Most people who've heard of peak oil accept that it is a real phenomenon. Many people also realize that with rising world populations, increased consumption and the growing affluence of Asia that there will be a great many commodities from food, silver, distillates, catalysts, chemicals, rare earths and energy that will come into short term or permanent shortage at some time in our near future.
It is my belief that the GPC needs new ideas that will not only work towards the reality of resource depletion by advocating reduced consumption but at the same time creating policy that will strengthen Canada's resilience to the economic shocks caused by possible shortages. With this in mind I think that the GPC should adopt policy calling for the creation of regional strategic stockpiles that work with industry to make sure that primary materials required for the smooth operation of Canadian economic engine do not run out due to short term market shortages, or environmental emergencies.
I would also suggest that strategic reserves of grains, emergency supplies, and vital infrastructure components should be created so that in case of something like a massive blackout, ice storm, solar flare, hurricane etc. important infrastructure like the power grid or water treatment system can be restored in a timely manner without relying on foreign deliveries or waiting for the manufacture of damaged equipment. I'm sure there are already some government and utility provisions in place for such events but with the combination of resource depletion and the expectation of more volatile weather from climate change these programs surely need to be beefed up.
Now I admit there is no way to hoard our way to prosperity but having a strategic reserve for for energy is something most counties have. We do not! Canada always makes excuses for itself because it’s so big and cold, all the more reason to have a stockpile so no one ends up freezing in the dark, NO?
In today's just in time delivery system a strategic supply of food is only sane considering grocery stores and the distribution system only have a few days of anything in stock.
A strategic supply of rare earths for example will not keep us in business if the world runs out but would certainly keep industry running during a short term delivery interruption and would also be a great carrot to entice manufacturing companies to set up shop in Canada. Rare earths are especially important to those Green Techs we claim we wish to support like the manufacture of PV units and wind turbines.
Precursor chemicals for common and wide spread drugs like thyroxin, blood thiners or increased stockpiles of insulin might also be wise.
This is not an over night project but something that would take the better part of decade to build up to. Consultation with industry, economists, logistics people and the prioritization of which materials to stockpile would be a project unto itself but certainly energy and food should top of the list.
We are also in a time when currencies are going wild, the possibility sovereign defaults are being openly considered and it might just make sense to put part of our reserves into something that is real, growing in rarity and vital for our economic engine rather than more U.S. T bills.Recommend this Post