Charles Kelm wrote:Clearly the CFLs are a stopgap measure.
Lighting accounts for 10% of household electricity use, household electricity use accounts for 39% of total electricity use, electricity uses 40% of total energy, and 70% of electricity is derived from fossil fuels.
10% of household electricity use
3.9% of total electricity use
1.1% of total fossil fuel use
For fresh CFLs and using manufacturers inflated lumen numbers would translate into a savings of 7.5% off of household electricity use and 0.8% off of total fossil fuel use. Using more realistic numbers (65% of claimed lumen, 80% lumens over it's lifetime) gives us 3.9% household electricity savings and 0.42% total fossil fuel savings.
3.9% isn't a stopgap, it's a joke, it's nothing
, almost anything you do to conserve power will dwarf these pitiful savings.
The amount of mercury emitted just to produce the power differential for an incandescent with the standard grid mix is greater than that contained in the CFL.
As Wheaton states in his article this is only true if we accept very generous estimations of CFL light output and longevity, and landfill mercury sequestration.
And if CFLs are handled properly, NO mercury is released into the environment.
It's ludicrous to believe that the average consumer will be disposing of them properly when eco-conscious early adopters aren't.
There's also the every present risk to the occupants of a broken CFL.