Energy

How Many Energy Bills Does It Take to Change All the Lightbulbs?

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Just one!

It will also change the entire national market for cars and food, as well, with new mandates on ethanol, biofuels, and fuel economy.

Over at the Cato Institute's blog, they aren't laughing, calling the just-passed energy bill "a moment of idiocy, of real idiocy."

Ron Bailey back in August critiqued the then-pending bill. 

NEXT: The Reichstag Fire Changed Everything

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  1. too depressing for words

  2. Don’t ever let anyone say this is a do-nothing Congress.

  3. How can anyone believe we are living in a free market economy? Banning incandescent lightbulbs?!

  4. *sigh*

    Time to start stocking up on light bulbs…

    Then I’ll be ready for the black market of incandescents… I’ll stand on a street corner, with light bulbs attached to the inside of my trenchcoat, selling them for a mere dollar a watt.

    I’ll be rich!

    Nephilium

  5. I’ll take the Commando 2000.

  6. From the article:

    For farmers and agribusiness, it is a windfall, providing more support than perhaps even the farm bill. It doubles the use of corn-based ethanol — despite criticism that corn-based ethanol is driving up food prices, draining aquifers and exacerbating fertilizer runoff that is creating dead zones in many of the nation’s rivers.

    I feel ill. What’s the difference between Repubs and Dems again?

  7. Why do these bills have to be voted upon as such monstrosities? Why can’t there be a simple bill on the floor to raised CAFE standards, followed by a simple bill to mandate ethanol, and so on and so forth? Either these ideas are good enough to be enacted on their own merits without all the bullshit horsetrading, or they are bad ideas that should not be.

  8. The lead story in the local paper is the largest one-year increase in farm land prices in Iowa since 1976. All due to ethanol . .

    The price of everything, and I mean everything, that you buy today is going up — and soon.

    Let the hording begin.

  9. I’d expect that within a few years, compact flourescent lights would be cheap enough that they’d replace most incandescents anyway. Hopefully, enough people enter the flourescent and LED market to keep the prices down. Sucks for people who need incandescent bulbs because of their fixtures or the quality of light produced by them though.

  10. @JD:

    How about letting the market handle it and keeping the government out of it entirely? In my experience, people have already started moving to cars with greater fuel efficiency and to compact flourescents (and even to the still-rare LED’s) in order to save money.

    Of course, in 20 years, government will take full credit for this change. You all watch.

  11. Why do these bills have to be voted upon as such monstrosities?

    To disguise the special interest favors, of course. Insert your own snarky comment here________________ . I’m too disillusioned today.

  12. On the bright side, this should provide enough material for at least four hilarious Dave Barry columns about trekking to Canada to smuggle light bulbs back to the U.S.

  13. Don’t ever let anyone say this is a do-nothing Congress.

    In terms of “nothings,” I’ll agree with you that it’s a know-nothing congress…

    Great. We get stuck with the teensy tin cans to drive, while the corn farmers get the Escalades and Tahoes.

    As to the bulbs, it’s moronic to ban them and only demonstrates the collective intelligence at work in the decision, but it won’t affect me as there are very few left in my house anyway.

  14. Oh fuckity fuck fuck. Now we’re eurofucked.
    This is so depressing. I’m going to start drinking, and I’m not stopping till next year.

  15. Not only do these farm subsidies increase food prices, them corn fertilizers are threatening sea life as well: http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/nation/12/18/1218corn.html

  16. Of course, in 20 years, government will take full credit for this change. You all watch.

    As will their apologists. Teenage prenancies down? Gov’t did it. Drug use down? Gov’t did it. Housing starts up? Gov’t did it. Every good thing that ever happened, happened because of the government.

  17. We need a politician’s version of “first do no harm” . . backed up by jail terms if need be.

  18. As will their apologists. Teenage prenancies down? Gov’t did it. Drug use down? Gov’t did it. Housing starts up? Gov’t did it.

    Doctors using electronic medical records? Gov’t did it.

  19. We need a politician’s version of “first do no harm” . . backed up by jail terms if need be.

    I challenge you to name a political action other than repealing an existing law that doesn’t screw someone somewhere.

  20. And CFLs contain mercury. How can these Republican Christians even claim something like Stewardship over the Earth?!

  21. Don’t ever let anyone say this is a do-nothing Congress.

    If only we were so lucky.

  22. Now our kids will never know the joy of eating “brownies” from an ez-bake oven.

  23. As will their apologists. Teenage prenancies down? Gov’t did it. Drug use down? Gov’t did it. Housing starts up? Gov’t did it.

    I thought it was Lynne Spears’s fault?

  24. We should repeal the constitutional amednment that gives congress the power to regulate light bulbs. Wait . . . what amednment was that again.

  25. And CFLs contain mercury. How can these Republican Christians even claim something like Stewardship over the Earth?!

    I was reading a FAQ somewhere the recommended putting down a drop cloth to change a light bulb. So, those old jokes take on new meaning now.

  26. As my buddy at work just said, “evidently the CF industry has a better lobby than the incandescent industry.”

    Okay, for those of you who still believe it’s possible to work “within the system” to achieve liberty: please tell me how you factor this into your grand plan to get from here to there.

  27. We should repeal the constitutional amednment that gives congress the power to regulate light bulbs. Wait . . . what amednment was that again.

    INTERSTATE COMMURCE CLAUZE!!!

  28. Fluorescent bulbs don’t work with light fixtures on dimmer switches. Time to start hoarding incandescent bulbs if you want any romantic moments.

  29. Fluorescent bulbs don’t work with light fixtures on dimmer switches. Time to start hoarding incandescent bulbs if you want any romantic moments.

    Clearly you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s still possible. I can see it now: “Hey baby, lemme turn the lights down…. oh, can you hand me that claw? I need to replace the 23W bulb with a 10W one.”

  30. Graphite, so it would still be legal me to manufacture incandescant light bulbs in Florida if I only sold them in Florida?

  31. I used to make jokes about stuff like this years ago. Now all that shit is coming true! Everytime I think gub’ment can’t get any lower, it does.

    I used to joke about gub’ment outlawing donuts. It came true. I used to joke about gub’ment outlawing coca cola. San Fransisco is actually considering it.

    I also used to joke about gub’ment outlawing lightbulbs…

  32. Graphite – you were joking? right? Sometimes it is hard to tell. We do get staists in here once in a while.

  33. PIRS – of course not. Because that would affect the price of black market bulbs in other states. Bang, interstate commerce clause.

  34. Fluorescent bulbs don’t work with light fixtures on dimmer switches.

    Actually, General Electric is working on a dimmer-compatable CF. So buy stock now!

  35. This may create a viable market in incandescant light bulb smugling. Maybe I should move to Mexico and set up an underground incandescant light bulb plant.

  36. prolefeed: but they work just fine with disco balls!

  37. I challenge you to name a political action other than repealing an existing law that doesn’t screw someone somewhere.

    I, for one, have learned not to make challenges like that here.

    Sense of the Senate resolutions.

  38. Hillarious:

    http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#flourescent

    Fluorescent light bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal guidelines:

    Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.

    Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.

    Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.

    Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

    Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.

    Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
    Note: Some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.

    Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

    If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:

    First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.

    If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.

  39. Heh, of course I was joking, just a little riff on the “DEMAND KURV!!!” line that comes up in every minimum wage thread.

    But Ryan pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as actual interstate commerce juris”prudence” is applied these days.

  40. I can’t believe this actually happened. I fell like this is something that belongs in a South Park cartoon, not real life.

  41. how analogous is this to the mandated removal of lead from gasoline?

  42. Lightbulbs blah blah blah. Don’t you realize that after Bali gets approved, etc. etc. there will be edicts – in the industrialized world at least – that there will be no lightbulbs needed because you will have an enforced blackout during hours of darkness in order to cut electrical power demand.

  43. Sense of the Senate resolutions.
    Since it’s meaningless, I’m not sure it counts as a political “action”. πŸ˜‰

  44. I, personally, am buying stock in Philips. And you can all do that too. Just wait a week or so and let me get myself situated so I can buy it :).

    Seriously though, I feel so sad right now. Reading the Washington post article, it’s clear they know it’s bullshit too. And when teh MSM thinks government action is bullshit, you know you’re in trouble.

  45. We should repeal the constitutional amednment that gives congress the power to regulate light bulbs. Wait . . . what amednment was that again.

    But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

    –Lysander Spooner

    Granted, his view was that the Constitution could never have had any moral authority, but the logic of the quote seems particularly apt today, even for those who wish it had more authority.

  46. Soooo….

    1. Congress raises CAFE standards.
    2. Congress mandates the increased use of an energy-poor fuel.
    3. Oh, and we banned light bulbs too.

    Has The Onion executed a coup against Congress and just no one ever noticed?

    Sorry kids, the swing set is gone. Daddy has to grow corn there and collect his guvmint check.

  47. I know we discussed this on a different thread before, but why can’t I just conserve energy by using insulation and keeping my house a few degrees cooler in the winter and wearing a sweater (which I do)? Why do I need to get rid of those beautiful, dimmable, warm, soft light bulbs?

  48. “how analogous is this to the mandated removal of lead from gasoline?”

    In this case it is CLFs that have the dangerous substance. If you break one don’t breath the fumes and don’t let your pets or children anywhere near the pieces. It is toxic.

  49. “It is a national security issue, it is an economic issue, it is an environmental issue, and therefore a health issue,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “It is an energy issue, and it is an moral issue.”

    It’s official. We’re slaves.

  50. Why do I need to get rid of those beautiful, dimmable, warm, soft light bulbs?

    Why do I have to replace my harsh shadow, clear service bulbs, all of which have lasted my entire 5-1/2 year home ownership span (and counting), with anything else?

    Because those who should be opposing the intrusion of government in every area of our lives are instead arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

    Look at the big picture, people. You’re not going to win the war by waging tiny battles here and there, because your opponent in the war will just overwhelm you with numbers.

  51. reinmoose,
    We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well and live.

  52. It’s official. We’re slaves.

    Oh, yeah: THAT’s what did it. LOL.

  53. In case you missed the news I am speaking of mercury

  54. If you break one don’t breath the fumes and don’t let your pets or children anywhere near the pieces. It is toxic.

    Reminds me of the “Will It Blend?” videos on YouTube. DON’T BREATHE THIS.

  55. Wow just imagine how much energy we’d save if everyone on earth went to candles. They don’t use any electricity at all! Or all those lovely steampowered devices. They were powered by water! The 19th century was more green and in touch with nature than us. Progress only causes pollution, we need to find some way to go back.

  56. The old saying says people get the government they deserve. We must have done some bad shit in previous lives.

  57. Why do I need to get rid of those beautiful, dimmable, warm, soft light bulbs?

    Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, Reinmoose! You surely don’t think that you can possibly make energy decisions by yourself, do you? You’re probably like those Freemen in Montana, or Randy Weaver or some other nutjob. Uncle Sam knows what is best for you and yours.

    Goddam individualists tryin’ to live their own lives. Who do they think they are?

  58. Do kids working garbage detail at retail establishments still use the 8-foot fluorescent bulbs for javelin practice like I used to?

  59. Goddam individualists tryin’ to live their own lives. Who do they think they are?

    Ron Paul supporters.

  60. reinmoose,
    We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well and live.

    Thank you oh lord government. Forgive me, for I have sinned by using incandescent light bulbs in applications where their light-quality is desirable. I ask only for your protection from your enemies and from myself. Forgive me for realizing the irony in that increasing CAF? standards only solidifies America’s car culture, and is completely counterproductive to your light-rail and urban “revitalization” initiatives because it decreases the per-mile cost to drivers, thus continuing to keep driving affordable even with fluctuating fuel prices.

    Just let me continue to live in this paradise, and I will do anything you say is good for me.

  61. “We’re pretty disappointed,” said Rhone A. Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, which sought an extension of the investment tax credit that expires at the end of next year. “Clearly the most important provisions for us were left on the cutting-room floor.” Resch said that because of long lead times for big solar projects, “we will see the U.S. market for solar start to shrink rapidly by the second quarter of next year.”

    WHURS MAH GODDAMN CHECK???!!!

  62. Russ,

    Or lightsaber fights?

  63. INTERSTATE COMMURCE CLAUZE!!!

    There was a time (actually, a pretty long time) during which the interstate commerce clause was not interpreted to give the federal government plenary power over everything that moved (or might move, or might affect something that might move) across a state line.

    Rather, it was read to give the federal government power to regulate the infrastructure, but not necessarily the contents, of interstate commerce.

    You remember, back when we were a republic with a government of limited enumerated powers.

    Oh, and my nominee for Oxymoron of the Century:

    Sense of the Senate

  64. Ever wish you had an incurable disease, nothing to lose and a sniper rifle?
    Just thinking out loud here…

  65. DO NOT TAUNT HAPPY FUN BULB.

  66. Oh, and my nominee for Oxymoron of the Century:

    Sense of the Senate

    Nah, Naval Intelligence.

  67. Is there a mandate for 35 psi in passenger car tires?
    It would make more of a difference in across the board fuel consumption than that ethanol nonsense. Instead of sobriety checkpoints, the cops could be out there on the streets with tire pressure gauges and air compressors.

  68. Hmmm… I think I have another way to go about this… I at times suffer migraines. Standard florescent lights I don’t notice the flicker until they’re dying. However, I can notice the flicker on the CFLs. These can cause migraines, and make one worse. Therefore, think I could bypass the incandescent ban with a doctors note?

    Or on a secondary note… it could be the second coming of the apocolypse… seeing as how one of the first was the release of the DNF teaser today.

    Nephilium

  69. Ever wish you had an incurable disease, nothing to lose and a sniper rifle?
    Just thinking out loud here…

    We all have an incurable disease: it’s called life. -drum fill-

    But seriously, folks, those who started the American revolution weren’t dying: they were just willing to put up with a lot less shit than we are. Government today steals at least 30% of all new/transferred wealth (and probably a lot more, depending on how you count and whether you’re considering the compound effect over time), but the remainder is still a lot, which is why they are able to get away with this kind of robbery and still trick us into thinking we’re getting a good deal.

    Wait until people actually start hurting. It remains to be seen whether the crooks running our government will be able to adjust their level of robbery before the bullets start flying.

  70. Ever wish you had an incurable disease, nothing to lose and a sniper rifle?

    What? And waste all those expensive bullets? And use an environmentally un-friendly propellent? Heavens no!

    ed-Stay wehere you are. The authorities will be there in a moment.

  71. because of long lead times a total lack of economic justification for big solar projects, “we will see the U.S. market for solar start to shrink rapidly by the second quarter of next year.”

  72. After reading this comment thread, I’ve decided to stock up on guns and ammunition, for clearly the end times are at hand.

  73. the release of the DNF teaser today.

    eep!

  74. Forget it squarerooticus. We’ve grown too wealthy a people to give a shit about such petty, self indulgent things when it’s for the good of the _______.

    Just lie back and enjoy it. It’ll be easier that way.

  75. Since this is shut an important part of national security, is nascar next?
    What kind of bulbs light up baseball football and basketball venues?
    Will vegas ever be the same?
    If we limit children to 2 per household, can we outlaw SUVs and any other vehicle carrying more than 4 people?
    Are high peformance motors in police cars really necessary?

  76. ed-Stay wehere you are. The authorities will be there in a moment.

    Federally mandated incandescent lightbulbs: $6.95

    Taking out Nancy Pelosi with a bomb belt: Priceless.

  77. “think I could bypass the incandescent ban with a doctors note?”

    Sure. States could pass laws allowing the use of incandecents for medical purposes. And open clinics to sell incandecents to people with doctor’s notes. Like medicinal marijuana clin… oh.

    CB

  78. Seriously, can I use my incandescent bulbs during the colder months when I’m also running the natural gas furnace? It seems that then the 90 percent loss to heat from the bulbs is not wasted if it’s reducing my heating load, even if only a bit.

  79. Ever wish you had an incurable disease, nothing to lose and a sniper rifle?

    I’d be ready to go with two out of three. Alas, I’m only at one.

  80. Forgive me for realizing the irony in that increasing CAF? standards only solidifies America’s car culture, and is completely counterproductive to your light-rail and urban “revitalization” initiatives because it decreases the per-mile cost to drivers, thus continuing to keep driving affordable even with fluctuating fuel prices.

    Ah, but the beauty of increased CAFE standards is that they won’t work, and cars will become more expensive, thus ENCOURAGING alternative transportation, instead of discouraging it.

    Gotta think like a politician to understand this stuff, I’m just saying…

  81. add such. remove shut

  82. So if electricity use causes externalities then why not tax electricity use more and let people decide how to adapt? Any libertarian in the world could tell you that such a policy would be superior to this.

    But no, instead we need to form a command economy.

  83. Nephilium –
    Although I don’t have migraines, flourescent lights give me a splitting headache as well when they flicker. You never notice until it’s too late. Leave the scene, wait a 30-60 minutes, all better. I thought I was the only one that happened to. If CFR start doing that to me, the EPA is gonna have a lot of mercury that requires cleanup.

  84. My epileptic brother used to get seizures from fluorescent lights. Don’t know about CFLs.

  85. Thinking about this damn bill is giving me a splitting headache

  86. ’bout nuthin.

  87. I fell like this is something that belongs in a South Park cartoon, not real life.

    No, actually Congress is a piece of performance art being choreographed by the surviving members of the Monty Python troupe. The script is taken from material written by Franz Kafka and George Orwell but some of the funniest material is the genius ad lib material of the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

  88. TIme for some civil disobediance. This is getting (strike that has gotten) absurd. I often think we are past the point of being opressed where we can justifiably rebel as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Do I sound like a radical? I don’t feel like a radical.

  89. PIRS, I have begun to think that I must be a rat in a maze: someone has constructed an elaborate artificial world, put me in it, and is gradually turning up the “insanity” dial to see the point at which I’ll crack.

    I’ll let you know where the red pill is when I find it.

  90. Will my security lights work with CFLs. I know florescents don’t work worth a shit at -10,-20,-30, and more. Guess I’ll
    pull my own security, with a gun and a flashlight, if the batteries don’t have mercury. Probably won’t have any security problems, since the bad guys won’t have cars that get 35 MPG. When incandescents are outlawed, only……….

  91. But no, instead we need to form a command economy.

    Well, I already switched to CFL’s, so you should too. Because I care about the environment.

    Stop in at my 2,400 sf condo with the 12 foot ceilings and see how nice the bulbs look.

  92. Oh, and why is everyone so upset about the CAFE standards? All we need is for someone to go get the plans out of the secret vault at Big Oil Headquarters.

    You know, the plans for that carburettor that gets 100 mpg designed by that guy your uncle’s buddy from the war knows.

  93. I am sure that Congress is going to exempt itself from this law.

    So if you want an incandescent light, just steal one from a congressman’s office.

  94. Please Dr. Paul, save us from this insanity.

  95. Ok, so outlawing the bulbs is stupid. I have comments related to why CFL’s are not as bad as people imply above:

    1) The mercury in the bulbs is much less than the mercury released into the atmosphere due to power generation using coal (which in the US is the primary source). There are a number of studies, summarized in the wikipedia here.

    2) Lots of people say “If I’m already paying to heat my house, why should I turn off my lightbulbs – it’s just more heat…” The simple reason is that the heat from a light bulb is very inefficient (resistance heating is the most inefficient heating method). Simplest way to look at it is, somewhere there’s a powerplant that has a low efficiency (they all do) burning some fuel to generate electricity, then they transmit it over the lines, which involves a loss and reduces the efficiency anymore. You’ve already lost a lot of the energy that was originally in the fuel just to get the electricity to your house. If you’ve got natural gas, you’ll burn a lot less in your basement to heat your air than the gas fired powerplant would to generate the electricity to create the heat from the lightbulbs. But most people are surprised that it still actually takes a lot less electricity to run a home heat pump to make up that small difference in temperature than it does to run the light bulbs for the same temperature change.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  96. Mith, one reason coal is the primary source for generating energy is because the green mafia opposed nuclear power plants.

  97. It ain’t all bad news guys…

    The commercial building industry could also be transformed by new incentives for energy-efficient windows, equipment and design. The federal government is supposed to make all of its buildings carbon-neutral through energy efficiency and clean energy use by 2030.

    Too bad about this:

    To secure passage for the bill, congressional leaders dropped a tax package that would have reduced breaks for the biggest oil and gas companies and extended breaks for wind and solar projects.

    I am still unsure why the biggest oil and gas companies need a break…

  98. the green mafia

    Paranoia can destroy ya…

  99. When the incandescent light bulb hit the mass market it improved lives not just lighting.

    Prior, homes used gas lamps: sometimes homes burnt down.
    The age that a child began to read lowered, because you could leave them alone in the room with the lamp.
    The first to benefit was the theatre industry because it turns out not just moths are attracted to light.

    Tip your hat to the workhorse: old incandescent. You will be sorely missed.

  100. Some smart somebody somewhere is thinking now about how to get the quality of light out of a CFL lamp to look nice like an incandescent lamp.

    Then she will figure it out and patent it.

    And in 6 years, when this lamp comes to market, all y’all whiners will say her idea would have been obvious circa now.

  101. A nice article on the green mafia…

    http://www.ehponline.org/docs/1994/102-8/soi.html

    The EDF worked closely with her office in developing a market-based approach to solving the problem. “Seeing that a command-and-control strategy often doesn’t work, environmentalists are being more open to new approaches,” she explains.

  102. Funny how, out of all the impositions Congress dumped upon us lately, this one totally gets me fired up. Guess its just the blatant nannystateness of theit. Adding to my ire: the local paper ran an article about this, praising it, with not a single quote saying this is a dumb idea or would have unintended consequences.

  103. HP,

    I am currently reading Pychon’s Agaist the Day…

    A good bit of the story involves the impact of Edison’s little invention.

  104. Don’t ever let anyone say this is a do-nothing Congress.

    Joe, we wanted to… we really did. But then this…

  105. That’s Against the Day

  106. 1) The mercury in the bulbs is much less than the mercury released into the atmosphere due to power generation using coal (which in the US is the primary source). There are a number of studies, summarized in the wikipedia here.

    Ahh, but coal generation can be made cleaner. Sure it costs more, but can CFLs be made without mercury? Further, states like CA are putting in place regulations that all generation be as clean as natural gas.

    Also, what about CFLs being deposited in landfills? Could it pose a problem later on down the road in terms of drinking water?

    Further, normal trash disposal is not recommended in many municipalities. They recommend that disposal along the lines of computer monitors, televisions, and batteries. I still have a CFL that burnt out sitting on my counter at home because I haven’t been sufficiently motivated to learn how to dispose of it safely yet.

  107. Mith,

    Agreement with your point #2–I wouldn’t heat my house with a toaster or a curling iron–but the heat from the incandescents is not wasted. It’s 100 percent used, bringing them much closer to the 90 percent or so efficiency of CFLBs.

  108. What’s the difference between Repubs and Dems again?

    Who voted against this bill and what was their Party affiliation?

    I would like to see a MSM story,complete with big type and small words, explain to the American People that Congress just voted for laws mandating more expensive and less safe cars, higher food prices, and banned fucking light bulbs!

    Use the public health nazi math and enumerate how many children will die because of this Bill !

  109. Every technology has impacts. Each one comes with tradeoffs: some good, some bad. Electricity changed where we lived, how we worked, and what we thought was possible. When you work to reroute “alternative energies”, you change where we live, how we work, etc… All the changes incurr unforseen costs. It is dangerous to impose those changes upon people without their consent.

  110. Also, what about CFLs being deposited in landfills? Could it pose a problem later on down the road in terms of drinking water?

    Congress will fix the problem of greedy corporations poisoning our drinking water with CFLs and mandate LEDs or something.

  111. Congress just voted for laws mandating more expensive and less safe cars

    Less safe?
    I missed that clause in the bill.

    You know, the plans for that carburettor that gets 100 mpg designed by that guy your uncle’s buddy from the war knows.

    I like the joke, but it will take no new technology to meet these standards.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs_Trucks.shtml

  112. Ethanol=the biggest scam ever.

  113. Mith, one reason coal is the primary source for generating energy is because the green mafia opposed nuclear power plants.

    For reasons that made zero environmental sense. I’d figured that out as a 17 year old. No excuse from those green fuckheads will ever assuage my anger.
    Al Gore, you were in congress those many years, followed by 8 years as VP. What did you, Mr Global Warming, do to get US electrical generation off of coal and on to nuclear power? Check out this shit in Grist, from Mister Anthropogenic Climate Change

    Q. Let’s turn briefly to some proposed solutions. Nuclear power is making a big resurgence now, rebranded as a solution to climate change. What do you think?

    A. I doubt nuclear power will play a much larger role than it does now.

    His reasons follow. Dumbshit, complete dumbshit. He’s still trying to put the nulear weapons genie back in the bottle. For all of you Gore Green Groupies out there, have at me.

  114. Federally mandated incandescent lightbulbs: $6.95

    Taking out Nancy Pelosi with a bomb belt: Priceless.

    Al Gore could use some cement galoshes, too.

  115. Wait — a move to 35mpg over like 15 years (without any changes for the first several) will lead to “more expensive cars”?

    We had cars that got 50+ mpg (diesels and the like) back in the early 80s. You can find 35+ cars by throwing a rock at any dealership.

    Heck, the latest generation of hybrid SUV’s are pushing 35 already.

    I wish people got this worked up about warrantless wiretapping.

  116. Actually, the book the Radioactive Boyscout (true story about a teenager that builds a nuclear breeder reactor in his garden shed out of household materials) accused Gore with being involved in pushing breeder reactors (which the book says are nonviable)at an exhorbitant cost to the American taxpayer. So, you might be wrong about Gore’s interest in nuclear.

  117. Congress just voted for laws mandating more expensive and less safe cars

    Less safe?
    I missed that clause in the bill.

    You know, the plans for that carburettor that gets 100 mpg designed by that guy your uncle’s buddy from the war knows.

    I like the joke, but it will take no new technology to meet these standards.

    Righto, just smaller, less safe cars. Smaller, more dangerous cars are going to be built and sold as a direct result of the CAFE portions of this bill. NM, you aren’t stupid, surely you recognize that?

  118. JsubD,

    Nuclear should play a role.
    It is hardly a panacea.

    I think Gore’s assessment is about accurate.

    Nuclear will play a role in specific locals, but is not going to get pushed for a world-wide solution.

    Are you giving him a hard time for being pragmatic?

  119. We had cars that got 50+ mpg (diesels and the like) back in the early 80s. You can find 35+ cars by throwing a rock at any dealership.

    Heck, the latest generation of hybrid SUV’s are pushing 35 already.

    You just don’t get it. It is actually a mandate that Americans buy smaller cars with smaller engines and the auto companies are going to be the enforcers.

  120. I wrote:
    “the green mafia”

    Neu Mejican wrote:

    “Paranoia can destroy ya…”

    Neu Mejican, perhaps you missed it but they do use the power of the state to acomplish their aims. The state uses force. They use the point of a gun.

    Here is a famous scene from The Godfather (1972).

    Michael: I’m working for my father now. He’s been sick, very sick.
    Kay: But you’re not like him, Michael. I thought you weren’t going to become a man like your father. That’s what you told me.
    Michael: My father’s no different than any other powerful man (Kay laughs), any man who’s responsible for other people. Like a senator or a president.
    Kay: You know how naive you sound?
    Michael: Why?
    Kay: Senators and presidents don’t have men killed.
    Michael: Oh, who’s being naive, Kay? Kay, my father’s way of doing things is over, it’s finished. Even he knows that. I mean in five years, the Corleone Family is going to be completely legitimate. Trust me. That’s all I can tell you about my business.

  121. For a while I’ve desired the freedom to buy a less-safe (read: lighter) car. Try to find a 2007 anything that weighs less than a ton.

  122. Neu Mejican,

    Seriously, help me out, what am I looking at with your link? The OP referred to the same old carbeurator conspiracy that got 100mpg (or more) but was being kept a secret by the oil companies. You posted a link which shows me a hybrid truck (which would be relatively new technology, but I won’t nitpick) getting… 19mpg. I’m going to assume I’m missing something here. Help appreciated.

  123. Maurkov, I think you should have that freedom. I should also have the freedom to buy a more safe one.

  124. JsubD,

    Smaller, more dangerous cars are going to be built and sold as a direct result of the CAFE portions of this bill. NM, you aren’t stupid, surely you recognize that?

    You mean like these death traps?
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs_SUVs.shtml

    Fewer Hummers (safest car on the road, right?) sure, but it is not like a Prius is a sub-compact.

    Amory Lovins has a bit on the “less safe” canard in this speech…
    http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid276.php#top

  125. Nuclear will play a role in specific locals, but is not going to get pushed for a world-wide solution.

    Are you giving him a hard time for being pragmatic?

    I’m giving him a hard time because the US should be Nuke and Hydro by now. Throw in the other “green” sources that are practical. What has he done? Bitched, whined and said we should conserve. Solar might be economically reasonable in the future. Biofuel will compete with coal for raping the landscape. Wind power, color me very skeptical. And I don’t need somebody who was born on third base, thinks he hit a triple, tell the unwashed masses that they need to conserve.

  126. Paul,

    The joke requires a belief that there is a need for a magical technology that has been kept hidden by the cabal in order to meet the new CAFE standards.

    Current technology gets us all the way there, without the magical 100 mpg thingy your uncle’s friend from the war talks about.

    The trucks are linked because they are the largest, least efficient of the new vehicles, and yet with them in the fleet, and a few smaller 50 or 60 mpg cars, you get an average of 35 without the magic hidden super secret technology.

  127. So Infiniti is pretty much screwed, huh? I drive one of their somewhat fast cars because I ride a bike most of the time, but when I drive, damn it, I want a car with a giddyap button. I use less gas than yer average sprawl yuppie with a prius.

  128. JsubD,

    Wind>Hydro> wave>geothermal>nuclear…

    In 50 years that will be the electric generation profile…

    My prediction.

  129. FWIW,

    I didn’t include solar, cuz I ain’t sure where it’s gonna figure into the picture. Some promising new technology and business models are getting up and running, but…

  130. Oops,

    Wrong Amory Lovins speech in that link…
    Try this one instead…

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/51

  131. … I haven’t been sufficiently motivated to learn how to dispose of it safely yet.

    You just get into your car and drive the burned out CFL bulb to the nearest electronic waste disposal site. What’s the problem?

  132. Jeff S. said:
    but the heat from the incandescents is not wasted. It’s 100 percent used, bringing them much closer to the 90 percent or so efficiency of CFLBs.

    Yes, the heat from the lightbulbs is 100 percent used. But in your comparison above the heat from the CFL’s would also be used, negating a lot of the apparent improvement of the standard bulb.

    But that actually doesn’t matter. The trick is that your furnace or heat pump can make that same amount of heat more efficiently than the lightbulbs can – same change in temperature with less input energy used. That’s the reason that houses don’t have big resistance heaters in place of a furnace (although obviously people use resistance heaters for localized heating).

  133. Neu Mejican: Fewer Hummers (safest car on the road, right?) sure, but it is not like a Prius is a sub-compact.

    It has always been my view that if everybody drove a smart car, everybody would be a whole helluva lot safer. It becomes a problem when people feel a need to have bigger cars for no reason.

    Just a thought.

  134. Skip to minute 10 for the car safety bit.

  135. The joke requires a belief that there is a need for a magical technology that has been kept hidden by the cabal in order to meet the new CAFE standards.

    I’m not going to reach back with the original thread you were referring to– but I agree very much that it won’t be magical technology that will get us there. It will be billions (with a b) of dollars in research and massive changes to our current infrastructure that will get us there. I think maybe the original intent of Isaac’s comment was to suggest that congress acts as if we’ll pull this technology out of our posterior region overnight, by the stroke of a pen.

    But this thread is long, and I haven’t read every post.

  136. Paul,

    You ain’t missing nothing.

    I think the car company lobbies rolled over on this one ‘cuz they saw the new regulations as workable.

    Just a thought.

  137. NM. I’m optimistic to the point of enthusiastic about geothermal. Much less so about wind and wave. I KNOW nuclear works. Today. I KNOW the waste disposal problem is political, not practical. Today, the prudent thing to do, especially if you believe the whole greenhouse gas thingee, is go nuke now, and let the market develop cheaper clean energy sources.

  138. Then again, the technology in 5 or 10 yrs could be LEDs rather than flourescent. Cool, clean, super efficient, kind of expensive now, but give it a few years…

  139. JsubD,

    Like I said.
    Nuclear will be part of the solution, but them large reactor plants take a looong time to build. You can put up a lot of windmills in the meantime, and we KNOW that they work. Wave technologies are starting to produce power already….
    http://www.wavegen.co.uk/

    I may be under-estimating geothermal.
    Iceland is certainly going to be taking advantage of it.

  140. I think the car company lobbies rolled over on this one ‘cuz they saw the new regulations as workable.

    It seems, Neu, that the American public does a lot of rolling over these days. All this rolling over brought to us by the same government that brought us the PATRIOT act and several other laws, made by congress which abridges the freedom of speech.

  141. Paul,

    Re: public rolling over on the CAFE standards.

    I am gonna bet that these are more popular than not among the populace. It is hardly rolling over to accept a policy you support.

    Not that I don’t agree with you on PATRIOT… I somehow don’t see this as a bill of the same ilk.

  142. Less safe?
    I missed that clause in the bill.

    neu,

    It is the one about CAFE standards.
    You can resume playing dumb now neu.

  143. I may be under-estimating geothermal.
    Iceland is certainly going to be taking advantage of it.

    And yellowstone is ripe for the pickin’. πŸ˜‰

    You see the reason I’m pissed. That we have ANY coal fired generating plants in this country is a crime against nature. Ironically the anti-nuke, luddite, “environmentalists” had much to do with the present situation. Some are apologizing. Not many, but the honest, realistic ones are.

  144. Where’s the love for solar power satellites? Privately funded, of course.

  145. I am gonna bet that these are more popular than not among the populace. It is hardly rolling over to accept a policy you support.

    There is objective proof that thery are not popular-automobile sales.

    I’m sure a majority of people are in favor of “cars getting better mileage”. Now ask them which car they would like to buy. There will be quite a bit of disconnect.

  146. But that actually doesn’t matter. The trick is that your furnace or heat pump can make that same amount of heat more efficiently than the lightbulbs can – same change in temperature with less input energy used. That’s the reason that houses don’t have big resistance heaters in place of a furnace (although obviously people use resistance heaters for localized heating).

    To clarify that, if I may, it is the power grid that is the major cause of the inefficiency, not the light bulbs or electric heaters themselves.

  147. According to Reuters:

    “The higher efficiency requirements under the new energy law kick in for the 100-watt bulb beginning in 2012, followed by the 75-watt bulb a year later and then 40- and 60-watt bulbs will be phased out in 2014.

    Australia, Ireland and other countries are already getting rid of the incandescent bulb.

    About two dozen categories of light bulbs are exempt from the U.S. law’s efficiency requirements, including oven and refrigerator bulbs, candelabra lamps, plant lights, replacement traffic signal bulbs and the summer necessity — the yellow bulb that doesn’t attract insects.”

    The bill calls for “average” fuel efficiency in any manufacturer’s product line, not for every vehicle. So we could see some 100+MPG electrics pushing the spread for the 20MPG SUVs.

    And I think I’ll enjoy my rebate when I pick up that new, green award-winning Hybrid Tahoe.

    The lopsided push for ethanol, over french-fry-diesel, is rather disappointing, though.

  148. On the CAFE thing. Smaller cars = better mileage = higher accident fatalities. You get fined for too high a CAFE? Jack up the price of larger cars so they cover the CAFE penalties. Bigger cars get more expensive. Ford, GM, Toyota, et al, sell more small cars as a result. The big ones are for rich folks (richer than the typical car buyer). Deny it till the cows come home. It’s happened before, it will happen again. CAFE ?. Safety ?.

  149. Does this mean I will soon be able to buy a hybrid Charger?

  150. Not that I don’t agree with you on PATRIOT… I somehow don’t see this as a bill of the same ilk.

    It was a snark about about governmente doing “to” us, as opposed to “for” us. But I know you got that.

  151. And I think I’ll enjoy my rebate when I pick up that new, green award-winning Hybrid Tahoe.

    You’re welcome, James.

  152. I don’t see how you could be libertarian and pro-nuke.
    The nuclear industry got in bed with the government long ago when the government volunteered to “take care of” the waste. Mostly because it already had waste of it’s own. The “cheapness” of nukes is because of this partnership.
    Meanwhile the government overrides private property owner’s concerns because those people “just don’t know” about nuclear power. It’s surprising how intelligent you become when you agree with the government’s position.
    If there was no waste issue, I’d love nuclear power. Best job I ever had, but letting the government be “responsible” is irresponsible.

  153. And frankly, all this huffing and puffing over CAFE standards– that’s only one part of the bill. It’s the other stuff that makes me cringe. The stuff that’s popular with politicians, but may actually be a detriment to the environment, not a boon.

  154. Smaller cars = better mileage = higher accident fatalities.

    The Ford Escape hybrid is not a small car, but gets 30+ mpg. The problem with this car and other hybrids is that the initial cost is $4k to $6k higher than the conventional model. You break-even on a hybrid vehicle if you drive it for at least 150k miles and you do not finance it. I think this a good technology, but for it to really take off, the price differential will have to come down a bit.

  155. “We make a major step… toward reducing our dependence on oil, fighting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels and giving future generations… a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure,” said Bush at a signing ceremony at the Energy Department.

    Ol’ “Monkey In The Middle” had to really rub our noses in it by signing the atrocity at the Energy Department. A better President would have only gone there to put a padlock on the door.

  156. J_D: I’m not sure your argument about CAFE works. People buy large cars because of safety: because there are Hummers on the road and nobody wants to be crumpled in an accident. If the law makes it more expensive to produce big, inefficient cars, then as you comment, that should drive the price of those cars up. Consumers will switch to smaller, cheaper cars. That should include “the rich” — even the rich don’t like to waste money.

    Will the remaining SUV’s cause traffic fatalities? Sure. But any transition from big cars to little cars would temporarily have that effect, whether government-mandated or not.

    I don’t think CAFE is the bad part of the bill. Ethanol? That’s pretty questionable.

  157. Paul,

    As hybrids offer the path to meeting stricter CAFE standards do you worry about the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of all those batteries?

  158. JsubD,

    Really, watch the Amory Lovins talk.
    He addresses your concerns regarding safety.

    Current materials technology allows for light cars that are very safe.

    And, again, many large cars will be built that meet the standards in the current bill.

    I think Japan is our comparison country here…
    Does anyone have the safety results from their “CAFE” standards?

  159. It seems that Japan’s auto fatality has been going down as fuel efficiency standards have gone up…at least in 2003… anyone got anything newer?

    http://www.jama.org/AutoTrends/previousissueab5e.html?id=40

    But I doubt there is a causal relationship…

  160. For what it is worth, these new CAFE standards bring us in line with those required in China…

    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/Fuel%20Economy%20and%20GHG%20Standards_010605_110719.pdf

  161. It seems that Japan’s auto fatality has been going down as fuel efficiency standards have gone up…at least in 2003… anyone got anything newer?

    http://www.jama.org/AutoTrends/previousissueab5e.html?id=40

    But I doubt there is a causal relationship…

    There isn’t….. so why waste the comment?

  162. For what it is worth, these new CAFE standards bring us in line with those required in China…

    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/Fuel%20Economy%20and%20GHG%20Standards_010605_110719.pdf

    I’m sure the abortion lobby would like us to bring our family planning policy in line with China’s.

  163. SIV,

    There isn’t….. so why waste the comment?

    You were the one making the claim, no?

    To re-quote you…

    Congress just voted for laws mandating more expensive and less safe cars

  164. SIV,

    The abortion lobby.

    Comedy gold.

  165. I think Japan is our comparison country here…

    Because Japan has similar geography, land use, and transportation culture as the United States?

    fail

  166. I’m 6 1/2 feet tall, my kids are taller. Looking forward to a 35 MPG car.

  167. Why do MPG standards matter? It ultimately is about the gallons consumed, not the efficiency of your car…some one driving 5 miles a day in an SUV does less harm (rhetorical) than a 200 mile per day habit in a prius…seems a more direct method of decreasing our petro ‘nergy demand would be to simply increase the tax on a gallon of gas…ah, but that would take balls.

  168. .. it’s odd that none of those Congresscritters live in cold climates .. in the winter the flourescents in the garage barely come on ..

    .. and I still haven’t found a CFL that lights as quickly as an incandescent .. I’m halfway down the stairs before the light comes on .. gee, dark stairs .. that’s real safe ..

    .. this whole idiocy reminds me of a similar law that was passed .. you see, I used to have this toilet that would pass a whole, um, load in one flush .. now I have this “low flow” toilet that sometimes requires 2-3 flushes to do the same duty, using much more water ..

    .. so it seems to me that someone who had a dark stairway might decide to just leave the light on always instead of waiting until the light came on to walk down the stairs .. same as the toilet, try to save something and wind up using more in the end ..

    .. Hobbit ..

  169. SIV,

    I was thinking Japan is pretty close on standard of living and car ownership…

    But meh, you’re the one making the claim…back it up.

  170. CAFE standards seem reasonable, but they have some problems as this bill that makes them inferior to a carbon tax. For one, they are favored towards companies that make a gigantic fleet of cars and against luxury brands like BMW that don’t make a lot of subcompacts with tiny engines.

    And logically, gas consumption is bad for the environment, not the act of buying an inefficient car. If someone drives a Prius for 10 times as many miles as another person with a Highlander, the person with the Prius is causing more harm to the environment. CAFE standards do nothing to address this.

    We would also save in administrative and enforcement costs by just increasing the gas tax. We already have the bureaucracy to collect one.

    Just tax the harmful behavior, and let individuals decide what to do. This isn’t complicated, and yet here we are again pursuing bad environmental regulations when everyone knows exactly what the superior alternatives are.

    (I am aware that regulation is inefficient and government is evil. Please don’t take my libertarian card away. I also know that most of my points are obvious, but I needed to vent my frustration.)

  171. As long as you are looking up statistics neu:

    USA vs Japan

    Try: number of cars per person

    miles driven per person per day

    You might as well compare US driving with other Pacific Island nations.

  172. SIV,

    Since you are the one making the positive claim, I’ll give you some resources to help you build an actual argument.

    Pick from this list
    http://www.swivel.com/data_columns/spreadsheet/2045088

    A country with a higher CAFE standard than the US(see Pew link above)

    And show me how their higher CAFE standards have led to higher traffic fatalities.

  173. I was thinking Japan is pretty close on standard of living and car ownership…

    Then you aren’t thinking.Japs don’t own as many cars as Americans nor do they drive them as much.

    Off the top of my head, Australia and Canada might be comparable.

    Vehicle weight and safety can be reduced to basic physics.

  174. NPR is airing an interview today with an Iowa corn farmer. They present his sob story that he can’t make ends meet without the new ethanol funding. The interviewer then really impressed me by asking if other energy sources represented a better long-term solution, to which the fellow replied he didn’t think so, because he saw corn economics as definitely positive.

  175. SIV,

    To help you with your work…

    Here is a table with the kill rates per mile driven…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_safety

  176. SIV,

    Vehicle weight and safety can be reduced to basic physics.

    Go ahead.

  177. to which the fellow replied he didn’t think so, because he saw corn economics as definitely positive.

    To him they certainly are! I also heard that interview and the one that followed, which was someone from the windenergy lobby lamenting the lack of renewed subsidies for wind and solar…apparently this was a Farm Bill disguised as an energy bill…

  178. The lightbulb part of the bill profits the manufacturers of CFLs, etc. at the expense of incandescent bulb makers and the general public (who lose the consumer surplus associated with having a choice).

    The CAFE standards benefit the makers of hybrid cars at the expense of American-branded car makers, the environment (disposal of all those hybrid batteries) and consumers (see above about choice).

    This bill is about giving a blowjob to environmentalists, and a competitive windfall to a few industries, at the expense of everyone else.

  179. Sine-
    I agree. In fact I agreed with you before I knew I agreed with you (ref 8:33 πŸ˜‰

  180. SIV’s physics of car crashes course should be entertaining…

    I’m gonna go get some pop corn…

  181. Why do these bills have to be voted upon as such monstrosities?

    So that Congressional committees can control the legislative process.

  182. neu,

    Your statistical argument is apples to oranges. In a two vehicle accident would you rather be in a 2000lb vehicle or a 4000 lb vehicle?

    The answer is pretty easy, and as you should appreciate, scientifically sound.

  183. Oh, and the CAFE standards are going to make it more expensive for people who work for a living and thus drive pickups, since the car makers will be forced to jack up prices on the heavy vehicles to meet these standards and/or cover the huge cost of making them all hybrid technology.

  184. I think some of the CAFE standards are to try to light at least a bit of a fire under the US auto industry. One of the reasons Japan has been pushing energy-sipping technology for such a long time (with a lot of help from the gov’t, by the way…) is that they can then turn around and sell the technology to China, who is bloody worried about energy needs.

    Libertarians seem to think that in the perfect US, the gov’t wouldn’t be involved at all in science and technology development, and all this would be left up to corporations and the market with no regulations or incentives at all.

    Unfortunately for your fantasies, the US is in competition with a whole horde of other countries who DO think gov’t has a role to play in funding science and technology development and who are perfectly willing to turbocharge the process. Guess who will win in a technology development race between a libertarian US and a heavily-subsidizing China?

  185. Work for a living, as in “construction workers and whatnot that actually need a pickup truck to haul lumber and whatnot around”. Accountants, not so much so.

  186. Does this include incandescent Christmas lights, because I switched to LED Christmas lights and they just do not look in any way like Christmas lights should look. They look cold.

  187. Grumpy realist wrote
    Guess who will win in a technology development race between a libertarian US and a heavily-subsidizing China?

    Aside from the stereotyped libertarian in your argument (let’s just call him Straw Man), the comment above can be answered right now…whose economy is currently winning? The one using the strategy of millions of individual experiments or the one using centrally planned directives…hint, growth rates don;t count, actual GDP does.

  188. Guess who will win in a technology development race between a libertarian US and a heavily-subsidizing China?

    The U.S. and its consumers, because the money not thrown at subsidizing one government-picked industry will be available to the highest bidder for that credit, thus making that money utilized most efficiently, while the consumers here benefit from buying the Chinese government-subsidized products?

    Did you study economics taught by a Marxist, grumpy realist?

  189. Got your popcorn neu?

    no need to cut and paste just click

    “Science” from the Government!

  190. I also find the yowlings about SUVs vs. small cars in collisions to be hysterical. Which is going to smush me more in a collision–an SUV or a fully-loaded tractor trailor?

    And you tell me to worry about what happens when I’m in a collision with a SUV? Riiiight…..

    (Anyone who has driving in Iowa on I-80 will know exactly what I’m talking about. The semi- traffic is especially heavy, with everyone going 75 or 80 mph. An accident with one of those babies will result in the same outcome whether I’m in an SUV or a Smart car: instant smash.)

  191. Oh, and the CAFE standards are going to make it more expensive for people who work for a living and thus drive pickups

    just highlighting for those who don’t really work for a living- in case they missed it!

  192. SIV,

    Your statistical argument is apples to oranges. In a two vehicle accident would you rather be in a 2000lb vehicle or a 4000 lb vehicle?

    Fail.

    I need more information.
    Make, model, year, angle of impact…

  193. …seems a more direct method of decreasing our petro ‘nergy demand would be to simply increase the tax on a gallon of gas…ah, but that would take balls.

    Ding, ding, ding. We hve a winner folks. CAFE is a tax on large vehicles in an attempt to force encourage consumers to buy smaller. Rather than just put “gas guzzler tax” on the sticker, they do this. The whole assumption is that people aren’t smart enough, patriotic enough, aware enough, or something enough to make these decisions for themselves. The government should take over everybody’s budget and make all of the decisions for us.

    We would save money break even buying a hybrid SUV, with cash, and driving it 150,000 miles, compared to the way the stupid people buy SUVs. Y’know, finance, trade in after 3-5 years. If these wonderful, large, fuel efficient cars, are just around the corner, people will buy them.

    You don’t think, given market realities, the auto companies are doing their best with fuel economy? It’s a cutthroat business. A 10% improvement in mileage does get marketed. The fuel economy ratings, inaccurate as they are, are posted on the sticker for comparison.

    Mark my words, just so you can throw them in my face. Large cars will get more eexpensive relative to small cars. Large cars will still be safer than smaller cars. People will die as a result of the legislation (which is not a deal breaker for me. People die over just about any congressional decision). BTW, a large cars are safer even if you are colliding with an immovable object, e.g. bridge support, side of a mountain, giant redwood.

  194. and SIV,

    no need to cut and paste just click

    Fail.

    Try your link out…

    [I think I need more salt on these kernals]

  195. Prolefeed, I suggest you examing how Japan got its biotechnology industry going. It was done in conjunction with MITI and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, was a way of retooling the bulk chemical producers, and was carried out extremely rapidly.

    Most Americans don’t realize it, but there are certain areas of biotech, particularly dealing in food science, in which Japan is the best in the world.

    It looks like there are certain points in a technology sector development pipeline where if the gov’t gives a helping hand the efficiency of the process can be boosted manyfold. Japan also learned that taking bets on the technology itself is a Bad Idea (see: 5th generation computer project, high-definition television.)

    But saying that a government can’t possibly have as good an effect as leaving it up to the market is, well, pretty dogmatic. What you need the gov’t to do is assist the development of the sector until it gets large enough that economies of scale actually kick in.

  196. SIV,

    people who work for a living and thus drive pickups

    Yeah, only those with pickups work for a living.

  197. from my link above……

    When two vehicles collide, the laws of physics favor the occupants of the heavier vehicle (momentum conservation).

    I didn’t have to find a taxpayer funded government study to know this but as you prefer………..

    Oh yeah, argument over VICTORY !!! and all that

  198. All the changes incurr unforseen costs. It is dangerous to impose those changes upon people without their consent.

    Or maybe even more importantly, without the flexibility of decentralized decision-making.

  199. Neu,

    Prolefeed said it, I was just highlighting it in case anyone missed it!

  200. SIV,

    That’s you argument?

    In toto?

    Wow.

    I

    am

    stunned.

  201. Grumpy-
    But saying that a government can’t possibly have as good an effect as leaving it up to the market is, well, pretty dogmatic.

    Let’s read it the other way and see if it makes any more sense:

    But saying that a market can’t possibly have as good an effect as leaving it up to the government is, well, pretty dogmatic.

  202. SIV,

    No explain how objects fall at the same rate when dropped off the tower of Pisa…

  203. , you’ll have to blame government interference for that too.

  204. [oops.]

    For a while I’ve desired the freedom to buy a less-safe (read: lighter) car. Try to find a 2007 anything that weighs less than a ton.

    Maurkov, you’ll have to blame government interference for that too.

  205. Pretty fucking easy wasn’t it neu?

    I didn’t have to bring in questionable “studies” involving irrelevant samples or from agenda-driven think tanks.

    My beef with the Energy Bill isn’t utilitarian anyways (although that one works too). I believe individuals should be allowed to chose their light bulbs, automobiles, and fuel composition without the State interfering. Individual choice is always better. It is on the packaging our decoder rings come in.

  206. SIV,

    No explain how objects fall at the same rate when dropped off the tower of Pisa…

    I’m sure the government has spent millions repeating that experiment too.Might be in one of the earmarks in the new spending bill.

  207. Heh, that’s funny. They actually did formally test it on the moon with a hammer and a feather…

  208. Heh, that’s funny. They actually did formally test it on the moon with a hammer and a feather…

    I guess you beleive the moon landings actually happened then?

    πŸ˜‰

  209. SIV,

    Pretty fucking easy wasn’t it neu?

    Yes, SIV finds it easy to satisfy himself.

  210. Save your old bulbs. We can send ’em to Congress in a year or so and let them figure out how to dispose of them, since they are so smart.

  211. Some reading on how to improve fuel efficiency, and improve safety at the same time…

    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/cars_pickups_suvs/building-a-better-suv.html

  212. But saying that a government can’t possibly have as good an effect as leaving it up to the market is, well, pretty dogmatic.
    /i>

    Government can only give by first taking. Libertarians are only dogmatic about this and what it ultimately means for a sociery in the same sense that physicist are dogmatic about the theory of gravity. It is a fact you must confront before your argument even begins.

    Japan is no better an example of ‘government subsidies that work’ than Yugoslavia and her beloved Yugo. Japanese ministers are no more competent at anticipating market demand than the bureaucrats of all other technocratic regimes of the past (I would recommend Von Mises if you don’t know the difference in motivation between a bureaucratic manager and an entrepreneur). This lead them to a disastrous decade long recession at a time when nitwits like Lester Thurow were assuring us that if we don’t emulate the technocratic vision of the Japanese we would be doomed to third world status.

    China will eventually succumb to the same problems of the Japanese, but because of structural problems in Chinese society (forced abortion policy leading to a drastic imbalance between males and females and a graying society, for one) the results will be far worse than Japan’s setback.

    Every generation, there is a new crop on the left and right arguing that we need to stray from our ‘libertarian policies’, a bogeyman that doesn’t exist, and adopt the creed of the new economy in yonderland. In the 1950’s it was William F Buckley arguing the need to emulate Soviet central command policy to fight the Communist, and today it is a bunch faddist who think mainland China is the latest and greatest thing.

    Same shit. New day. Meanwhile, the market innovates, and the statist bloviate.

  213. Guess who will win in a technology development race between a libertarian US and a heavily-subsidizing China?

    The US. And it isnt a guess.

  214. speaking of fail…my last post…

    THEY DONT. PISA ISNT LOCATED IN A FUCKING VACUUM.

  215. sorry for the bad link way upthread
    one just above works fine

    Heavier vehicles are safer than lighter ones.
    This should be obvious to anyone with any mechanical aptitude or basic understanding of physics but if that isn’t good enough for you there is a confirming Government study linked above that we all payed for………..

  216. okay, posting isnt working for me right now, that was in response to NM’s things falling off the tower comment.

  217. Neu Mejican — It’s possible that if the government throws a lot of money at a particular technology, it might gain a temporary advantage for that technology. It might also f**k up and get little or nothing for its investment. What is certain is that the money the government has spent is no longer available to entrepreneurs to finance stuff like iPods, or the Windows operating system, or whatever new and wildly successful free market innovation our brightest minds come up with.

    If you’re rational, you HAVE to weigh the lost opportunity costs of the spent money in the equation, and unless you actually think that government bureaucrats covering their asses are better at innovation than people like Steven Jobs or Bill Gates or Steven Spielberg or any other genius with the next new thing, you should be concluding that the government should leave that money in the hands of the free marketplace.

  218. Actually, just to be absolutely correct, even if Pisa was in a vacuum, the more massive object would hit the ground quicker, assuming you dropped them 1 at a time and measured the time it took to hit the ground.

    force of gravity is proportion to the mass of both bodies, in this case the earth and the object being dropped. However, since acceleration is proportion to mass, this cancels out for the dropped body, and the mass of the earth determines the acceleration of the dropped body. Thus the larger and smaller body would both accelerate downward the same. However, the earth would accelerate upward faster when the heavy object is dropped so the time to contact with earth with be less with the more massive object.

  219. although it hasn’t come up….yet…. I’ll pre-empt. Single car accidents, rollovers etc involve “driver error” that does not necessarily come into play for one party in a two (or more) car collision. Insurance company statistics on vehicle crashes probably show that new loaded minivans are “safer” than Mustang GTs but if you made soccer moms with baby on board drive the V-8 Fords and gave young adult males Honda Odysseys it is likely the minivans would be “less safe”.

  220. “I believe individuals should be allowed to chose their light bulbs, automobiles, and fuel composition without the State interfering. Individual choice is always better. It is on the packaging our decoder rings come in.”

    Bingo.

    If the majority of the car buying public personally valued fuel economy in vehicles above all other attributes, the aggregate result would be much higher fuel efficiency standards than we have now.

    But the mix of cars actually sold is evidence that they DON’T value fuel efficiency above all other things. And in many cases, even those who are inclined to favor it realize that it makes no economic sense on an individual level due to the higher costs of hybrid cars, etc.

    And all this stuff about whether larger cars are more safe vs small cars also misses a salient point. Perceived safety is NOT the only reason people buy larger cars and SUV’s. Many of them like want or need to have all that room to haul people or things around. And then there are the muscle cars. No one “needs” a 500 hp Shelby Mustang or Corvette but there are people who like them, want them and are perfectly willing to make the gas mileage trade off to own them.

    The busybodies in the government don’t like the choices that people are making so they want to “help” them make the “right” choice by not allowing them to have a choice at all.

    None of it is any legitimate business of government all in the first place.

  221. If you’re rational, you HAVE to weigh the lost opportunity costs of the spent money in the equation, and unless you actually think that government bureaucrats covering their asses are better at innovation than people like Steven Jobs or Bill Gates or Steven Spielberg or any other genius with the next new thing, you should be concluding that the government should leave that money in the hands of the free marketplace.

    The gubmint is mostly regulating, not spending in this case. But the effect might be the same. By promoting a the short-term build up in CFL manufacturing and consumption, the government may also be delaying the long-term build up of much more efficient white light LED technology.

  222. SIV,

    You just don’t get it do you?

    You are not providing anyone with new information.

    And you are not demonstrating that the new CAFE standards will lead to more dangerous cars.

    prolefeed.

    Why was that one addressed to me?

  223. prolefeed…

    http://www.sandia.gov/

    I wonder if any of the work done here has ended up being used in the freemarket…

    Hmmm…

    Perhaps in some of the products you named.

    Hmmm…

  224. Prolefeed wrote at 4:44pm:
    “Fluorescent bulbs don’t work with light fixtures on dimmer switches. Time to start hoarding incandescent bulbs if you want any romantic moments.”

    Rumor has it that Cold Cathode Compact Flourescents will work with dimmer switches, and last longer.


  225. You are not providing anyone with new information.

    Do I have to bust out the child’s alphabet blocks?

    CAFE standards mandate higher fuel economy.
    There is a fixed amount of energy in a gallon of gas. There are limited ways to get better mileage,cut wind resistance (ugly cars),reduce friction with hard narrow high pressure tires(poor handling and braking cars) reduce power and/or change gearing (slower cars),reduce weight (less safe in collision cars). All of the above–except for possibly “improved” aerodynamics– makes for a less safe car.
    I don’t give a rat’s ass what some green think tank, academic, or government bureaucracy says.
    The experts would be primarily automotive engineers/designers and data from insurance underwriters.

  226. I thought I read somewhere that there are fuel mileage exemptions for light trucks over 5000 lbs or some such. That includes a bunch of SUVs.
    Heard somewhere else that the ore used to produce the battery cores for a prius is mined in Canada, moved by ship to china, then to japan then to the u.s. replacement is expected at about 80,000 miles. Greener to drive a Hummer. and way more satisfying.

    For years new Mercedes came with a 5500 dollar gas guzzler tax for failing to meet the U.S. milage standard. Buyers just payed it and drove down the road at 12 mpg.

  227. But the mix of cars actually sold is evidence that they DON’T value fuel efficiency above all other things.

    Exactly! That’s why the government needs to MAKE them value efficiency above all other things.

  228. cut wind resistance (ugly cars)

    Is this why airplanes and sports cars have a boxy, ugly shape?

  229. SIV,

    There are limited ways to get better mileage

    Are you forgetting something?

    Are you sure you have all the bases covered?

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question262.htm

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    There are many ways to get the fleet average down with current technology. Auto-engineers have been working on them for a while now.

    Not all result in lighter vehicles.

    And not all lighter weight vehicles are less safe.

    You forgot an entire branch of experts: material engineers.

    http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/Transportation/T02-10_DsnManuAdvComp.pdf

    You are so last century dude….

    Brotherben,

    That is mostly misinformation.

    http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/Transportation/T07-01_DustToDust.pdf

  230. 1) The mercury in the bulbs is much less than the mercury released into the atmosphere due to power generation using coal (which in the US is the primary source). There are a number of studies, summarized in the wikipedia here.

    You shouldn’t believe everything Wikipedia says, and that’s doubly true about their CFL article. I was part to a fight about the article last year, primarily because I consider their description of mercury pollution to be misleading. Mercury pollution by incandescents depends on the amount of electricity produced by coal plants, so in the US it is true that incandescents produce more of it than CFLs (even though atmospheric mercury doesn’t cause superfund sites the way waste dumps will once they contain a significant amount of CFLs). In Europe, however, where only 20% of electricity is produced from coal, the use of CFLs will increase mercury pollution by 2%, or 1.7 metric tons. Given that about 30% of their electricity is produced by nuclear plants, the switch will reduce CO2 emissions by only 0.7% and NOx by 1%.

    The moral of the story – replacing coal plants with nuclear is better for the environment than replacing incandescents with CFLs.

  231. Advanced materials suitable for safe light vehicles currently on the market.

    http://www.fiberforge.com/

  232. SIV,

    The CAFE standards do not seem to say HOW the fleet average is to be met.

    Private companies have been predicting this change in law and have technologies ready to meet the challenge they provide.

    Why are you so sure that American ingenuity is not up to the challenge of making safe, affordable, fuel efficient vehicles?

  233. NM–There are costs to everything you have linked so far. Retooling of assempbly lines, R & D costs, materials, etc. The more expensive you make a new car the lower its replacement rate is.

    Eningeers always assume that it can be easily done (they did it, so everyone should!) and never bother to understand the economics of their engineering, at least in published statements.

    Can it be done? Sure. Affordably? Maybe. Practically? Time will tell. You know that cheap, affordable solar power has been just around the corner for the past 30 years.

    Theory is one thing, actual experience is usually very different.

  234. JW,

    Of course (never claimed otherwise).

    I will note, however, that advanced materials when used in auto body designs reduce assembly and manufacturing costs quite dramatically (reducing the number of parts to less than a dozen, eliminating the need to paint, etc…).

    And hybrid technology is already on the market…some of the retooling etc… is already being done to expand hybrid manufacturing capacity.

    See Grumpy Realists comment above.
    Sometimes a government mandate is needed to nudge industry to take on the challenges you mention.

  235. “Fluorescent bulbs don’t work with light fixtures on dimmer switches. Time to start hoarding incandescent bulbs if you want any romantic moments.”

    Clearly you haven’t been paying attention. Romantic moments lead to sex, which leads to children. Children cause global warming. Therefore, to reduce global warming, romantic moments are now verboten.

  236. Brotherben,

    The standards, it seems, are in place for vehicles up to 8500 lbs.

    8500 to 10000 lb vehicles can be classified as “work trucks.”

    Even the Hummer is only 6000.

  237. I’m still pissed that the auto industry in the United States has been forced to put seatbelts and airbags in cars….Damn it!…Car crashes are just the market’s way of getting rid of the worst drivers.

  238. The moral of the story – replacing coal plants with nuclear is better for the environment than replacing incandescents with CFLs.

    So doing both is best, no?

    Mercury poisoning can be taken care of with appropriate disposal regimes, no?

    LED will probably be the ultimate winner, no?

  239. Bad enough I have to replace my perfectly good television set next year because those jackasses in Congress have passed legislation that will make it useless (thanks, HD!); now I also have to shell out enough money to buy a 50-year supply of incandescent light bulbs, too. Fucking fabulous.

  240. Yeah, everyone, because the free market’s been fucking ACES for the environment so far! What’s a little global warming and cancer among friends?

  241. The free market has been f**ing ACES for individual freedom. And there is nothing on earth MORE important than that – particularly MY individual freedom.

    As for the THEORY of man-made global warming that is driving all this nonsense – there is no one alive on this earth who is the least bit capable of actually proving it exists at all.

    As a personal means of protesting this Stalinist infringement on individual freedom, I suggest everyone start deliberatly wasting as much energy as possible. Leave the lights, computer radio, etc. turned on in your offices – 24/7. Don’t trade in your gas guzzling car for a fuel efficient one. Use incandescent lights as much as possible. Any bussiness or government offices that you frequent look to see if there are any lights you can turn on before you leave.

    Oh and if you do have an CFL bulbs and want to get rid of them, just toss them in the trash the same way you would incandescent bulbs.

  242. Yeah, everyone, because the free market’s been fucking ACES for the environment so far! What’s a little global warming and cancer among friends?

    Look around, Max. The countries where the environment does the best are the ones with the free market economies. The real economic catastrophes happen in your socialist/communist economies or your kleptocratic failed societies.

  243. Oh and if you do have an CFL bulbs and want to get rid of them, just toss them in the trash the same way you would incandescent bulbs.

    That’s exactly what’s going to happen. Special disposal practices my ass. People are going to toss them and there’s no way to stop it happening, unless you plan to pick through everyone’s trash before it goes on the truck and slap cuffs on the violators.

  244. How To Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter / Energy Conservation Begins at Home

    Imagine leaving a window open all winter long — the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

    These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause heat to pour out and the cold outside air to rush in — costing you higher heating bills.

    Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts.

    But what can you do about the four largest “holes” in your home — the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

    Attic Stairs

    When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood.

    Your attic space is ventilated directly to the outdoors. In the winter, the attic space can be very cold, and in the summer it can be very hot. And what is separating your conditioned house from your unconditioned attic? That thin sheet of plywood.

    Often a gap can be observed around the perimeter of the door. Try this yourself: at night, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door — do you see any light coming through? These are gaps add up to a large opening where your heated/cooled air leaks out 24 hours a day. This is like leaving a window open all year round.

    An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing the air leaks. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.

    Whole House Fans and AC Returns

    Much like attic stairs above, when whole house fans are installed, a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only leaky ceiling shutter between the house and the outdoors.

    An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan cover. Installed from the attic side, the whole house fan cover is invisible. Cover the fan to reduce heating and air-conditioning loss, remove it when use of the fan is desired.

    If attic access is inconvenient, or for AC returns, a ceiling shutter cover is another option for reducing heat loss through the ceiling shutter and AC return. Made from R-8, textured, thin, white flexible insulation, and installed from the house side over the ceiling shutter with Velcro, a whole house fan shutter cover is easily installed and removed.

    Fireplaces

    Sixty-five percent, or approximately 100 million homes, in North America are constructed with wood or gas burning fireplaces. Unfortunately there are negative side effects that the fireplace brings to a home especially during the winter home-heating season. Fireplaces are energy losers.

    Researchers have studied this to determine the amount of heat loss through a fireplace, and the results are amazing. One research study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent.

    A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

    Why does a home with a fireplace have higher heating bills? Hot air rises. Your heated air leaks out any exit it can find, and when warm heated air is drawn out of your home, cold outside air is drawn in to make up for it. The fireplace is like a giant straw sucking the heated air from your house.

    An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, a fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

    Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

    In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the coldest room in the house. Your clothes dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that is open to the outdoors. In the winter, cold air leaks in through the duct, through your dryer and into your house.

    Dryer vents use a sheet-metal flapper to try to reduce this air leakage. This is very primitive technology that does not provide a positive seal to stop the air leakage. Compounding the problem is that over time, lint clogs the flapper valve causing it to stay open.

    An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted air infiltration, and keep out pests, bees and rodents as well. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape.

    If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan, an AC return, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, you can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

    Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover, an attic access door, and is the U.S. distributor of the fireplace draftstopper. To learn more visit http://www.batticdoor.com

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