I found another website trying to motivate the public to install CFLs. Yahoo! has created a website called 18Seconds.org - claiming that it only takes 18 seconds to install a CFL - and, thus, make a difference against global warming. The website states:
"What kind of difference can one CFL make? Consider this: If every American swapped just ONE bulb for an ENERGY STAR labeled CFL, it would collectively save more than $8 billion in energy costs, prevent burning 30 billion pounds of coal, and remove 2 million cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere. Just imagine the difference we could make if we replaced all of the lights we use most!"
The site also points out that if you've considered trying CFLs in the past, but were turned off by the high price or the lack of styles, it is time to look again. Prices have come down dramatically over the last few years. In many places, there are also rebates and government subsidies for CFLs. In Maine, an organization called Efficiency Maine (click here for more information) offers an in-store coupon to reduce the cost of CFLs.
As for styles, the days of few options are behind us. In the past, the only CFLs available were the spiral ones that replaced the 40/60/100W incandescent bulbs in what I think of as "normal light fixtures". Today, there is a CFL to fit virtually any lighting situation. Small globes, large globes, dimmable - even ones that look similar to the traditional light bulb with no visible spirals.
If you haven't already, take the 18 seconds necessary to replace an incandescent bulb with a CFL. If you have already replaced one, then do another. This is the easiest and, I think, most cost-effective way to begin to reduce your carbon footprint.
See the Wikipedia entry to learn about CFLs.