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.