When I posted on Paul Wheaton's critique of CFLs, I noted that he was not your typical naysayer when it comes to efficiency and doing more with less. As the creator of videos on tiny houses and how to kill a chicken, you'd expect him to be a big fan of this most sacred of environmental icons. But Paul argued that households not wasting electricity should not be using light bulbs for longer than 30 seconds at a time, and at such short usage times CFLs burn out pretty quickly. The Missoulian has an update on Wheaton's anti-CFL crusade, and it appears that while Paul has some valid notions about efficient use of light, he is making a couple of flawed assumptions:
1) That his notion of 30 second lightbulb use is the norm, rather than an ideal: ""Most light bulb use in the home is going to average 30 seconds or less." (We'd be interested to know where the data for this assumption is coming from.)2) That the mercury in CFLs means they are an environmental negative. (See Pablo's column on mercury in CFLs for more on that one.)
Ultimately though, we are on the same page about a few things. We should all be turning off the lights, and we should be looking to LEDs for the next stage in truly efficient, safe lighting.