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Climate Scientists Want Rationing To Fight Climate Change

February 20, 2023

By Paul Homewood

We saw this coming, didn’t we!


Climate change could be tackled with the help of a World War II-style rationing of petrol, meat and the energy people use in their homes, UK scientists say.

They claim that this would help countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions ‘rapidly and fairly’.

Researchers from the University of Leeds also said that governments could restrict the number of long-haul flights people make in a year or ‘limit the amount of petrol one can buy in a month.

They said that previous schemes put forward as a way to fight global warming – such as carbon taxes or carbon trading schemes – would not work because they favoured the wealthy, who would effectively be able to buy the right to pollute.

The experts also made a comparison with the need to limit certain goods as they grew scarce in the 1940s, adding that trying to achieve this by raising taxes was rejected at the time because ‘the impact of tax rises would be slow and inequitable’.

But rationing in Britain during the war was widely accepted, the authors wrote in their paper.

‘As long as there was scarcity, rationing was accepted, even welcomed or demanded,’ they said.

How would the scheme work?

The researchers say there are two options for a rationing policy:

  1. Policymakers could introduce an all-encompassing carbon allowance. They could then give out ‘carbon cards’ like bank cards to track and limit usage 
  2. Alternatively, governments could ration specifically selected goods. This includes flights, petrol, household energy, or even meat or clothing

It wasn’t until nine years after the war ended that rationing finished in the UK.

In much the same way as during World War Two, the researchers argue that carbon rationing would allow people to receive an equal portion of resources based on their needs, therefore sharing out the effort to protect the planet.

Lead author Dr Nathan Wood, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Utrecht University’s Fair Energy Consortium, said: ‘The concept of rationing could help, not only in the mitigation of climate change, but also in reference to a variety of other social and political issues – such as the current energy crisis.’

The researchers add: ‘Rationing is often seen as unattractive, and therefore not a viable option for policy-makers.

‘It is important to highlight the fact that this was not the case for many of those who had experienced rationing.

‘It is important to emphasise the difference between rationing itself and the scarcity that rationing was a response to.

‘Of course, people did welcome the end of rationing, but they were really celebrating the end of scarcity, and celebrating the fact that rationing was no longer necessary.’

The problem with rationing energy, meat and petrol, the researchers point out, is that people might not be as willing to accept it as they would if resources were scarce, because they know there is an ‘abundance of resources available’.

To tackle this, the researchers said, governments could regulate the biggest polluters, such as oil, gas and petrol, long-haul flights and intensive farming, which would therefore create a scarcity in products that harm the planet.

They added that rationing could then be introduced gradually to manage the resulting scarcity.

Fellow lead author Dr Rob Lawlor, of the University of Leeds, said: ‘There is a limit to how much we can emit if we are to reduce the catastrophic impacts of climate change. In this sense, the scarcity is very real.

‘It seems feasible to reduce emissions overall even while the lowest emitters, often the worst off, may be able to increase their emissions – not despite rationing, but because of rationing and price controls.’

The experts said one way to roll out the rationing scheme would be to use ‘carbon cards’, which would work like bank cards to keep track of a person’s carbon allowance, rather than using ration cards.

Dr Lawlor said: ‘Many have proposed carbon allowances and carbon cards before.

‘What is new (or old, taking inspiration from World War II) is the idea that the allowances should not be tradable.

‘Another feature of World War II-style rationing is that price controls on rationed goods would prevent prices from rising with increased demand, benefitting those with the least money.’

The experts believe that rationing would also encourage people to move to more sustainable lifestyles, rather than relying on fossil fuels. 

‘For example, rationing petrol could encourage greater use of, and investment in, low carbon public transport, such as railways and local trams,’ Dr Wood said.

  1. iananthonyharris permalink
    February 20, 2023 5:36 pm

    These people are nutters…rather a drastic way of dealing with a non-existent problem.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      February 20, 2023 9:22 pm

      At least this has the (somewhat dubious!) merit of being practicable which is more than can be said for most of their crazy ideas.
      Which, of course, makes it even more dangerous!

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 21, 2023 8:13 am

        They are not practicable, they are a hodge-podge of false & dangerous amateur economics ideas. Permanent scarcity forced on us by the state? What sort of mass unemployment do they think that will cause? A 20% reduction in consumption would cause a 30-40% loss of jobs.

      • David Ashton permalink
        February 21, 2023 12:42 pm

        What is also dangerous, Ed Miliband was proposing this in 2015 when he was Labour Leader. He is now Shadow Energy Minister, due to be Secretary of State in less than two years. His proposal did allow carbon permit trading.

    • Ian Wilson permalink
      February 21, 2023 8:32 am

      Absolutely, iananthonyharris! How anyone can call them ‘scientists’ or even worse ‘experts’ seems beyond belief.
      Have none of them noticed the UAH temperature record showing cooling over the last seven years? That alone should be telling them CO2 has little to do with climate.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        February 21, 2023 4:15 pm

        My use of the word “practicable” only referred to the fact that rationing, as described, has been used before (1940s) and can work.
        Unlike such impossible ideas as net-zero which, apart from any other obstacles, appears to mean different things to different people.
        None of these are ever going to affect the climate. But then, it’s not really about climate, is it?

  2. February 20, 2023 5:40 pm

    Together with Central Bank credits replacing ‘money’, this is the end game. Total control of the plebs.
    Frightening thing is, they would probably get majority support from the populace given the level of psyops operating.
    And its got absolutely nothing to do with climate.

    • sensescaper permalink
      February 21, 2023 6:35 am

      Which is why knowledge of, and participation in – societal pressure groups like the Together movement (and similar) is vitally important to halt this madness.

  3. Peter Gillon permalink
    February 20, 2023 5:41 pm

    “We can’t do lockdown in the UK. They’ll never stand for it.”

    • February 21, 2023 11:23 am

      ‘Let’s try making them wear masks. Yes, we know they don’t make any difference but they will all look subservient to us.’

    • February 21, 2023 5:37 pm

      “But then we realised we could get away with it”…

      Thanks, Professor Pantsdown.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      February 22, 2023 6:51 am

      Said nobody.
      The vast majority recognised lockdown as being essential to control the spread of COVID 19 & arguably it wasn’t introduced soon enough.

      • February 22, 2023 7:28 am

        Said Professor Pantsdown actually. Did I miss the irony in your comment?

      • Realist permalink
        February 22, 2023 4:26 pm

        The vast majority saw “lockdown” as totally over the top control of normal everyday life.

  4. February 20, 2023 5:47 pm

    My first thoughts are: I better not write what I am thinking, not before I figure out if I can make it civil enough to put on blog.

    • Farmer Sooticle permalink
      February 20, 2023 5:55 pm

      I think what you are trying to say, politely, is “they can FRO!”

      • Joe Public permalink
        February 20, 2023 9:22 pm


  5. Micky R permalink
    February 20, 2023 5:54 pm

    Mentally ill religionists.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    February 20, 2023 5:57 pm

    Okay, Chief, let me see if I have this straight. The government creates scarcity, then declares that only government can manage scarcity fairly, so government is going to take over everything.

    Fairness doesn’t get any fairer.

    “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.”

    Oh, one more thing. You need a new Henry VIII for Dissolution of the Universities. Tear them down, bricks and all. University of Leeds first. They are a destructive force against the nation. They have become so decadent as to plot the destruction of your food and transportation. A capital offense.

    • bobn permalink
      February 20, 2023 8:50 pm

      Ration funding for Universities. Set the taxpayer contribution at zero for a start.
      Then do a trial by rationing private jets – see how that works.
      Also ration overseas trips by MPs and Ministers. One per MP per term.
      It would be funny to see what they refuse to ration – food and drink in Parliament?

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        February 22, 2023 9:37 am

        The problem became when long established colleges became universities. The places were doing a good job converting apprentices and more into skilled practical engineers and other productive members of a 20th century technological economy.
        Now as universities they contribute very little of worth apart, perhaps, brewing at Heriot-Watt which would still be possible if it reverted back to being a technical college.

  7. February 20, 2023 5:58 pm

    “Researchers” a.k.a. “Criminal Lunatics”

    • Hivemind permalink
      February 21, 2023 4:14 am

      “Researchers”, AKA, “Propagandists”

  8. Curious George permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:14 pm

    Rationing is a great idea as always, but for a lasting effect we must ration maternity ward beds.

    • Martin Green permalink
      February 20, 2023 6:25 pm

      Already been done

    • Hivemind permalink
      February 21, 2023 5:21 am

      Ration PhD recipients.

  9. February 20, 2023 6:15 pm

    Maybe the degrother would like a nice little war to make it all seem much more real?

    The moron in the DM clearly does not know that climate science is a range of disciplines and not a discipline in its self.

    I bothered to see who the “climate scientists ” and “experts are and lo and behold what do I find…….

    “The authors were based across the University of Leeds’ Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre, Sustainability Research Institute and School of History when they conducted the research.

    Do you see a lot of physics?

    What ever that lot are they are NOT scientists but activist “policy makers”. How arrogant also they are to pontificate so!

    Digging further I see this pap was funded by the “Arts and humanities research council”. Funny isnt it how the leftie quangos award themselves titles like council to give their marxism faux authority.

    Not a lot of physics there either!

    Finally here are Wood’s “climate scientist’s credentials”
    First he is wet behind the ears, he has JUST completed his PhD!
    In what?
    Well just drink it in because this is what Nathan Wood knows…….Planetary justic??? What the ¤%&/ is that?
    Position: Teaching Fellow
    Areas of expertise: energy justice; normative energy ethics; environmental justice; climate justice; procedural and participatory justice; planetary justice; just transition
    Website: Googlescholar | ORCID
    I recently completed my PhD Energy, Capability, and Justice: a foundation for a normative account of energy systems as a joint project between the Sustainability Research Institute and IDEA centre at University of Leeds.

    Sounds like a PhD in handwringing and emotion. Notice the weasel word variation on equity and sustainability

    See a lot of physics there, no me neither so WHO is the DM calling expert and climate scientist? But he fits the bill for a “climate scientist” which means lefty activist hack!

    Seems University of Utrecht have never even heard of him.

    These people are dangerous and insane and WHY is it every cooke on the Left gets their mental problems broadcast to the world?

    “Rapidly and fairly” indeed. Shooting people would have the same effect…oh sorry that is two options down the road!

    The veil is off…. the marxists make themselves and their insane craving for power clear for all to see.

    • lordelate permalink
      February 20, 2023 7:35 pm

      I hope all that sh@%e is not taxpayer funded.

      • Hivemind permalink
        February 21, 2023 5:23 am

        Of course she is. What a silly question.

    • February 21, 2023 10:01 am

      A lot of “Just” and nil points for Physics…I wonder if the’s ( sorry to those of a non pronoun disposition – taking the p*&s haha) research took in “Involuntary Euthanasia” – perhaps “the” should offer theselves as a subject thereof?

  10. StephenP permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:18 pm

    No doubt there will develop a black market in rationed goods as happened in WW2.
    Will everybody whatever their age get the same rations?
    How would you allocate fuel to someone in Northern Canada as opposed to the Caribbean?
    How would you allocate meat, fillet steak versus brisket?
    Last but not least, what would the rations be for Mr Schwab and the rest of his cronies at the WEF?

    • M E permalink
      February 21, 2023 4:14 am

      We had Whale meat at one point in our Meat Ration in Britain, along with Spam! Would the Greens and Environmentalist like that. It was tough and slightly beefy. Better than Horse Meat. But Whales don’t produce emissions like cattle and horse farming 🙂

      • devonblueboy permalink
        February 21, 2023 7:18 am

        Just because we can’t smell whale farts does that mean they don’t exist?!

      • February 21, 2023 5:44 pm

        I’m not standing for that, M E!

        Nothing wrong with properly raised, butchered and cooked horse!

        But nice rare donkey steak is even better! Right up there with well hung Aberdeen Angus or even Wagyu!

        Fly to Cagliari and try it! Fabulous!

        Mind you, some prefer bugs and so on. I tried Mopane worms in Botswana. Not bad after a few pints, but I’d swap a ton of them for a good donkey fillet!

  11. Mr Robert Christopher permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:20 pm

    It looks like a Politically Correct sort of policy, but why does this attract so many?

    Jordan Peterson and Victor Davis Hanson in discussion:
    (1:37:10 – 1:39:20)

  12. Sean Galbally permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:26 pm

    Manmade carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has NO effect on climate. This is primarily affected by the sun. Manmade CO2 consists of 0.04% of greenhouse gases of which 90% are clouds and water vapour.

    • Mewswithaview permalink
      February 20, 2023 10:35 pm

      Be careful C02 does have an effect. You are right it is not the primary climate driver i.e. it is not a control knob like the alarmists pretend. It has done as much warming as its going to do, doubling from current levels are not going to do anything significant other than boost plant growth and it’s effects are not the same depending on whether you reside at the equator or poles. That leaves the alarmist looking for illusory catastrophes in computer models which have as much validity as mystic Megs crystal ball.

      • Sean Galbally permalink
        February 21, 2023 10:24 am

        Yes I understand you. However I can’t get too technical or precise otherwise the average man will not understand. Measurements in the past have shown that global temperatures rise first followed by an increase in CO2. It is cause and effect. Also the present atmospheric CO2 is saturated and can absorb very little more heat. There is much evidence too that we are entering a period of cooling. I would like big business, governments, proponents of Net Zero, users of fossil fuels to openly debate the pros and cons rather than just ridicule contrary arguments.

      • February 21, 2023 5:51 pm

        All you need to remember is that every shred of evidence I’ve seen in following all this balderdash for over twenty years, is that extra CO2 and a little extra warmth has been 100% beneficial.

        And that all the “Academics” who produce this fanciful, dishonest, corrupt nonsense, would be far better employed flipping burgers.

        Which is OK. Because I don’t eat burgers (or sausages) unless I have a very clear idea who has made them and out of what.

    • Realist permalink
      February 21, 2023 7:32 pm

      Not even 0.04%. That is the total CO2 in the atmosphere and even the control freaks and scaremongerers admit that the “manmade” part is three percent of that 0.04%

  13. sean2829 permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:37 pm

    Think about what this guy is asking people to do because someone is putting an implausible amount of CO2 into a computer program then applying twice the sensitivity to the doubling of CO2 while clouds create positive feedback so heat the earth.

  14. February 20, 2023 6:42 pm

    Yes! Bring back ration books and Churchill – we’ll fight climate change on the beaches…

  15. 2hmp permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:43 pm

    Control, control, control. It has nothing to do with carbon emissions. I have been carrying on my questioning of everyone who is prepared to answer , what percentage CO2 is of the atmosphere. The average is 11.2%. It has hardly altered over the last two years having fallen from just over 25% initially. The very first person asked this question about twelve years ago said he thought it was between 50% and 60% of the atmosphere. He was a Tory junior minister. At least now more people think it is low although the last person asked last week said around 10%. Incredulity is the normal response when they are told it is .041%.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      February 20, 2023 8:11 pm

      Spot on, I often ask the same. It should be the FIRST question asked whenever a ‘climate expert’ or other such disciple of the climate scare movement pipes up.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 20, 2023 9:55 pm

      Freak ’em out next time. Tell ’em there is 20 times more argon than CO2 in the air. WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE !!!

    • February 21, 2023 12:26 pm

      errrr 0.04% it is a trace gas

      • February 21, 2023 12:32 pm

        only one other time in Geological History has the atmospheric level ever been this low ( Jurassic-Permian). The average over geological time is 2500ppm. When the plants we eat ( angiosperms) evolved the level was 2500-2800ppm and when our ancestors the Primates evolved the level was 1500ppm. The level has been decreasing in a linear manner for 160 million years.
        Bet you will not hear any of that from the “impartial” BBC or the Guardian, that other fountain of knowledge.

  16. Bill Bornak permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:52 pm

    NFW on this. Leave it to academics to come up with madness like this.
    Bill. Bornak

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 21, 2023 8:18 am

      I’m pretty sure that luxuries such as academics won’t last long in this rationed world. These amateur economists don’t understand the impact this will have on taxation and thus public spending. A 20% reduction in consumption will mean a 30% or greater reduction in tax revenue along with a much higher benefits bill. Public spending will have to be rationed too. But their pretend economics expertise hasn’t got them there.

    • February 21, 2023 10:06 am

      “academics” is an anagram of…scameadic? ( with due respect to proper clever people )

  17. February 20, 2023 7:01 pm

    One of the idiots from Leeds University was interviewed on PM by a BBC idiot. A matching pair.

    • February 21, 2023 12:24 pm

      The BBC, one of the worst left wing propaganda purveyors of our time. Any leftie cause they are all over it like a rash broadcasting it far and wide. They are also weasels because if challenged they claim” oh we were just informing of what others said”, while letting any claim maid go unchallenged. Also their weasel status is clear because they only give a platform the the science free side of the story ( I was about to say argument but that is not allowed because we may hurt some lefties feelings by questioning their belief systems).

  18. John O'Reilly-Cicconi permalink
    February 20, 2023 7:04 pm

    That will go down well with the people……. who are these m r ns….

  19. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 20, 2023 7:18 pm

    And the question remains: All countries? Or just a select (Western/First World) few?

  20. lordelate permalink
    February 20, 2023 7:36 pm

    Words fail me, Again.

  21. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 20, 2023 8:25 pm

    I notice they give ‘two options for a rationing policy’ but mysteriously omit the third.

    3. FRO!

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 20, 2023 9:57 pm

      Lefties love false dichotomy, as well as a few other fallacies. They literally defy logic.

  22. Thomas Carr permalink
    February 20, 2023 9:02 pm

    Mail on Line is hopeless: the researchers from Leeds who also claim to be scientists suggest that scarcity was welcomed during the war. It was fair distribution of limited resources that was welcomed, not scarcity. The distinction appears to have eluded the sub editors and was way beyond the competence of some scientists – the ones that think that their analysis is rational.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 21, 2023 8:20 am

      And they ignore the fact that it was always time-limited and that everyone then voted for a worker paradise of plenty, not a lifetime of rationing. Of course they were misled about that too.

    • Vernon E permalink
      February 21, 2023 3:00 pm

      TC: deeper than that. It was tolerated because it was still an age of belief and pariotism. Preople belived they were helping to save their country and future generations. Nobody “liked” it. In 1941 the threat was real and immediate. Today’s is imaginary, unproven and indeterminate.

  23. hakinmaster permalink
    February 20, 2023 9:07 pm

    Bit hard on a vegan who wouldn’t be able to trade his meat coupons for a few extra carrots.

  24. Gamecock permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:00 pm

    Presidential election debate, 1980:

    Jimmy Carter (is he dead yet?): “Only government can manage scarcity fairly.”

    Ronald Reagan: “Screw that! We’re America! We’ll just make more.”

    • John Hultquist permalink
      February 21, 2023 1:10 am

      Jimmy Carter (is he dead yet?)

      This week or next. My guess: Thursday 23rd.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 21, 2023 8:21 am

      Fairly isn’t the same as wisely. Prices are information telling people where resources are most highly valued and thus where to invest. The fundamental failure of the USSR.

      • Gamecock permalink
        February 25, 2023 8:09 pm

        I saw a meme the other day:

        “If you mix medicine and politics, you get politics.”

        So true.

        “Fairness” in government management means government selects in their interest, i.e., politics.

  25. Kelland Hutchence permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:03 pm

    Yes, this is highly likely and will be eventually followed by inspectors who will have the right of entry to homes to check on the contents of fridges to ensure you eat only non-imported food.
    And all this predicted in Ross Clark’s fictional yet satirical novel ‘The Denial’. Orwell’s 1984 is well on its way.

    • Vernon E permalink
      February 21, 2023 3:06 pm

      No KH , its already here – 15 minute cities! The digfference is that Orwell and his contemporaries didn’t recognise the added threat from mass migration of peeoples. We really are domed.

  26. clairearmstrong78 permalink
    February 20, 2023 11:52 pm

    Honest to god every DAY gets worse and worse….

    Putin won’t need to run WWIII because the climate activists are breaking
    the UK from within.
    Who will care who’s running the country when we will already be living
    under a State controlled Nazi like system?
    I just am dumbfounded at the madness being proposed for even one
    millisecond. Yet ‘these authorities’ are actually getting listened to!
    It is just getting so mad and so very scary!

    Maybe the COVID ‘bug’ ate many people’s brain cell (deliberately ONE),
    as they all seem to have lost their minds!

    It just defies belief.
    Make the poor barely able to cope… up every price you can think of…
    and now let’s ration out what they use to actually get to work etc and
    then see how they manage!
    Hopefully riots because there’s no hope left. At least we can all keep
    warm by running about – hey?

    Just mad.

    • February 21, 2023 12:17 pm

      Not only do we need to question why is garbage like this getting funded but why the media are presenting it always in an uncritical way? The media are so much to blame for the dissemination of this kind of asininity. Compare and contrast their willingness to present sober opinions. The fact the DM deceitfully promote the harbingers of this soviet nonsense as climate scientists and experts when clearly they are left wing activist philosophers at best. It all comes back to the propagandists and clearly the DM has some people working for it who want this crapola.

  27. February 21, 2023 2:35 am

    I don’t know who they asked about rationing, I grew up in a working class family and area, everyone there hated it and virtually everyone had a vegetable garden, plus many had allotments to help alleviate the difficulties.
    This included keeping pigs, poultry and rabbits for food.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 21, 2023 8:24 am

      Same in the USSR. People in cities would go out to relatives and friends in the countryside to bring back the food kept hidden from the Commisars. Endless corruption, time wasted, needless hunger and poverty.

  28. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 21, 2023 8:08 am

    Scientists pretend to be Economists.

    Really, tell them to stick to their own dismal science.

  29. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 21, 2023 8:10 am

    And note that as non-economists they advocate price controls, a policy almost uniting Economics in uniting virtually every economist against it.

  30. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 21, 2023 8:31 am

    They are liars. This isn’t recreating wartime rationing, it’s recreating the Soviet Union. This sounds exactly like the USSR in the 1970s. Pnce again we have a weird clique of comfortable middle-class parasites fantasising about how wonderful Russia was without capitalism and nasty markets.

  31. liardetg permalink
    February 21, 2023 8:34 am

    Carbon dioxide please not carbon. I’m setting up as a black marketer. Wonderful opportunities.

  32. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 21, 2023 9:40 am

    Littlejohn has run with this in the DM today. Worth a read.

  33. 3x2 permalink
    February 21, 2023 10:48 am

    Thought you introduced Communism then the rationing followed as a matter of course.

    I suppose you could try it the other way round…

  34. February 21, 2023 11:15 am

    Ideal solution and just in time for “investors” in “freeports” to organise smuggling and money laundering to bypass rationing.

  35. 3x2 permalink
    February 21, 2023 11:42 am

    Speaking of Communism it’s time for some …

  36. dennisambler permalink
    February 21, 2023 2:00 pm

    3×2 Thanks!

    In 2005, Kevin Anderson first raised the idea of “carbon” credit cards.

  37. david stevenson permalink
    February 21, 2023 9:51 pm

    Penultimate para starts: “The experts (blah blah blah) …

    One of today’s most terrifying descriptions. These people are only expert at self publicity. They are normally disastrously wrong about everything else.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 22, 2023 12:28 pm

      “Expert” is a title applied by journalists to their sources to add credibility to their stories.

      Argumentum ad verecundiam.

  38. Micky R permalink
    February 22, 2023 7:33 pm

    There was a logical reason for wartime rationing: U-boats.

    There is no logical reason for rationing in the UK in 2022.

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