Monday, February 20, 2012

CFCs Versus the End of the World as We Know It

This letter was written in response to an email whining about CFC lightbulbs being forced on us by an "uncaring" government that cares less about foisting dangerous, Mercury laden light bulbs on us, than our own free wills to use old fashioned bulbs that spew CO2 into the atmosphere....The email illustrated the dangers of CFCs with the story of a man who changed a CFC bulb while barefoot, dropped the bulb and stepped on the broken glass, 
resulting in Mercury poisoning and necrotic flesh... That's what I call a bad day, but his plight is a Sunday picnic compared to what happens when CO2 levels reach 400 parts per million (ppm) on our planet... And we're getting there folks....


Yeah, stepping on broken glass can be dangerous...
Whether it's a CFC mercury laden bulb or not...
Bloody hell, lots of things are dangerous. I walked across my lawn and got Lyme disease....
Want to know what's really dangerous?  Ocean acidification and climate change.  Kind of puts a damper on the day... Ya know?

Seriously, if you don't want to use CFCs don't
, incandescents aren't illegal to use. Farmers will always need them for their livestock and Home Depot still has millions on their shelves.  Just don't complain about your electric bill and the climate change wreaking havoc around the planet if you don't switch to CFCs. 

If you can ignore the droughts, and floods, and melting ice caps, and micro ice ages in Europe, and balmy February's in New York, and all the other global climate weirding, be my guest, keep your head in the sand... 
But a head-in-sand position won't save you from what's coming  down the pike. 
It also won't stop the oceans from acidifying or the coral reefs from dying...
That's all still happening even as I write and as you are outraged about
a knucklehead who stepped on broken glass and as a govt lamely tries to look like they care while keeping manufacturing companies alive... Being in a recession doesn't help things... "sigh"

In case you missed the global memo, the reason incandescents are being phased out is
because they use significantly more FOSSIL FUEL energy than CFCs
 (anyone who's switched learns that on the next electric bill)
 and they put more tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
In case you haven't read it in any scientific journals or the news lately,
CO2 levels are now way OVER 390 parts per million and rising

At 360 ppm, seal coral dies. 
If that doesn't scare the shit out of you, you've been watching too many Saw movies...
Or living in a vacuum...
Some pretty damn smart and appropriately terrified people are trying to bring the levels back to a survivable (for humans) 350ppm.
You can join their efforts here:

If it's still confusing to some, let me explain why 360 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is a significant number and why we should all be embracing 350ppm as our dearest number.
I repeat...  

The Oceans are a natural filter for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and they can process
tons of it and have done so for millennia.  However, the Oceans can only process so much at a time at which point the Oceans acidify, (kind of like alcohol poisoning in a college student) which is what is happening NOW! 
This college student (Oceans) has been on a forced beer
(CO2) binge  and is dangerously ill.
When the oceans acidify, the fish die. 
When the fish die, we die...    Period..   Chain of life and all that.
You can learn more about ocean acidification here:
And here's an article from last year before we passed the 390ppm milestone:

Maybe changing all the light bulbs on the planet  will help, maybe it won't.   Let's not find out what happens if we DON'T change them, by working together to reduce CO2 levels globally, rather than worrying about morons who step on broken glass with their bare feet...    There's plenty more we have to do besides simply
changing light bulbs to reduce CO2 levels. Lights bulbs are the easy part.
And hopefully the CFCs will be replaced with better & "safer" LEDs, the next big thing in low energy lights. 

Still miffed and perploxiflated by being "forced" to be part of the solution?
You could also switch to solar panels and get off the fossil-fuel grid treadmill, alltogether, bypassing those gosh durned govt regulations. 
 (don't you hate being forced to drive in safer cars?)
Or go totally powerless and support your local beekeepers by using candles... I'm not being sarcastic either...
Lots of people are trying that too...
Sharon Astyk's old blog:
Sharon Astyk's new blog site:

And around the planet lots of folks have lived "off the grid" for thousands of years and have rich cultures without TV,  microwaves and those godforsaken, "dangerous", CFC lightbulbs.   They seem pretty happy with their lifestyles...We can learn from them.

The only thing threatening these people are so called "civilized" people's hunger for
more electricity... Ironic...

Plenty of options are out there to be part of the SOLUTION rather than
whining about where we're at....We can Join them!
We just have to accept that the world has changed and we're ALL going to have to change too.
Sad, but that's the way it is... 
Seriously kids, it's time to grow up and be adults... We're kind of out of any other options. 

And wear shoes if you're changing light bulbs...

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