Sherlock Holmes would love rationing

As he said, when you have eliminated all which is impossible…

Twelve years ago I shared an invitation to reduce waste… next Christmas, and every other day, and then, on Christmas Eve, a request to “help me have a sane, slow Christmas”.

Those posts, and their spirit, came back to my mind a few weeks ago, when reading a couple of articles about some impossibilities of our time. So I saved some quotes in order to share them on Christmas Eve, with that same (positive!) spirit of 2009

Sherlock Holmes would love rationing /img/ww2christmas.jpg
<a href="" target="_blank">Source: Five Ways Rationing Affected Christmas During World War Two</a>


Carbon Sequestration? Nah

“The global economy now produces about 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Tackling 10 per cent of that problem (roughly four billion tonnes) would need building from scratch an infrastructure as big as that of the entire global oil industry,that took us.”

“Something like this cannot be done in five, or 10, or 15 years. And this is 10 per cent. So, simply on the matter of scale, carbon sequestration is just simply dead on arrival.”

Dematerialization? Nah

“Dematerialization means using fewer materials or less energy to make stuff. But when some researchers recently looked at 57 cases of dematerialization and asked if these products kept more resources and energy in the ground, they found that Jevons’ Paradox ruled and totally.”

Hydrogen? Nah

“If you were to replace the current combustion vehicles with fuel cells, the world couldn’t produce enough platinum.”

Cheap meat? Nah

“The entire industrial meat producing industry is vertically integrated and controlled by a few large corporations. However, we are beginning to see the end of industrial agriculture and mass produced food.”

When you have eliminated all which is impossible…

Remember Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes would love rationing /img/holmes-impossible.jpg

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

I do NOT want to play the Luddite, or the doomsayer! But, exactly for those reasons, and because I am deeply convinced that “analog or digital, prepping makes no sense”, I can’t help to point out that:

  • those quotes don’t say that “we the people” are doomed. They just say that it is physically impossible to keep doing things as we have done, or tried doing, in the last generation or two (assuming we wanted to keep living in ways SO DUMB (yes, DUMB) to make Leibnitz himself, I dare argue, stop preaching of “the best of all possible worlds”)

  • If that is how things stand, rationing of resources really seems the mandatory, best way out.

Let’s define “best”…

Rationing would be enormously complex (yes, that’s the understatement of the century, I know!).

Still, as things REALLY stand now, it seems every year more that, among all the conceivable alternatives that could actually accomplish something worthwhile, without violating any law of physics, rationing emerges as both the less unfeasible and the fairest too. By far the fairest.

Further reading

(and let me know what you think!)