A Free-Market Energy Blog

The Lighting Revolution: Why Prohibit Incandescent Lighting?

By Donn Dears -- October 8, 2015

“There was no reason to prohibit the manufacture of incandescent lamps, other than for ideological reasons, when LEDs were becoming available. Industry and science, under the free market system, had already developed the technology that would replace incandescent lamps in a far less costly and far more orderly manner.”

People striving to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions often over-simplify lighting and do economically inefficient, counterproductive things. This led to Congress needlessly prohibiting the manufacture of most types of incandescent bulbs to cut CO2 emissions. This was an early manifestation of CO2 hysteria and ignored advances in lighting technology and the purpose of lighting.

Some Background

Lighting has three primary purposes: (1) Facilitate seeing; (2) Safety; (3) Esthetics. Each is considered in some detail below.


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U.S. Offshore Wind: A Government Pipe Dream

By -- October 7, 2015

“Offshore wind is essentially a government-made market that would not exist in the U.S. but for a massive intervention from Washington and an ‘at-any-cost’ mentality at the state level. Of the alleged 15,650 MW of offshore wind in DOE’s pipeline, a very small fraction represents projects proffered by private entities.”

It’s official. At a White House summit last month, the Obama administration publicly backed its new government program – offshore wind. With America’s first offshore project now under construction, and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest analysis  showing 21 projects totaling 15,650 megawatts in the works, the political boost could trigger a development boom.

But don’t count on it. The already uneconomic on land is only worse off in the waters.

Washington’s Wishful Thinking

Washington’s support for wind power is ideological, steeped in wishful thinking about what could be built, both on- and off- shore.

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Pierre Desrochers: THE BET Turns 25 (Julian Simon scholar at work)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 6, 2015

“Ehrlich and other green activists also remained oblivious to the fact that the correlation between standards of living and pollution level is overwhelmingly in the direction of ‘richer is cleaner’.”

“Population catastrophists, however, constantly remind us of Hegel’s alleged observation that ‘If theory and facts disagree, so much the worse for the facts’.”

Pierre Desrochers, associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, is a leading classical liberal scholar in the fields of economic development, technological innovation, business/environment interaction, energy policy, and food policy. An expert on the works and worldview of Julian Simon (1932–98), Desrochers has contributed a number of features at MasterResource that are listed at the end of this post.

Most recently, Professor Desrochers celebrated the 25th anniversary of THE BET, the most famous wager in the history of economics between optimist/realist Simon and neo-Malthusian doomsayer Paul Ehrlich, with two opinion-page editorials.

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AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: October 5, 2015

By -- October 5, 2015
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OPIC’s Charter Has Expired: Now Let’s Close It

By Ryan Young -- October 1, 2015
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Shale Shock: A New, Better Energy World

By Steve Goreham -- September 30, 2015
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China Cap-and-Trade: James Hansen on Carbon Cronyism

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 29, 2015
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EPA’s Gold King Whitewash, Part III

By Paul Driessen -- September 28, 2015
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EPA’s Gold King Whitewash, Part II (What EPA, DRMS, and ER should have done)

By Paul Driessen -- September 24, 2015
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EPA’s Gold King Whitewash: Part I

By Paul Driessen -- September 23, 2015
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