Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jevons' Paradox

Jevons’ Paradox is the idea that as people gain the technology to increase resource efficiencies the demand for that resource increases as well, thus increasing the rate of consumption instead of decreasing it. This is a rebound effect. By making a resource more efficient thus more affordable the demand and thus the consumption increases. There are many examples of this throughout history. One example is gold. Gold used to be a resource and a luxury that very few could afford. Over time the efficiency of mining gold has improved leading to more available gold that can be sold at lower prices. Today many people can afford to buy gold jewelry and other items made of gold. Another example of this paradox is the use of airlines today. In the past travel by air was inefficient and unreliable. Over time and with improved technology the efficiencies have improved making air travel more affordable and therefore the demand and the number of people relying on air travel has increased greatly over the years.

There is a great deal of emphasis of consumer spending and consumer shopping. One of the reasons for this is because the government wants to keep the economy going. Another reason is that people are trying to keep up with each other. I think many people especially in this country are very materialistic and everyone wants what someone else has. This materialistic attitude fuels shopping, and the availability of credit cards allows many people to spend when they don’t have money to spend. If consumer spending were to decrease the economy would probably become more unstable but many people would probably be better off. If people were to focus more on the things they do have than the things that they don’t have we would probably be happier and healthier.

The term “sea of selves” refers to the way we usually only think about ourselves. Sometimes we think about others but very rarely do we do something to change things. We act on behalf of ourselves and do what is best for us not usually what is best for society or for the world and the environment. Dardozzi talks about the idea of civic and divine. He means that people need to think more of their communities and the bigger picture not only of themselves and their families. People need to become part of something bigger like a community so that the focus is not totally on self.

I think the article by Jeff Dardozzi is very interesting. I agree with the idea that people are focused almost exclusively on themselves and the people closest to them. I also agree with the idea that people have very little sense of community, and are unable or unwilling to see the effects of human actions on the world and the environment. I think that that this assignment is due on Veterans Day because veterans’ day is the act of honoring those people who have given their lives for us and our country. These people probably think about people other than themselves. Today however Veterans Day is about something different. All over today I saw ads and signs for Veterans Day sales and specials. Today we are supposed to be honoring people who fought for our country but we have turned it into a consumer shopping holiday

No comments:

Post a Comment