Friday, July 6

The Jevons Paradox

In a nutshell: new modes of economy will lead to an increase of consumption.

From Michael Giberson, quoting Joseph Tainter: technological improvements increase the efficiency with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may increase rather than decrease. This paradox has implications of the highest importance for the energy future of industrialized nations. It suggests that efficiency, conservation and technological improvement, the very things urged by those concerned for future energy supplies, may actually worsen our energy prospects.

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