The downside of efficiency?

Righteous November

A few weeks ago, I went to an interesting talk by Dr. Steve Hallett at Purdue’s Botany and Plant Pathology Department.  It was about how efficiency wasn’t going to save the planet, and he referred to the Jevons paradox/effect.  Basically, even though we would like to think that more efficient use always means decreased use, historically, increases in the efficiency of many technologies have actually increased consumption.

This has to do with something called the rebound effect: when new technologies allow us to use a resource more efficiently, it drives down prices and can lead to an increase in resource consumption.  Granted, I’m not an economist, so at first I was like, “Wow, the Jevons effect makes total sense!”  Then I read more about it and apparently things are a lot more complicated. (Aren’t they always?)

While the rebound effect is pretty uncontroversial and well-supported by theory, the Jevons…

View original post 270 more words

Advertisements
This entry was posted in economics on by .

About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s