If every household in America swapped out one traditional incandescent light bulb for a newer more efficient bulb it would be the equivalent of 800,000 cars off the road. Despite that, any effort to mandate or support a better environment will be dead on arrival for the next two years. If anything can get us out of the current economic morass it will be in creating and inventing alternative energy but with current attitudes, other countries are beating us to the punch.
America owned computers because of our education system, our creative. entrepreneurial spirit and government encouragement, research and spending for NASA etc. The next wave will be green and a huge voting segment has been taught to believe that being green is a socialist plot and 'drill baby drill' and 'burn baby burn' as in coal are the answers. God help us, because God might just decide that we didn't read the small print in his promise not to destroy the earth after the flood and he's pissed off enough to get rid of us and start all over again.
All because of an effing light bulb. Read the article here. Read the article here.
Most of the opposition to the light-bulb law just seems to be cultural: Conservatives don't like the government telling them what to do (unless, of course, it's bedroom-related), and the only benefits of this law are to solve a problem (global warming) that the right doesn't even think exists. That's not a promising sign for energy policy. Cap-and-trade may be dead, but there are still a lot of smaller, relatively non-intrusive measures that could help curb power use, save money, and make the economy more efficient, such as stronger building codes. This isn't some wild-eyed liberal idea; even Ronald Reagan signed a big appliance-standard bill back in 1987. But the odds of small-bore compromise seem low now that even efficient light bulbs are considered unacceptably socialist.