Its ok, I was using CFL's before it was cool even though they are full of mercury:).
Yup, but even with the 4mg of mercury they have in them, over their lifetime, using an incandescent bulb in it's place will cause more than twice that much mercury to be released from the 51% of your power that comes from coal sources (nationwide average, some areas like mine get a higher percentage of power from coal than others). Also, unlike the mercury released from fossil plant emissions, you can do something to prevent the mercury in CFL's from being released. Every Home Depot as well as most household hazardous waste centers will take them in for recycling now. Oh yeah, and some of the newer models of CFL bulbs only have 1.75mg of mercury.
But either way, even if it were an LED light... even only a couple of watts used constantly is a few more cents you'll spend on the next power bill. Turning out the lights behind you has to be one of the easiest ways to save a few bucks.
They last longer if you leave them on longer, ironically.
That's true. CFL's are really not all that different than regular flourescent bulbs and the ballasts will last longer if left on all the time. I do have to wonder if it's worth the expense of the extra electricity useage though. I tend to think not, but I have no data to back that up, purely an uneducated guess on that one.
The problem with the doctor comparison is it would be like the surgeon general and many doctors in charge telling us quack things. Like Al Gore, Jim Hansen, Henry Waxman, oh, and our president. The loudest voices lost me a long time ago. And they are in the process of trying to implement a very expensive tax that will mostly affect those that can afford it the least. Last time Al Gore did something similar our phone bills jumped up. Now he's working on our electricity bill. And they will try to pass it off as not a tax, like they tried with the phone tax.
Just because the public policy is bad, doesn't mean private actions aren't needed.
Let me put it another way, you can still be a Christian (or insert whatever alternate religion you may be here) even though there are many leaders of many Christian groups/churches/sects/whatever that you don't agree with, many of which you may think are just in it for the money (many of them are). Because what they do doesn't invalidate Christianity, it just makes them douchebags. The same goes with "Al Gore, Jim Hansen, Henry Waxman, oh, and our president."
Oh..and Mt. Redoubt is in the process of exploding ;) http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php
Belching lots of sulfer dioxide at least. (I do something similar, but not with sulfur dioxide :-D)
LOL, true enough, but I don't think Mt Redoubt was responsible for my favorite fishing lake being closed to fishing due to high levels of lead and mercury in the fish, or all the other lakes and rivers around here (with the exception of one) that are no longer safe to consume any fish from either... or the entire Clinch river fishery that was decimated from the Kingston flyash slide.
Yes, no one should ever buy a carbon credit, but that does not mean that we (as a nation) don't need to get away from fossil fuels. We need to ditch gasoline because it's bad for our economy and security, and we need to ditch coal because it's aweful for our health and the environment around us. We already have better, cheaper alternatives available, all we have to do is make the switch.