Buy these light bulbs or else.

The efficiency standards for light bulbs that are about to go into effect amount to a ban on traditional incandescent bulbs. But don't worry about the higher cost of those new curlique bulbs, the crappy light they emit, and hazardous material they contain, the Government is doing it because we don't know any better and saving energy is the Government's primary job.

To help out the government, I offer three more energy-wasting items we can legislate out of existence:

Pets: Think of the all energy wasted feeding and watering them. Then add in the costs and energy used to clean all those carpets. And think of all the folks injured just by dog bites (4.7 million people a year bitten by dogs, 34 killed; dog bites cost over $1 billion per year). We can replace them with pet rocks.

Fireplaces: Is there a more inefficient way to heat a home? Burning wood also emits dioxins and other deadly toxins, not to mention vast amounts of soot and the dreaded carbon dioxide. And they can't be good for trees, Mother Nature's carbon sequesterers. We can replace fireplaces with long underwear.

Swimming pools: We waste energy building and heating them. They add deadly chlorine to the environment and use up precious land and fresh water. And little kids drown in them, not to mention drunk teenagers and adults. Plus, they're just not necessary. Replace them with extremely short, extremely cold showers and/or swimming in oceans, lakes, and naturally-occurring ponds.

What energy hog(s) do yo think we can do without?

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What's A Skeptical Engineer?

A questioning, sometimes humorous look at technologies, engineering, and the world.


Stephen Mraz

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from CWRU. Steve was a E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer in the U.S. Navy. He...
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