Thomas Edison's great-grandson, David Edison Sloane, is not mincing words when it comes to the GOP wanting to repeal energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs:

As an inventor, Edison would have no interest in turning back the legislative clock. The wizard of Menlo Park dedicated himself to advancing human comfort, not freeze life as we knew it in 1879.

Oh snap! Edison's great-grandson just called you retrogressive.

It's kind of amusing to dig up a scientist's great-grandson (who is not a scientist — he's an English professor) to guess at what his famous scientist ancestor would have wanted. It's as if, in order to talk to science-averse politicians, we had to revert to an earlier understanding of science. "This man is descended from a great thinker! He must be a great thinker! Next up, a man whose head and facial features are beautifully shaped and proportioned will talk to us about moral goodness." But whatever, Sloane is a pretty great writer (lack of parallelism in above quote notwithstanding) and we enjoy watching him smack around provincial attitudes. Here's another hit!

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I wonder if the misguided drive to reverse progress on light bulbs isn't part of a broader assault on our environment; if so, Edison would be appalled by it. Instead, he'd be pushing America to do more, much more, to clean up our air, water and land — rather than trying to prevent such agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency from updating public health safeguards under the Clean Air Act, as some of the congressional fish-mongers are doing.