Texas mayors gathered in San Antonio on Friday to make war on the pitiable incandescent bulb, the modern-day Edisonian relic being outscrewed in favor of the longer-lived, energy nibbler, that sanctified CFL. Seems compact fluorescent stockholders and efficiency advocates may now Waltz Across Texas for a turn.
I was happy to skip the gathering at Hardberger Haven, otherwise known as SA’s City Hall. The press release told me all I needed to know. None would dare criticize our culture of consumption, the opulent suburban McMansions paving over our badly sprawling Bexar, Kendall, Comal, and Medina counties and choking our highways daily with SUV drivers escaping the city for a subdivision busily fouling the streams and drainage ways leading to our Edwards Aquifer.
El Paso’s Cook, Dallas’ Tom Leppert, Houston’s Bill White, and Austin’s Will Wynn (Hardy? Please.): none would declare executive air travel an offense to the Earth or cry out for light rail and self-respecting mass transit.
Would any address the concern of the mercury inside the CFL’s that require stronger local recycling campaigns? No. And none would announce that what is truly needed is decentralized power, an explosion of solar energy investment, and empowerment of our neighborhoods and colonias with new sustainable technologies to ensure that as our climate continues to grow more volatile that the least among us have the tools of survival available to them.
Maybe a coming Express-News series on Global Warming will deepen local concern of this watershed event. Lord knows my review of contemporary Aggie forecasts and public CPS shaming failed to generate a new mobilization strategy.
No, the bulbs are enough for Hardy y Co. Call it a step forward if you like, but life-saving change requires higher-wattage solutions than this. The climate clock ticks.
Already we know that efficiency measures do not slow the damnable feast:
American consumers are driving bigger gas-guzzling cars and buying more air conditioners and refrigerators as the overall energy efficiency of such products improves, a report released on Tuesday found.
In what the study calls “the efficiency paradox,” consumers have taken money saved from greater energy efficiency and spent it on more and bigger appliances and vehicles, consuming even more energy in the process.
This irony isn’t just restricted to the United States, though. “The paradox is true for every developed country,” said Benjamin Tal, senior economist at CIBC World Markets, which conducted the study.