SFDebate : Listen, Speak, Discuss, Understand


This House would Ban the Standard Lightbulb

Motion Confirmed : 10-5 IN FAVOR

In a lively debate at the offices of Northwestern Mutual, the SFDebate group voted 10-5 in favor of Banning the Standard Lightbulb.

Will R. kicked off the discussion in favor of banning the standard incandescent lightbulb (ILB). He highlighted the impact of energy inefficency on climate change, and then discussed the need for government to take a role in promoting better technologies.

James D. argued against the proposition with a two pronged argument. He asked the group to consider first the reasoning for banning ILB's. If the goal was to reduce climate change, was the group sure that CO2 was even responsible for global warming. He pointed out that while movies such as "The Inconvenient Truth" made a connection between CO2 and global warming, further studies had shown that C02 increases lagged BEHIND climate changes. Hence climate change seemed to be causing CO2 rises, not the other way round.

James next focused on the reasons why we shouldn't ban ILB's. Namely, the replacements aren't as good yet. He demonstrated an ILB in comparison with a CFL bulb bought from IKEA. The CFL bulb took a long time to warm up, and the light was less warm. Ryan pointed out further problems : you can't dim a CFL bulb; they contain more mercury and plastics; they don't work when it's cold.

The group discussion centered around whether we as a society should constrain ourselves for the good of others. We asked ourselves; should people in California choose not to use ILB's or not to build another powerplant.

Several members of the group pointed out that there were better ways to reduce CO2 output than by banning lightbulbs. Cars and planes were the largest emitters of CO2, and legislation on gas consumption, or added tax on electricity would have a much larger effect than banning ILB's

The turn in people's minds really came to bear as Carter __ pointed out how legislation can drive innovation. While CFL bulbs may be considered inferior to incandescent bulbs today, they would almost certainly progress in leaps and bounds if they became the only choice. Eddie added to this argument by drawing a contrast to legislation towards HDTV compatibility. Without legislation, HDTV might never have made it into the mainstream.

The meeting wrapped up after 75 minutes of lively discussion. Will had the last word, and swung the crowd with an impassioned appeal to the group's sense of morality. He stressed how banning ILB's would drive innovation of alternatives. He pointed out how such an act would raise awatreness of climate change in general, and then he asked the group to do the right thing.

Eddie K. did an awesome job moderating the meeting, keeping the group focused and on topic. It was a great event.


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