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In Which The Guardian Fails To Catch Up With Worstall And Other Victorians

Could the rebound effect undermine climate efforts? | Environment | guardian.co.uk
One member of the Guardian's environment desk admits to leaving his energy-saving lightbulbs on more than traditional bulbs. Owners of fuel-efficient cars tend to drive them more often.
These are both examples of an often-overlooked phenomenon which, according to a new report, could undermine attempts to tackle climate change.
The so-called rebound effect occurs when some of the savings from energy efficiency are cancelled out by changes in people's behaviour...The rebound effect is still an under-researched and controversial topic.

It is not so-called "the rebound effect"; last year The Mighty Worstall Organ reminded us that
in 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.
It is known, not "so-called", as the Jevons paradox, sometimes called the Jevons effect.
(The paper itself does acknowledge Jevons)

Comments

As regards lighting, I read somewhere that we have spent a constant proportion of income on it, through rushes, candles, lamps, gas and leccy, to get more light.

Similar to the Law of Unintended Consequences then. Obviously no one has considered the ramifications of telling everyone to economise - and as the previous commentor points out, what we spend on things like lighting, heating and travel tend to be a constant. It costs more, we use less, we find economies in usage, so we actually use more within the parametres of cost and budget.

Is this the same effect that was seen in Germany when ABS braking was introduced and German drivers bought lots of ABS cars ? They expected accident rates to fall, they didn't, and it was discovered that ABS drivers were driving closer to the car in front than they would have done with normal brakes.

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