Climate Change and the Lightbulb Problem

In the BBC, a modest proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emission and a related website.

Listening to most politicians, you would think the world’s energy problems can be solved only by building ever bigger power stations and burning ever more fuel.

Not so; and it certainly cannot solve the coming climate crisis.

After turning off unnecessary pieces of equipment, improved energy efficiency is the cheapest way for developing countries to maximise their use of limited energy supplies, and for developed countries to achieve cuts in their carbon dioxide emissions.

One quick and simple option for improving energy efficiency would be to make greater use of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Each one of these bulbs produces the same amount of light as an incandescent light bulb whilst being responsible for the emission of 70% less carbon dioxide.

It also saves money; about £7 ($12) per year in the UK, more or less in other countries depending on electricity prices.

So why not just ban incandescent bulbs – why not make them illegal?

They waste so much energy that if they were invented today, it is highly unlikely they would be allowed onto the market.

Nobody would suffer; every energy-saving bulb would save money and help to curb climate change.