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A Taxonomy of Efficiency

Updated: Oct 22, 2018

Brian Stewart

Professor

Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT



Abstract

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.


Contributions in the field of BioPhysical Economics ...

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