Another greentard fail – CFL’s


Caution! Contains Mercury! Emits Poison Gas if Broken! Considered Toxic Waste! But it's Green!



CFL’s (compact fluorescent light-bulbs) seem to be another gigantic greentard fail to me. I really can’t fathom why they’re still being sold. Why?

  • They take time to warm up
  • I find the light they put out to be annoying in color.
  • They’re not very bright compared to an incandescent light-bulb.
  • They contain a hazardous material called mercury.
  • Due to the mercury you’re not supposed to just throw them away.
  • Due to the mercury if one breaks you better run outside because of the toxic vapor it will emit.
  • Even though touted by the greentards as energy-saving, they don’t emit much heat when on. Replacing incandescent bulbs that emit heat with CFL’s means that during the winter your heater will just run longer to take up the slack. No gain there – you’re only saving on the electric bill and paying back with the gas bill.
  • They’ve been outlawed in Germany but to entrepreneurs have been importing them as ‘heat globes’ meaning they’re now officially heaters that conveniently emit light you can actually read by.

Yes, they sound like a downright stupid idea to me. Yet another case of the cure being worse than the disease. Now they’re even causing labor problems. Yes I said labor problems.  From the Daily Mail we get this one……

Councils across the UK are refusing to pick up low-energy lightbulbs from homes as they contain toxic mercury, which gives off poisonous vapours.

But confused consumers are putting the new bulbs – classed as hazardous waste – in their dustbins when they burn out, potentially putting the safety of thousands of binmen at risk.

Previously, the public disposed of traditional lightbulbs, used in Britain for 120 years, in a domestic bin.

Now the union is worried about their members handling these toxic faux pas……

Last night UNISON, the union which represents thousands of rubbish collectors across Britain, said it was concerned at the risks binmen are facing.

I can’t say I blame them, these things are very toxic……

A study by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency found that when one of them breaks, it emits levels of toxic vapour up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area.

So, there you have it folks. We’ve denigrated from a simple light bulb that you could safely handle and safely throw into the garbage bin to a toxic nightmare that emits poisonous gas into your house when broken and requires you to dress like you’re on a Hazmat Team to clean the mess up, not to mention it requires special disposal.

Yes this sounds like the typical greentard idea. Take a simple idea and turn it into a gigantic mess to save Gaia. Typical of the CO2 Insanity that causes stuff like this. Can we please have some common sense from now on?

Below is a photograph of an incandescent light-bulb in Livermore, California, USA that has been in operation for 110 years! It lasts more than a lifetime and you can throw it out when done without creating an EPA Superfund Cleanup Site. Now how much greener can you get than that?

Source: The Daily Mail



Filed under California, Climate Change, Co2 Insanity, Global Warming, Green Tech

6 responses to “Another greentard fail – CFL’s

  1. Ralph

    Imagine that, I just threw out all the CFL lightbulbs in my house today and replaced them with $.80 for 4 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs.
    The mercury thing scared me.

  2. Russell McMahon

    Triumphalist posts like this don’t do any cause much good.
    The term “Greetard” alone makes such posts mainly suitable only for “preaching to the choir”. As a truth-seeker re all such things (we’re the ones that both extremes criticise 🙂 ) it would be nice to see somewhat more objectivity. CFLs are not ideal but have their place.

    Time to warm up is a minor issue.

    Colour spectrum varies with brand. Not a high quality (high CRI) source usually but some are much better than others. (eg Philips usually do well.)

    They are are far brighter than an incandescent bulb of the same wattage – just not as much brighter as usually claimed. That’s an ad man’s problem – not the bulb’s fault. 4:1 is easily achieved for a good quality bulb.

    They contain a hazardous material called mercury.

    Mercury is indeed present. But net mercury is reduced due to reduction of power use overall. For a typical power source mix, mercury emitting sources like coal are much reduced. As these put mercury into the air at some altitude (tall chimneys) unless special steps are taken (as they should be) then they are worse overall mass for mass than CFLs.

    Breaking the occasional CFL while operating is not liable to kill you. Breaking too many indicates you may not be safe with sharp toys :-). Hazardous waste disposal is needed but this is true for numerous other products and the annual volume per household is trivial. If you pour used motor oil down storm drains then you may not be safe with CFLs. If you understand that there is a small disposal effort and cost implicit in some products this aspect will not bother you.

    The lack of net energy saving when you are using heating is correct – and a fact not often noted. The long lifetime compared to incandescents that you are liable to see on your local shelves plus warm season savings is easily enough to justify them economically. If you can find incandescent bulbs for sale with even 10 year lifetimes in average use and an OK cost please do let me know.

    Overall, CFL’s will save you money, use less grid electricity and not impose an onerous load on you when throwing them away in due course. Their net effect on community health will be positive in most cases* and all except the most accident prone users are unlikely to have any problem with local health issues.

    A little more balance is liable to get better acceptabilityvre the “good points” from other than true believers.

    It’s likely that LED lighting will replace CFLs in the reasonably near future. They have their own issues but are liable to be more acceptable and more efficient overall than CFLs. LED “bulbs” with CRIs of 90+ and over 100 l/W are already possible, with better to come.

    Russell McMahon (intelligent private comments welcome)

    * If you eg have a high % of hydroelectric power this may not be true.

    • Dear Russell,

      I actually own some CFL’s and they’re pieces of shit, thus the triumphalist post.

      I also believe in calling a spade a spade. Greentard is a very fitting term that describes people who are simultaneously green and retarded.

      I do plan on trying some LED bulbs in the future. I really don’t have a problem being green as long as it’s financially feasable because money is money and if I can reduce my expense and be green at the same time I call that a win-win situation. I’ll be happy to post my opinon, good-bad-or indifferent – again I’ll call a spade a spade.

      Being forced to buy piece of shit CFL’s that are toxic and dangerous are not my cup of tea. The government deciding to ban incandescent light-bulbs is also offensive, not to mention stupid.

      Thank you for your post.

  3. Anonymous

    im the choir , and thank you for post.
    cfl;s = waste and rubbish and have no place in the world.

  4. Anonymous

    Funny, I know actual retards who can handle and dispose of a light bulb without smashing them and snorting the contents. Oh, am I overexaggerating? Thought that might make you feel more comfortable. What I don’t get is, why is it so hard to make tiny changes such as using a CFL (when being told to by people far more intelligent then yourselves), when it is a step in the direction of a sustainable future for our race? What is the big deal? No one is asking you to walk around with a candle now are they. We live comfortable lives on the back of brilliant inventive ideas. Yet, obviously, life is still so hard that we have to complain about the energy saving lightbulbs…sorry, but the only people who think like that, are ignorant, cowards or just plain stoopid!
    Love from Greentard (ouch)

  5. Actually a candle would be an improvement over a CFL. Especially when they leak while they’re in the lamp next to your chair exposing you to toxics. Even the garbage company doesn’t want CFL’s becuse they are toxic. Leaving not much of an alternative about how to dispose of them except putting them in the garbage can, where I guarantee you that the garbage company will smash them up and leave toxic waste all over the dump. I see why you’re a greentard. Emphaiss on tard.