A short study compared the mercury in the CFL with the amount of mercury that electricity produced by coal burned to power the incandescent would have put into the air or emitted.
You can guess the results. Hint: CFL won by a longshot.
How long has this technology been sitting on a shelf while Edison's 'classic' incandescents continued to sell well? Suddenly, California makes threatening noises & Australia actually bans the bulb & voila - GE pulls new, efficient incandescent technology out of it's... lab.
Curious timing aside, I hope it's everything they claim it to be. CFLs are fine, but disposal's a problem, and for people with traditional dimmers, Compact Flourescents aren't an option. If GE's wonderbulb yields CFL efficiencies without the downside, I'm in. Of course by the time this actually hits the shelves, we may all have OLED wallpaper & the lightbulb may be as quaint as the gaslamp