Transport policy-makers should start preparing now for a dramatic reduction in motorised travel that will be brought about by carbon rationing, one of the country's leading environmental thinkers told LTT this week. “Just start reading the runes because what's going to happen is the demand for road, rail and air travel is going to start falling away just as soon as we have rationing,” says Mayer Hillman in an interview with the magazine.
Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute, says carbon rationing is the only way to ensure that the world avoids the worst effects of climate change. And he says that the problems caused by burning fossil fuels are so serious that governments might have to implement rationing against the will of the people. “When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it,” he says. “This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not.”
Hillman’s anticipated Tyranny That Cares™ will, reassuringly, also apply to its author, as reported in a glowing Guardian profile from 2002:
He and [wife] Heidi have an old Citroën 16 in which they've driven 150 miles so far this year. Yet still he exceeds the carbon ration he expects to be allocated, and says that they ought to consider sharing their family home with others because, despite its solar panels and low heating levels, it now accommodates only the two of them.
According to his own publicity material, Mayer Hillman is a “thorn in the side of the political establishment” and is noted for his willingness to “speak truth to power.” Mr Hillman’s stated areas of expertise include “walking and cycling”.