NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 16, 2013

Editorial: Other voices, other views on the issues

Excerpts from the editorials of other New England newspapers:

This year, lighting America for the holidays will consume more than 6 trillion watt-hours of electricity, or, using U.S. Department of Energy figures, roughly enough to power every home in New Hampshire for one month. To produce the extra electricity, utilities will have to burn huge quantities of natural gas and in some cases coal. The annual luxury of lights offsets some of the efforts being made to combat climate change, so this year give the planet a present and swap at least some of those strings of tiny incandescent lights for LED lights, which use up to 90 percent less energy and last decades, not just a season or two.

White incandescent Christmas lights emit 95 percent of the energy they consume as heat rather than light. Colored lights create even more heat and less light. Knowing that the greenhouse gases emitted to power the lights are helping to melt the snow under Santa’s sleigh — not to mention the ice under polar bears — takes a bit of the warm holiday glow off the annual festival of lights that occurs in almost every neighborhood. Switching to LED lights saves energy and money. According to the online retailer ChristmasLightsEtc, a heavy user with a light-outlined home would spend $115.26 per holiday season to run incandescent mini-lights but just $15.32 for LEDs.

Swap the lights and have a more energy-efficient holiday.

-- The Concord (N.H.) Monitor

There was a very unusual headline coming out of Iceland recently. Well, unusual for that country anyway. It seems police shot and killed a man who started shooting at police when they entered his building. What makes this story so unusual, extraordinary even, is that it’s the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944.

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