My mother and a friend have both pointed this one out to me:
How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb?
In California, the answer is a majority — plus Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Decrying the inefficiency of the common light bulb, a Democratic Assemblyman from Los Angeles wants California to become the first state to ban it — by 2012.
Assemblyman Lloyd Levine says compact fluorescent light bulbs, which often have a spiral shape and are being promoted by Wal-Mart, are so efficient that consumers should be forced to use them. The compact bulbs use a quarter the energy of a conventional light.
I no longer live in California. But anyone who does, please write your representatives about this. Fluorescent lighting (yeah, even often the new stuff) can result in total shutdown in autistic people, trigger migraines, and all kinds of other nasty things.
I took a sign language class under fluorescent lighting in California. It was a night class. My mother drove a brown minivan at the time. When I came out of the classroom, I was so confused that I tried to open the door of and get into a white station wagon that someone entirely unlike my mother was driving. I in fact tried repeatedly and did not notice until someone pointed out that this was not my mother’s car. Moreover, I could not see the signs people were doing, and I could not coordinate my hands to sign. I got confused, disoriented, and nearly immobile.
These days, if I spend too long under fluorescent lights, as a bonus I also get a really nasty migraine along with plenty of vomiting and such. A friend of mine used to get seizures from them (she was not naturally epileptic but was on a medication that lowered the seizure threshold). (I even have a letter from my doctor insisting on incandescent lighting, on my official documents page.)
LED-based lights, by the way, are energy-efficient and non-fluorescent, but nobody seems to be talking much about those, only about the evil fluorescents.
This is an accessibility issue for many disabled Californians, and needs to be framed as one somehow. I wish I had contacts in the Californian disability community, I wish there was more I could do about this, does anyone know anything in that regard? Are any disabled Californians and their allies organized around this? Because someone needs to be, and I’m too far away to do anything but point it out on a blog on the Internet.