RUSH: Margot in New Hope, Minnesota, 12 years old. Margot, it’s great to have you. Hello.
RUSH: Well, hi.
CALLER: I have a question for you about my science report. Are CFLs or LEDs really better for the environment than incandescent bulbs?
RUSH: Okay. All right. Okay. You want to know if the compact fluorescent bulbs are actually better for the environment, did you say, than incandescent bulbs?
RUSH: Why are you asking? Are you under pressure to install some compact fluorescents somewhere, or do you have to write a report for somebody?
CALLER: I have to write a science report on understanding the environment and what would be better and who does it affect and how much would the differences be.
RUSH: Okay. Do you want to get a good grade on this, or do you want to be right?
CALLER: I want to get a good grade on it, and I’d like to get it right.
RUSH: Well, you can’t do both, I’m afraid.
RUSH: It depends on the teacher. You’re 12 years old?
RUSH: Well, you know, I’m just gonna talk to you as if you were my daughter and you were 12. If you were actually my daughter and asking me this, I’m just gonna explain it to you as I would to her, okay? All right?
RUSH: If you have a teacher who is caught up in the whole premise of man-made global warming, the odds are that the only reason you’ve been assigned this is so that you will conclude that compact fluorescents are better because there has been a movement for a number of years sponsored by environmentalist people that compact fluorescents are more environmentally safe and just make more sense for the environment than the old-fashioned invention of Thomas Edison, the incandescent lightbulb. And like anything else in the environmental movement, it’s up for debate and it’s questionable.
The compact fluorescent bulb is a genuine hazardous material threat. Inside each of these bulbs is mercury, and mercury is poisonous, and it is dangerous. If one of these compact fluorescent bulbs breaks, shatters, like any other lightbulb does, in many cases you have to call professionals to come clean it up and remove it and make sure the mercury is removed and that the mercury doesn’t come in contact with anybody or any surface where it could be transferred to humans. It’s being sponsored by people who think that the compact fluorescents are more efficient and use less energy and that will save the planet because they will use less coal and less electricity and therefore our carbon footprint via the emissions of CO2 will be less.
I think that it is propaganda. I think the people who sell these things have joined with the environmentalist movement to convince everybody that they’re better and safer. They don’t put out as much light. I’m not sure about this, but I’m fairly confident you can’t buy them with the same wattage output or same brightness as incandescents, and that’s one of the reasons why, so that they use less energy. There’s a ban in place on incandescents. I think it’s in place. Is it illegal now to buy them and use them? (interruption) You can’t find the hundred-watt incandescent anymore; is that right? Yeah, the hundred watt incandescents are illegal so it’s a federal matter now that these things have been mandated. The compact fluorescents have been mandated. People have to have them. But if you want a good grade here, what do you think your teacher wants out of this report, do you have any idea?
CALLER: I think she wants the truth of the report, and good facts from it, but my question would be, why did they take it away? Why don’t we have the freedom to choose?
RUSH: And there is the ultimate and brilliant question. Why do you think they took away the choice?
CALLER: Well, probably ’cause the government has been asked to fund this and waste money on it, when you could go out and buy something for like 50 cents and it could be less energy efficient, but instead of, like, spending $15 for a CFL that is more energy efficient but has poison in it.
RUSH: Margot, the answer to your question goes way beyond the details of compact fluorescent bulbs versus incandescent. You have nailed what this is really ultimately all about. When you ask, “Why can’t I choose which bulb to use? Why do I have to not use the incandescent? Why do I have to buy the compact fluorescent?”
The ultimate answer, the answer at the end of all questions, is because people making these decisions do not want you to have the freedom to choose such things, for a lot of reasons. Among them are, they don’t think you know enough to make the right decision, the right decision being what they think you should have. They don’t have enough respect for you that people like you will do what’s best for them. They want to be in charge of what’s best for you. They ultimately want people like you turning to them for approval of everything you do or answers to every question you have because they — and I don’t mean to scare you here, but if you were my daughter and you were asking me this at home I would say the same thing to you.
They want to control as much of your life as possible. It’s not just your lightbulbs. If they get their way they’re going to be able to determine what kind of car you’ll be allowed to drive or buy. If they get their way, you might be told, depending on the job you have, where you have to live. If they get their way, if they really win this, you’re gonna lose a lot of what you just consider everyday freedoms to choose things. Look at Mrs. Obama trying to limit what you can eat in school, as an example, and look at even now the kids are revolting against this. There are already Twitter hashtags about getting Mrs. Obama’s menu out of schools and so forth.
But that’s the difference in liberals and conservatives. These people simply want to make you do what they want you to do. They want to you eat what they want you to eat. They want you to heat your house and air-condition your house or whatever the way they want you to, for a whole host of reasons, but it’s basically about control and power.
CALLER: Would, like, an LED be better than a CFL?
RUSH: Well, it depends on what for. LEDs are great, but it depends on what you’re gonna use it for. Are you gonna light a room with an LED?
CALLER: Sure. Why not?
RUSH: Well, you’d need a lot of ’em. Those are liquid emitting diodes or some such thing. But, anyway, as far as your professor is concerned, all you have to do in this report is — you’re on the right track here. If you focus on that you would like to be able to choose, and then spell out the differences in the bulbs and make sure you look up, find out for yourself on the mercury content of the compact fluorescents and the danger posed by that. You know, Google that yourself and find that out.
RUSH: And include that in your report as to why you — if you have reservations about the compact fluorescents, make sure you put that in there.
RUSH: ‘Cause it is a big objection. I mean, can you imagine if one of your bulbs breaks you gotta call a haz-mat team to come clean up your house because of it?
CALLER: I would not want that. I’ve got two dogs, and I don’t want them to lick it or anything.
RUSH: You’re right. If that happens, you have to act fast and keep pets away from it. I mean, everything. You can’t touch it. You have to know what you’re doing. I mean, look at the instructions on cleanup if one of those things breaks, and you know how often lightbulbs break. Anyway, Margot, I’m really happy you called and you got to the important part of all of this, and that is, why can’t you choose.
And you might even venture to say that no matter what you’ve read, no matter how much research you’ve done, you just can’t seem to understand how incandescent lightbulbs, which have been used for a hundred years, are going to destroy the planet. You might point out that intellectually, even at age 12, that doesn’t make sense to you. They’ve been used for hundreds of years, since the day they were invented. And the world is still here. And everything’s fine. The climate’s fine. It’s absurd. But then roll the dice your teacher’s not gonna give you an F for this. Students have it tough these days.
RUSH: Margot, I just looked it up myself. I know you’re still out there, our 12-year-old last caller. The EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, recommends an 11-step process for cleanup of broken compact fluorescents because of the mercury. An 11-step process! All because, Margot, you don’t know what’s best for you. Never forget that.