LJWorld.com weblogs Common cents
CFL bulbs not what they are touted to be?
Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been touted as more energy efficient than the standard incandescent bulbs most people use. But CFLs are not suitable for many common uses, according to a recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. The NCPA has decided CFLs are more trouble than they are worth.The report found that many CFLs don’t come close to lasting the 10,000 hours they are supposed to last. The other problem is breakage. CFLs contain a small amount of toxic mercury, which can cause problems when a bulb breaks. Because of the mercury the bulbs also can cause environmental damage once tossed into a landfill.New government efficiency standards will require manufacturers by 2012 to produce bulbs that use less energy per unit of light, which is a requirement that can only be fulfilled by CFLs. NCPA opposes banning incandescent bulbs.On its Web site, NCPA.org, NCPA describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a goal of solving problems by developing and promoting innovative, market-driven solutions as alternatives to government regulation and control.Last October I wrote a story for the Journal-World about interviews I did with Lawrence people who lived through the Great Depression. They are in their 80s and 90s now, but their memories of those dark, troubled economic times were still very strong. Since the story appeared I’ve had calls from others who have similar memories.If you want to learn more about the depression era, there is plenty of information on the Internet, and one Web site that is drawing a lot of attention right now was set up by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.The site has a video collection of people talking about their family experiences during the Depression. According to a news release, the site was set up in 2007 but more tools and resources will be added to it in the coming months.