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Overinvesting in energy efficiency, on purpose | David Roberts - Grist

This is the fourth post in a mini-series on the rebound effect. Here are posts one, two, and three.

Let's briefly review what we've covered so far in my rebound series:

  1. Climate change means we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a lot, beginning immediately.
  2. There are two ways to reduce GHG emissions from energy: increase low-carbon energy supply and/or decrease total energy consumption.
  3. Ramping up clean energy supply can't be done fast enough to keep us within our carbon budget, certainly not in the short- to mid-term, if at all. So we've got to use less energy.
  4. There are two ways to reduce energy demand: reduce the energy intensity of the global economy and/or reduce the growth of the global economy.
  5. Substantially reducing global energy intensity turns out to be extremely difficult, thanks in part to the rebound effect.
  6. If energy intensity can't be reduced quickly enough, then the only answer left (other than failing to stabilize global temperature at all) is slowing GDP growth. Yikes.

So where does this leave us? In my mind, two big questions remain, regarding Nos. 5 and 6.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:12:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, even Dave Roberts is simply wrong about point three. Ramping up renewables drastically can well be done, though that of course is only one part of the problem.

Let's also not forget that in this very Salon, are the first reports of an increase in strokes within hours of higher levels of PM2.5s.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:37:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he's simply wrong to say we need to use less energy. Which connects with air pollution too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 03:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was only referring to point three. for the record, in my circle of advocates going back to the mid-70s, energy efficiency (negawatts) was always choice number one. that hasn't changed.

but the renewable industries have already proven that the scale up of the necessary supply chain is not only doable, it's been done. and it's critical for people with as much influence as him to understand that.

(so why don't you send him an email? hey CH, sometimes you show evidence of functioning.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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