Lighten up, green up!

The center-right Australian Liberal Party government of John Howard has announced a plan to phase out standard lightbulbs in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs by 2009. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the expensive bulbs will pay for themselves within a year by reducing household electricity bills by up to 66 per cent and eventually cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes a year. […]

Mr Turnbull said that during the Kyoto Protocol target period between 2008 and 2012, the light bulb phase-out would cut 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia each year.

Meanwhile, the government of Ontario is considering making the province the first in Canada to enact a similar measure. From the Toronto Star:

No one in Ontario should underestimate the importance of replacing standard bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, [provincial Environment Minister Laurel] Broten added. By Premier Dalton McGuinty’s estimate, replacing every old-fashioned bulb with an energy-efficient one would allow the province to shut down one coal-fired power plant.

The Ontario government is headed by the Liberal party (which is a good deal more center-left than Australia’s conservative party of the same name), but it is being urged to adopt this measure not only by environmental organizations, but also by its main opposition, the Conservative Party.

Oh, if only we could have “conservatives” in this country like those in Australia and Canada!

0 thoughts on “Lighten up, green up!

  1. Reacting to a poll showing the Greens with a new high of 13% support, Friday night on the CBC Politics show Don Newman (who is not always so helpful to electoral reform) fed Green Party leader Elizabeth May the perfect line, and she gave the perfect response:

    “Newman: is your support a mile wide and a centimetre deep, or is it located in certain pockets where it turns into Members of Parliament? Do you have any idea on that?

    “May: there is a real point to what you say, which is why proportional representation is such an important issue for people who care about national electoral politics. We are not a regionally-based party, and as such, the first-past-the-post system does tend to work against us.”

    There you go. How should votes translate into seats? Why do we give regionally-based parties a bonus? What a timely question, with Ontario gearing up for an electoral reform referendum.

  2. Indeed, why do we tolerate electoral systems that bias national representation in favor of regional interests?

    Someone really needs to develop an electoral system that puts both regional and national representatives on an even playing field–let the voter decide which they want.

    That most certainly is not low-magnitude STV (even if it is a step in the right direction, relative to FPTP).

  3. Pingback: Fruits and Votes

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