Managing increasing demand for water, clean air, minerals, energy, and food is rapidly becoming one of our greatest challenges. What strategies are available to us? Are there alternatives to winners and losers? Stan Cox’s work on looks at these pressing topics through the lens of rationing in his recent piece published by the FAN Initiative.

The need for rationing has become clear in this hot summer of 2022, with military conflict and supply-chain disruption having driven energy supplies down even as extreme weather has driven energy demand, and therefore prices, to record heights. Governments in California, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere have launched campaigns aimed at limiting consumers’ use of air conditioning, appliances, and car charging. This has depended so far on calls for voluntary restraint, as a way of averting the need for involuntary restraint in the form of rolling electricity blackouts. Such exhortations can help get a society through a short-term mismatch of supply and demand, but to permanently reduce consumption, mandatory rationing with uniform limits is required to ensure sufficiency and fairness.

Stan Cox

Read the full essay by Stan Cox published by the FAN Initiative

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