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By David L. Goldblatt

Origin of this publication In 1998 the Swiss Federal Institute of expertise (ETH) initiated the 2000 Watt Society, a University-wide examine application intended to aid Switzerland become aware of a dramatic aid in its destiny strength use. A venture in the initiative “Sustainability within the ETH domain,” the 2000 Watt in line with capita Society sought to advertise “the slow creation of a manner of dwelling and dealing that calls for in simple terms one-third of present strength intake yet 1 2 nonetheless provides a stronger caliber of lifestyles. ” thousand watts is approximately the present global regular in line with capita power intake; it was once the common point in Switzerland within the Nineteen Fifties; it truly is a few thrice lower than present three Swiss utilization; and decreasing to that point back (in live performance with different industrialized international locations) might drastically facilitate stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO )levels within the long term, given projections approximately global 2 inhabitants progress and exploitable strength assets [Imboden 1999]. 1 http://www. novatlantis. ch/frames_e. html. 2 A watt is an influence time period resembling 1 joule/second. Non-engineers regularly like to think about 2000 watts in line with capita by way of power use in keeping with unit time corresponding to joules/second or kilowatt-hours/hour. For Switzerland, 2000 watts in keeping with capita is reminiscent of a prime annual strength intake of approximately sixty five gigajoules (65 billion joules) consistent with capita. even supposing much less typically communicative, the 2000 watt identify is fresh and trim, and because it has caught we are going to use it during the book.

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Sample text

For another example, the 8 Chapter 1 percentage of Swiss households equipped with at least one computer more than tripled between 1990 and 1998 (to 51%), while 7% owned two or more [Swiss Federal Statistical Office 2002]. In the transportation sector, average personal travel (excluding air) increased from 9400 km per capita in 1970 to 14,300 km in 1990. Automobiles consume some 60% of the energy used in the transport sector in Switzerland, and their number now exceeds the number of households. Car ownership is highly unevenly distributed: a quarter of households do not own a car while 30% own more than one.

And this engine of demand is just starting to accelerate, as consumer aspirations and lifestyle emulation are actively encouraged by multinational corporate marketers and advertisers. No one seems to have a satisfactory answer to the challenge posed by the environmental consequences of a global proliferation and high-level 17 The environmental Kutznets curve predicts that at some point after a developing country’s GNP exceeds a certain threshold, its environmental quality starts to increase, presumably as people there becomes rich enough to worry about environmental quality.

Penetration rates of refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions increased from almost zero to over 100% [van der Wal 1998]. The “enrichment of Dutch consumption patterns” is marked by an increased use of goods related to entertainment and personal development over the last twenty years. Another factor is increased time and money spent on vacation, as well as increased per capita private car ownership and distance driven [Gatersleben 1998]. A parallel study of the consumption habits and outlooks of households in the United Kingdom yielded data on the phenomenal expansion of consumer purchases there from 1954 to 1994.

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