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Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595588094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595588098
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An iconoclast of the best kind, Stan Cox has an all–too–rare commitment to following arguments wherever they lead, however politically dangerous that turns out to be. In this richly informative and deeply courageous book, he tackles one of the greatest taboos of our high–consumer culture: the need to consume less and to fairly share what’s left."
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

"Today, rationing is about as acceptable a topic of conversation as hemorrhoids. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. In fact, we do it every day and our reluctance to admit it serves us poorly. From death panels to water wars, Any Way You Slice It explains with wit and sophistication how rationing happens. More important, Stan Cox gives us the tools to talk about rationing sensibly. And if we heed him, those conversations will not only be better informed, but might even lead to a better democracy."
—Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing

"A cool and cogent analysis of a taboo subject…a brilliant opening of a global dialogue on who gets what, when, why, and how."
—David W. Orr, Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College

"The warning signs are flashing ominously everywhere you turn: warming climate, swelling populations, dwindling water supplies, rising food costs, a host of new deadly diseases, and a widening chasm between the super–rich and the destitute. The ecological crisis afflicting the planet has mutated into a savage political and economic crisis that threatens to erode the very foundations of human culture. Time is running out for incremental, piecemeal solutions to these looming global threats. In Any Way You Slice It, Stan Cox offers a way out through a kind of ethical and rational triage. He maps out a plan to ration the Earth’s shrinking resources in a way that is socially just and ecologically sane. This brave book is not for the timid or those frozen by political taboos, but it is a must–read for those who want to forge real change before the ecological doomsday clock strikes midnight."
—Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of CounterPunch and author of Born Under a Bad Sky

More About the Author

Before joining the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, as senior scientist in 2000, Stan Cox worked as a U.S. Department of Agriculture geneticist for thirteen years. His environmental writing has been widely published. He is the author of Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nirmalan Dhas on July 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In “Any Way You Slice It” Stan Cox takes on a vital aspect of the future that is already with us as he points out in a gently persuasive manner that within the not too distant future – just as we have in the not too distant past – we will have to change the ways in which we choose to ration scarce resources in order to ensure that there is enough to go round. The alternative may be a widening clamor for the renegotiation of the social contract between the state and its citizens that has already begun in certain locations and may suddenly spread across the planet with no warning and in the most unexpected ways.

With crop failures increasing, water and food scarcities already upon us and prices having risen threatening nutritional well being in many parts of the world Stan Cox’s reexamining of the need to change the principles that govern the way we ration and share available resources is timely and essential reading for Kings and Queens, Generals and Military Commanders, Politicians, Policymakers, Academics, Researchers, Civil Society Leaders and Religious Heads, and anyone concerned about the type of future they plan to leave to their children.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jem on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those doom and gloom books. Cox correctly describes some of the critical shortages in terms of the earth's natural resources supporting the projected human population -- air quality, water and energy resources, sufficient safe food supply, quality affordable health care, etc. His rationing solution for water, energy, food and health resources makes little sense based on the assumption that current resources are finite. Our history shows that as we approach crisis points we discover new technologies to increase the resource pie, although it is now unclear what might become economically viable -- solar energy, water desalinization, remote access to health care specialists? Even his proposal for rationing births -- based on the Chinese policy experiment -- demonstrates unanticipated consequences that may eventually exceed the problem it was designed to solve. History has demonstrated that readily available and reasonably priced birth control drastically cuts the number of live births voluntarily (ask the Pope).

Will we wait until we have a crisis? Of course. Will scarce resources be most available to those able to pay? Of course. Will some of the poorest people in the world starve? Unfortunately, yes. Will lack of access to food and water cause violent overthrow of some governments? Undoubtedly. How long will we muddle along and inhabit this planet? That's the question, but I'll not hold my breath for world consensus on equitable rationing solutions.
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