Sunday, December 23, 2007

Selective rage...

All these light bulb rants out there are so very confusing.

Where were y'all when they shrunk your toilet tank ten years ago?

Or when they screwed up your A/C?

Or when they stuffed a platinum-plated potato up your car's tailpipe back in '75?

They have a magic wand, kids, and they mean to use it.


Carteach said...

Relevant examples, in more ways than maybe you think....

The smaller toilet tank, which was supposed to save water? Ended up wasting far more. People are far more likely now to flush twice to make it work once. They also clog more often, requiring more water to clear (as well as caustic chemicals. Net result: Far more water usage.

The refrigerant issue? The only reason that happened is because Dupont's patent on 'R-12', Dicloreflourmethane (sp) ran out.
They needed a new lock on the market, and the R-12 'ban' with a switch to R-134a gave them that.
Thing is.... R-134a is no better than R-12 at ozone destruction. They are the same where that's concerned. Also, R-134a is harder to contain in a sealed system, so leaks are far more common.
Net result: MORE ozone depletion.

A fun unintended result... the largest single user of R-12 threw an extreme hissy fit when it was banned... and it's now back in production far above pre-ban levels. They being.... the US military.

The catalytic converter? Sure, it's works fine, but is almost unnecessary with modern vehicles. On the other hand, the mining operations for the platinum, palladium, and rhodium used in the converters have caused far more environmental damage than what is done by what little NOx coming out an exhaust these days. The HC and CO are dealt with by engine control systems anymore, not the converter.
Net result..... The converter causes more environmental damage that it cures.

The common factor.... What congress touches, congress royally screws up.

The light bulb deal is no different. Incandescents cause little material pollution, but the mercury in fluorescents is extraordinarily dangerous.

As far as people not seeming to pay attention, or care when they do...
It fails to surprise me anymore.
Ayn Rand explained why.

Anonymous said...

Check out OnStar.

And cat's work a lot better if you take them off, punch something through them and put them back on. Unless of course you live in an emissions check area...

(I now await the "but it's the law!" weenies)

Anonymous said...

Most of those I can at least live with. The one you neglect is the worst offender of all: the low flow shower head.

Fortunately you can still modify some (but not all) new shower heads to return them to full capacity.

Roberta X said...

The law is an ass, OA.

...And I suppose so was I on those earlier items. I did fume about the most recent of them and I took steps to retain a properly-flushing w.c. in my own home, but for most of those infringements, I was, in one sense or another, a babe in arms when they happened.

I'm not, now.

If we want to get picky, the knee of the curve is around 1913 and the feller who signed off on a lot of new and sucky bits of fedgov.meddling was dear ol' Teddy Rooseveldt. FDA is one of his, if I recollect.

...The Fed ramp-up started even farther back with the power-grab of 1791, and was puffin' and spittin' smoke under Mr. Lincoln during the Late Unpleasentness.

I wasn't there for those things, either.

Yeah, it's just darn light bulbs (and there are some pretty cool LED replacements on the horizon), but I'm in my own sandbox now and I'm drawin' my line right here at "Edison."

"Rope, Congress, tree," there's got to be a pony in there somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Roberta X said...
The law is an ass, OA.

Especially when said law promises to levy huge fines for tampering with an emissions device. Sod 'em.

Carteach said...

I'm in the auto repair business, sorta, kinda. I do instruct and certify emissions inspectors for the state, as well as safety inspection.

The ONLY time I have ever heard of fines being levied for removing emissions devices..... was on the city of Philadelphia! They pulled them off their police cars and city trucks, rather than repair them, en masse.

Anonymous said...

Who is..... Carteach0? said...
The common factor.... What congress touches, congress royally screws up.

Indeed. That new 35 mpg bullshit? Absolutely going to kill the middle class with $30,000 Honda Civics. All to save--what?--one million barrels of oil a day by 2020 if memory serves? How many barrels do the illegals use a day?

Brian J. said...

No one was paying attention because:

Toilet tanks and shower heads are the plumber's problems.
A/C is the HVAC guy's problem.
Catalytic converters are the mechanic's problem.

Now, suddenly, the government is impeding a task that the common man can do, and something that the normal citizen pays for regularly. Now, in essence, they have come for the me.

Jonathan said...

Selective rage, indeed. I couldn't agree more.

People tend to defend their pet issues at the expense of others. Specifically: they'll vote in a religious-right, authoritarian, big government politician as long as he/she is "pro gun".

Keep the big picture in mind.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can't help but think that people looking at the rising price of electricity would switch to neon .... _where it makes sense_.

Up here in the frozen north neon bulb don't work - at all - in unheated garages in winter. Same with most outdoor lights.

If you don't think that when cheap LED lights come along people won't switch to something that takes 15x+ as long to wear out and uses 1/100 of the electricity.... snort.

I'm not so sure about the catalyser question, they are pricey... are they mandated or do the cars just have to meet the emissions ratings? If the cars can meet the emissions without them the Car co's will be lobbying like heck to get rid of them.

Besides, Platinide mining tends to a by product of other mining, i.e. very often copper mines also produce gold as a by-product. The extra amount of mining is de-minimis, it's more a question of being bothered to refine it out because there's a lucrative market.

Anonymous said...

No internet to speak of when most of those things happened, that's all.

Nobody will remember any of this in the voting booth anyway. Lesser of two evils and all that.

Jonathan said...

on a side note, I replaced all the light bulbs in my home with CFLs.

I did it for economic reasons, not because of a government mandate. CFLs are more expensive but use far less electricity and last a lot longer. In the long run, I save money.

Anonymous said...

I replace some of my lights with CFLs sometime ago, and I find I am not satisfied with the quality of the light, and I usually have to have more of them on to get the same light.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lighting designer.

I think I'm going to have to gouge my eyes out.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part is that even with all these examples of how the feds can meddle at will, people still think the outcome of the Heller case will make a whit of difference in either direction.

Anonymous said...

Keep the big picture in mind

What exactly is the big picture?

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show ya, politicians (read: lawyers) shouldn't pretend to be engineers.

I could get ca. 30 mpg in my Beetle (when it was 35 cents a gallon), but I wasn't hauling near as much stuff nearly as fast as I do today in air-conditioned comfort. Am I going to get whacked with a gas-guzzler tax because my job requires hauling large amounts of stuff a long way on a daily basis?

oa touched on a pet peeve of mine. Obviously, GM wasn't selling nearly enough OnStar vehicles (and OnStar services), so now they are putting it in everything I was interested in buying from them. NOW they're offering an optional "free" 70 mph electronic govenor. How long before it becomes mandatory "For the Chilllldren'?

Low-flow toilets and shower heads are particularly annoying to those of us on a well and septic tank, because we get it all back.

I agree with oa on another point; whatever The Congress messes with, The Congress screws up royally.

I think I'm going to start smuggling toilets and shower heads from Canadia; I can`t be the only malcontent out there.

Anonymous said...

Uh, I was 14 when they outlawed large-capacity toilets.

There needs to be an auto-flush toilet which just wastes water. It could flush every five minutes. (Perhaps one of those Japanese high-tech toilets?)

We need a Light Bulb Rebellion. It'll be like the Whiskey Rebellion, except with less drunkenness.

Word Verification: bjwhif

Rob K said...

Where were we ten years ago? Not on the internet.

Carteach said...

That last might be the most interesting point of all.

There is an entire social mechanism in place now that wasn't there even ten years ago.

The internet... and blogdom.

What exactly will that mean to issues like this (if anything)?
I think we have already seen in the last year issues that changed, and changed wildly, simply because people could find out about them without depending on the major media.

Let a video hit the net, and all of a sudden a prosecution is dropped and 'authority figures' are job hunting. Congress tries to ram through an abjectly stupid immigration bill, and it all goes kerflooie when some communist agent actually releases the text of it to the public and they READ it.... something most congresscritters can't be bothered to do.

It's a new world today, and will be again tomorrow... and the day after.. and...

This election cycle is going to tell us what all this means I think. The candidates can't say or do SQUAT without getting fact checked, parodied, and laughed at in colon cleansing depth.

Lets see if enough people are awake, enough, or if John Galt was right.

CGHill said...

"Where were we ten years ago? Not on the internet."

Speak for yourself. :)

Justin Buist said...

I was aged 17, 15, and "unfertilized egg" respectively.

The toilet nonsense still ticks me off. Not a week goes buy that I don't see a turd floating in the bowl and think of the federal government.

Anonymous said...

(You missed the "clothes washers that don't wash clothes.")

It's a plot to turn America into Soviet-era eastern Europe: We have toilets that won't flush, air conditioners that won't air condition, refrigerators that won't refrigerate, washers that won't wash, showers that don't shower, cars that don't run, and now light bulbs that leave us in the dark. It's just like Bulgaria, c.a. 1956!

Anonymous said...

Old Grouch--

Thanks for the heads-up.

Looks like the Whirlpool is going to have to soldier on for a few more years.

IIRC, it took GM and others a little while to get the bugs out of Electronic Fuel Injection, too.

KD5NRH said...

Well, I use mostly CFLs here, because it makes economic sense in the proper applications for them. It wouldn't in an area where people keep the heat on most of the year. Incandescents are 100% efficient if you want light and heat from them; 3% of the energy used becomes light, and 97% becomes heat.
Here in Texas, except for this short bit of the year, that 58.2W of heat output is a double waste; it's also 58.2W of heat the air conditioner has to deal with, but when you want the house warmed up, it's taking load off the heater.

Anonymous said...

Glad I have a Canadian hook-up for toilet replacements, a hacksaw for catalytic converters, and 3 cans of r12 left.
Now that I think about it, with those 3 changes alone, shouldn't the Earth already be saved?
Unless of course an asteroid knocks Mars out of orbit and into us around the end of January.

I wonder if this bulb thing is really due to some sort of (ammo-related) tungsten shortage that needs alleviated?

Rob K said...

cghill, I meant the bulk of America, not anyone in particular. I've been on since I went to college in `91.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, the local Home Depot has 4 packs of 60w and 100w incandecent bulbs for $.77 and $.92 per package. A C-note buys an awful lot of bulbs at those prices.
Did I mention that the wife really hates the light from fluorescent bulbs...

Unknown said...

Man, I hate CFLs. I tried to like them and replaced a number of incandescent bulbs with them, but the quality of light is so horrible that I had to get rid of them.