Is energy efficiency a key factor in reducing greenhouse emissions?
The Jevons Paradox is the idea formulated in 1865 that making coal-burning more efficient will lead inexorably to the burning of yet more coal. Newcomen’s steam engine dramatically increased the use of coal in England and William Jevons’ (1835-1882) book The Coal Question noted this. but Jevons also saw that James Watt’s more efficient version was what made coal-burning really take off, truly inaugurating the ‘age of steam’. He wrote: (more…)