OK, up front, this is a bit tongue in cheek, OK?
Do Compact Fluorescent Bulbs make you gay?
Blame It On Mercury
And I don’t mean the planet…
So from here:
we have a story about mercury contamination making birds gay.
Mercury affects the behaviour of white ibises by “turning them homosexual”, with higher doses resulting in males being more likely to pair with males.
Scientists in Florida and Sri Lanka studied the effect of mercury in the birds’ diet. Their aim was to find out why it reduced the ibises’ breeding.
Mercury pollution can come from burning coal and waste, and run-off from mines.
And we all know that compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) contain mercury. (It’s actually a mercury vapor arc inside that makes UV, which then hits the phosphors that make visible light).
So as we flood the world with CFL “Curly Bulbs” and as they inevitably get broken and spill their mercury, will we all be getting the urge for a “new doo” and a curly one at that?
Though I note that they fail to mention all the Curly Bulbs infiltrating our homes and even sharing the bedrooms of our children… that source of potential Mercury Contamination is ignored.
“We knew mercury could depress their testosterone (male sex hormone) levels,” explained Dr Peter Frederick from the University of Florida, who led the study. “But we didn’t expect this.”
The team fed white ibises on food pellets that contained concentrations of mercury equivalent to those measured in the shrimp and crayfish that make up the birds’ wetland diet.
The higher the dose of mercury in their food pellets, the more likely a male bird was to pair with another male.
Dr Frederick and his colleagues say the study shows that mercury could dramatically reduce the breeding rates of birds and possibly of other wildlife.
The exact mechanism that causes this change in behaviour is not yet fully understood.
But mercury is known to disrupt hormonal signalling, so it could have a direct impact on the sexual behaviour that is mediated by those hormones.
Importantly, the males with the higher mercury doses performed far fewer courtship displays, so they were more likely to be “ignored” by females.
Ah, so that’s it. Ignored by females due to too many tuna sandwiches, shrimp scampi, and not enough time spent ‘on display’… So I do need that new Doo!
But just to display for the females, of course…
It’s got nothing at all to do with being in touch with my “inner bird”…
After all, we all have our private self image, even if it diverges a bit from what we’d like to be
So if you’re feeling a bit like a night out with the chums, after getting some curls on, well, blame it on Mercury and the Curly Bulbs…
Cancun Wants to Ban Incandescent Bulbs
Perhaps it’s a conspiracy?
Cancun climate summit: UN calls for worldwide phase out of incandescent bulbs
Traditional light bulbs should be banned across the world as part of plans to help tackle climate change, according to a new United Nations report.
Yes, that’s it, they want us all to use the Gay Bulbs and maybe even BE one.
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent in Cancun 5:00PM GMT 01 Dec 2010
Britain is already phasing out traditional bulbs as part of European regulations to save energy, with high wattage bulbs no longer on the shelves.
The scheme has been unpopular with many because compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) take longer to warm up and can give some people headaches.
However they last ten times longer and require far less electricity to produce the same amount of light.
Well, perhaps that explains something about the present politics in Britain… All that’s left on the shelf are the low wattage Dim Bulbs or the curly Gay Bulbs… Wonder if there are a lot of women in the UK looking for something with a bit more action, bright, and with extra warmth?
And I note in passing that it’s a small price to pay to have headaches when you turn the light on, after all, you will use it less then, and that will help save the planet for someone else… Or perhaps you ought to just go out and get a “make over” so you feel better… AND you won’t have to say “Not tonight, dear, I’ve got a headache…”
Sidebar: It’s especially silly to use CFL bulbs in places like Britain as it just moves your energy consumption from electricity to the heating bill. And since both are largely made via natural gas in the UK, it just changes which bill your natural gas consumption is placed upon. If the UK were naturally warmer than the desired room temperature, you might save something, but as it stands, swapping to CFL bulbs will just increase your heating bill in proportion.
Oh, and don’t even think of putting one in an appliance like an oven or fridge, or in places with rapid on / off cycling. You get about 10,000 on / off cycles then it’s kaput. If you have something switched on and off 10 times a day (as our kitchen and bath are) that’s about 1000 days or 2.5 years, not the 10 years they claim. Then it’s off to the Toxic Waste Dump for our little bundle of Mercury Joy…
EPA To The Rescue!
But the “good news” is that the US EPA is on top of all things Mercury. (They like being on top, it’s a butch thing…)
The emission restrictions are extensive. They require that 90% of mercury emissions be cut by 2015, along with 80% of sulfuric oxide and 52% of nitrous oxides by 2018. Cutting this amount of MNS is tantamount to transfiguring the entire electricity generation grid… in less than a decade.
So don’t feel left out in the cold all alone, UK, the USA is going to join you in just 10 years, or less. We’ll be shutting down coal plants so fast it will make your bulbs cold and uninspiring in no time. And well be taking all that mercury out of the coal plant and putting it into nice curly bulbs in your home where it will be nice and safe and warm and very near you…
It is the second attack, however, that poses the main challenge right now. This is the Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR), released in July for comment and scheduled for introduction on January 1st, 2012.
First, more than 60 gigawatts (GW) of capacity will be coming off the grid by 2020 – more than twice as much as was retired in the decade ending this year. And that was before the appeals court reconsideration allowed the EPA to keep CAIR standards in place while expediting the introduction of the new rules. Since those new rules take effect in slightly more than a year, power companies must make decisions now based upon the harsher emission limits.
Second, we will experience an even greater movement to natural gas and renewable energy as sourcing for new power plants. In fact, there is now not a single co-generation facility (one that can use both coal and gas) on anybody’s agenda moving forward.
The result: We can expect natural gas to replace 20% to 25% of coal in the generation of electricity in the next few years, translating into the need for some five billion cubic feet a day of gas by as early as 2015.
This explains the rapid increase in gas extractions at unconventional fields (shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane), despite the present market’s depressed prices. There is shortly going to be a hefty increase in domestic demand, and everybody in the industry knows the sourcing of that increasing demand.
I have begun a cursory evaluation of the impact… and it is extensive.
CATR standards will apply to 31 states and D.C., so the impact will be considerable. Even in those states where the rules will not apply (at least initially), interstate power transmission lines will still extend jurisdiction.
Already, generating plants in 17 states will be closed as a direct result of CATR. This will translate into a much greater amount (than the 60 GW already announced) of existing generating capacity coming off line by 2020.
So get ready for a Real Gas of a time, as Old King Coal gets the mercury kicked out of him by the EPA. You can watch the whole show on TV… if you can find some power to run it…
There is no question that CATR has decided a number of issues in power production moving forward. While coal production and usage will continue in several other regions of the world, like China, it will not continue here.
Nice to know that China will get a free ride… AND we’ll have more Mercury in China. Think of all the cute Chinese possibilities…
Mercury, it’s not just for thermometers any more…