John Rainbird responded today:
Hi Phil – it is a critical point you make. Efficiency has to be a core part of the response, but what is lacking are the other measures to prevent the rebound effect of increased efficiency on resource use. What are your thoughts on what these might be? John
Right, that’s the rub. We need to efficiently use the earth, but at the moment our efficiencies are being used to multiply our uses of the earth. Our most popular mental failing in that regard, though, is seeing the obvious “dumb question” that raises, and then not doing what you just did, asking it.
So… how do we get to the bottom of this? The basic dilemma seems to be how many ways we are using conceptual models, often build with cultural values instead of solid observations, to represent how the physical world works and are simply way off.
“New School of Thought Brings Energy to ‘the Dismal Science‘” October 23, 2009 (online Business page)
The NY Times seemed to break its silence on what some call “the physical world problem” in nicely covering the BioPhysical Economics meeting I presented to last week. They included mention of my presentation on the surprising problem that our main way of slowing down resource uses has and will continue to accelerate them.
It’s bound to be confusing… that the sustainability movement misunderstood the use of efficiency to decrease our energy and economic impacts, since it naturally has and will continue to multiplying them. See the links below for my presentation. Continue reading Why efficiency speeds up consumption – reported NY Times…
re: Dot Earth 10/22/09 on Keeping the Gas in the Pipeline
Ah yes Andy…If CO2 was “pink”, then we’d all SEE it. Good idea.
That’s something we might connect to one of the nice clear ways to clearly visualize it, imagining all the “pink gas” you’d need to “exhale” for each choice you make to consume fossil fuels. It’s a shocker, I warn you. This is actually very legitimate math. It’s based on the reality that most spending will naturally have about average embodied energy and carbon content. (see www.synapse9.com/design/dollarshadow.htm) Continue reading Dot Earth – What if CO2 was “pink”
New object oriented natural science for working with natural systems.