A little reminder from Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research in an Op-Ed successfully farmed out to over 30 newspapers: she claimed that compact fluorescents caused seizures and were toxic, and that "LEDs have particularly expensive up front costs now, although manufacturers say the price will come down after their main rivals have been banned for a while. They say that's because more will be sold; others say that's not how supply-and-demand works."
Plenty more like that if you care to look. By the way, they failed to notice it wasn't even a ban of incadescents, it was an energy efficiency standard where incandescents just failed to keep up. This type of performance-based regulation is considered more market-friendly than prescriptive regulations, but the Republicans missed that.
So fast forward to now, and Joe Romm's article on the LED lighting revolution:
“The rapid adoption of LEDs in lighting marks one of the fastest technology shifts in human history,” Goldman Sachs stated in a new report. The accelerated deployment of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs is on track to save U.S. consumers and businesses $20 billion a year in electricity costs within a decade, which would lower U.S. CO2 emissions by some 100 million metric tons a year!....As recently as 2009, this country didn’t have even 400,000 installations of common home LED bulbs... by 2012, we had 14 million — and by 2014 we had whopping 78 million installations.
... Since 2008 alone, prices for LED lightbulbs have dropped a remarkable 90 percent....
Joe says power consumption for lighting is projected to drop 40%, a big deal when lighting is 17% of overall power consumption. Read the whole thing etc.
Interesting to guess what people like Ms. Ridenour will get paid to publish in response. Being flat-out wrong certainly doesn't stop denialists from reasserting claims endlessly. In this case though it's a little harder to deny what's in front of the face of anyone who enters a hardware store, or just looks around at night: LEDs are everywhere, cheap to buy, cheap to use, and last forever. My guess is it'll be a version of the "improved air quality proves the Clean Air Act was unnecessary" argument we've heard before. LEDs would've mysteriously fallen from the sky in the absence of technology promotion and incentivization. Seems pretty unlikely, but what they can't argue is that there's been any harm from this regulation.
Another casualty with reality is the Jevons Paradox adherents, saying environmental benefits from energy efficiency will go away due to increased use. An example from alleged "skeptic" Guy McCandle titled "Why Are Eco-Fascists Trying to Ban Incandescent Bulbs?" is typical. Now we see what actually is happening. As is typical with bad arguments, the Jevons thing isn't completely bogus, but its overuse is very annoying.
One generalization from this is that regulation can work. A carbon tax might be better, is better, but when Republicans stop that avenue, we can make other approaches work.
And in today's unrelated closing comment, a Tweet:
Me: .@realDonaldTrump called Hillary "unhinged" & "liar"— Brian Schmidt (@BSchmidtTweets) August 6, 2016
Wife: did he say she has small hands?