An Environmental Magic Trick

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 at 11:32 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at*

Pick a city, any city. See those one million cars in that city you just chose? *Poof*, now they're gone! Want to know how I just did that?

I changed Everyone in the USA changed one lously light bulb. (Edited due to a previous misunderstanding.)

Yeah, that's right, if every household in America would simply replace one regular incandescent light bulb with an energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulb (the spirally kind) it would reduce the amount of CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) production to the equivalent of taking one million vehicles off the roads! Yeah, they cost a little bit more than regular incandescent bulbs, but they last longer and save you money in energy costs...not to mention the whole environmental benefit and making you a better human thing. Imagine the difference it would make if every household in the USA, or even the world, changed not just one, but all of their light bulbs.

Here's some sources if you care to read further about these statistics: energy star, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality,, and

So now that you have the information, turn off your computer (as it too burns a ridiculous amount of energy), get out of the house, go buy some light bulbs and save the planet.

Congratulations, you're now a top notch magician and part of the solution.

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Blogger Sam Davidson said...

Nice work!

If you get ambitious and want to change ALL your light bulbs, you can buy in bulk on eBay and save money. And maybe take every car off the road? What will we do with all that pavement?

September 05, 2006 1:00 PM

Blogger ceeelcee said...

I'm sorry, but somebody's got to call bullshit on this one. Even by the most optimistic projections from environmental groups, changing from incandescent to fluroescent might save 125 kg of CO2 during its lifetime. The average car releases about 5000 kg of CO2 in a year.

I support the intention of your post. It's a good idea to switch to fluorescents, but your math is off my a few orders of magnitude. Like 40,000,000 times.

Go here: for one estimate.

September 05, 2006 2:30 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

ceeelcee. you're welcome to call bullshit here any time you want ;-). However, the math is not mine, I'm just relaying the facts I read from the EPA, EnergyStar, and an expose on global warming that I saw on the Discovery Channel.

Those are the three major sources from my info and they all used the same figure of one million vehicles. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that's where I got my info.

September 05, 2006 2:46 PM

Blogger Brandonian said...


From the Energy Star site

If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road.

If you or I replace a lightbulb, it won't all that much in carbon. If everybody in America replaced a lightbulb, then we'd get rid of the million cars worth of carbon.

Like ceeelcee, I'm all for your intention, but don't start spreading info that simply isn't true. If a single lightbulb output a million cars worth of carbon over it's lifetime, you probably wouldn't be able to live in your house because of all the CO2 spewing from the lightbulbs.

September 05, 2006 2:55 PM

Blogger Mike said...

What the EPA release says that if one lightbulb in every household were switched over, that would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road. There are 120 million households. Therefore, if you replaced 120 lightbulbs in your house, that would equal one car.

September 05, 2006 2:58 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

Pardon me, I somehow misread the info on both sites. I'll edit the post to reflect it.

man I sure am glad for the gracious manner in which I was corrected *sarcasm*.

September 05, 2006 3:01 PM

Blogger Brandonian said...

No hard feelings, my reply really doesn't make any sense either, once I've gone back and reread it, especially the second paragraph.

September 05, 2006 3:33 PM

Blogger ceeelcee said...

No rabidity intended, man. I told you I supported the idea. But for the want of a missing word or two, I was worried that nobody would even pay attention to a good idea because the claim looked so ludicrous. Keep fighting the good fight.

Plus, it's not like you were ragging on the Crocodile Hunter or anything...

September 05, 2006 3:51 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

thanks, ceeelcee, and too true about the Crocodile Hunter. Sad to have seen that post this weekend.

September 05, 2006 3:54 PM

Blogger gavin richardson said...

i bought some regardless

September 07, 2006 6:40 PM


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