Several years ago I remember a debate on Intelligence Squared about climate change, and one of the first counterarguments made by to people who were generally against the idea of fixing climate change was that "No one is really against efficiency."
Cut to several years later and we have a president who is actively working against policies that would implement greater energy efficiency yet also claiming that they want energy independence for the US.
This week, the Trump administration announced that it would be rolling back energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs that were set to take effect in 2020. The rules would have increased efficiency requirements for the traditional ‘light bulb’ shaped bulbs, and phased out the incandescent and halogen bulbs used in special applications such as candle-shaped lights, bathroom vanities, and recessed lighting. Those requirements, originally set up during the Bush administration and finalized under President Obama, were aimed at moving the country further away from energy-inefficient incandescent lights and towards more efficient options like LED lights.
Science journalist and author Annalee Newitz joins Ira to talk about the light bulbrule shiftand other stories from the week in science,
I will say that businesses seem to be smart enough to implement these light bulbs regardless of what Trump is doing. They understand that it pads their bottom line to have their energy costs be as low as possible, and if you don't believe me then the next time you're out and about somewhere, take a look up, if they don't have the big fluorescent tube lights, they will have the LED or CFL bulbs. Much like coal, the economics of incandescent bulbs are no longer making sense when compared to it's competitors.