There are two ways to look at the great debate over light bulbs.
One is that government regulations meant to save energy by filling the nation’s roughly 4 billion light sockets with vastly more efficient light bulbs are an outrageous offense to personal freedom.
The other is summed up by a funny Internet spot last year for Cree’s super efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs: “The light bulbs in your house were invented by Thomas Edison in 1879. Now think about that with your 2013 brain. Do you still do your wash down at the creek while your eldest son stands lookout for wolves?” S
I know that for some when the government does anything they will come out in opposition to it. For them “if the government wants it then it must be wrong”. I like to think that at least in this issue those folks are in a distinct minority. I am perhaps at the other end of the spectrum. To me one of the primary purposes of government is to establish rules for the overall good of its populace.
While, as it should be, personal freedoms is an important part of our democracy it is not the only and maybe not even the primary purpose of government. In order to maintain our 21st century advances means that we continue gobble up more and more energy. Where we get that energy is paramount to our existence but how we use it is of equal importance. Edison’s lightbulb of 1880 has served us well but it is widely known that it actually creates more heat than light and therefore is a very inefficient means of creating luminance. Like many things we need for our own good to be told to move on to more efficient things so that we postpone, at least for the little while, destroying our earth in search of more energy.
I know that this general topic is very much a conservative vs. progressive thing. When a Republican president was in office for most of the first decade of the twenty-first century. He did little to accomplish anything in the energy conservation area. The technology was there to make a much more fuel-efficient engines for our cars but that progress had to wait until a Democrat mandated that it happen. Just in the last four years our energy consumption has dramatically improved in that area and will continue to improve in the coming years.
Sometimes it just requires collective action to spur us into where we need to go and that almost always is done by our government.