Good news! We’re getting more while using less.
“Americans are consuming fewer resources per capita and aso consuming less in total of some of the most important building blocks of an economy: things such as steel, copper, fertilizer, timber, and paper. Total annual U.S. consumption of all of these had been increasing rapidly prior to 1970. But since then, consumption had reached a peak and then declined.”
Environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel remembers the moment his research trajectory changed. Over dinner one night in 1987, his friend and colleague Robert Herman, a physicist with a wide range of interests, wondered aloud, “Are buildings getting lighter?” That apparently simple question inspired the pair to begin looking into the “material intensity” of the modern world. (MORE)