Canada will ban the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2012 as part of a plan to cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said on Wednesday.

Canada is the second country in the world to announce such a ban. Australia said in February it would get rid of all incandescent bulbs by 2009.

“Making the switch to more efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most effective things we can do to reduce energy use and harmful emissions,” Lunn told a news conference.

Has anyone noticed that these are two Conservative governments that still consider questions about responsible energy use something worth answering?

  1. Simple says:

    If we reduced the birth rate by 70%, these problems would correct themselves.

  2. James Hill says:

    You’re saying you don’t take what California is doing seriously?

    (And yes, that’s a serious question.)

    Meanwhile, the last time I bought the new bulbs they didn’t work with a dimmer. Do they now?

  3. Docred says:

    #2, we just bought some compact flourescent lights which do work with dimmer switches…not sure how commonly available they are, this was for work through an electrical/hardware dealer. They may not have penetrated deeply into the consumer retail market much yet, haven’t really noticed. They are more expensive, but I don’t remember the cost offhand.

  4. sdf says:

    I switched out a few of these bulbs for fluorescent lamps and it’s pretty cool – they definitely last a lot longer and they don’t give off so much heat. I don’t use any with a dimmer however.

  5. sewerurchin says:

    Couldn’t help but research this part of the issue. [edit: pls use tinyurl]
    Seems that helping one environmental problem may create another environmental hazard.
    Ah, such is life. Then a generation from now I suppose there will be a ban on CF bulbs and LEDs (or other ‘cleaner’ alternative) takes over.

  6. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    I object to the graphic because it falsely implies that Bush has an energy plan.

  7. DaveW says:

    I tried some of the compact florescent bulbs a while back. They took forever to get up to full output, full output was dim, the caused radio interference, AND they didn’t last nearly as long as the standard 4 for a dollar bulbs.
    Perhaps they have changed, but you know how it is…once burned.

    It might just be time to break out the Coleman Lantern, ah!

  8. bill says:

    $5.37 a gal? I bet it’s San Francisco.

    How about turning off the lights?
    Ban all outdoor advertising! too!
    try banning Television also while you’re at it…
    Only solar/windup powered radio’s/flashlights/cars should be allowed…
    Save the Polar Bears!!!!!
    Please do the right thing!

  9. mark says:

    6. Stay the course. Hey, its a plan!

  10. Mike says:

    You should try the latest CFLs from Phillips. Instant start up – nice color rendering. They work great. They won’t hit full lumen output until they warm up a bit though. The way it is with fluorescent.

  11. Eideard says:

    #2, James – Phillips also makes a CFL specifically for dimmers.

    I’ve been using CFL’s in my home/office for ~6 years, now. These were rated for 5 years and only 1 of the 4 has failed, so far. And this is a wee room that never was rated for 3 UPS’s worth of electronic/computing gear.

  12. nonStatist says:

    We should ban high end computer power supplies form home users. You don’t have a need for a power supply over two hundred watts. Playing video games is not a need. In fact owning a computer is not a need, so we should ban them. Think of all the energy we could save. Do it for the children. Huh? Don’t like it when statism is turned on you?

  13. JoaoPT says:

    I still have my first Phillips CFL I bought for my reading lamp at my parents house 20 years ago. It still lights up (flickers a bit but once going is still very bright). Currently all my light bulbs are CFL. I live in a country that charges a lot for electricity, so every penny matters.

  14. Jägermeister says:

    Has anyone noticed that these are two Conservative governments that still consider questions about responsible energy use something worth answering?

    The Canadian Government under Stephen Harper canceled several popular energy saving programs and didn’t have any plans for reinstating new ones until people got pissed off and demanded it. Being a minority Government and facing a potential new election, they had to put something in place rather quickly, so enter ecoACTION, which essentially resurrected some of the old programs under new names. Another thing they did was to essentially scrap Canada’s commitment to the Kyoto protocol and the use of the phrase Climate Change.

    I wouldn’t call the Canadian conservatives environmentalists… they’re just adjusting their politics to the general opinions of Canadians. The same reason Stephen Harper bent over for Quebec and declared that he considered Quebec as a nation within Canada.

    As for the issue with CFLs… We’ve got them throughout the house and are quite happy with them. But as sewerurchin’s (#5) link… they contain mercury. Please, don’t put them in the trash, but make sure they gets taken care of.


    There are dimmable CFLs. We’ve got two of them, and they work just fine.

  15. Mark T. says:

    Two conservative governments? Canada and Australia?!? That’s a laugh!

    Both of these nanny state governments have banned gun ownership and have a socialized state-run medical system. What is conservative about them?

    If they were truly conservative, they would let free market forces determine what bulbs are available for purchase. These bulbs are much more expensive that conventional bulbs and this is, effectively, an mandatory price increase for the consumer.

    In order to make people want to use CFL, the manufacturers should do a better job of advertising their products’ “cost over time” savings. Mandates by politicians such as this only indicate that the CFL manufacturers decided it was cheaper to pay lobbyists to buy off politicians than it was to advertise to the consumer.

  16. Peter O'Donnell says:

    >Two conservative governments? Canada and Australia?!? That’s a >laugh!

    >Both of these nanny state governments have banned gun
    >ownership and have a socialized state-run medical system. What is
    > conservative about them?

    Can’t talk about Canada because I don’t know but for the record, gun ownership in Australia isn’t banned. We have strict ownership and licensing laws but ownership is not banned. The more powerful the weapon the stricter the requirements. These laws are overwhelmingly supported by both sides of the political fence – not a conservative/liberal thing here. Just that people here simply don’t see the need to have guns. I don’t know anybody who owns a gun, never even seen one (except the pellet guns at fairs that are used to shoot metal ducks to win teddy bears).

    We do have a strong public health and hospital system, but these are run by state governments not the federal government. The Federal government is doing everything it can to lessen its involvement in the health system, confining itself to regulating, but every Australian state government is a labour (left wing) government.

    And then to get back on track. There was a policy proposal suggested by one member of the Government to ban incandescent light bulbs. It’s just a proposal not a policy, it has no debate by the party involved and is a long long way from becoming law if it happens at all. That’s fairly normal for this current government – it often puts out proposals that get publicity which help confuse people as to what their actual intentions and policy directions are – very clever strategy that has worked well for them.


  17. tallwookie says:

    lol this pic is that gas prices will be like this summer.

  18. Chris Evans says:

    Household lighting makes up just 10% of the average home’s energy use (with incandescents).

    Until governments start banning air conditioning — the biggest energy hogs and chock full of environmentally poor chemicals — they aren’t being even remotely serious about either energy savings or the environment. They’re just looking to score some cheap points and to take away that much more of our self governance. _Ban,_ for God’s sake?

  19. Slappy says:

    Is it just me or do some of these CFL’s yellow over time?

  20. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Dimmable CFLs are available on this site. And, if you’re worried about the shipping from Hawaii, they also have a warehouse in Chicago so no flying will be necessary for your particular bulbs. Or at least, no more than getting them here from China.

    As for the gasoline prices above, would that it were true!! This would truly be a step in the right direction. I’d love to see the price gradually approach the real $15/gallon price tag. Then, perhaps, just perhaps, people would make better choices on their vehicles. Check this report, if you missed it when I posted it on the Toyota thread.

  21. Bruce IV says:

    Yup, gas prices going up would be good – In Canada at least, phasing out AC would be worthwhile – no one really needs it in our climate – it never gets above 40 C even in the hottest days of summer. (That’s approx 104 F for you American types) (get with the program and standardize on Metric – everyone else does) an average day would be closer to 28 C (about 80 F)

  22. Mark T. says:

    “I’d love to see the price gradually approach the real $15/gallon price tag.”

    Be careful what you wish for. The entire economy would crash with fuel prices that high. If fuel prices quintupled, everything you use and buy will dramatically spike up in price. Entire corn crops would be used for methanol. A corn dog would cost $15 (considering the rise in cost of corn and cattle feed).

    $15 a gallon gasoline is a liberal’s dream come true. Everyone would be forced to walk or ride bicycles, become vegetarians, and live in densely packed hive-like cities where we can be more easily watched and governed. Utopia!

    But not, of course, if you are rich. They will still have limos and Gulfstream jets at their beck and call. Only the little guys will be inconvenienced.

    Sounds like Mexico to me.

  23. Greg Allen says:

    Why wait to 2012? Why even ban them?

    Just tax power-hog bulbs so that they cost a little more than energy efficient ones. The government could do this right now.

    People who really love those old bulbs could still get them but it encourages people to make the switch.

  24. steelcobra says:

    5.37 a gallon isn’t that bad. Over here in Germany it’s about 1.60Euro a liter. Which runs out to $8.22 per gallon.

  25. Docred says:

    #15 – off topic but to comment on your one of your statements : Nobody has banned gun ownership in Canada that I know…I own some legally, many of my friends/relatives own them legally. The government made it more expensive and in some cases more difficult to get them in the last few years, but they certainly aren’t banned. That being said, I own a couple rifles and a shotgun, but no handguns, they are more restricted, and personally I don’t have a big problem with that. I’ve never had a need to pack a pistol. Right to bear arms? Absolutely, in defense of my country, but not in the streets, at least not where I live.

  26. GaryM says:

    To #19.

    Yes, the lamps yellow over time. And, I like most everyone else who posted, have not received the promised 7-10 year life span.

    Regardless, I did get quite an energy savings after replacing all of my incandescent bulbs with CFLs, but as pointed out, the cost of the lamp vs the shortened life span and energy savings…it was a savings wash.

    I don’t even think it helped the environment since the chemicals in a CFL are bigger pollutants than the extra energy used.

    On the other hand…LED lamps should solve most of the problems listed above. They should be inexpensive once they reach ample market penetration, they provide instant light (no warm up time), they last long, and they don’t move the pollution from the manufacturing facility to the household. The question is, when will they be available?

  27. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #23 – Mark T.

    First, I did say gradually. Second, please keep in mind that we already pay this. We just don’t pay it at the pump. So, we’re lulled into thinking that gasoline isn’t a hugely expensive item. But, we all complain about our tax bill and just don’t think about how much of that is paying for our gasoline.

    I’m merely suggesting paying it at the pump to encourage people to make correct decisions by having costs noted at the point of purchase.

  28. Mark T. says:

    Scott, so you think you will get a tax refund as gas prices go up to where they would be otherwise? Wishful thinking, I am afraid. It will come out of the economy and not out of government.

    Oh, and Exxon will have record profits that will make last year look like a startup company.

  29. jill says:

    #14 Jägermeister’ s comments got it bang on. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are just trying to deflect criticism for backing out of Kyoto.

  30. Greg Allen says:

    #1 If we reduced the birth rate by 70%, these problems would correct themselves.

    Yeah, and that would be a whole lot easier than getting people to switch light bulbs!


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