I originally started writing this in January of this year. It has been saved as a draft, awaiting further reflection and completion, since then. I have decided to publish it as is. Some points are unfinished, paragraphs wander off, analogies unrefined and lacking competent argument... but the core of what I say is true. Over the year I have heard others argue the same points as I.So they want to ban the humble incandescent lamp by this time next year, but is this just another radical "Green" token suggestion to make the Green Party seem like theres a reason for them being in power. As a CFL user and supporter it comes at great pain to say that this is something we should reject completely.
The world is fucked, or so say the environmentalists. We must alter our consumption lifestyle before the world is terminally thermally damaged. We are told that by switching to CFL's we can help make a change.
Imagine if you will that Frankenstein lives somewhere near Kerry. He loves to re-animate the dead every Friday night. He puts a huge strain on the electrical supply grid. His electrical consumption dwarfs that of any normal household but he uses CFL lamps exclusively, so therefore he is "greener" than another lesser electrical user with a few incandescent lamps scattered around his house.
By in large you cant directly increase green house gases by using electricity in your home. There is no process (bar say, a chemistry experiment) where upon the application of electricity a toxic gas is produced. Once electricity is created it is extremely "green". How you use it is irrelevant. There is nothing toxic about having an incandescent bulb in your house. The same can not be said of the CFL which contains dangerous gases and amounts of mercury. When you take into account of the vast costs associated with disposing of these dangerous items, the costs of replacing incompatible light fittings, one has to really question the benefits of CFL's carbon footprint and environmental impact.
So how you use electricity isn't the big baddie they make out. Instead emphasis should be placed on how much electricity you use, because the more thats produced the more green house gas thats created. The Greens should concentrate their energy on introducing a total [Not sure where this was leading]
There is already an elegant system in place to encourage you to reduce your strain on the grid: its called your ESB bill. If you use a lot, if youre a power hog, then your bill will reflect this. It is a beautiful example of the much spoke of "the polluter pay's" system. While the process of slapping on TAX's willy-nilly disgust me, it would make a lot more sense to TAX the charge for a kilowatt hour than ban a harmless lamp and force people to use a more dangerous replacement. If the Greens were serious about saving the environment, they would [insist on greater governmental investments into green energy production]
Logically, the simple fact is: If all our current power supplies were generated solely by renewable means, incandescent lamp use would not increase green house gases. It would in fact make environmental sense to use incandescents instead of CFL's.