BATWING

This bat is willing to take on most challenges, but selling CFLs in the US could be a risk too far. While restrictions on the sale of incandescents in the UK brought grumbles from the usual sources complaining that fluorescents were the lighting equivalent of straight bananas, across the pond the move has drawn the unnerving attention of the shouty conservative right wing.

Leading the defence of American liberty against the dark forces of low-energy lighting is Glenn Beck, king of the conservative talk-show angry men and Tea Party favourite. ‘I hate fluorescent light bulbs, hate them with everything in me,’ Beck fulminated. ‘Hate them, hate them, hate them.’ Republican Congressman Fred Upton, who took the demonic step of inserting a lighting energy-efficiency clause into

US legislation, fell squarely into Beck’s cross hairs, being labelled ‘socialist’ for his efforts, which is about as bad as it gets in Beck’s list of naughty words. If Beck and his comrades limit themselves to dumping boxes of CFLs into Boston Harbour, the lighting industry will have got off lightly.

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