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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Students of Nova Scotia - to the barricades!

A friend forwarded me this email that his daughter received from the Housing Office of Dalhousie University in Halifax advising her that "personnel" would be entering student rooms to replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.

Good afternoon! Please be advised that we will have teams of personnel from Clean Nova Scotia in our buildings over the next few days, as per the schedule below. They will be escorted by Dalhousie staff and will be entering all rooms in the building, including student bedrooms.

Their purpose is to change all incandescent and other lightbulbs where possible and replace them with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) or LED lights as appropriate. This can include your own personal lamps.

This is an exciting project that is a partnership between the University, Clean Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power at no cost. It will represent a major shift in reducing the GHG and carbon footprint of our residence buildings! Work will commence at approximately 10am each day.

If you have your own lamps and lights and DO NOT WISH for your bulb to be replaced, please leave a clear note on the lamp (either by sticky note or paper) saying "Please do not replace this bulb." We will be replacing all bulbs in Dalhousie fixtures regardless.

The schedule is as follows:
Shirreff Hall November 23rd - November 24th
Howe Hall November 25th
Risley Hall November 23rd - November 24th
Gerard Hall November 25th
Colpitt House November 25th
Lyall House November 25th
DeMille House November 25th

Thank you for your cooperation in this exciting project!

I'm trying to imagine a scenario where university students would meekly stand by while "personnel" from the government entered their rooms to make sure that their lifestyles were in compliance with official policy guidelines. It's hard to picture, isn't it? Attach a green label to such actions though and no one utters a word of concern. After all, every time you use an incandescent bulb, a polar bear cries.

Students of Halifax - to the barricades! Resist the enviro-fascist oppressor and his running-dog lackeys at Clean Nova Scotia! Keep the state out of your bedrooms - you have nothing to lose but your bongs and your Che posters!


Anonymous said...

A friend gave us a twisty bulb for some reason and it worked fine till I dropped it on the floor and my partner freaked - way over the top - went on the internet to find out the cleanup procedure EPA recommends. Some of it was good advice, the best part was using reversed pieces of tape to get the last little bits, but they go a little far in their recommendations. I cleaned it up and except for the future difficulty in selling a mercury contaminated site everything seems to be ok. Just throwing it out there ,eh?

EPA is environmental protection agency google it.

Anonymous said...

Funny blog - except Clean Nova Scotia isn't government - it's an environmental charity. And NS Power is trying to prevent the need to build another power plant and is starting to invest in all kinds of alternatives, like wind, solar and tidal. But they are also trying to reduce all the wasted power - so these sustainable renewable energy sources are as efficient and can be used by as many people as possible. Do you get it yet?

Eric said...

Anonymous -

Apparently YOU don't get it: the point is not the CF light bulbs, but the invasion of privacy. I have no problem with replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs, but I do have a problem with "officials" entering the personal living space of private citizens. Do Dalhousie students have the option to say to the university "no thanks - I'll replace the bulbs myself, thank you"? Apparently not.

Clean Nova Scotia may be an "environmental charity", but these folks are being "escorted" by Dalhousie staff and are working in a partnership with Nova Scotia Power, so don't tell me the government isn't involved.

If the benefits of this program are so self-evident, then make it voluntary: set up a booth in the lobby where students can trade their incandescent bulbs in for CFCs on their own initiative and I don't have any problem with it.

If we don't raise concerns about this kind of fairly minor violation of our right to privacy in student dorm rooms, then how can we argue that the state has no business entering the private homes of other citizens?

Just because it's good for the environment doesn't make violation of civil rights OK.