Thursday, January 17, 2019

Supply Chain Problem


In an interview at Expansaerospace headquarters in Colorado, CEO Mark Luke discussed what he calls “the supply chain problem.” That issue is what motivated him to host the forum two days ago which added fuel to the public debate over the merits of actions proposed by the World Information and Coordination Organization in response to the imminent extinction threat.

At age 46, Luke is an expert at business logistics, which is why he got into the transportation industry 17 years ago. “The global economy depends on extracting raw resources, creating things with them, and enabling people to get and use those things. For every person who uses something, there is a community of people called a supply chain that performs those functions. My industry, for example, contributes to moving resources, products, and people, and this company focuses on doing that above the ground. 

“Whether we like it or not, what we call raw resources includes other creatures and what they need to survive on, basically their supply chain. They also have to live with what we can’t put into products, as well as the products when we’re done using them, which of course they can’t use. That makes them the losers in every aspect of the economy, even the service industries that rely on moving people into their homes. You see where this is going? If we don’t use resources so more of them can live, or live better, then people don’t get what they want and need. It’s basically them or us.

“One of the main points that WICO and its environmentalist base likes to make is that other species provide products and services that help keep us alive. That’s misleading, because what we get is incidental to them keeping themselves alive; and there are other things they do that can hurt us, such as trying to consume us or putting substances in the environment that are toxic to us. In my opinion, which I share with many others, we’re better off creating supply chains we can control so we can keep ourselves alive. I see that as one of the core functions of civilization, which our economy was created to serve.

“Some of the alarmists have compared our impact on other creatures as equivalent to a company demanding more product for less money each year from its suppliers until eventually its suppliers go out of business and the whole supply chain collapses. Again, that’s a false equivalence, because they’re more resources and competitors than suppliers. A business solution is to expand the supply chain to include suppliers who compete with each other to become more efficient, and pick whoever’s winning at the moment. Obviously, other species aren’t competing to better serve us, so we’re justified in taking what we can get from them while developing a network of humans, and ultimately much more efficient and controllable machines, that will be increasingly capable and motivated to give us what we want.

“So, I basically disagree with the definition of the emergency. It isn’t that we’re about to go extinct because of growth. It’s that we need to grow a new supply chain to replace the one that’s becoming useless.”

Reality Check

Luke’s points are based on my experience in business and engineering, some of which I once agreed with. I’ve portrayed the logic as I imagine someone in his position would, and have left out my own considerable criticism so it stands on its own.

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