Hey Mr. Green,
I drive a Prius, I turn off lights when I'm not in a room, I take short showers, and I otherwise try to do my part to conserve energy and avoid creating excess greenhouse gases. However, mandating 100 percent use of fluorescent lighting (or at least banning incandescents) is a misguided idea.
I use compact fluorescents in many areas of my home. However, they are useless for referencing the color photos I print, for selecting clothing, and (for women, primarily) for applying makeup that will look good outdoors or in daylight-illuminated rooms. Fluorescent lamps provide highly skewed color references because even with complex phosphors, they are not full-spectrum lights.
Banning incandescents, which are full spectrum, would create a serious problem in many types of industry and retail environments. Beyond that, fluorescents flicker, typically at 120 Hz, and this can stop or change the visual impression of rotating parts. In industry or even in a hobby shop, this can cause disastrous results. Horrific injuries can occur when someone thinks a part is stopped and it's actually still rotating. Since incandescent lamps glow continuously, they don't cause this problem.
Also, a significant percentage of the population suffers from various visual- or brain-processing symptoms that are exacerbated by the harsh colors and flicker of fluorescent lamps. Those who are afflicted with scotopic sensitivity syndrome (Irlen syndrome), some forms of epilepsy, and so forth will have no way to avoid the triggering effect if they are unable to easily procure standard incandescent lamps. In short, encourage use of compact fluorescents, offer financial incentives, and educate, but do not legislate against an alternative that has many safety and quality-of-life benefits for various populations and pursuits. --Gary Davis in Hidden Hills, California
Thanks for raising some interesting points. Even advocates for banning incandescents realize that these energy-hogging bulbs may have some usefulness. In announcing his country's ban, the Australian minister for the environment and water resources noted that "special-needs areas, such as medical lighting and oven lights, will be taken into consideration."