Sustainability and Values, Birds and Wind

I have always maintained that every action justified by sustainability has side effects, and that it becomes a values-based judgement as to whether the value of the sustainability improvement outweighs negative impacts of the side effects. Being a values-based judgement means that not everyone will view the cost-benefit tradeoff the same way. Further complicating matters is the fact that the tradeoffs are apples versus oranges, as in the case of compact florescent light bulbs, that have much better energy efficiency than our historical incandescent bulbs, but also have embedded mercury that poses other threats if not handled appropriately.