20 February 2007

Planting the Bulb of a Good Idea

News that Australia plans to ban incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs led to me this site: Ban the Bulb, whose campaign goals are to

Increase the cost of incandescent light bulbs
Reduce the sales tax (VAT) on CFLs [compact fluorescent lights] from 17.5% to 5%
Ban the sale of incandescents by a specific date
Help the poor to replace their incandescents
Help the poor to save money on their bills
Encourage the responsible recycling of CFLs
Include light bulbs in the EU's Eco Directive
Explain the benefits of greater energy efficiency
Accelerate the uptake of available technologies

Banning incandescent light bulbs it would...Save the UK 3.6 Million tonnes of CO2 per year

This is an idea that has occurred to me (and to millions of others, I suspect), so it's good to see someone doing something about it.

As Matt Prescott, the founder of the campaign, explains:

If we cannot deny ourselves incandescent light bulbs, which would require minimal sacrifice, how are we ever going to do the really difficult things such as cutting our reliance on fossil fuels, buying smaller cars or reducing our use of finite natural resources?

Ending the life of this inefficient and obsolete technology is not enough to prevent damaging climate change; but it is an easy first step, and one the world should not hesitate to take.

This needs to be done now. We can all contribute - I've now replaced about 95% of the bulbs I use, with the others scheduled to disappear soon - but governments must get involved too.

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