Energy rationing proposed again as a ‘route to low carbon society’

Posted: July 20, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government

Ration book [image credit:]

Ration book [image credit:]

An old political chestnut based on the screw-tightening – or ceiling-lowering – principle is trying to make a comeback, as Energy Daily reports:

To achieve public support for a transformation to a low carbon society, politicians would be advised to implement a quantity-based energy quota system, with a fixed and decreasing cap on total use, rather than relying on carbon pricing and taxation mechanisms, according to a new study.

In a wide-ranging paper published in the Carbon Management journal, researchers from the Fleming Policy Centre – including Dr Victoria Hurth from Plymouth University – set out the potential of a policy framework termed Tradeable Energy Quotas (TEQs) for meeting the ambitious carbon emissions reductions targets required to address the climate crisis.

They argue that TEQs offer the most effective, equitable and expeditious way to bridge the gulf between climate science and political reality.

Since publication, the paper – Reconciling scientific reality with realpolitik: moving beyond carbon pricing to TEQs: an integrated, economy-wide emissions cap – has become the journal’s second most read article ever. [bold added]

Full report: Tradable Energy Quotas offer fair and effective route to low carbon society.

Not exactly a vote-winner?

  1. Joe Public says:

    I didn’t use my 1973 allocation, will they still be valid?

  2. oldbrew says:

    Joe: no problem, as long as you’ve got one of these or similar vintage 😉

    [credit: D.Telegraph]

  3. crosspatch says:

    And what benefit would a “low carbon society” provide? I can’t think of one.

  4. oldbrew says:

    crosspatch: on those furnace-like days of the future people will be able to cool off by standing in front of their nearest wind turbine – what fun 😎

  5. diogenese2 says:

    I was tempted to read this article until you said “the journal’s second most read article ever” and I decided not to promote it to pole position. A major cause of the fall of Clement Attlee’s government in 1951 was that more items were rationed in the UK than in Germany (West). That these academics can believe for one moment that TEQs have any possible existence in modern society then they are so remote from the actual social and political reality that they think in accord with my clients who reside in the dementia units of care homes.
    On the other hand they have unearthed a valuable and elating truth.
    If TEQs are necessary “for meeting the ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets required to address the climate crisis” then, brothers, it is Game, Set and Match for us “deniers”.

  6. david smith says:

    The idiotic (and oppresive) idea of carbon rationing has long been proposed by Dr Mayer Hillman from the Policy Studies Institute. He lives down the road from me in the (extremely affluent) neighbourhood of Hampstead in London, but not surprisingly he is a hard-core socialist.

    He seriously suggests that through carbon rationing, “long-distance commuting, holidays and global business activity will rapidly become a thing of the past.” What’s really worrying is that members of parliament (idiots in the last Labour administration) have actually listened to his awful, economy-killing ideas.

    If he thinks he’s going to stop me taking my holidays abroad he can take a running jump…

    NB despite Dr Hillman telling everybody that they shouldn’t be allowed to travel anywhere I can see his car parked on his front drive whenever I walk past his house. Do as I say but not as I do…

  7. oldbrew says:

    diogenese2: never mind, you can read this one instead, it’s just a list of bullet points 🙂

    Number 8 is the killer:
    ‘The total number of units available in the country is set out in advance in the TEQs Budget. The size of the Budget goes down year-by-year – step-by-step, like a staircase.’

    Not the stairway to heaven…

  8. myrightpenguin says:

    I don’t know what it is but the message of the importance of reversing deindustrialisation cannot seem to get through to the public. Keep complaining about living standards and lost blue collar jobs while not batting an eyelid to what has been going on in China, India, and elsewhere. At this rate Europe will be third world by the middle of the century unless we defeat this ideology of economic suicide that has been hitched onto by corruptocrats and subsidy junkies.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Apparently there’s a ‘carbon management community’ out there somewhere…

  10. diogenese2 says:

    Thank you Oldbrew for the best urgent change of underpants I have had for weeks. And thanks also to the late, great, Douglas Adams whose work came instantly to mind;

    ” the fabulously beautiful planet of Bethselamin increased its tourist industry leading to a colossal cumulative erosion problem. Thus today the net balance between the amount you eat and excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave; so every time you go to the lavatory there, it is vitally important to get a receipt”.

    [reply] classic 🙂

  11. Fanakapan says:

    I remember not so many years ago when this Global Warming malarky was still picking up speed, the talk then was of Carbon Footprints, and the suggestion that those whose footprint was less black would be rewarded.

    Having only a slight footprint of the carbon variety myself, it seemed like a reasonable idea 🙂

    Funny how the soft propaganda of the early days promising rewards, now becomes penalties.

    It remains the case that the most ardent of ‘Cult’ believers are usually the ones whose carbon footprints are the darkest, and who will be well able to afford new taxes, leaving the punishment to be inflicted on those of modest means.

  12. ‘route to low carbon society’
    Part of a final solution; no less.

  13. michael hart says:

    “Not exactly a vote-winner?”
    I guess that might depend on how much Richard Branson et. al. are prepared to pay me for some of my quota.

    [reply] Branson would try to find a way to get you to pay him 😉

  14. Andrew M. says:

    A couple of quotes from the Cowspiracy documentary.

    • Animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5% percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. (src: UN FAO)
    • Livestock is responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 296x more destructive than carbon dioxide and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years. (src: UN FAO)
    • Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. (src: Worldwatch)

    If the above was anywhere near true, it indicates that energy rationing is not necessary to reduce GHG emissions, simply reducing each person’s meat-based meals to two or three per week would suffice. Perhaps the UN likes a steak’n’pork ribs combo as much as the rest of us and thinks freezing people to death in winter is easier than asking everyone to cut back on the cow chow.

    Of course the opportunism of vociferous vegans to exploit climate concerns for herbivorous exhortations should not be underestimated.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    “bridge the gulf between climate science and political reality”

    Political reality being that folks are willing to lynch politicians that cause power outages, food shortages, and job losses; while “climate science” means just that: I predict this “bridge” will result in a lot of career change for anyone who takes it. “Flaming idiot” could become more than a metaphor.

    I say this given that under Gov. Gray (out) Davis in California we had rolling blackouts and brownouts. This in a warm place where it was more annoyance than threat to life. The result was the first Califonia Gov. recalled and a swap of political party in office. Oh and the return of stable power…

    His political career came to a screeching halt and “dog catcher” might be a lofty political goal for him …

    California is Very Left and Very Green, so you can immagine the result in conservative areas. This, IMHO, needs to be pointed out to those pushing for energy rationing…

  16. oldbrew says:

    They might do better to sort out those termites…

    EPA: ‘Estimates of the contribution to the global budget of CH4 from termites vary widely, from negligible up to 15 percent.’

  17. catweazle666 says:

    My old turbo diesel Merc runs great on vegetable oil from the supermarket. In warm weather it can run up to 100%, but in winter I let it down with 30% – 40% pump diesel to make starting easier.

    Generally around 99p per litre, but if you keep your eyes open for the good old BOGOF…

    That’s saved me a pretty penny over the past few years.

    Oh, and the wife’s Nissan van/people carrier runs off it too.

  18. oldbrew says:

    catweazle: Macdonalds reckon they power their trucks with recycled cooking oil but say it’s more expensive than diesel.

    They could just use the non-recycled stuff and save money 😐