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Painting a rosy picture

By Sean Ryan

The experts are using phrases such as “imminent crisis,” “unpredictable and inadequate” and “grave concern” to describe road paint.

These are truly amazing times to be alive, indeed.

This year, our advanced civilization will cope with the problem of not having enough white and yellow paint for our streets. We face this crisis because of “the coalescence of a range of factors” that individually wouldn’t bother anybody, but collectively are causing calamity, according to the Road Safety Marking Association based in the United Kingdom.

The Chinese apparently had a dismal gum resin harvest in 2009, and manufacturers of hydrocarbon-based resins are having some sort of production problems.

As a construction reporter who covers the city of Milwaukee (164 years without a beer shortage!), I’m going to do my best to stay out of analyzing international supply chains. I will, however, call for a collective deep breath.

Things will get expensive this year, and some solid centerlines will crack and fade and stay that way before they are repainted. But I think society can handle this shortage without the rule of law breaking down and the banks collapsing … again.

Sean Ryan, staff writer for The Daily Reporter, is stockpiling beer just in case something goes wrong with the 2010 hops harvest.

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