. The market’s working perfectly well. People aren’t switching because the new bulbs aren’t better and cheaper than the ones that came before. I mean, even if you decide that 100w bulbs are wasteful and it’s not enough that people simply waste their own money paying to run them, why make it illegal to sell a bulb with diffusion or tinting?
This is purely to rig the competition and deny us the ability to choose for ourselves.
So the EU, a ‘Free Trade Zone’, is deciding that the manufacturers of energy saving bulbs are to be favoured (they’re produced by Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) and the manufacturers of incandescent bulbs are to be fought against. It is economic planning, without question—done on an EU wide level, using The Environment as the excuse for restricting yet another personal and economic freedom.
It is worth noting, of course, that one would have thought that the best way to get people to buy these bulbs would be to make them as cheap as possible.
"But surely," I hear you cry, "They already are? It's just that the market cannot supply them any cheaper?"
Um... No. The EU has had, since 2001, an import tariff—of a colossal 66%—on cheap CFL lightbulbs from China. As your humble Devil reported, almost two years ago today, the EU renewed those tariffs in the face of opposition from some of the biggest manufacturers.
Obviously, saving power is one very important way that we should do this and one of the easiest ways to save power is to convert to "green", low-energy light bulbs. These are so beneficial, we are told, that they will save gigawatts of power every year. In fact, so wondrous are they that the EU is banning the sale of bog-standard incandescent light bulbs from 2009.
Naturally, the great EU will encourage all of its citizens to replace all of their evil old bulbs with these near-miraculous low-energy ones, and our EU masters recognise that the best way in which to do this is to make them as cheap as possible, eh? Er, no...THE European Commission is under fire from green campaigners and retailers for plans to extend duties on energy-efficient light bulbs from China.
The Chinese light bulbs have been subject to import duties since 2001, because the commission says the products are sold in EU markets for less than their true value.
Yesterday, EU commissioners met in Brussels and agreed to keep tariffs of 66 per cent in place, despite calls from green campaigners to bring down the price of energy-efficient light bulbs to encourage consumers to make greener choices.
Oh, jolly well done! The EU has decided to ensure that energy-efficient light bulbs remain 66% more expensive than they should be, thus ensuring a slower take-up and making both us and the Chinese poorer in the process.
What a fucking triumph: quick, go shout it from the roof tops!Both Philips and General Electric, two electronics giants, wanted restrictions lifted. They argue that Europe needs cheap energy-efficient bulbs from China to meet growing demand. However, Osram, a German company, opposes ending the duties.
While a majority of member states were amenable to scrapping anti-dumping measures, Germany has lobbied hard to keep the restrictions in place for longer.
Speaking on behalf of the British Retail Consortium, Alisdair Gray said the proposal to extend anti-dumping measures was unjustified.
"We are really disappointed in it, because it has no basis in law; it's just caving in to one company, Osram," he said.
Wow! Y'know, it's that cross-border spirit of unity that's going to stop us all frying, ain't it just!
Or, if you were overtly cynical, you might think that it illustrated how the EU operates as a protectionist entity and block on global free trade (helping to keep everyone poorer) and that all this horseshit about how only the EU can save us from ourselves is just so much fucking bollocks.
So, thanks to the lobbying of one particular big business and the willingness of the institutionally corrupt and fascist EU, we already pay 66% more than we might for these wonderful "green" lightbulbs. And now they are legislating to ensure that we cannot buy anything other than CLRs.
Not only does this protect Osram—giving them a competitive advantage against Philips and General Electric (both of whom manufacture their bulbs in China and are thus subject to duties)—but it also substantially benefits the European Union institution itself—because the tariffs on imports go straight into EU coffers.
The only people who lose out are the Chinese and us, the citizens of the European Union countries—but neither of these entities are important, of course. The only thing that is important is that the corporatist EU has managed to appease the powerful companies who spend millions of pounds lobbying for protectionist measures.
There is an economic argument called "revealed preferences", which can be summed up by the old adage, "by their actions shall ye know them".
So, European Union Commissioner Margot Wallstrom says...
It is frustrating that so many people still either deny that climate change is happening or that we can do anything about it. (Also frustrating that some people still regard climate change as some kind of conspiracy theory or a quasi religious belief). The scientists are unanimous: It is happening. Can we do something about it? We must at least try. Mankind has more means at its disposal than ever before and needs to apply its collective wisdom to this problem. Otherwise future generations will not enjoy this earth that we enjoy.
But you need to look at the EU Commission's actions to see whether Margot is being sincere or whether she is lying like the corrupt, dishonest little bitch that she is.
So, the EU's action is to make CFLs more expensive through 66% import tariffs, when the best way to get people to adopt these "low-energy lightbulbs" would be to ensure that they are as cheap as possible.
- Margot Wallstrom is a liar, and
- the EU doesn't believe in climate change or,
- if it does, it is not going to sacrifice its own revenue or put "future generations" before immediate corporate interest, and thus
- anyone who argues that one of the virtues of the EU is that it addresses cross-border environmental problems is sadly deluded.
However, anyone who thinks that the EU is a corporatist entity which has the ultimate aim of a planned economy whilst using the evironment as a smokescreen might just be onto something. As Charlotte says...
Is there any wonder that Green is the new Red?
The only word that I would question in that sentence is "new": the Green movement is and always has been about technological regression through legislatory oppression.
The EU is broadly aligned with this authoritarian, planned economy agenda (although that entity is less interested in Green issues and more focused on power for its own sake).
So, can we fucking well leave yet?