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RE: [hreg] Just Another Idea.....

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  • Robert Johnston
    Frankly, I think one should do these things only for altruistic reasons, not from any illusion that it may reduce consumption. Economics 101 says that if I
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 29, 2001
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      Frankly, I think one should do these things only for altruistic reasons,
      not from any illusion that it may reduce consumption. Economics 101 says
      that if I use less gas, then the price of gas will go down, which, as we
      know so well from the post-70's, leads to increased consumption by others,
      via larger gas guzzlers etc.

      Probably legislation restricting supply is the only short-term way to reduce
      demand. High taxes is one way such legislation is done (cf. Europe). But
      in a global economy, even that only provides a limited effect, since if we
      reduce consumption in the US, but China then utilizes more since it is more
      affordable, then what has the world gained?

      Hence, the value of things like the Kyoto accords. But there is no
      agreement
      on what is fair (1st vs. 3rd world, etc.), so there is limited success in
      this arena.

      Where does that leave us? Frankly, I don't have a lot of use for the
      regulations because they introduce distortions into the marketplace that
      lead to unforeseen problems. I prefer another scenario...

      Technology. Outside of regulation or the unlikely discovery of a massive
      new oil reserve, technology offers the best hope for reducing consumption.
      If technology is developed to make renewables price competitive with
      fossil fuels, then renewables will start to displace fossil fuels. It will
      be a slow process, because that displacement will itself lower fossil fuel
      costs. But if enough of a breakthrough in pricing is achieved, then the
      displacement will be unstoppable.

      Such an innovation driven change is the only sustainable way to make this
      happen. I truly doubt that world governments will reach consensus on
      meaningful consumption restrictions via regulation. But market forces
      activated by innovation can make it happen, and relatively quickly.

      I think this is what HREG can do best--educate members about innovations
      in technology, and how to apply them.

      Robert Johnston


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Marge Wood [mailto:othermother6@...]
      > Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 8:20 AM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [hreg] Just Another Idea.....
      >
      >
      > We could not only help bring down the price of gas that way, but could
      > help even more if we carpool, ride a bike, walk, talk on the phone or
      > email, take up neighborhood activities which are closer, and all those
      > could help considerably in cutting down air pollution.
      > Marge
      >
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