“The shortening or relocalization of supply chains will be encouraged.” Page 108.
In the past year there have been two events that really showed how fragile our supply chain is, Texas and Covid-19. During the Ice storm that hit Texas in February of 2021 supply chains shut down from the farm to the supermarket when the power was shut off in certain parts of the state. Ranchers could not open the doors to some of their barns to feed their cattle. Crop farmers could not work the grain silos to move feed for the ranchers who needed it. Warehouses did not function and store were shut down unable to process purchases without electricity. Texas was a prime example of how our supply chain can be shut down with the flip of a switch.
Towards the beginning of covid-19 the public learned how much of our pharmaceutical industry is now located overseas. India and China supply the US with the majority of our generic versions and antibiotics. When the lockdowns started both of these countries refused to export any medical equipment or medications regardless of who owned the company or already paid for the product. Our healthcare supply chain was shut down by foreign countries.
Localizing supply chains is not a new concept. For the past twenty years I have heard people pushing this idea and to a greater extent I want to agree with it. But, if we are shortening supply chains, taking more hands away from the product to move it from the origin to your home, why is it costing more than something imported from China or India? I may like my farmer neighbor Bob down the street but I’m not going to pay double for his spinach compared to what the local supermarket brought in with Chile on the label. If localizing the supply chain is going to work the local producers need to start offering prices that will under bid what is coming in from the world market.
“On the left, activists and green parties that were already stigmatizing air travel and asking for a rollback against globalization will be emboldened by the positive effect the pandemic had on our environment (far fewer carbon emissions, much less air and water pollution.) Page 108.
Green parties will be pushing for more climate change restrictions on economies all over the world, however Covid-19 did them no favors with what we learned after the initial lockdowns. From march 2020 to the end of the year the earth heated up by half a degree. The air was cleaner but that also meant that more solar rays were able to hit the earth’s surface and not be reflected back by aerosols. Reducing carbon emissions and air pollution heats up the earth faster, not slower. We learned this twenty years ago after the days following 9-11. When airlines were shut down and people stayed home from the shock of what happened with the world trade center, the earth, just like during the lockdowns, heated up from the lack of air pollution. As the decades pass, we continue to relearn the same things while continuing to pass along the wrong information to future generations. I remember learning about global warming as a kid growing up in the 80s and the information that is given to kids today is almost identical regardless of everything we have learned. The earth is changing, it always has been. With the agenda to shut down carbon emissions and fossil fuels we have to learn time and time again that doing so would speed up the disaster waiting to happen with harsher consequences.