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Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is Just Life

Living is taking and giving back energy.
Less people would consume less, but would produce less.
"Nothing is produced or destroyed, everything just changes..."
When we are born, we occupy a space, we live in it, make it smaller or bigger and then we die, leaving the space to somebody else. It is in the matter of things that we live and grow, that we consume and produce, one more, the other less.
There is no secret in life, this IS LIFE.

A provocative post by Zorn

Conserve energy all you want, it won’t save the environment. I can prove it, and you will be surprised how I do…

A few weeks ago I received an email from a local environmental group that shocked the hell out of me. It talked about an economist named William Stanley Jevon who, in the 1800s, came up with an economic theory called Jevon’s Paradox or later known as waste homeostasis.

This theory is now widely known in economics. Remember this.

It states that “as technological improvements increase the efficiency with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may increase, rather than decrease.”

Examples are increases in food production efficiency. By increasing the food produced per acre of land, it allowed the world population to grow, thus using more food. Theoretically, as we were able to get more food from the same amount of land, we should have been able to farm less. This didn’t happen. By making food plentiful, we encourage population growth. As cars got more efficient, people drove more. As they made more efficient refrigerators, people bought bigger refrigerators. The main idea here is that as we create more efficient items that use less energy, we will just use more of that item, and again use MORE energy.

You would say ‘well people won’t just buy bigger and bigger refrigerators as they get more efficient, so eventually people will buy a more efficient refrigerator that uses less energy, but is the same size as their old one. Saves energy, right?’

Here’s the interesting part.

What happens when technology gives you a more efficient item, that saves energy? CFC light bulbs. You save money. Your electric bill goes down, you have an extra $10 a month in your pocket.

What do you do with the $10? Buy a toy for your child?

It takes energy to make that toy. A factory in China uses energy to make it, a ship transports it here, trucks move it to stores… all using energy. You CREATED more energy usage by saving MONEY because of an ‘increase in efficiency’ (the CFC light bulb is more efficient than the incandescent)

Got a Hybrid car, saving on gas? Where does the money go that you saved?

Now, think you will beat the system and save your money? It goes in the bank, where it is used to give out LOANS to other people and businesses that then BUY things with that money. Those things ALL take energy to produce, run, etc. A business borrows money from a bank, part of it is your saved money - they build a new factory. More energy used.

Remember I said this is a widely known economic principle/theory…

Do you think GE does not know this? Does Al Gore not know this? Now ask yourself:

Are CFC light bulbs really saving the world?

Now there could be small gains in this. you could save a LOT of energy and use that money to buy something that only took a little energy to create. You could buy a tree and plant it in your yard. Don’t sweat though doing it, as the energy used to supply us with meat has been said to be a huge factor in CO2 emissions…as you burn calories, you literally use precious energy. Your *existence* uses up energy.

We cannot buy our way out of Global Warming or Peak Oil. We cannot even Save our way out of it. The ONLY solutions are:

- Have LESS people thereby consuming less energy. Population control. People use energy.
- save the money and never use it, or put it in a bank. Go out back and burn it. When you spend money, its really ‘energy consumption’ in a piece of paper. If it is destroyed, it is ‘energy’ that won’t be used, because it won’t be used to buy anything. On second thought, don’t burn it, bury it. Fire creates CO2, and then when the Global Warming thing blows over, you have a nice nest egg. If we don’t fall victim to hyper inflation that is…
- Buy something that creates energy. Solar panels. That’s about it. There are other things that create energy, but I think people would agree that solar panels will help us, while buying gas to power a generator to run your electric… not the best way to try and help the world.
- Pay MORE for energy, which really means - get less efficient. This is just the downward side of Jevon’s paradox. Ethanol is less efficient than gas. You might pay the same at the pump, but ethanol is subsidized - tax money. There is more money (energy) being put INTO the production of ethanol than their is a gallon of gas, so it is less efficient. This is the opposite of ‘progress’… The tax money used to subsidize the corn for ethanol takes tax dollars from some other program OR, we have to raise taxes. Somewhere, more energy (money) is being used to make that gallon of ethanol.
- Lastly - become poor. Less money = less energy used. Maybe Bush really IS smarter than we think, as he is destroying the US economy, we become poor, and use less energy!

That’s it. Don’t marvel at the gas you save in your hybrid when you go out and buy a new shirt with the money you saved on gas…

And I KNOW I am not the only one in the world who replaced 60 watt incandescent bulbs with ‘100 watt’ output CFC bulbs. “More light, and STILL cheaper than the 60 watt cost to run… now what will I do with that money I saved on my electric bill…”
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