The Joseph Strategy

We are in the midst of a long-term energy emergency, one which
will not be solved by more oil drilling or misadventures in the
Persian Gulf. Instead, we might look to the Bible for some

As David Ehrenfeld notes in an essay on Orion Online,
the United States enjoys unprecedented access to cheap energy, but
that supply has already peaked. And if we want to maintain our
current quality of life, it’s time we borrowed an idea from the
Bible, what Ehrenfeld calls the ‘Joseph Strategy.’

Like Joseph, who helped save the Egyptian people from starvation
by stockpiling supplies during the fertile years and rationing them
during the drought, the U.S. should consider instituting mandatory
rationing to stabilize its energy use, while encouraging
technological innovation designed to make our energy resources go
further. Also central to such a strategy, he says, is the gradual
movement of Americans to a lifestyle that consumes fewer energy

‘A modern approach will have the three components, each with
advantages and drawbacks,’ he notes. ‘A judicious mix of all three
— rationing, investment in technological change, and the voluntary
reduction of consumption — will serve us best and do the least
Craig Cox

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The Joseph Strategy

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