By Brent Parrish
Well, apparently we’re supposed to say goodbye to our incandescent light bulbs this New Year. There seems to be no end to the government’s pernicious desire to rule over every aspect of our lives—from the type of light bulb we’re allowed to use, to what type of health insurance is deemed “acceptable” by the ruling elite—even how much salt we can have with our meal, and how many ounces of soda we’re permitted to purchase.
I just finished up reading an article over at the American Enterprise Institute entitled “Industry, not environmentalists, killed traditional bulbs,” which describes, once again, the collusion of environmental advocacy groups pushing government policies and big business.
Let me be clear here about one thing right off the bat: it was George W. Bush who signed this god-awful legislation into law. Which just goes to show that the progressive label is no respecter of party affiliation. Progressives exist on both sides of the aisle.
Jen Kuznicki wrote:
Reagan was right on so many things, and his efforts in the ’80’s threw a wrench in the establishment’s machine. The Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 signed by G.W. Bush is now banning your light bulb. We’ve spent a lot of money for “security” when there is little supply of either.
We were just fine with our light bulbs. But here comes Big Daddy to save us all. One of the things that really irks me personally about this pathetic law is the fact that my mother has lupus arthritis, which means she has to stay out of direct sunlight (UV light) or it could trigger an attack. Well, come to find out, the new compact fluorescents emit UV light. This, to me, is a classic example of the unintended consequences that inevitably occur when the federal government goes meddling into every aspect of our lives and codifies it into law.
Via AEI (emphasis mine):
The current replacement for traditional bulbs are compact fluorescents (those curly bulbs). They give off UV rays, contain mercury gas, take a while to get bright and don’t last any longer than regular bulbs if you flip them on and off a lot.
Another rather diabolical aspect to this insidious law is the fact that both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of their own machinations in bringing about such a god-awful piece of legislation. The first paragraph from AEI’s article reveals a rather disturbing trend (emphasis mine):
For more than a century, the traditional incandescent bulb was the symbol of American innovation. Starting Jan. 1, the famous bulb is illegal to manufacture in the U.S., and it has become a fitting symbol for the collusion of big business and big government.
Now many would call the collusion of big business and big government “crony capitalism.” True enough. But, in reality, the collusion of big business and big government has another definition—fascism. Of course we could engage in an academic debate over the different forms of fascism, and how the federal government actually shrinks a bit in a truly fascistic form of government following the nationalization of big business. But that’s not the thesis of this article. The fact the term “fascism” even applies at all in relation to the machinations of our federal government should be a cause of real concern for all Americans.
I must admit, in some ways, I found myself scratching my head a bit after I read AEI’s article. It’s hard to determine where the private concern (business) starts and where the public concern (government) ends, and vice versa. But this is nothing new (see Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac). Enter the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE).
The following paragraph from AEI‘s article is a good insight into the forces behind the push for UN-style sustainability initiatives (see Agenda 21) and so-called green initiatives that are giving Americans fewer and fewer product options, while dramatically raising energy costs at the same time (emphasis mine):
This wasn’t a case of an industry getting on board with an inevitable regulation in order to tweak it. The lighting industry was the main reason the legislation was moving. As the New York Times reported in 2011, “Philips formed a coalition with environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for higher standards.”
So, once again, a major business decides to get in bed with an environmental advocacy group whose sole purpose is to push and shill for federal policy that drives the science and the free market, instead of the other way around–meaning, developing sound energy policy as dictated by solid science and free enterprise, not by the government.
According to a quick Google search, “The Natural Resources Defense Council is a New York City-based, non-profit international environmental advocacy group, with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Beijing.” Huh. Offices in Beijing? Who would have ever thunk Beijing would be down with environmental sustainability? But I digress.
Frances Beinecke is president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she has been for the past 30 years. Beinecke also serves on the board for the China-US Center for Sustainable Development and the Apollo Alliance. The NDR pours a lot of resources into public education for the sole purpose of pushing the global warming and sustainability agenda.
Environmental advocacy groups, in cahoots with the federal government, are always incrementally moving their green agenda forward. If I remember correctly, the Boston Tea Party occurred over a tax increase on imported tea of around 2-3%. I’m wondering what it would take nowadays for Americans to get so fed up with a heavy-handed and oppressive federal government that they would start chucking CFL light bulbs off the ship, so to speak. Where does it all end?
It doesn’t end until we-the-people say it does. Until then, enjoy your crappy new light bulbs, America.