Thursday, July 16, 2009
Honda: Insight or Incite ?
Really great commentary from Worldwatch Institute on the advertising for the new Honda "Insight" hybrid, which the company touts "theoretically seats 6.75 billion."
There is an interesting paradox in energy called Jevon's Paradox, which simply put notes that technological advances in energy efficiency tend to increase output rather than decrease overall consumption of the resource, so much so in fact that you end up with greater overall consumption due to the elasticity of demand. In other words, improvements in fuel efficiency do not automatically lead to decreased consumption - in fact the opposite is true.
In the context of hybrids, this would mean that the more efficient the vehicle, the more we would tend to drive. Looking at Honda's advertising, this is clearly their goal. It has nothing to do with saving the environment, though they would have you think it does.
Way to go Honda... very inciting, but lacking insight.
So a smoker kicks Lucky Strike for low tar. Woohoo! Actually, no. He's still a smoker - and the chances are pretty good he will just smoke more cigarettes to compensate. In the process the habit becomes even further ingrained into his daily life...
at 5:12 PM