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Wed May 1, 2013, 06:36 PM

Why We Should Put the Brakes on Consumption If We Want to Survive


AlterNet / By Robert Jensen

Ready for Rationing? Why We Should Put the Brakes on Consumption If We Want to Survive
Stan Cox talks about his new book "Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing."

April 30, 2013 |


This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.


It’s not clear whether Stan Cox is a plant breeder with a penchant for politics, or a political provocateur who finds time to do science. Whichever aspect of his personality is dominant, Cox artfully draws on both skill sets to make the case for rationing, perhaps the most important concept that is not being widely discussed these days. The power of his new book, Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing, comes from his blending of scientific analyses of dire resource trends with a compelling moral argument about the need to reshape politics and economics.

In his day job at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, the country’s premier sustainable agriculture research facility, Cox works to develop perennial sorghum. A member of the editorial board of the magazine Green Social Thought (formerly Synthesis/Regeneration), Cox also has been thinking long and hard about the multiple ecological crises we face. In 2010 he published Losing Our Cool, a sharp-edged examination of the impacts of our society’s obsession with air-conditioning.

........(snip)........

Robert Jensen: In your book, you mention that some have compared raising the possibility of rationing to “shouting an obscenity in church.” Why is that idea so unacceptable today?

Stan Cox
: People have shown a willingness to accept rationing in a broad variety of situations in which society-wide scarcity is obvious—wartime, say, or when governments have a fixed supply of subsidized food to sell, or in a drought when there's only so much water to go around. But if rationing is proposed as a way to preserve resources and ecological life-support systems for the future—for dealing with environmental problems or providing equitable healthcare, for example—then we are talking about limiting consumption when there is no apparent scarcity. In that situation, we all like to believe that we exercise freedom in the marketplace, and to many it seems outrageous to limit that freedom. .........................................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/environment/ready-rationing-why-we-should-put-brakes-consumption-if-we-want-survive



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Reply Why We Should Put the Brakes on Consumption If We Want to Survive (Original post)
marmar May 2013 OP
Squinch May 2013 #1
truebluegreen May 2013 #2
TXleigh May 2013 #3
area51 May 2013 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 06:46 PM

1. I actually kind of love the idea. We're fat, wasteful and heating up our earth to the point where

it will become harmful to us.

We could use some rationing.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 08:13 PM

2. Not "should." HAVE TO. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:57 AM

3. Agreed...

Especially as it relates to the influx of cheap junk food... Next time you're at a grocery store take a second to pause and look around at all the packaged, processed, items available, and think about what amount of chemical preservatives, and nutritionally devoid additives, are in the products of that one store at any given time.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 03:17 AM

4. "... or providing equitable healthcare ..."

Well, we're already rationing health care in this country based on ability to pay.

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