Why Energy Efficiency Is Bad for the Planet
Energy efficiency means cheaper energy. Cheaper energy means having more money to spend on energy. See the problem? What we really must accept is slower economic growth.
What's the Latest Development?
In Washington's bitter political climate, the one thing everyone can agree on is energy efficiency, whether that means longer lasting light bulbs or cars that go further on a gallon of gas. But our passion for cheap energy is likely to have some unsavory knock on effects, says writer David Owen, whose new book examines something called 'the rebound effect'. "It's pretty simple: as we become more efficient at using energy, we can save money—which then allows us to use more of that energy than we did before."
What's the Big Idea?
Fundamentally, there is a tension between reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting economic growth. And while renewable energy technology is getting better, it is facing new challenges from non-renewables like Canada's tar sands and shale natural gas. One way to capitalize on more efficient energy is to build dense urban areas where people require less energy to live, but in ever-sprawling America, that could be a tough sell, not to mention scaling down economic growth to cut carbon emissions.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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