A Taxonomy of Efficiency
Updated: Oct 22, 2018
The work of educating the public about the multiple interlocking issues faced by humanity is a daunting task, unsupported by government, the media, or the educational system. I have given public lectures on environmental issues for a decade and am now experimenting with a new approach to directing people’s attention to the importance of the limits faced by society.
Using the example of efficiency, I can talk about desirable and undesirable efficiencies, externalities, diminishing returns, EROI, and a host of other important concepts. Efficiency is ordinarily understood as desirable and positive; this approach can jar audiences into reflection and introspection with examples of harmful “efficiencies”.
In my presentation, I will give details of my efforts, report on my experience with this new organizing narrative, and engage the session participants to strengthen the approach.