In 1865 William Stanley Jevons pointed out something paradoxical: historically, the better we get at efficiently using a resource, the more of that resource we use. Known as the “Jevons paradox,” it’s been the elephant in the room for advocates of energy efficiency, who cite it as one of the core technologies that could reduce the carbon intensity of our industrial civilization. But perhaps it’s time to lay this “rule” to rest, says Energy Circle Founder Peter Troast, who points out that increased resource usage has always taken place in the context of ever-increasing supplies of energy and an expanding economy.
In the same vein, a new study from researchers at Stanford suggests the appetite for travel has reached saturation in the developed world, meaning further gains in transportation energy efficiency “could leave the absolute levels of [transport-related greenhouse gas] emissions in 2020 or 2030 lower than today.”
Meanwhile, oil prices are creeping back up, leading the chief economist at the International Energy Agency to warn that the price of a barrel of crude imperils the current global economic recovery.
EPA’s New Climate Rules Spur Intense Debate
The industry response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s forthcoming regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act has led to a war of words at the National Journal, where representatives from the National Mining Association and the George C. Marshall Institute duke it out with the l上海千花网论坛