Saturday, January 11, 2014


National Geographic used to have some credibility but they have squandered the last remaining shred of honesty and integrity with their broadside of untruth about the new lights.  If one didn't know any better, one would swear that they are the official mouthpiece and spokesmen for the Government. I'll take each of their points in turn and infuse some confusion.

1. The energy-saving replacements are too expensive.  ... It is true that CFLS are often several times as expensive as old-style incandescent bulbs and...—remain more than 10 times as expensive. But sticking with old bulbs actually would cost consumers far more money over the long run. Noah Horowitz, an environmental engineer and director of the center for energy efficiency at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an email that because CFLs use far less electricity and last longer, someone who switches will save $30 to $50 on their electric bill over the bulb’s six- to ten-year lifespan. (See related: “Light Bulb Savings Calculator.”)

There is not just some question about the longevity of the new bulbs, there is outright empirical evidence that they don't last any longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs. In other words, the new lights we're permitted to have, cost 10 - 20 times as much as the old bulbs and burn for about the same duration.

2. CFL bulbs are dangerous because of their mercury content. ... But research indicates that while CFL bulbs do require more careful handling and disposal, the hazard may be blown out of proportion.  According to a 2008 article on the issue in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, CFLs typically contain from three to five milligrams of mercury—about one hundredth of the mercury content of the older thermostats that may still be found in some homes.  Researchers have found that only a tiny fraction of that is actually released when bulbs break. For example, in a study published in 2011 in the journal Environmental Engineering Science, Jackson State University researchers Yadong Li and Li Jin reported that even if left unattended for 24 hours, a broken bulb will release from 0.04 to 0.7 milligrams of mercury.  The researchers found that it would take weeks for the amount of mercury vapor in the room to reach levels that would be hazardous to a child. That can be avoided by quickly following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s simple procedure for safe cleanup.  Additionally, Horowitz suggests: “When your CFL stops working put it in a Ziploc bag and take it to Home Depot or Lowe’s, who will recycle it for you for free.”  Another way to look at the mercury content of CFLs: reducing electricity consumption by using more efficient lights might help reduce the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-burning power plants, the biggest single source of mercury pollution in the air. (See related story: “Pro-Environment Light Bulb Labeling Turns Off Conservative Buyers, Study Finds.”)

Environmentalists and alarmists have been blowing hazards way out of proportion for decades now so why is it OK this time to permit a little toxicity in the name of making money for the new light bulb manufacturers? What is the liability for the makers of these toxic light bulbs? Are these fools the new Dow Chemical, W. R. Grace and smoking lobby all rolled up and ready for delivery to the same courts that gutted Grace?
Some old houses contain mercury? Call the Police! Is this like some houses contain lead based paint that was banned almost 45 years ago so all paint is suspect?
You would knowingly introduce a toxic into homes with small children; the same children that suffer from diseases nearly eliminated in the United States by vaccines, because a quack doctor in Britain published a totally fraudulent study in the Lancet that claimed the tiny bit of mercury in thimerosol caused autism in children? Are you serious?
If the Government legislates a perfectly acceptable and safe light bulb out of existence and tells me I have to spend far more money to buy replacement bulbs and then tries to tell me it's safe for me and safe for my child and that I must therefore dispose of it very carefully as Toxic Waste, who do they think they're fooling? That sucker is just going in the trash.

3. CFL bulbs are dangerous because of ultraviolet radiation leakage.  Miriam Rafailovich, told National Geographic News that she believes the defects occur during manufacturing or shipping. “This is something that could be remedied,” she said.

How would any consumer know if their bulbs were leaking radiation like Chernobyl?* How many of us have radiation detectors in our homes? That UL Seal on your microwave in the kitchen used to be guarantee enough that it wasn't spewing radiation into you but with light bulbs made by scores of manufacturers, who would ever know if they were dangerous?

4. The new bulbs either can’t be used with dimmer switches, or don’t work efficiently with them.That is true of the regular CFL bulbs sold in stores, but most of the LED bulbs on the market today are, in fact, dimmable, according to Horowitz. He advised consumers to look for LEDs whose
packaging indicates that they work with dimmer switches.
Progress sure takes some odd turns when it is legislated and has no relationship to science.

 5. CFLs won’t light up, or are too dim, in cold temperatures. Horowitz says this is a legitimate criticism of CFL, which have a hard time starting up in extremely cold climates. “If your bulb is located outdoors, say in your porch light, and you want an energy saving bulb, go with LEDs,” he advised.
 In other words, it doesn't work in the same conditions and environment as the light bulbs you used to be able to buy at any store.

To be honest, I'm not worried about the new light bulbs or afraid of them and when they burn out I don't hesitate to approach them, unscrew them and toss them into the trash. I simply dislike the shameless dishonesty of National Geographic which lies about nearly everything these days.
National Geographic News:
Photo: Most Polar Bears Gone By 2050, Studies Say
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will vanish as melting sea ice causes the animals to starve, according to a new series of reports from the U.S. Geological Survey. The bears prey on marine mammals from the ice, and so will have diminished access to food as warmer climates reduce their hunting grounds.  The new studies are meant to inform the U.S. government in its decision whether to list the bears as an endangered species.
Does it say something about American universities that the people that National Geographic hires to write and edit its stuff are so lost to science and journalism that they don't question authority and are ignorant of science? Do all students who study geophysics and meteorology walk into the job market with the credulous ignorance of the kids in the Heaven's Gate Cult?

Honestly, the millennium they were so afraid of has been here for 14 years now and it's still going strong. It's time for all the "End Of The World" and Millennial Doomsday Cults to fold their tents and go away. They can go count polar bears by hand for all of me.

* yes yes I know it's just UV radiation but we are debunking scary, and a little over-the-top hyperbole in the name of science is what they do so I thought I'd have a lash at it too.


  1. Boy, you're preaching to the choir with me, Curtis. I'm pretty sure my bile level matches yours. FWIW another drawback to leds for street-lights is that they are highly directional vis the more omni-directional incandescents so that they provide less sq footage coverage which diminishes their effectiveness in providing side-walk security or road visibility. There is a case in Sydney, AUS right now where a women is suing the city claiming she was mugged because the new LED street-lights caused "black-out" areas between the poles and she was mugged as a result of the (you guessed it, Muslim) thugs taking advantage of that fact. (A great site to monitor for all eco-inanities world-wide is a site in Brisbane run by a ret. conservative PhD (Psychology--the only sane in-touch-with-reality one I've ever read--a guy highly critical of his own profession, btw) John J. Ray, age 75 called "Greenie Watch." Go SEE! )

    *He also has separate blogs: "Political Correctness Watch"/"Dissecting Leftism"/Australian politics"/ "Education Watch International"/ "Eye on Britain"/"Tongue-tied" (free-speech issues)/"Immigration Watch International"/"Food & Health Skeptic"

    He updates them ALL daily! He had another, "Socialized Medicine" which he discontinued in 2011 and now integrates into his other blogs re AUS/GB/US and another, "Gun Watch" (ALL things politically gun related plus daily citations of fire-arm use to defend homes in all English-speaking countries) which an associate now runs but is linked on his blogroll. A really remarkable guy and a sort of "one-stop shopping" aggregation site. PLEASE give him a visit!

  2. Good job, Curt. I've subscribed to NatGeo since 1976 but I'm thinking VERY seriously about NOT renewing my subscription this year. It seems like every freakin' issue of the magazine has at least one article about Global Warming. What BS.

    As for light bulbs? I have a lifetime supply of 100 watt incandescents. I'm not worried.

    1. I thought about stocking up but decided that they will come back. We'll have bulb smugglers of the apocalypse before too much longer. I'll trade with them. Can't you see it now? I'll trade them my legal marijuana for their illegal light bulbs! Thank you the morons in government.

      Now if only I had some legal drugs.....

    2. Spring just thundered in. You would have liked it. Thunder and lightening. Way better then rusty old light bulbs. Abide with the grace.