1. Some progress on the rebound effect dialogue

    The folks at the Breakthrough Technology Institute (BTI) have kindly agreed to work through the concerns I raised in my memo on the state of the rebound dialogue in a collaborative way. We’re beginning that process by focusing on what’s called the elasticity of substitution in firms, which is a key parameter affecting the size of rebound within these firms.  I’m hopeful that by focusing on this specific issue we can achieve a more complete understanding of the various claims being made in this debate.  It’s clear that terminology and analytical conventions differ significantly between the various participants, but focusing on one issue should help us overcome those problems.

    While I’m optimistic we’ll make progress, I continue to be concerned about some of the conclusions the recent BTI report reaches.  It will take time to review the technical questions in the detail this issue deserves, so I’ll hold off on stating any conclusions until that work is done.  The debate among experts who have reviewed this report continues to be heated, but I hope we’ll be able to resolve some of the issues that remain in dispute through the civil and collaborative technical discussion that we’ve just begun.

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I research, consult, and lecture about climate solutions, critical thinking skills, and the environmental effects of information technology.

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