07 January, 2008

Is it just me?

First it was the toilet, mandating the installation of lower volume flush designs that cost more and often require more then one flush to get the job done.

Then Freon was outlawed (one more thing to cross the border for)

California even mandated MTBE as an ”oxygenate” in gasoline only to find out that it cause more problems with groundwater pollution than any supposed benefit - of course the price went up when it was mandated and again once it was discontinued.

As a Christmas (Sol Invictus day? Mithras Day? Mid-Winter Solstice?) gift the Feds recently passed legislation that outlaws the 100 watt incandescent light bulb effectively forcing CFL on us, (things that make you go “Humm?” didn’t we ban mercury thermometers? I used to have a large vial of mercury - perhaps that and the lead paint explain a lot) Liquid mercury is no where near a health hazard as the mercury vapor in a fluorescent light (if you break one, open all windows and evacuate for at least 15 min.) We use CFLs and standard fluorescent tubes where it makes sense to use them but as they don’t work well with dimmers or come in chandelier sized sockets, or tolerate cold and take 15 minutes to come to full brightness they don’t work everywhere. I also have some LED bulbs but they cost considerably more and have other limitations that preclude more common usage.

Now California in its 2008 proposed title 24 revisions is mandating something called a "programmable communicating thermostat" or PCT.

If adopted as proposed this will require every new home and any change to an existing residential HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system to be controlled by one of these. Programmable thermostats are nothing new; the catch is the communicating part. Your home thermostat must also now have a “non removable” FM_RDS receiver that will allow “The Power Authorities” (whomever they may be, I don’t recall voting for any) to override any locally programmed set points and times – in addition (to encourage “interoperability” - interoperability with what?) the PCTs are also required to have expansion ports that will allow utilities and other service providers to add communications modules and establish links to other devices - what other devices? My stove? Refrigerator/freezer? Microwave? Cable & TV? Hot water heater? Washer & dryer? House lights?

If you live in California and don’t like this latest "camel nose under the tent" (nose under the tent? Heck, the entire syphilitic beast is spitting in your couscous) you’ve got until the end of January 2008 to make your legislative representative aware of your thoughts on the subject.

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