Comment 31746

By lorne (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2009 at 19:05:03

Capitalist said:

People are not going to stop flying or driving because oil prices are going up. They will come up with new ideas so as to get improved fuel efficiency. Today's airplanes and cars use much less fuel than in the past. There is no reason to think that this will not continue.

That may well be, but as Rubin points out in his book, each increase in fuel efficiency, whether it be in cars, airplanes, or energy-saving devices, has resulted, not in energy savings, but in increased energy expenditures. For example, as airlines became more energy efficient, the cost to fly became lower. Consequently, more people took to the skies, resulting in more, not less oil usage. Similarly, as cars became more energy efficient, people could go further on a gallon of gasoline, and they did, the end result being that they drove more.

The book, though alarming in many ways, really needs to be read by people, especially those who hold to the belief of a 'deus ex machina' of new technology as the saviour of our bloated lifestyles.

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