|Some diffidently propose
that we limit greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency and
conserving fossil fuel resources. That is a good thing, but experience tells
us this approach will not work.
| It is a fundamental creed of engineers to
improve the efficiency of their processes and machines. Efficiency has
improved immensely since our use of fossil fuel began in earnest some 200 years ago. Indeed
heat engines have gone from some 1% efficiency then to the near perfection of
combined cycle power plants today.
|The resultant expanded use
of energy has escalated overall emissions. Jevons documented this aspect of
energy use in a free society back in 1865 and it is sometimes referred to as
|This phenomena is so well
known that it is hard to understand the emphasis placed on efficiency and
conservation in plans to manage greenhouse gases.