I'm a liberal. I don't like banning things. I'm an environmentalist, I think destroying the planet is a Bad Thing, and am fairly convinced by the science on climate change. But, as is always the case, liberalism wins out. Banning traditional lightbulbs is a bad idea.

Sometimes, they're the most efficient method of both heating and lighting something; lava lamps my be kitsch decorative junk not to everyone's taste, but there's no reason to ban them. Snake and reptile housings also benefit from a combine light/heat source, etc. Sometimes, they're simply a very cheap alternative, and when you're living on very little money at all, and generally don't use lights that much but need to have them, they're an acceptable option.

The answer, therefore, is not to ban them. The liberal answer is to apply a pigouvian tax on them. You can even, if you like, apply a pigouvian subsidy on the much more expensive, complex and hard to dispose of safely "environmentally friendly" bulbs containing mercury and other expensive poisons to make them cheaper. But banning something? It's just asking for trouble:

German heatball wheeze outwits EU light bulb ban | Reuters (via)
Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.
I think Herr Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law deserve a little bit of praise for their Heatball project. And they're not even breaking the law, just showing it up as the futility it is.
Meme time:
-Choose a book genre
-Choose five books from that genre
-Tell me why I should read them.
Nice'n simple. I pick history:
  1. An Utterly Impartial History of Britain (or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in charge)--John O'Farrell

  2. Everyone should know at least the basics of the history of these islands )
  3. The Glorious Revolution (1688--Britain's Fight for Liberty)--Edward Vallance

  4. Pop quiz: When was Britain last successfully invaded?
    Well, have a guess. The late 17thC is )a crucial phase in British history, and this is an excellent primer into it.
  5. Battle Cry of Freedom (The American Civil War) James M. McPherson

  6. knowing how America came to be the way it is is essential for everyone ).
  7. The long 19th century--Eric Hobsbawm

  8. The modern world was created by the 19th Century, economically, socially and politically. Understanding it is probably a good thing. )
  9. John Stuart Mill (Victorian Firebrand)--Richard Reeves

  10. If you already think you're a liberal, you ought to have read this book. If you don't think you're a liberal, you should read this anyway )

OK, that was longer than I expected it to be. [livejournal.com profile] ginasketch's meme got me geeking about both books and history. Which has got me writing properly again. I'll try to keep it up. Guess I'd better cut the bulk of the text then...
Chris Dillow responds to the question:
Iain Dale is inviting people to complete the sentence, "you know you're a Conservative when..."
OK. Here goes:
7 typical unthinking Tory positions )
The comments to both posts are comedy brilliance as well. Plus more than half at Iain's made me want to say "no doofus, that makes you a liberal" (note the lack of capitalisation there is deliberate, not all liberals are Liberals, and unfortunately a chunk of Liberals aren't liberal—there are also liberals within all the main British parties).

NB: Caveats about conservatism )

Hmm, I know, let's turn this into a little meme. Duncan informed me earlier that Facebook now has a Political Compass application[1]. My liking of the Compass as a good way of broadly assisting you place yourself and opinions remains strong, and the app is fairly good, so...

Either install the Facebook App [2]or complete the test on the main website, and post your results either in a post or in a comment here. It's been ages since we did this, lots of new friends and people may have clarified their opinions if they've done it before.

I'm now at:

Economic Left/Right: -2.50

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.69

Political Compass graph )
Which means I've moved (again) further down (I used to be at -5) and also closer to the center (I was at -5 there as well). So that's 4 times I've taken it (third on here), and each time I've moved further down and further to the middle. I remain convinced that it's because they're classifiying support for markets on the left/right spectrum when as they're strongly an aspect of econic activity, they should be on the up/down axis.

Alternatively, of course, we could try to answer Iain's questions: You know you're a conservative when.

Anyone else looking forward to there being an actual Tory policy on something? I dunno, thinking of running an anti Govt tactical voting campaign isn't made easier when it involves you persuading people to vote for Mr Cameron's Flip Flops...

Footnotes... )
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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