Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Rebound Effect (Veteran's Day Blog)

The rebound effect, also known as Jevon’s paradox, is the belief that increases in the efficiency of energy usage within technology does not lead to a reduction in the consumption of that energy. The main idea behind the rebound effect is that when a person saves money, with respect to efficiency, they will just end up spending more. An example of the rebound effect that is prominent in the United States is the availability of food and it’s link to the obesity epidemic. According to a study published in the October 27, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of obese Americans increased by 50% between 1991 and 1998. This increase in obesity is a direct result of the availability and low price of food. Relating back to the rebound effect, although the efficiency or abundance of food has increased, the consumption has exponential increased and effectively negated the benefits of the efficiency.

Essentially, the rebound effect places the responsibility, or the reason why the advances in efficiency will never end the energy crisis, on the consumers and their inability to stop spending. One of the proposed solutions to the rebound effect is to negate the savings earned from the increased efficiency in order to deter extra spending. However, the rebound effect overlooks the fact that if consumers spend significantly less money the economy will suffer and it can fall into a recession. Less spending = lesser demands for goods and services.

The phrase “sea of selves” refers to the overwhelming amount of selfish individuals who only think about themselves (and sometimes the people closest to them) in terms of survival. The concept of “sea of selves” is adverse to Bailey’s notion of the civic and the divine, which he proposes is the solution to a successful society. The civic refers to the rights, obligations and responsibilities that bind the collective to the individual. The divine refers to the belief of something greater than one's self and that the activities of the collective are significant in relation to the world. After reading about the “sea of selves” and the concept of the civic and the divine, it became apparent to me why this blog assignment was due on Veteran’s day. The individuals who fight for our country express an extreme sense of patriotism and selflessly only think in terms of the collective. Perhaps if people were required to enroll in a boot camp for ecology then the Earth would be in a better condition.

In response to Jeff Dardozzi’s very intuitive essay, I agree with his belief that anti-social elements of the human characteristic are destroying any chances of creating a successful collective and that reorganization will have to be done through force (not necessarily violently) because most people in this society only think about themselves and are content in their ignorance of the problems that we will all suffer from as a collective.

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