Comment 32005

By Dave Thompson (registered) | Posted June 22, 2009 at 20:22:24

lorne said:

"...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."

This is the Jevon's Paradox, and Rubin unfortunately doesn't go very deep on this in his book. It's the biggest disappointment in his book in my view.

The Jevons paradox is quite complex, and it doesn't always hold. The Wikipedia entry on this is actually quite good. Also see the RMI article "Beating the Energy Efficiency Paradox" for some examples of where the Paradox clearly hasn't held.

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