Monday, August 31, 2009

Sick and fired

Way to go guys. So the government - Democrats and Republicans - passed a bill that is going to phase out incandescent light bulbs and force us all to us to buy fluorescent light bulbs instead.* This, we are assured, will save the planet. Maybe so but it’s not doing much for the people who live on the planet: not only is this dim bulb of an idea destroying jobs in the United States it’s also poisoning workers in China.

The bibliography for State of Fear includes a description of Searching For Safety by Aaron Wildavsky (my hyperlink):

Drawing on data from a wide range of disciplines, Wildavsky argues that resilience is a better strategy than anticipation, and that anticipatory strategies (such as the precautionary principle) favor the social elite over the mass of poorer people.

I’m well aware that those who desperately want to save the planet sneer at Michael Crichton. I suspect, however, that neither Crichton nor Wildavsky would be surprised to discover that the light bulb legislation was supported by the Alliance to Save Energy - which includes such light bulb luminaries as Philips - and by General Electric. - the very company busy closing factories in Kentucky, Virginia, and Ohio while making fluorescents in China.


* I feel compelled to quote Representative Ted Poe who, according to Wikipedia, contended “that the United States Constitution does not give the federal government the power to determine what light bulbs people are allowed to use.”

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