Author Topic: Investing for the End of Growth  (Read 24748 times)

YoungInvestor

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Re: Investing for the End of Growth
« Reply #100 on: June 16, 2015, 06:15:26 AM »
From the physics, the response of climate to CO2 is not linear, but logarithmic, so each additional molecule of CO2 added to the atmosphere will have less of an impact than the ones before it.  This is due to the saturated nature of the 15 micron absorption feature.  Plus, there are likely to be net-negative feedback effects in the climate system.  I expect there is a very low climate sensitivity to CO2--most likely 1 C.  No big deal.

Not a specialist, but I think that the problem comes with the melting of ice caps, which reflect much more sunlight than sea water. A small increase in temperature brings on some melting of the ice caps -> less sunlight is reflected -> rising temperature -> more ice melts -> ...

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Investing for the End of Growth
« Reply #101 on: June 16, 2015, 06:40:50 AM »
There are really 2 things that drive me nuts about the climate change debate.
 
2: Conservation will not solve anything. It's WAY too late. Sorry, your Prius is still a CO2 disaster. Likewise your organic vegetarian prepared food. The only realistic solutions will involve HUGE efficiency improvements and/or geoengineering of some kind. We should be throwing LOTS of money at both of those things NOW. Best of all, that sort of engineering and science will throw off lots of great useful tech for other purposes.

You apparently didn't read my example on lighting. Lighting is roughly 300x as efficient as 200 years ago.

Conservation and efficiency has a LONG way to go and has huge gains still available.

Are you familiar with Jevon's Paradox? Basically, this occurs when when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (reducing the amount necessary for any one use), but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of lowered prices, which increases demand. You see evidence of this with every gain in energy efficiency devised. Incandescent light bulbs are more efficient than whale oil lamps and candles?  Great, let's stay up until midnight instead of going to bed when the sun goes down, then we can install mood lighting, landscape lighting, cabinet lighting! LED lights more efficient than incandescents? Super, leave 'em on all the time! Gas-powered cars are more efficient than grass-fed horses? Great, let's travel across the country for vacation and use our cars to commute to a job that's 50 miles away instead of working on the farm! Better internal combustion engines resulting in better fuel efficiency? More cars, bigger cars, more horsepower!!!

Obviously, I'm not suggesting we would have been better off reading by whale oil lamps and traveling by horse and buggy. Simply pointing out that efficiency gains don't naturally lead to resource conservation. Often, it's just the opposite.

DarinC

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Re: Investing for the End of Growth
« Reply #102 on: June 19, 2015, 02:38:14 PM »
Are you familiar with Jevon's Paradox? Basically, this occurs when when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (reducing the amount necessary for any one use), but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of lowered prices, which increases demand. You see evidence of this with every gain in energy efficiency devised. Incandescent light bulbs are more efficient than whale oil lamps and candles?  Great, let's stay up until midnight instead of going to bed when the sun goes down, then we can install mood lighting, landscape lighting, cabinet lighting! LED lights more efficient than incandescents? Super, leave 'em on all the time! Gas-powered cars are more efficient than grass-fed horses? Great, let's travel across the country for vacation and use our cars to commute to a job that's 50 miles away instead of working on the farm! Better internal combustion engines resulting in better fuel efficiency? More cars, bigger cars, more horsepower!!!

Obviously, I'm not suggesting we would have been better off reading by whale oil lamps and traveling by horse and buggy. Simply pointing out that efficiency gains don't naturally lead to resource conservation. Often, it's just the opposite.
I think you're talking about the rebound effect, which results in less than optimal improvements in efficiency. Jevon's paradox only pops up when efficiency improvements lower the cost of something to the point where the economic benefits from it are larger than the cost from additional use, with the end result being more use than before the efficiency improvement.

While possible, it's fairly rare to see (I think the steam engine and electricity distribution are two good examples). In the majority of cases, the rebound effect is less than 100%.

http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/3492.pdf