Some blog followers may be interested in a recent discussion-list post of the above title [Hake (2009). The abstract reads:
ABSTRACT: In response to Bartlett's (2004) article "Thoughts on Long-Term Energy Supplies: Scientists and the Silent Lie,” David Goldstein (2004) wrote:
“Enlightened energy efficiency policy can have much greater effects on the problems addressed in those articles than any of the solutions or scenarios that the authors presented . . . .[e.g., stopping population growth as recommended by Bartlett]. . . . .”
But to what extent, if any, is Goldstein's claim invalidated by “Jevons Paradox” (JP): “TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS THAT INCREASES THE EFFICIENCY WITH WHICH A RESOURCE IS USED, TENDS TO INCREASE (RATHER THAN DECREASE) THE RATE OF CONSUMPTION OF THAT RESOURCE”?
Jeff Dardozzi (2009), in his Population Press article on “Jevons Paradox” (JP) states that the comprehensive review Jevons Paradox: The Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements [Polimeni et al. (2007, 2009)] “clearly supports the proposition that [JP] is present in the US, Europe, and most other economies and that strategies to increase energy efficiency in themselves will do little to improve the energy situation or the ecological crisis.”
On the other hand, Steve Sorrell (2007) in his comprehensive report The Rebound Effect (another name for JP) is somewhat less certain about the influence of JP, writing:
“Rebound effects are very difficult to quantify, and their size and importance under different circumstances is hotly disputed. Also, rebound effects operate through a variety of different mechanisms and lack of clarity about these has led to persistent confusion. In general, rebound effects have been neglected when assessing the potential impact of energy efficiency policies. A key conclusion of this report is that rebound effects are of sufficient importance to merit explicit treatment. Failure to take account of rebound effects could contribute to shortfalls in the achievement of energy and climate policy goals.”
Neither Dardozzi nor Sorrell consider Bartlett's (2004) recommendation to stop population growth as a solution to environmental problems - see e.g., "The Elephant in the Room: Overpopulation" [Hake (2009)].
To access the complete 22 kB post please click on http://tinyurl.com/lf57p2 .
REFERENCES [Tiny URL's courtesy http://tinyurl.com/create.php.]
Hake, R.R. 2009. “The Jevons Paradox,” online on the OPEN AERA-L archives at http://tinyurl.com/create.php . Post of 28 Aug 2009 19:00:23-0700 to AERA-L, Net-Gold, and Physoc. The abstract was also transmitted to various discussion lists.