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World Getting Ready To Change The Light Bulb

It's been great knowing you, little light bulb. You made the night a kinder, safer, more welcoming place. You opened up a whole new section of the day to us, a place where we could play, work, spend time with family, and live more of life. You did a great job for us, but now it's time to say good-bye.
by Staff Writers
San Jose (AFP) California, Feb 22, 2007
Yahoo and the producer of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" launched a website on Thursday devoted to rallying US consumers to fight global warming by switching light bulbs. Lawrence Bender and US officials joined Yahoo at the Tech Innovation Museum in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose to announce an "18Seconds movement" and introduce the website http://www.18seconds.org.

The website is devoted to mapping how quickly cities are converting from energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs to energy-saving, longer-lasting compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

The movement was named for the typical amount of time it takes a person to swap an incandescent light bulb for a CFL.

The amount of electricity saved by using a 13-watt CFL instead of a conventional 60-watt bulb translates into a reduction of 450 pounds of greenhouse gases spewed by a coal-burning power plant, according to Yahoo.

"This movement is about empowering the individual -- to say to every person in America that with one easy step, they can become part of a movement that will literally change the world," said Bender, producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.'

"I believe the CFL is the Trojan horse into the minds of the public. Once you get somebody who feels good about making a difference and at the same time saving money, you have them thinking about what else they can do."

earlier related report
Greenpeace asks India to ban common light bulb
Bangalore (AFP) India, Feb 21 - Environmental group Greenpeace asked India Wednesday to follow Australia and ban the common light bulb to cut greenhouse gas emissions, fight climate change and conserve energy.

India should switch from the incandescent light bulb to compact fluorescent lamps, as Australia plans to do, Greenpeace India said in a statement in Bangalore, southern India.

The move would help India save 12,000 megawatts of electricity, which accounts for almost 4.0 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, it said.

"The government should take a responsible step towards fighting climate change by cutting the use of hazardous and inefficient technologies," said Greenpeace India energy expert Soumyabrata Rahut.

"Banning the light bulb is an easily implementable initiative which will address this problem along with the issue of chronic electricity shortage," he added. "It will positively impact India's economic development."

Australia has announced plans to ban incandescent light bulbs, a move that will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes by 2012, according to Greenpeace.

Incandescent bulbs lose 90 percent of the energy that goes into them as heat while a compact fluorescent lamp uses about 20 percent of the electricity to produce the same amount of light.

earlier related report
Bright idea? Australia pulls plug on light bulbs
Sydney (AFP) Feb 20 - Australia announced plans Tuesday to ban traditional light bulbs in a move Prime Minister John Howard called a practical step toward slowing climate change.

Claiming a world first for a national government, Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said incandescent lightbulbs would be phased out by 2010 in favour of the more fuel-efficent compact fluorescent bulbs.

He said replacing the traditional coiled filament bulbs invented by Thomas Edison in the 19th century would cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes a year by 2015.

"If the whole world switches to these bulbs today, we would reduce our consumption of electricity by an amount equal to five times Australia's annual consumption of electricity," Turnbull said.

"The climate change challenge is a global one. I encourage other countries to follow Australia's lead and make the switch to more energy efficient products like compact fluorescent light bulbs."

Turnbull said the traditional light bulb's lack of efficiency was reflected in the heat it wasted when switched on.

"A normal light bulb is too hot to hold. That heat is wasted and globally represents millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that needn't have been emitted into the atmosphere if we had used more efficient forms of lighting," he said.

"These more efficient lights, such as the compact fluorescent light bulb, use around 20 percent of the electricity to produce the same amount of light."

Conservative leader Howard, who has softened his sceptical stance on global warming as an election looms later this year and opinion polls show high voter concern on the issue, said he was a "climate change realist".

"I think some of the stuff that's around at the moment is too alarmist," he said. "But on the other hand I think the evidence is very strong that mankind has made a contribution to the warming of our globe."

Howard said households would benefit from the switch to the high-tech fluorescent bulbs.

"They'll be a bit dearer to start off with but over time they'll be less expensive and they'll last four to 10 times longer.

"We need to take practical measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Green groups and the opposition Labor Party welcomed the move but said the government needed to examine more meaningful ways to reduce global warming, including signing the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.

"The major producers of greenhouse gas emissions in this country are not individuals, they're governments and business," opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett said.

Australia is believed to be the first national government to look at banning tradtional lightbulbs, although lawmaker Lloyd Levine proposed similar legistion in the US state of California last month.

US energy policy think-tank the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that replacing a 75-watt incandescent light bulb with a 20-watt compact fluorescent saves 1,300 pounds (590 kilograms) of carbon dioxide over the life of the bulb.

The institute said the average life of a 75-watt incandescent bulb is roughly 750 hours, while the life of an energy-efficient bulb is 10,000 hours.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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