In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈdʒɛvənz/; sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource. In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.
Just worth sharing because it’s a theory which means that we really need to be smarter about the way we look at eco-friendly technologies.
The more efficient a process becomes the more we will use it thus increasing pollution. So any gains we make with, for example, shale gas, are lost through extra use.
Let’s not get fucked by that.