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Any interpolation is an approximation. Corrections could go both ways, or be barely significant.

The question of how much energy or carbon emissions does growth require is a fair one. Surely, marginal efficiency improvements while growing are possible. The whole world might repeat the Swedish feat of cutting emissions by 20% in 20 years, while growing by 60% (even if nominally). But ever marginal efficiency improvements do not mean that we can achieve a radically adequate target (even if wrong-headed, fuzzy-thinking opposition is out of the way). The Post-Carbon institute writes in the second reply to Krugman:

Paul Krugman and the Limits of Hubris -- Post Carbon Institute

Energy efficiency can often be improved, but such improvements are subject to the law of diminishing returns: the first five percent of improvement is cheap, the next five percent costs more, and so on.

In any case, the issue deserves more analysis and political discussion -- and wider demonstration of Swedish-type improvement.

by das monde on Tue Nov 4th, 2014 at 08:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Efficiency scales badly -the first steps are often massively profitable, then zero cost, then increasingly more expensive, and subject to jevrons paradox in any case -

This does not hold true for just wholesale switching energy input into the economy. Building a hundred x - reactors, windmills, dams, whatever -is cheaper on a unit basis than building ten. So as long as the underlying resource is sufficient, no problems.

by Thomas on Tue Nov 4th, 2014 at 10:04:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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