11 May '11, 11am

How bad ideas break through into public discourse: The rebound effect and its refutation

The first thing we found in our research is that rebound enthusiasts rarely define what they actually are predicting. This is an important failing, because the science of economics demands that theories be tested in such a way that the evidence either disproves or supports the hypothesis. Most rebound effect hypotheses are so casual that proponents of rebound can use any real world situation they choose to use and claim that it validates their ideas. Our study was able to find only two ways of stating rebound theory that are rigorous and capable of being tested. Both are firmly refuted by the evidence. The first version of a rebound theory that is scientific enough to be tested asserts that energy use grows in fixed proportion to the economy (to GDP). As my colleague Sierra Martinez elaborates in his blog , the history of the last 40 years in the United States and virtuall...

Full article: http://climateprogress.org/2011/05/11/rebound-effect/

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