Some worrisome news from the Economist on global warming:
“On October 19th, the International Energy Agency reported that doubling world GDP by 2040 would require only a small rise in energy demand if everyone adopted strict standards, like Japan’s for vehicle-fuel efficiency. … [According to their logic,] higher efficiency means less fossil fuel must be burned—and less planet-cooking gas belched—to power the global economy. But some economists are not so sure. [In] 1865, William Stanley Jevons, a British economist, postulated that better steam engines would raise Britain’s overall demand for coal, rather than lower it. A new paper by Sebastian Rausch and Hagen Schwerin, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, argues that something similar has happened in post-war America … between 1960 and 2011. The duo found that, as Jevons might have predicted, efficiency gains added to total energy use, offsetting 102% of the savings.”
Policies to mitigate global warming rarely prevent faster growth in the developing world resulting from lower resulting energy prices from offsetting conservation efforts in the developed world.