The Curse of Energy Efficiency
Date Written: 26/02/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22175
The more 'efficient' our technology, the more resources we consume in a downward spiral of catastrophe.
The U.S. non-partisan Alliance to Save Energy boasts that energy efficiency can change the world without any sacrifice on the part of energy consumers because "energy efficiency enables us to do more while using less energy."
The only problem with these charming claims is that they are not true. Energy efficiency is a technological illusion that secures and sustains what is arguably a one-way freeway to resource depletion and atmospheric chaos. Contrary to Carr's fairy tale notions, energy efficiency actually encourages the use of more energy and more resources. As such it merely sustains the dangerous status quo, albeit one illuminated by lots of energy-efficient digital signage.
Even Canadian government reports unwittingly acknowledge the starkness of the problem while calling for more efficiency. A 2013 study on energy trends, for example, lamented that "Canada was producing economic values more efficiently" but each household was using "a greater number of energy-consuming goods and services per capita than in 1990."