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The Jevons paradox and the myth of resource efficiency improvements.


The Jevons paradox and the myth of resource efficiency improvements.

Ed. by John M. Polimeni.

Earthscan Publications Ltd.


184 pages




The 1865 paradox states that an increase in efficiency in using a resources (such as coal) leads to increased use of that resource rather than to a reduction. Time has proven the paradox applies to more than coal; doubling the efficiency of food production over the past 50 years has not averted hunger. Therefore those who believe that technology will save us by increasing efficiency may ultimately disappointed because populations increase when efficiencies allow them to do so. The Jevons paradox applies to more than coal or food, and those working to stretch resources, including managers, academics and policy makers, may find much to ponder here. The three primary studies, along with an able introduction and conclusion, conduct an historical review of the Jevons paradox in the literature, describe the evolution of complex adaptive systems and the challenge of scientific analysis, and provide empirical evidence for the paradox's truth.

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Publication:SciTech Book News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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