Monday, March 7, 2011

Legislative Mandates For Energy Efficiency Almost Always Increase Energy Use

From The New York Times article "When Energy Efficiency Sullies the Environment" by John Tierney:
But a growing number of economists say that the environmental benefits of energy efficiency have been oversold. Paradoxically, there could even be more emissions as a result of some improvements in energy efficiency, these economists say.
Read the complete article here.

The following are two of my previous posts on the Jevons effect.

See my September 30, 2010 post, "Jevons Effect In Action: US Homes Use Same Per Capita Energy As In 1971."

Also see my May 20, 2009 post, "Benefits of Higher Auto MPG Will Not Occur."

Now if The New York Times and the economists who are just understanding the Jevons effect, understood the Kaya Identity, they would recognize that even a carbon tax will not lower worldwide total carbon emissions. Population growth, GDP and standard of living growth, and increasing uses for energy will increase carbon emissions, even with a carbon tax. Technological solutions to remove carbon and a switch to proven low carbon energy production technologies are possibly the best solutions.

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