Monday, August 30, 2010

bacon and butter?!?!? - oh hail gnaw!!!

Video - British Minister of Food talks on rationing in 1939.

Causabon's Book | The realities of climate change and energy depletion mean that at some point, we will encounter situations where there is not enough of an energy resource or one of the things it enables - whether food or transport or whatever, to go around. In fact, eventually we will enounter many of these shortages. Whether they arise initially from a situation in which there are actual shortages or whether the shortages are structural problems of transport or caused by inequity and dishonesty almost doesn't matter - we are going to run bang up against problems of access to resources.

When that happens, and assuming a functioning state, we are going to have to deal with questions of how to ration access to energy, food and other resources. This isn't really up for debate - whether we manage to put the problem of rationing off for a while or not, we know that climate change and peak oil mean we will have to confront limits of access - indeed, we confront them now, when we ration things like food and access to housing by price.

Whether regionally or nationally, rationing is one way, probably the best way, to ensure reasonably equitable distribution - so while presently people see rationing as unimaginable, I would argue that we need to be laying the groundwork for just rationing strategies, administered equitably now - and that this isn't actually as hard as we might think. No, it isn't politically possible right yet - but it could become possible very rapidly. So I present a lightly revised version of a piece I wrote more than three years ago - suggesting that we need to consider strategies for the eventual implementation of resource rationing, whether at the national, state or local levels.