As usual, Richard Branson knows how to grab everyone's attention. And the Liberal Ontario government paid him half a million to ride along on that flicking train. The Environment Minister, of course, is all innocence over the logo and Branson's slogan "Flick Off." It's just a way to get young people (you know, the ones always behind the older folks on environmental trends) to start turning the lights off in order to save energy so that Toronto Hydro can charge us more per kW to make up the even greater shortfall in their revenues. Meanwhile the Conservatives had to look up "flick off" in the Urban Dictionary to learn what it meant, and they're suitably outraged at both its meaning and Branson's rather ingenious logo. The media got in the act and showed the logo round to regular folks on the street and got their requisite giggles.
Meanwhile the Conservatives in Ottawa have followed the Ontario Liberals and will ban incandescent bulbs by 2012. Fortunately, GE is developing an incandescent bulb that will be as efficient as a CFL (that's the flourescent light bulb not the football league) and will be available in 2011. My fear is that these governments will ignore the efficiency and ban that one too, just so they can say we're banning the big bad energy wolf from the door.
Now don't get me wrong, I've been flicking off for as long as I can remember, causing numerous complaints from certain family members that they can't see, and I've also bought CFLs and put them in every hard-to-reach fixture plus some. I even turned them on in the store to check for light colour and brightness before I chose which ones to buy. But I find I just can't stand the light from these bulbs, especially when I have a migraine or am even in a little pain. (I'm just speculating here, but I think CFLs flicker at very high frequencies, which my eyes pick up on. LEDs and incandescents "look" different to me.) And since pain is my life partner, it gets a bit difficult in rooms where a CFL is the only source of light. My energy bill is happy though -- until Hydro dinged me for my conservation. However, I would be much happier with readily available LED alternatives to CFLs and that highly efficient incandescent bulb GE is working on. After all, no CFL or LED in their current incarnations can replace the warmth and dimmability of an incandescent, particularly on a romantic night.