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A Delayed Energy Fix: Why is it so easy?

A Delayed Energy Fix: Why is it so easy?

Hiroko Tabuchi

It’s one of the simplest, easiest and cheapest ways to drastically shrink your electricity bills, and your climate footprint: switch out your old incandescent lights for energy-efficient LED bulbs.

The United States and the rest of the world have seen a huge market shift to LEDs, which has led to a revolution in energy efficiency. A new article explains why. I look at how older incandescent lamps still functionThis is especially true for lower-end retailers such as dollar stores. Experts believe that this means that the latest technology is not available to the poorest households.

Lighting accounts for as much as a fifth of the average American household’s electricity bill, and lower-income households already spend a disproportionately large part of their income on utilities.

The reason these bulbs are still in use is that major manufacturers are trying to delay energy efficiency standards to increase profits from an industry that is dying.

Why it matters: The older bulbs are slowing America’s overall energy efficiency gains. Inefficient incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs made up about 30% of standard light bulbs sold across the country in 2020. California, which has phased out the most inefficient light bulb types, is not included in this figure. The older bulbs are not sold in the European Union.


President Vladimir V. Putin has more to worry about at home that what happens in Ukraine. Thomas L. Friedman writes.

There’s a nasty fight in California over solar power.

The issue is who will build the green energy economy, and make billions of dollars in profit. There are smaller companies that install solar panels and batteries in households. On the other hand, there are big utilities and their labor syndicates.

The utilities and unions have been lobbying regulators to limit rooftop solar businesses for years. This effort is poised for success. In the coming weeks, state regulators will vote on a proposal to reduce rooftop solar energy growth in California and force Californians into reliance more on large-scale power plants, including wind farms and solar panels, as well as long-distance transmission lines owned by big utilities.

Energy experts say the fight couldn’t come at a worse time. You can find out why here Read my article here.

Why it matters:California’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2045 is at stake.

Related:A California wildfires erupted over the weekend seemed to stun even those intimately familiar with the state’s ongoing drought and its seemingly endless fire season.


All icebergs eventually melt down and are broken up. The Antarctic berg A68a is no exception. It broke off the Larsen C Ice Shelf into the Weddell Strait in 2017. It then drifted and melted for more than a thousand kilometres before settling near South Georgia about a full year later.

So, no big deal. Except that A68a was an enormous iceberg. It was roughly the same size as Delaware and for a brief freeze it was the sixth-largest berg ever seen. So when it melted, a lot of water was released into the ocean — about 150 billion tons near South Georgia alone, researchers estimate.

Such a huge volume of fresh water doesn’t necessarily mix immediately. It’s less dense, so it can sit in a layer on top of the saltier seawater. This can impact the health and diversity of phytoplankton, and other small organisms, that are at the bottom of the food web in the area. Penguins and seals are at the top of that food web and millions of them call South Georgia home. So As I wrote this week in an articleScientists are currently studying whether A68a’s watery demise is having an impact on the ecosystems of the island.

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Matthew Futterman

Fun iceberg fact:Why are Antarctic icebergs given such simple names? The U.S. National Ice Center has established a standard for naming large icebergs that are being tracked. So A68a was created in the “A” quadrant of the continent, it was the 68th “A” berg to be large enough to be tracked, and when a small berg broke off of it, it became A68a, and the smaller one became A68b.

President Biden’s $2.2 trillion Build Back Better spending bill is stalled. However, a growing number Democrats in Congress want to continue with the climate section of the package and say that they have enough votes to push it past Republican opposition.

The House passed the comprehensive climate and social policy bill. But it ran into trouble last week when Senator Joe Manchin III (a West Virginia Democrat) said he opposed. This, along with the fact all Republicans in the chamber oppose this package, effectively stopped the act from moving forward.

Mr. Manchin suggests that he might back climate provisions in the legislation. This has led some Democrats saying that the party should unite around a climate law.

Mr. Biden endorsed the strategy during a news conference last week, saying that he was “confident we can get pieces, big chunks” of the bill passed. “I’ve been talking to a number of my colleagues on the Hill,” Mr. Biden said. “I think it’s clear that we would be able to get support for the $500 billion plus for energy and the environment.”

As I wrote this with Lisa Friedman (climate team member).However, Democrats face significant political risks if they abandon this strategy, which would lead to lower prescription drug prices.


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