Naomi Klein loves a binding constraint


Naomi Klein must really dislike international commerce:

Cheap oil, the lubricant of quick, inexpensive transportation links across the world, may not return anytime soon, upsetting the logic of diffuse global supply chains that treat geography as a footnote in the pursuit of lower wages… [A footnote? Sheesh, this is the newspaper that employs Tom Friedman, huh?]

“If we think about the Wal-Mart model, it is incredibly fuel-intensive at every stage, and at every one of those stages we are now seeing an inflation of the costs for boats, trucks, cars,” said Naomi Klein, the author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. “That is necessarily leading to a rethinking of this emissions-intensive model, whether the increased interest in growing foods locally, producing locally or shopping locally, and I think that’s great.”

Oil scarcity takes a chunk out of humanity’s production possibilities frontier, and Ms Klein cheers.

[Perhaps Klein is happy because she’s worried about global warming, rather than cheering for the ‘buy local’ movement. In that case, the NYT‘s quotation wasn’t very helpful. But these high oil prices are a symptom of increased demand, not reduced supply, so they are hardly evidence that the world is reducing emissions.]