Jenny EriksonIn a move that’s crazy even for California, the land of fruits and nuts is banning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. We have to save Santa from global warming, after all. Starting January 1, 2011, California will begin a yearlong phase-out of the offensive bulbs, emptying store shelves of them by 2012.
The other forty-nine states will follow next year. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act was enacted to ‘Save the Earth.’ It bans the production, sale, or use of 100-watt incandescent bulbs across the country by the year 2014. Because people aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions about how to light their homes.
Many people will choose to replace their evil incandescent light bulbs with those curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). According to the government, it’s better to potentially expose your children to mercury than to use a tiny bit of extra energy. CFLs contain mercury, and most be disposed of at a toxic waste facility.
I’m all for good stewardship of the earth, but I also believe in freedom of choice and personal responsibility. People are resourceful. We like to invent better ways of doing things. Once upon a time, people got tired of using candles or whale oil to light their homes, so they figured out that whole electricity thing. We invented cars as a better mode of transportation than walking or riding a horse. Washing machines, hair dryers, cell phones, gas grills, digital video recorders, and a plethora of other modern conveniences have made life better for most people -- and all were brought into popular use without the ‘help’ of the government.
We don’t need the government to tell us what’s good for us. We know that too much salt in our diet in unhealthy. We know that pogo sticks can be dangerous. We know that the cords in blinds pose a safety risk to children. We know we’re supposed to cut up hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for our toddlers.
People are smart, and we will always figure out better, faster, cheaper, cleaner, more efficient ways of doing things. We don’t need a nanny-state hovering over us, taking away our ability to make our own decisions.