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.
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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