End of a technology

January 31st, 2014, 8am

As an historian of technology, I am perhaps overly sentimental about the passing of particular devices, implements or technological systems. This image shows the last incandescent light globe/bulb still working in my house. Discovered it by chance this morning and was delighted to see that the filament was still intact. It will serve its last hours in the intimate setting of my bedroom reading lamp.

Apparently, many Americans are unaware that, from January this year, the US began the phase out these bulbs. Australia banned their sale in February 2007, by legislating new efficiency standards. From November 2008, no non-compliant lighting was imported into Australia, and from November 2009, the retail sale of non-compliant lighting was banned. Incandescent light bulbs that meet the new standards, like high-efficiency halogen bulbs, are still available in Australia. It was estimated that greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 564.7 million tonnes, a saving of only 0.14%. Of course, every little bit counts, but Australia, like the US, has done bugger-all about the major generators of coal and gas emissions.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (http://www.cimarron.com.au)

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