Tag Archives: light

One Measure of Progress

This quote from friend-of-CEI Matt Ridley is too good not to share. Something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving:

Ask how much artificial light you can earn with an hour of work at the average wage. The amount has increased from 24 lumen-hours in 1750 BC (sesame oil lamp) to 186 in 1800 (tallow candle) to 4,400 in 1880 (kerosene lamp) to 531,000 in 1950 (incandescent light bulb) to 8.4 million lumen-hours today (compact fluorescent bulb). Put it another way, an hour of work today earns you 300 days’ worth of reading light; an hour of work in 1800 earned you ten minutes of reading light.

Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, p. 20.

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Friday Regulation Roundup

Some of the stranger governmental goings-on I dug up over the week:

-The federal government is spending $73m this year on the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program.

-The federal government has 5,647 words of formaldehyde regulations for the workplace.

-The federal government has an Arthritis Advisory Committee. They’re meeting on May 12 if you care to attend.

-Government spends $2,000,000 on phone lines for a town of 80 people, some of whom already own satellite dishes.

OSHA considers sand a poison because it contains silica.

-Vermont to spend $150,000 to build a tunnel for salamanders to cross a road safely.

-The federal government has a Highbush Blueberry Council.

-A fish hatchery in South Dakota is getting $20,000 in stimulus money for new light fixtures.

-In Virginia, it is illegal in many instances to turn on your air conditioning before May 1. Cato’s Tom Firey has more.

EPA says that de-icing fluid for windshields is an environmental hazard. Worried airline pilots say the EPA is the real safety hazard.

-It is illegal in Kentucky for anyone under 18 to play pool without photo ID and written parental consent.