Friday, November 30, 2007

Is increased efficiency an excuse to use more?

I frequently see references to the fact that improving efficiency in our grid, generation, gasoline usage is all just a sop that allows continued growth without needing to pay the price of that growth. Essentially, it reduces the marginal cost of growth because by being more efficient, we can afford to drive farther, build newer, more efficient and sprawling housing developments, etc.

There is no question in my mind that efficiency is a necessary part of the equation for reducing or halting exponential growth. But, is improving efficiency now, when we're getting close to seeing the end of inexpensive fuels such as oil actually a bad thing that dilutes the cost of limited resources?

Powered by ScribeFire.