[lit-ideas] Re: Time - Global Warming Pro's and Con's

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:08:53 -0400

Paul: people could kind of co-operate by NOT driving behemoth SUVs. But they WON'T!!! And that is because Gas is too cheap. Go to a European country where gas cost 6 or 7 bucks a gallon and ALL the cars are small and fuel-efficient.

Eric: There's a contrary paradox too isn't there? By improving efficiency, one also encourages consumption. See below.



There is a problem of conservation, known as Jevon’s paradox:

Jevons, in The Coal Question (1865) [1], drew attention to the Watt steam engine. It was invented because the older Newcomen engine was so inefficient.

But making steam power more efficient made the use of steam power spread more widely, and therefore coal consumption increased.

Jevons’ Paradox is that conservation can encourage and increase consumption. Conservation does not necessarily, and of itself, reduce consumption.

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