Hydrocarbon rationing to save our planet
While countries negotiate joint action to limit emissions, CO2 levels in our atmosphere continue to rise. Is it not time for countries serious about limiting climate change to unilaterally introduce carbon fuel rationing for their citizens? A climate emergency has been declared, so in the same way as when war was declared in 1939, rationing should follow.
People would be given a hydrocarbon (HC) fuel budget for the year. This would be “piggy backed” on to their bank debit or credit card, so that each time they fill their car, the energy value would be debited from their ration. There would be HC factors for larger purchases, which would estimate the HC component in the purchase. Flights would have a very high HC component, rounds of golf and bus trips a low one, while hotel stays, and meals would be somewhere in between. The initial HC budget would be 5% less than the present average HC consumption, so the initial pain would be mild. Each year the allowance would be reduced.
The impact within the country would be that citizens would minimise purchases with a high HC content. Electric cars and public transport would become popular, while SUVs would virtually disappear, and flights minimised or avoided altogether. High HC content purchases would reduce in favour of those with a lower HC content.
Countries undertaking such a policy could find their economic activity declining compared to those which take a business-as-usual approach. To compensate, the government departments of CO2 reducing countries would buy only from those countries who similarly adopt HC rationing. Non-compliant countries would lose business and achieve international pariah status.
Early warning of this policy by government will enable citizens to prepare for reduced HC use prior to policies being instituted. Rationing will mean each citizen takes responsibility for their lifestyle, their future and the welfare of their children and their grandchildren. Climate change is an emergency and the time has come to act.