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How the World Ran Out of Everything

By Peter S. Goodman and Niraj Chokshi

The Japanese automaker pioneered so-called Just In Time manufacturing, in which parts are delivered to factories right as they are required, minimizing the need to stockpile them.

Over the last half-century, this approach has captivated global business in industries far beyond autos. From fashion to food processing to pharmaceuticals, companies have embraced Just In Time to stay nimble, allowing them to adapt to changing market demands, while cutting costs. But the tumultuous events of the past year have challenged the merits of paring inventories, while reinvigorating concerns that some industries have gone too far, leaving them vulnerable to disruption.

As the pandemic has hampered factory operations and sown chaos in global shipping, many economies around the world have been bedeviled by shortages of a vast range of goods — from electronics to lumber to clothing. In a time of extraordinary upheaval in the global economy, Just In Time is running late.

Read the full article…How the World Ran Out of Everything, published in the New York Times.

What to save? Climate Change Forces Brutal Choices at National Parks

By Zoe Schlanger

For more than a century, the core mission of the National Park Service has been preserving the natural heritage of the United States.

But now, as the planet warms, transforming ecosystems, the agency is conceding that its traditional goal of absolute conservation is no longer viable in many cases. Late last month the service published an 80-page document that lays out new guidance for park managers in the era of climate change.  The document, along with two peer-reviewed papers, is essentially a tool kit for the new world. It aims to help park ecologists and managers confront the fact that, increasingly, they must now actively choose what to save, what to shepherd through radical environmental transformation and what will vanish forever.

Read the full article.. What to Save? Climate Change Forces Brutal Choices at National Parks, published in the New York Times, May 18th 2021