To many observers, the globalised world seems to be coming apart, with scarcity fuelling deglobalisation and conflict. But to economic historians, concerns about global supply and security look surprisingly familiar. This column takes the long view of global upheavals, from the 1840s to the Great Depression, the Global Financial Crisis, and the Covid pandemic. When fundamental items such as food or fuel become scarce, prices rise, requiring new channels of production and distribution. Supply crises generate new institutions and market innovations, showing the way to productive adaptation.