Sunday, May 22, 2005

Jevon's Paradox Infests Oil Consumption Forecasting

A recent Energy Outlook musing about SUVs reminds us that Jevon's Paradox (resource utilization effiency leads, not to lower demand, but higher) is alive and well. In Geoff's scenario, SUVs are being wrongly blamed for the large increase in oil consumption; the real problem is the number of miles driven overall. FuturePundit passes on a piece by Walter's Brain On Sustainable Mobility (whew!) in which he initially indicated that efficiency would result in more miles being driven. The reality, after a few hours of meditation and some corrections, seems to be more along the lines of "less fuel would be consumed, but not as much as the improvement in fuel economy."