Monday, September 20, 2010

Save the world: Have you made the change?

I watched the news yesterday with interest. GE just closed their last light bulb factory in the US. They manufactured incandescent bulbs.

It was 1876 when Thomas Alva Edison opened a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he could explore the possibilities of the dynamo and other electrical devices that he had seen in the Exposition. Out of that laboratory was to come perhaps the greatest invention of the age - a successful incandescent electric lamp.

On September 24, General Electric will close its lamp plant in Winchester, Virginia. It's the company's last U.S. factory producing plain, old incandescent light bulbs.

New energy standards will phase out the old bulbs by 2014, and eventually they'll be all but banned in this country. Millions of Americans will be forced to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFL's, most of which are made overseas.

Seems the invention Thomas Edison perfected and patented 130 years ago is flickering and fading. What would the famous inventor think about that?

"I think Edison would have had two reactions," said Paul Isreal, a professor at Rutgers University who has devoted his life to studying Edison. "I think on the one hand he would have been disappointed that we were losing the incandescent light as the primary lighting in the United States. "

"On the other hand, Edison was always somebody that was looking forward," Isreal added.

In February 2007, then Climate Change Minister David Parker announced a similar proposal to ban the incandescent light to the one in Australia, except that importation for personal use would have been allowed.

My friends joked that when they went abroad, on their return, their suitcases are full of these incandescent light bulbs because it was so much cheaper there.

The Green party is very angry when the new proposed ban was scrapped by the new government in December 2008.

For our family, the water engineer has long made the switch. He likes the bright light. When friends come to our house, they LOL at our fusion of old and new. The old chandelier and the energy saving light bulbs.


Ginny Hartzler said...

That is for sure a strange chandelier! I'm interested in all this info. We still have the old incandescent bulbs. I have heard that it is poisonous if you break the new kind, they spread mercury or something. And with little girls here crawling and all, that is not good. So the change scares me. Have you made a comparison, which puts out more light, or are they both the same? Thanks for all this info!!

SandyCarlson said...

How the world changes. It's great when the change is for the better, but it seems there is always a price to pay in jobs and, therefore, lives. Thanks for this post.

Reanaclaire said...

I am also using energy saving lights... it helps in a way..
hey, the chandelier looks unique..

Ensurai said...

The frugal Chinese would surely take the leap to change to the new energy saving bulbs.....In some parts of our house we still use flourescent tubes (the cheapest)due to the wiring system and most of our bulbs are energy saving ones.

Very interesting post. I like the part about Edison.