When Stan Cox’s Losing Our Cool questioned America’s fetish for air-conditioning in 2010, some very nasty comments reached his inbox. But Cox, an agricultural researcher at the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., is not one to back down from saying what needs to be said.
Now he’s poking another cow most sacred: the free market. In his new book, Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing, he argues that environmental sanity might require something even more dreadful than limiting consumption. Are you ready for this? A sustainable world just might be one in which humans get equal shares of what they need.
I talked with Cox the day after Slice It was released.
Q. Why do you think that rationing is necessary to stop environmental collapse?
A. Avoiding collapse will mean cutting back deeply on our exploitation of fossil fuels and other resources. There’s climate disruption, but there’s much more as well. At least one-quarter of all plant growth and freshwater flow on Earth is captured and used every year by our ... Read more