The Sierra Club and the local faith community want Albuquerque to see the light. Not through spiritual transcendence or a religious epiphany, but by way of Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs, or CFLs.
On April 14, Climate Change Action Day, the Sierra Club and New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light will host a rally to raise awareness of global warming and energy use and to encourage Burqueños to burn CFLs instead of your typical bulbs. The rally will begin at Tiguex Park at 9 a.m. and parade through five neighborhoods to switch out old, incandescent wattage with new, energy-efficient CFLs. The initiative will provide CFLs to residents free of charge in exchange for old incandescent bulbs. For every five bulbs traded by a household, the city will provide a pass to the Albuquerque BioPark. The rally is part of the nationwide Step it Up, Stand Up campaign to urge Congress to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.
According to onebillionbulbs.com, a website dedicated to CFL education and promotion, CFLs “typically consume 65 percent to 75 percent less electricity than regular bulbs.” Although CFLs are slightly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they last up to 10 times longer and ultimately save homeowners money on their electric bill. More than saving a few bucks, CFLs are helping to save the planet, staving off the environmental doomsday Al Gore and his cohorts have prophesied.
Most of our nation’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants, the primary contributor to global warming. For every kilowatt hour of electricity generated by a coal-fired power plant, the EPA estimates that 1.43 pounds of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. CFLs drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as they use far less energy to illuminate.
Mayor Chavez, as well as city councilors Heinrich and Benton, will speak at the event. The kids are invited to get in on the fun, too. Children are encouraged to dress as “that which you do not want to see destroyed by climate change,” like trees and animals and fresh air. The rally promises to raise awareness of CFLs and climate change throughout Albuquerque. It will rely on city residents to take initiative and switch to CFLs. Come on, Burque. Do it for the kids.