An aggressive and practical strategy?

Posted April 26th, 2007 by Sylvia S Tognetti and filed in Paradox
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At the Oil Drum, Jeff Vail provides a more nuanced explanation of why energy efficiency measures are not effective as a standalone solution for reducing energy consumption (alluded to in earlier PNT posts, here and here and in future ones not yet written…).  Among these are the Jevons Paradox which, applied to energy has a “rebound effect.” Lower demand brings down prices which increases demand. Perhaps not to previous levels, but then there is the indirect or “shadow” rebound effect of what is done with the money saved, like taking a trip to Hawaii, or just spending it on plastic baubles or other goods and services that require energy to produce.

One solution to this is an energy tax, and then investing the proceeds in the design of and transition to lifestyles that consume less energy, like development of mass transportation, for example? Gas taxes are a show-stopper for elected officials who fear to even mention the possibility but, if prices are going to go up anyway, the choice isn’t between paying more or less but between adding to oil company coffers and getting better public transportation and other public services in exchange. But to do that, we would also have to keep our elected officials accountable… An interesting research question is whether there would be a higher willingness-to-pay taxes  if those paying them had more confidence it would bring improved services.

As for reducing the reduction of the rate of increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by a whopping 4/10ths of 1%, Stephen Colbert gives credit, where credit is due for the administration’s “aggressive and practical strategy” for increasing real estate in Greenland, includes a few hot melting facts, and nails Bush for not paying any attention to the Poles:

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