Monday, May 9, 2016
#130 / Jevons
The Jevons Paradox is also called the efficiency dilemma. Click right here for an article in The New Yorker that explains the concept.
William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882) was an English economist and logician. In 1865, talking about coal, Jevons opined that an increased efficiency in the use of coal, or any energy source, for that matter, would actually increase, not decrease, overall energy consumption. Such has proved to be the case. In recent times, the "paperless office" has, in fact, increased the consumption of paper.
The idea of "sustainable growth" is self-contradictory. So says Jevons. So says our experience.
The only way to use less, actually, is to USE LESS. The "Story of Stuff" project continues to be a source of good advice on this topic. And then there is this graffiti, which kind of sums it all up:
(1) - http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/20/the-efficiency-dilemma
(2) - https://honeycombcommons.com/2015/02/11/freakonomics-and-the-jevons-paradox/