I have been reading an interesting book on climate change in the Australian context and it has been fascinating. Mind you, I have always been a sucker for a book with a light bulb on the cover!
It is full of fascinating facts including that the estimate of the energy used for lighting in the world is around 20% of all electrical power and hence emissions. As interesting is the quoted fact that the electricity used wastefully by inefficient lighting is the equivalent to the total power output from all 440 of the world’s nuclear power stations. And the culprit – the incandescent bulb? I don’t think so. Anyone who’s had the misfortune to hear me speak on this this issue knows my position – that the incandescent bulb is a cheap and versatile light source that can be used to very effectively illuminate a room with high quality light that can be easily dimmed and disposed of at the end of its life. Instead we have to use these soul-less compact fluoros that contain mercury and other nasties, have poor light quality and can’t be dimmed using standard dimmers. Or halogens – instead of a single 60W incandescent lamp we use 4 x 50W halogens instead. You do the math. Add in some ugly scallops on the walls and dangers of house fires from the intense heat that they generate and you see that this is not a great alternative either. If the government had asked us first we would have told them this and saved countless tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the process. But they didn’t.
If you are keen to learn more about climate change, our carbon future and such issues I highly recommend this book, it’s excellent.