Friday, February 23, 2007

Ginty's Bright Idea & Some Questions for Ginty

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, a couplafew weeks back, I wrote up a boog story on my boogin' buddy Zorpheous's idea fer Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFB's). Now, a lightbulb went on over top o' Dalton Ginty's head. Here's a whole bunch from CTV.ca -

TORONTO -- Ontario is considering becoming the first province in Canada to follow Australia's lead in banning old-fashioned, energy-sucking light bulbs, Environment Minister Laurel Broten said Wednesday as the province draws up a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

Conservative Leader John Tory and environmental groups are urging the government to ban incandescent bulbs in favour of energy-efficient ones, saying it's the push people need to save electricity and a move that would eliminate much of the province's dependence on coal-fired power plants.

"There are a lot of great ideas out there and that's one of them,'' Broten said. "Everything is on the table.''

No one in Ontario should underestimate the importance of replacing standard bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, Broten added. By Premier Dalton McGuinty's estimate, replacing every old-fashioned bulb with an energy-efficient one would allow the province to shut down one coal-fired power plant.


Now, I think it's a dang good idea an' anybuddy who complains the nanny state is tellin' everyone how t' live can kiss my Canajun keester. Air pollution from them dirty coal plants kills 3,000 Canajuns each an' every year. If we can shut one down, we can save lives. If you ain't fer savin' lives, yer hankerin' fer coupla JimBobby-flavoured knuckle samwitches.

Okay, so I give Ginty credit an' now I'm callin' him down. Ginty, how 'bout you start ridin' the TTC an' drivin' in a hybrid car an' thinkin' 'bout the gummint's own carbon footprint? Same goes fer yer chauffeur-driven ministers.

Here's my first question an' if there's sumbuddy readin' who works in Queen's Park, maybe they got an answer --

How many incandescant bulbs are there in Queen's Park?

I really wanna know but I'm bettin' that nobuddy has an answer. I'm emailin' my MPP but the Confeller sed once before he never bothers with email so I ain't countin' on a reply. I'm hopin' he's moved inta the 21st century.

While the gummint's countin' up how many bulbs they got, they can get busy buyin' new CFB's t' replace 'em. If they already replaced 'em all, I'll eat a bug on YouTube.

When we see MPP's an' the Premier Ontariariarian wastin' energy an' pumpin' CO2 inta the air while they're preachin' conservation, we see jest what we expect -- pontificatin' hypocrites. So my big question is to ol' Ginty hisself --

What is the Ontario government doing to reduce it's own carbon footprint?

Specifically:

  1. The government purchases hundreds of vehicles for various ministry operations, policing, etc. Does the government have a procurement policy that requires public funds be spent on fuel efficient and/or hybrid vehicles?

  2. Buildings are one of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions. Has the government embarked on an energy audit program for all Ontario's publicly owned buildings?

  3. Ontario collects a hefty 8% sales tax. What is Ontario doing by way of tax incentives to encourage reduced energy use?

  4. Government properties like the grounds of public buildings and parks require lawn-cutting and landscape maintenance. What measures have been taken to ensure that eco-friendly methods are employed with regard to gasoline powered equipment, weed and pest control, planting of native species, etc.?

I had ol' James Robert write them questions on accounta the fellers an' gals who might have the answer probbly can't read well enuff fer JimBobby's dialectics. I'm sending most o' this here boog story t' ol' Toby Barrett, MPP, an' I'll keep everybuddy posted on what he sez back.

Yores trooly,
JimBobby

11 comments:

saskboy said...

I hope you get a reply, and also action from your letter. It doesn't take a lot of effort to change most lightbulbs.

There are minor problems with outlawing the sale of the old ones. So long as their use isn't banned, I'll support a sale ban. There are valid uses for incandescents, such as lighting for people willing to both pay more for electricity, and who are unable to enjoy the slightly different light that fluorescent bulbs give off. Also, vehicles, appliances, and unique devices may not be compatible with CF Lights yet. So long as 90% of the bulbs out there switch, we're doing a good thing. To enforce 100% compliance is the nanny state thing people worry about.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Good points, Sasky. The ins'n'outs o' any legislation sure ain't carved in stone yet.

I got a little trouble with sayin' jest cause sumbuddy can pay extra, they ought be able t' force our pollutin' coal-fired generators t' supply 'em. One complaint people have with Kyoto is that rich countries can pay t' pollute. I reckon we're livin' in a society an' we need rules that work fer the good of us all.

Yer 90% thing is sensible an' sellable, sez I.

Here in my county, we got a situation with water. If sumbuddy wants t' put in a automatic lawn-sprinklin' system, they gotta drill a well on their property. Usually, they gotta go down 'bout 175' an' it costs an' they need the pressure pump an' all so it's only the really rich ones who do it.

Anyway, I'm watchin' fer a reply from ol' Toby my MPP.

Thanks fer droppin' by.

JB

bigcitylib said...

Ditto Saskboys point. There are some legit uses for incandescents. For example, heat lights (like I used to use for my terrarium).

JimBobby said...

Whooee! You fellers is right as rain an' commonsense always needs t' prevail. Like with the gummint purchasin' gas-guzzlin' V8's fer some o' their vehicles like police cruisers fer the 401.

Whatcha raisin' up in the terrarium, BigCity? Homegrown terrists?

JB

Frank Frink said...

Hello jimbobby!

I've been reading your boog scribblin's for some time now - Enjoy 'em by the way - but have never posted any comments before.

So here goes - it's off topic somewhat - I've always wondered what it's like to be a Greenie in your area what with all the polluters around you - the refineries, the coal generating plant etc... Realize that the coal plant is winding down and all that, too.

But wondering if jimbobby is an anomaly in Norfolk-Haldimand, or are there lots of other Green folks about?

I'm asking sincerely. Always appreciate your commonsense take on matters, and your fine tuned sense of humour.

I'm all for the switch to flourescents. Think we can get Premier Gordie out here in British Columbia to go for it too? He's sure been talking' a lot of green lately.

bigcitylib said...

Used to raise me Lizards, JimBobby. Mostly Igaunas and monitors, either common or raised locally, so I wasn't subsidizing the rape of the rain-forest.

Last one was a beautiful roughneck monitor, which I got at about 18 months. I had it five years and it died on me. That was so depressing that all I have now are cactus. Plants you don't even have to water.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Thanks fer clearin' up that terrist thing, BCL.

FrankFeller, I'll do the best I can with yer question. I'm jest a small town guy an' I don't know thousands an'thousands of other fellers an' gals in my ridin'. In the last electionvote, us Greens gor 'bout 4% - a little below the national average.

This is mostly farm country and there's the Nanticoke Industrial Park on the Lake Erie shore. If you ain't lookin' directly at the powerplant, steel mill or oil refinery, then yer lookin' at some fine farmland an' nice little towns.

I doubt we'll elect a GPC MP here anytime soon but that don't mean Green votes ain't worth gettin'. When them other parties is so close t' one another an' they see 5%-10% Greens, they know winnin' over them Greens could put 'em in gummint.

I reckon the worst part o' workin' t' shut down Nanticoke TGS is that so many o' my good hard-workin' neighbours get their pay cheques from there. Same with Esso an' Stelco. Now, Ginty's talkin' nuclear fer Nanticoke an' that's lookin' like some pie in the sky fer the local polyticians an' unions.

Thanks fer the kind words an' drop by anytime, FrankieMan.

JB

Frank Frink said...

Thanks JimBobby,

Yes, it is a mighty fine little part of Ontario that maybe not too many non-Ontariairioans might know about.

Been a while now since I've been around the Port Dover and Simcoe area but do have some pleasant memories.

Any part of the country that has produced fine hockey players such as Red kelly and Rob Blake, not to mention fine, fine musicians like that Fred Eaglesmith guy and those Danko boys is alright in my books,

Have yourself a great weekend JB.

Anonymous said...

While it's a noble idea, there are a few downsides I can think of immediately.

First of all, they DON'T always last longer than incandescent bulbs. I live in an old house that's got less than perfect wiring (not unsafe, just not as clean as CFBs need), and the average CF bulb lasts, oh, 15 minutes in my kitchen.

Secondly, these little beasties contain mercury and have to be disposed of at a recycling/hazmat center. In some locations in the province, the emissions required to get to one of these places is going to WAY outweigh any environmental benefits. Not to mention that people so inconvenienced will likely just dump the mercury filled CF bulbs in the trash.

And finally, would you want bulbs filled with mercury in table lamps if you lived in a house with lots of small kids and large dogs? Not me dude.

So yeah, lets have Queen's park convert 100% to CFBs. But lets let ordinary people figure out for themselves whether it'll work or not.

JimBobby said...

FrankieBoy, you sure enuff spent some time 'round here. My wifemate an' my ol' Mum are both from Port Dover an' I lived in Simcoe fer 'bout 14 years before movin' t' this little burg where I hang my hat now. It's fine country but we got a stigma with this here coal burner pumpin' out smoke all day an' night.

AnnonyFeller, yer right 'bout the CFB's not workin' everywhere. I got an' old house, too. My shack was built in 1880 an' was electrified in stages over the past hunnert years, or so. I can relate t' yer own situation, fer sure.

The worst fixture fer me when I switched over was the newest wirin' an' newest fixture. A few years back, we put in a new dinin' room light an' a dimmer switch. The fixture takes 5 bulbs an' we used 60w incandescents an' usually dimmed 'em down a bit unless we was doin' some sort office/craft work at the dinin' room table. When I tried usin' the 13w CFB's an' dimmin' 'em, they started buzzin' an' I figgered they'd blow like yers done.

I ended up replacin' the dimmer switch with a regular on-off job an' usin' the 7w CFB's. It's workin' okay but there's no dimmer now so if we ever have a intimate dinner, I reckon we'll need t' have candle light.

It turns out they make special CFB's fer usin' when you got dimmers but they ain't been easy t' find. Maybe when CFB's are mandated, there'll be a better selection on the store shelves.

I sure don't know how many hours a day yer own kitchen light burns or how many KwH yer buyin' fer that circuit but it might turn out that replacing yer switch or wires could pay fer itself over a year or two. Like I'm sayin', that'll depend on how much you use it. I got mostly CFB's now but there's a couplafew lights that hardly ever get turned on so I ain't been in a hurry t' change 'em. Commonsense prevails, sez I.

Regardin' the mercury, yer right as rain. CFB's contain merc an' they oughta be disposed of at a hazardous waste dump/recyclin' outfit. In myrural are, the county runs a hazmat drop-off thingy once or twice a year.

There's a coupla mitigatin' points on the merc issue an' maybe they're good an' maybe they ain't.

First off, coal-generation emits a little mercury an' the amount emitted to provide power for 5-7 conventional bulb lifespans is reportedly similar to what's inside the CFB's. The difference is that with CFB's goin' to HazMat sites, the mercury is more easily captured. This may be BS, I ain't got the research or proof.

If the wirin's good an' the bulbs last 5-7 times longer than regular bulbs, the net effect from the manufacturin' process an' the disposal process is less with CFB's.

It sorta reminds me o' the unleaded gas deal.

Back 20 years ago or so, they quit sellin' gasoline with lead in it. At the time, there were a lot o' cars still on the road that were s'posed t' run on leaded gas an' the owners were cryin' the blues that their old chugmobiles'd seize up an' die with the cleaner fuel. Every year, I get to a vintage car show an' them ol' lead-gas burners somehow get there, too. I hear-tell they got some sorta non-lead additive that makes them cars run like it was leaded gas but I ain't got all the details so maybe I'm all wet.

What gets good things done is a "CAN DO" attutude. What stands in the way is a "CAN'T DO" attutude. Maybe we can't replace every lightbulb but we sure as hell can replace most of 'em an' it sure as hell will cut down on energy consumption if we push hard t' get 'em switched over wherever it makes commonsense.

JB

Erich Jacoby-Hawkins said...

Old CFL lightbulbs have been accepted for return at Home Depot since November of '07, so you can take them in there if your community doesn't have a hazardous waste depot/collection, although most communities should have that by now.

That should deal with any mercury issues, especially as other stores start to follow suit. In fact, this should be the rule - any store that sells something hazardous or hard to dispose of should be required to take it back when you're done with it. They can include the cost in the initial price, or even put a deposit on it. This is, of course, Green Party policy.

All this worry over mercury in CFL bulbs ignores that there's been mercury in the standard flourescent tubes we've been using in offices (and kitchens and workbenches etc.) for decades. A CFL is a heckuva lot easier to return than one of those long, fragile tubes.