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  1. Jun 2022
    1. Energy efficiency has never been more crucial! The time to unleashing its massive potential has come

      Will this conference debate rebound effects of efficiency? If not, it will not have the desirable net effect.

      My linked In comments were:

      Alessandro Blasi, will this conference address the rebound effect? In particular, Brockway et al. have done a 2021 meta-analysis of 33 research papers on rebound effects of energy efficiency efforts and conclude:

      "...economy-wide rebound effects may erode more than half of the expected energy savings from improved energy efficiency. We also find that many of the mechanisms driving rebound effects are overlooked by integrated assessment and global energy models. We therefore conclude that global energy scenarios may underestimate the future rate of growth of global energy demand."

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032121000769?via%3Dihub

      Unless psychological and sociological interventions are applied along with energy efficiency to mitigate rebound effects, you will likely and ironically lose huge efficiencies in the entire efficiency intervention itself.

      Also, as brought up by other commentators, there is a difference between efficiency and degrowth. Intelligent degrowth may work, especially applied to carbon intensive areas of the economy and can be offset by high growth in low carbon areas of the economy.

      Vaclav Smil is pessimistic about a green energy revolution replacing fossil fuels https://www.ft.com/content/71072c77-53b3-4efd-92ae-c92dc02f09ad, which opens up the door to serious consideration of degrowth, not just efficiency improvements. Perhaps the answer is in a combination of all of the above, including targeted degrowth.

      Technology moves quickly and unexpectedly. At the time of Smil's book release, there was no low carbon cement. Now there is a promising breakthrough: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/28/carbon-free-cement-breakthrough-dcvc-put-55-million-into-brimstone.html

      As researchers around the globe work feverishly to make low carbon breakthroughs, there is obviously no guarantee of when they will occur. In that case then, with only a few years to peak, it would seem the lowest risk pathway would be to prioritize the precautionary principle over a gambling pathway (such as relying on Negative Emissions Technology breakthroughs) and perhaps consider along with rebound effect conditioned efficiency improvements also include a strategy of at least trialing a temporary, intentional degrowth of high carbon industries / growth of low carbon industries.

    1. Perhaps one of the most important questions to be asked is “What are we not ‘seeing’?.” … “A collaborative project of the late botanists Erwin Lichtenegger and Lore Kutschera celebrates the power and beauty of these otherwise hidden systems through detailed drawings of agricultural crops, shrubs, trees, and weeds. Digitized by the Wageningen University & Research, the extensive archive is the culmination of 40 years of research in Austria that involved cultivating and carefully retrieving developed plant life from the soil for study. It now boasts more than 1,000 renderings of the winding, spindly roots, some of which branch multiple feet wide.”

      These drawings are metaphors for the human meaningverse of an individual and the visible and invisible aspects of our ideas that we present to the rest of the world.

      What is of greatest meaning lives in the individual's salience landscape. That salience landscape is the result of a lifetime of sense-making - all the books we've ever read, talks or presentations we've ever listened to, conversations we've had, courses we've studied. While the other person may have an idea of what is important to us, they are clueless of how that salience landscape came to be.

      This vast network of formative events is usually invisible to the OTHER.

      The public, open source Indyweb that is currently being designed will allow the individual user for the first time to consolidate all his or her digital learning in one place, the user's owned Indyhub. Since Indyweb also has built-in provenance, it will allow traceability of public ideas. This allows the individual to keep track of what would otherwise by invisible and lost - the history of his/her social interaction with ideas.

    1. What can we do with a shift in thinking backed by a total of $3.6 trillion in funds under management? I’m backing strategic circular initiatives to convert the highest return on value for anyone’s money. Stay tuned as we crack open new investment opportunities.

      Her diagram explicitly shows a synthesis of planetary boundaries and circular economy. This is a connection that many in this area are tacitly aware of but is good to explicate it in a diagram of this sort..

      If circular economy is about ultimate reuse and recirculating material flows to eliminate the concept of waste, then how does energy consumption fit into the picture? Obviously, CO2 emissions is a form of material waste that is an undesirable byproduct of carbon-based energy usage. Capturing CO2 and reusing it is one method, but not a very scalable solution presently.

    1. What happens in Indonesia when a textile manufacturer illegally dumps dye waste!

      This is an example of the manufacturer / consumer dualism created by the Industrial Revolution. Since manufacturers have become a separate layer that no longer exist as part of the community, as artisans once did, along with globalized capitalism, the consumer does not know the life history of the product being consumed. The sensory bubble limits what a consumer can directly know.

      One answer is to promote a trend back to local and artisan production. Relocalizing production can empower consumers to inspect producers of the products they consume, holding them accountable.

      Another answer is to develop globalized trust networks of producers who are truly ethical.

      Cosmolocal production has networks by the commons nature can promote such values.