Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Gas Protests and Food Shortages in Madrid

We are now in the second day of a strike by truck drivers here in Spain protesting over the high price of gas. While I'm all for industrial action, I think this particular strike, in which drivers are refusing to deliver basics such as food, is misdirected. The strikers know the government can't do anything about global energy prices, but they're using it as an excuse to get concessions. Already the Spanish government is offering cash payments for early retirement and emergency credit, but the truckers want a minimum haulage rate so they can be assured a living wage.

Some truckers are staging "go slow" protests around the city, blocking traffic. Lines at gas stations are running for blocks, and when I went to the supermarket today I noticed a definite shortage of some foods. I bought extra, marking the first time in my First World life that I've hoarded food.

This strike will be resolved, but the problem is not about to go away. Eventually we will reach peak oil, if we haven't already, and as consumption increases due to rising population and industrialization, the problem will only get more acute. This won't be the last time in my life I'll be hoarding food. And if you haven't yet, your turn may well be next.

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