26 Sep '11, 4am

The Paradox of Water

The Paradox of Water

IBM recently made the case for harnessing human ingenuity to help conserve the Great Lakes. And Bayer HealthCare just boasted about new proprietary system that saves 20,000 gallons per day. But both companies miss something big: without the right political foundation, such new technology may drive us to use more water and energy. This paradox emerged in 1865, a time when industrial England ruled the world. But as ‘peak coal’ grew scarce, the country feared it would deplete its own lifeblood. Boosters dismissed the need for conservation and pointed to ‘high-tech’ steam engines, which improved efficiency, requiring less coal to generate more energy. Enter 29-year-old economist William Stanley Jevons . His studies measured the effects of supply and demand, and found that widespread access to efficiency technology would actually speed up depletion as more people used more mach...

Full article: http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/153-the-paradox-of-water

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