In many countries rationing of water, food and other essential goods has become a matter of survival for a large share of the population. Their day-to-day experience in sharing resources could hold lessons for those of us in the North once we decide to start bringing consumption in line with what the world can support.
In Bookchin’s view, freedom wasn’t about doing whatever the heck we want and letting others clean up the mess. Real freedom was the freedom to collectively determine how to satisfy our needs in a precious and finite world.
Today, as enthusiasm for a carbon tax wanes, climate proposals like cap-and-ration that directly target the fossil-fuel industry while protecting everyone’s access to energy are gaining broader support.
We have found that among climate scientists and politicians, advocacy for a direct fossil fuel phase-out with adaptation through resource allocation and rationing, is very rare indeed. That’s why we found the Oireachtas hearing so encouraging.
We have available a wide variety of strategies that can help societies ask, answer, and act on the questions, “What is enough?” “What is too much?” and “How can we keep the Earth livable and achieve sufficiency for all?”
This book is focused primarily on domestic climate policy, because neither we as individuals nor our government can, with a straight face, presume to advise the wider world on climate issues unless we ourselves have at least started the journey toward life within ecological boundaries.
In The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, Stan Cox has a message for all who were counting on the Green New Deal to help save us from ecological and economic collapse: this legislation will not go far enough. C
In times of real or imagined scarcity, when the market’s invisible hand pushes us to put our own interests above those of others, fair-shares rationing can foster cooperative problem-solving, mutual aid and a sense of common purpose — exactly what we’re going to need in the frightening months that lie ahead.
Drop the hoarding mentality, break out your coupon book, and engage your sense of fairness as Crazy Town explores the rationale behind rationing.
Waste nothing. Keep a stock pot going for soups and stews. Use up leftovers. Cook without meat several times a week, using eggs, cheese, lentils, pearl barley, rice. Use seasonal ingredients. Use cheaper cuts of meat, cooked long and slowly. Have fun foraging for wild food: mushrooms, blackberries, nettles; if you live near the sea, mussels etc. Share and barter: if you keep hens, swap eggs for your veg-growing neighbour’s glut of courgettes.
Recent interviews with Stan Cox author of Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing and book excerpt.
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.