The First Rule and why it would work
The scientific evidence is unequivocal: immediate, drastic and substantial reductions in fossil fuel combustion must be achieved to avert catastrophic climate disruptions. The geologic evidence is conclusive: oil is finite. Politics and economics have had more than twenty years to respond to these imperatives. What would an engineering solution look like? This paper examines a hypothetical strategic policy derived by applying the first rule of engineering. The resulting analysis demonstrates that the most efficient and cost effective way to reduce transport fuel combustion is to reduce the quantity of fuel used directly through an upstream instrument, an import restriction quota. The First Rule calls for a 10% import quota reduction in transport fuel imports in 2009, and a further 10% reduction in 2011.