Normally whenever I think about rationing, I think about the period of instituted austerity for civilians during World War II, that didn't even end until the 1950s. The image is of people queuing up in long lines with ration books in hand to get their 'fair share' of scarce resources like food or clothing.
These days, the scarce resource seems to be energy, and environmentalists are demanding that it's time we made World War II like sacrifices for the sake of the planet. In the Newstatesman, Mark Lynas argues that it's not enough to drive less, fly less or consume less, we need to do much, much more that. Indeed, he argues that the;
"best indication of whether a person truly grasps the scale of the global climate crisis is not whether they drive a hybrid car or offset their flights, nor whether they subscribe to the Ecologist or plan to attach a wind turbine to their house. The most reliable indicator is whether they support carbon rationing".
In an era of plentiful, Lynas is openly advocating imposing harsh austerity. It hasn't even occurred to Lynas, or George Monbiot that there might be an alternative to green authoritarian carbon rationing. The author Daniel Ben-Ami points out that giant hydroelectric dams and nuclear power for example do not emit any greenhouse gas - geoengineering also offers many possibilities in the future in terms of energy. Ben-Ami also adds that carbon rationing 'would literally leave billions of people mired in poverty' - but what would environmentalists care about that? All they seemed to bothered about is the 'war against climate change', like nothing else mattered
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