Monday, October 18, 2010

The limits to energy efficiency | Green Left Weekly

The limits to energy efficiency | Green Left Weekly: "However, strong evidence has emerged that new energy efficient technologies alone won’t do much to cut emissions.

Indeed, in a capitalist economy, it’s very likely that energy efficiency gains will lead to higher energy use, not less."
This is Jevons' economic principle. "All things equal, making something more efficient means more usage." We need solutions that change the basic economics. Transport is a system. Systems have tipping points. The auto-system is heavily subsidized and very wasteful. If we increase energy supply the auto-system will consume it. We must first reach a tipping point against the auto. Then the auto subsidies will be seen to be burdensome instead of necessary. The way to do it is free public transport.

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