Jevon's paradox: 2 people, looking over a busy road from a balcony, remark how everyone's driving everywhere now that cars are so efficient

Jevon’s Paradox

Back in 1865, a chap called William Stanley Jevons noted that while there had been a number of improvements in coal efficiency in steam engines and the like, instead of reducing consumption the effect was to increase consumption instead — Jevon's paradox.

While it’s not a surefire outcome, there are plenty of parallels like more efficient batteries leading to more overall battery use, washing machines leading to doing more washes rather than less time spent washing, or the ability to recycle some plastics leading to more overall plastic consumption.

This is sometimes known as the rebound effect.

Also see the fifth fuel: energy efficiency, and save some landfill.

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