The Arkanssouri Blog.: Suffer from migraines?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Suffer from migraines?

(Or an aversion to mercury poisoning, for that matter?)

Then start hoarding incandescent lightbulbs now!

For those of you who don't know, fluorescent lights often make life a living hell for migraine sufferers who work under them.

Now, it seems, a coalition of lightbulb makers has sold out the American consumer and is moving to muscle out incandescents.

In March, Philips Lighting Co. and several environmental agencies announced
a coalition to phase out incandescents, saying that by the end of a 10-year
transition period the U.S. could save $18 billion a year in electricity bills
and the energy output of 80 coal-fired power plants.

Yeah, but will that $18 billion be offset by the cost of doctor's visits by migraine sufferers?

I'm not anti-fluorescent; I've got a bunch of them in my house. But I *am* pro-choice when it comes to lighting. Why remove the incandescent option, if fluorescents are indeed the second coming of the Messiah? If they are so gol-darned spectacular, wouldn't people choose to buy them?

If you have to tamper with the market, the way to do it is this -- impose a small tax on each incandescent lightbulb sold to fund a small subsidy on each fluorescent sold. Or provide a $10 million X-Prize-type reward for the first company that can mass produce fluorescent bulbs at a cost of less than the average incandescent. That would remove the price disparity between the two, and more people would choose fluorescents.

Not to save the planet, but to save money.



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