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Getting It [Apr. 17th, 2007|03:41 pm]
On Friday, I went to two talks about global warming. The first was over at CU, part of the Conference on World Affairs, by former congressman Tim Wirth. What I found really interesting about it was that he spent a few minutes at the beginning going over the whole (by now very tiresome to me) "global warming is bad" thing. What I found remarkable is that he then stopped talking about it, and spent the rest of his time talking about what we can do about it. Moreover, he really emphasized that we need to not regard it as an insurmountable challenge, but as a situation where necessary change is also an opportunity.

The second talk was here at work, by Amanda Staudt, who works for the National Wildlife Federation, and was about the recent dramatic shift in U.S. attitudes toward climate change. Among other things, she talked about hearings about the subject on Capitol Hill, and already this year there have been, like, ten times as many congressional hearings on the subject as there used to be in a typical year. (I know of three people in my department who are flying to DC this week for hearings.)

So, that's an impressive and dramatic shift.

More impressive? Even folks like Newt Gingrich get it now. (Boston Glob article, registration and linkrot warning)
"Gingrich praised Kerry's recently released book about environmentalism, acknowledged that global warming is real, and offered what amounted to an unexpected apology for his party's inaction on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions."



I think it's going to take a little while to get over the shock and move on to discussing what to do about it. We're not used to having people actually listen...

[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2007-04-17 10:44 pm (UTC)
CF lightbulbs are kind of tricky, because manufacturers and environmentalists seem reluctant to acknowledge that they flicker and the color spectrum sucks, and that those are serious problems for most consumers. (I'm with you on that topic.)

But I understand that they have improved quite a bit over the last few years. We have one lamp that's CF, and I don't totally hate it. (The others are mostly halogens...)

The Intarwebs tells me that although CF bulbs have mercury in them, it's less than the amount of mercury that would be put into the environment from burning coal to power an incandescent bulb instead, which I believe. (The same is true of nuclear power plants vs coal plants with regard to radiation emitted.)

I think we'll all start switching to CF bulbs just in time to start using LEDs for lighting instead.
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2007-04-17 11:10 pm (UTC)
We've almost completely switched to CF bulbs, except in the bedroom.

We're pretty happy with them. The spectrum's not nearly as bad as you'd think, and the flicker is not really noticeable.

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2007-04-17 11:19 pm (UTC)
Experience suggests that I'm a lot more sensitive to spectrum and flicker than most people are. I know the newer ones have gotten better, but I'm reserving judgment until I have more personal exposure.
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2007-04-17 11:39 pm (UTC)
Well, you know, you could always, say . . . COME VISIT!!!!

. . . or something.

I'm just sayin' is all.

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[User Picture]From: k8cre8
2007-04-18 12:07 am (UTC)
We're at 50% of the lights in the house right now (waiting on a few of the old ones to die), and I rarely even notice. Honestly, even if there weren't environmental concerns, I dislike changing light bulbs enough that it's worth the cost to not have to change them so often. I know, I'm weird.
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[User Picture]From: thedragonweaver
2007-04-18 01:10 am (UTC)
I have heard good recommendations about the GE branded CF bulbs, particularly the daylight-mimicking ones. I've heard tepid to mediocre reviews about other brands, and of at least one case where a person got a dud GE. So I think the idea is to get some and test them.

We've got some CFs in our dual lightbulb fixtures (one CF, one oldstyle) because we were worried about the flicker; given how often we've had to replace the regular, I think I'll try some GEs the next time around and see if there are any flicker concerns.
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[User Picture]From: melted_snowball
2007-04-18 01:29 am (UTC)
D. has switched his bedside lamp to CF, and then switched mine, too. And I didn't like it. (The humming annoys me, too.)

We have lots of them elsewhere in our house. I think we're pretty much at carrying capacity, now. (And we have a pile of leftovers with no home. :-(
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