China Cleaned Up Beijing Air First and Now Targets Big Truck Pollution

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment is targeting having 90+ percent diesel trucks capable of meeting emission standards by 2020.

China has more than half of the world’s big trucks and these trucks cause most of the particulate air pollution. Particulate air pollution kills about 1 million people per year.

They will improve the quality of diesel, crack down on low-grade fuel, and reduce overall nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions from fuel combustion.

New trucks that fail to comply with state requirements will not be allowed to enter the market, and some regions will be ordered to implement advanced “China VI” fuel standards starting from July.

Tackling truck emissions has become a major part of China’s efforts to curb pollution. Though trucks produce 13 times more pollution per unit of cargo than trains, the share of rail in total freight amounted to just 7.7 percent in 2017.

The environment ministry said last year that while diesel trucks accounted for just 7.8 percent of China’s total vehicles, they contributed more than 57 percent of total nitrogen dioxide emissions and more than three quarters of airborne particulate matter.

The ministry plans to charge higher fees and introduce more stringent monitoring procedures to try to persuade firms to make better use of the rail network to deliver goods.

Northern regions near the capital Beijing will eliminate more than 1 million outdated diesel-fuelled trucks by the end of 2020. Tougher controls on diesel freight will also be imposed during smog build-ups.

National rail freight rates will be increased by 30 percent compared with 2017, and authorities will work to ensure that long-distance bulk commodity deliveries are done via rail or ships.

China Has Cleaned Up Beijing’s Air First

Air pollution in Beijing, Hebei down 12 percent in 2018.

68 thoughts on “China Cleaned Up Beijing Air First and Now Targets Big Truck Pollution”

  1. Excuse me. Ever hear of phosphorus? It’s part of what created the green revolution and is critical to high intensity agriculture. Its main sources are rapidly getting depleted. Can you say what will replace them?
    Can anyone explain to me why anyone would want so many people in the world? We know there are drawbacks. Can you say any benefits?
    Oh… right… No one is mentioning disease, the usual limit on population density.
    I’m just a simple biologist, but everything I know about biological principles says that unlimited population growth is dangerous… like cancer for example. Really, I work on solutions for problems where biological drives lead to poor outcomes and where planned strategies would lead to far better outcomes. Population growth seems just like one of those cases. It’s just not going to come out well.

  2. So, if we can just find a way to get more food into human hands all will be good. We have almost insurmountable problems now with rain forest being cut down, climate change, water shortages and mass migration that will destroy the standard of living of advanced countries. Maybe you want to live in crowded cities but I don’t.

    I suggest the author live in India for a while and live like native but be sure to pet the cows and don’t eat beef. Will you pay for all the people who lose their jobs to automation and AI or just expect your fellow citizens to do it? Oh, and lets not forget the lovely effects of religion. I wonder what a hamburger meal would have cost in 1800 (maybe a nickle). The population doomsayers are correct, population growth will destroy civilization.

  3. Attenborough is concerned about the living world besides humans and how our expansion is trashing it, not about how many people we can fit into this tiny planet. Here in Australia, for example, we have exterminated 50% of all invertebrates on the continent in the past 70 years, we have the highest rate of species extinction, and we have the second highest deforestation rate in the word. We export more coal and LNG than any other country which is contributing to massive CO2 pollution and global warming which, in turn will exterminate more animals and plants – including the extinction of a great many more species. Yes, we might squeeze a few billion more people into the world before we hit our resource limits but at what cost? Is that really the kind of world we want?

  4. No one sane or serious is proposing the death of billions of people. What is proposed is the birth of less people. The deaths will occur normally, and of natural causes.

  5. I don’t think he hated people as much as today’s greens.
    Davids country was saved by FDR–the least green president ever. Ironically–had their been no FDR–and the axis powers won WWII, there wouldn’t be a problem with overpopulation–but at what human cost?

  6. Malthus was the father of eugenics. Its whimsical some people want to save the planet by removing mankind. Perhaps they should take a private jet somewhere and make a documentary. If you expose people to your thoughts long enough they will become followers.

  7. Stop using phrases like “doomer”, Brian. It makes you sound like a ranting moron and detracts from your point. It’s name calling and adds nothing to discussion.

  8. People are going to live for hundreds of years few decades from now.

    And we’re living in cities in the sky, moving around in flying cars since 2000.

  9. 1+1=2
    If humanity continues to grow uninhibitedly and pointlessly, we will start running out on resources, collapse food-chains, pollute the environment past its tolerance.

    Besides overpopulation doesn’t start to occur when everybody starts dying from famine and a collapsing ecosystem, that’s the end of it.

    We’re already overpopulated, because necessary forests and other natural habitats are decreasing. Over-fished oceans start to flourish with jellyfish. Etc.

  10. The blue revolution started more than 50 years ago, at least in my part of Europe, and it is exported worldwide on a massive scale. I’ve seen quasi-dead rivers come back to life, water tables returning toward sane level, and hydrographic networks made flood/drought tolerant.
    It just takes time, will, unbiased science and some money.

  11. His work was actually quite advanced for the times. It just got bad rep because of the suggested population control. He was probably one of the first people to notice an exponential growth trend. He noticed that the population was able to grow exponentially, while the technological advances of the yesteryear were growing on apparently linear rate. Therefore, no matter how large an improvement happens, it will be eventually overwhelmed by an exponential population growth. A good warning of how wrong one’s predictions could be even you use the correct reasoning but a flawed assumption…

  12. “Some people are fed up with the sanctimonious one-size-fits-all reason of every problem in the universe, “climate change”.”

    I hear you, and I am likewise fed up with willful ignorance. I’m not purporting that “it’s all about climate change”. Climate change is a factor, not *the* factor. But like pressure and concentration, not accounting for it generates data that does not reflect reality.

    In my first post, I said we should consider a Green Revolution 2.0 *after* considering a Blue Revolution because the changing climate is currently redistributing (changing) the global hydrosphere. That again means that some areas get more precipitation, some areas get less. Either way, it changes the level of available water, which could mean too little or too much, both of which are not optimal for agriculture let alone tripling its output.

    I’m glad you’ve helped build infrastructure necessary for a flourishing civilization: we need it, and we’re going to need more of it. I recognize the importance of such systems, which is why most of my recent work has been in increasing the efficiency of water purification processes. Perhaps one day our combined efforts can help stave off the coming storm and bring about that Blue Revolution.

  13. Listen, I’m sure you are a nice person and I apologize if you felt I was being aggressive, but you have to look at the other side of the argument:
    Some people are fed up with the sanctimonious one-size-fits-all reason of every problem in the universe, “climate change”.
    I have spent my life building large infrastructures that enable a technological civilization to have the minimal impact on nature, including huge water treatment plants, water networks of all kind.
    And I have seen the results and I am very proud to have participated in that endeavor.
    Having all this work resumed to “it’s all about climate change” is not only wrong, it’s frankly insulting.

  14. Right now, can you name a strain of corn or wheat that has been successfully genetically modified like that of the recent rice strain to increase yield by some-7% in saltier (*not* sea) water?

  15. Thirst as in, “desire”. Desire as in the context of agriculture. Agriculture being the topic of the post.

  16. …about weapon systems (especially Soviet and Russian). And I still think Goat has the best posts, will be hard to find a usurper.

    So this will be my last post. I’ll come back and respond to you, whatever that may be. But besides all I’ve replied with, what else can I offer?

  17. …What I actually was trying to do was give this site one last chance. I’ve been visiting this place since 2006, and it has changed so much. What was once a place of friendly discussion about “the future, now” has been reduced to an echo chamber, treating every posted article as support for multiple narratives. Not all narratives agree, arguments abound how 5 + 5 = 11 and 3 + 3 = 1, when the linked article with *all of the info* is staring them in the face, begging to be read.

    I honestly thought you were being sincere with your question that I tried to help answer; that we could swap information about global hydrological cycles for wild urbanization and industrialization or whatever you wanted to contribute; that we could each grow a bit with new, serendipitous information. What I got was more of the same of what this site has become. Honestly, I am tired with trying to apply due diligence to factually incorrect or misrepresented information. I am exhausted from answering posted questions and trying to increase this community’s knowledge, yet then go down the rabbit hole of replies because it doesn’t conform with the echo chamber’s docket. So, it’s time to go.

    I’ll miss some of you, with discussions ranging from ISRU LOX production on the lunar surface to radiation dampening of spacecraft. The good ‘ole habitat vs. Moon vs. Mars vs. etc. discussions, Outer Space Treaty musings and even Phateon; for all of his gobbledigookingness and ramblings, he had a lot of info….

  18. 8) “…And the eight is about which theoretical computer model gives the worst results of water shortages.” I ended with this one because it spelled out in the sentence *just* before the one you quoted: “The principal cause of decreasing water stress (where it occurs) is the greater availability of water due to increased annual precipitation related to climate change.” Put another way, the global hydrosphere is redistributing. Put another way, change can be either more or less precipitation depending on the region.

    “Honestly, were you trying to prove something you believe in by citing extracts of sacred texts?”

    There you go with another odd religious comment. Frankly, I’m puzzled by why you do that, given all the “random” *data* I offered. But, honestly, no, I wasn’t trying to prove anything. There is no need: there are mountains of data, both from the models that you seem to love all the way to just plain old measuring water tables, precipitation, and other parameters with a glorified stick or cup that support my assertion. Your opinions and incorrect assertions won’t change that…..

  19. …two key points (“(i) a large proportion of the world’s population is currently experiencing water stress and (ii) rising water demands greatly outweigh greenhouse warming in defining the state of global water systems to 2025”)?

    4) “…vague.” Abstracts can be vague, especially reviews, but this one exactly states, “Yet groundwater flow and storage are continually changing in response to human and climatic stresses.”

    5) “…brown people doing stupid things with their increasing water, leaving them with less water overall!” “Brown people”, seriously? You know what nationality a group of people are in the discussion, yet still refer to them as “brown people”… Anyway, how are they doing stupid things? Irrigation and consumption are stupid?

    6) “…rednecks doing the same thing than brown people above.” Your lack of reading is becoming even more apparent, unless you think the entirety of the U.S. is home to rednecks…? This one didn’t even involve an analysis on human consumption: it was purely data driven. Goodness.

    7) “…a book from someone arguing against repelling the 1964 wilderness act.” This one was nigh impossible to get at without obtaining the material, so you’re off the hook this time. ’ll tell you, though, it includes discussions on the changing of precipitation in mountainous regions, resulting in less snow melt in the coming spring, and leading to a serious decline in water tables which get filled by that melt.

  20. Ahhh, you misunderstand. I have these articles as PDFs on my hard drive right now, but you’re not in my lap group, I don’t know if you otherwise have access to those sites, and I’d rather not receive reprimand for dumping several articles passed their pay wall for all to see. So I did the next best thing; my apologies if that’s what set your mood.

    Moving on, I didn’t think I needed to say this, but you have to read the *whole* abstract. Case in point of your first quotation, “…of people living under water stress; however, changes in seasonal patterns and increasing probability of extreme events may offset this effect. Reducing current vulnerability will be the first step to prepare for such anticipated changes.”

    And actually, now that I read the rest of your post, it seems you didn’t really read them at all.

    2) “…lakes and groundwater telling us something about (I kid you not)… water levels and composition over millennia.” Yes, lakes and water tables are a key way we can measure how the hydrological cycle is doing by comparing changes over time and in different regions. If you have a better way, you should get involved.

    3) “…people doing stupid things with their water in spite of the fact “climate change” is giving them more water.” Yes, your “increasing water” comments born from the cherry picking in your first point is present throughout the rest of your quotations. But tell me, how in the world did you get your summary for the third article’s abstract out of it’s…

  21. well i for one believe that humans that propose that such as mr attenborough should volunteer and go first.. hes old anyways…

  22. I love the way you are trying to call people stupid but have punctuation errors and a spelling mistake. But using a spelling mistake that is reminiscent of Dyson’s name is just brilliant.

  23. Genetic engineering to let crops use seawater.

    It’s an established water source used by heaps of existing plants such as Mangrove.

  24. …/…
    Third link is about people doing stupid things with their water in spite of the fact “climate change” is giving them more water.
    Fourth is vague.
    Fifth is about brown people doing stupid things with their increasing water, leaving them with less water overall!
    Sixth is about rednecks doing the same thing than brown people above.
    Seventh is a book from someone arguing against repelling the 1964 wilderness act.

    And the eight is about which theoretical computer model gives the worst results of water shortages. I quote: “and the most important factor for this increase is the growth of domestic water use stimulated by income growth.” How Malthusian of them!

    Honestly, were you trying to prove something you believe in by citing extracts of sacred texts?

    Have a good day!

  25. You are right, I don’t have time to read all this literature requiring subscriptions to every single website.

    Nice way to avoid my questions by the way: Flood the debate with lots of random data… to prove the Drought!
    So, let’s take the abstract of your first link:

    Global Hydrological Cycles and World Water Resources
    “Climate change is expected to accelerate water cycles and thereby increase the available RFWR (renewable freshwater resources). This would slow down the increase of people living under water stress”.

    Translation from pedantic newspeak (perfect for grabbing grant money tho!):

    IF climate is heating up badly! More heat–>More water vapor–> more precipitations–> More freshwater!!!
    That’s basically the opposite of what you said in your first post. —>”Climate change is redistributing the hydrosphere, leaving negative recharge rates for once stable sources of water,”

    So “climate change” is theoretically good for freshwater tables. I say: TO WHOEVER IS RISING TEMPERATURE SINCE 1875.. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! HUMANITY F**K YEAH!!!

    Should I continue? Should I believe you… or your sources?

    Alright! Alright! You made the insane effort to launch a google search with “climate change” and “freshwater” and paste the result here, so I will continue:

    The second link is about lakes and groundwater telling us something about (I kid you not)… water levels and composition over millennia.

  26. ….The redistribution of the hydrosphere due to climate change makes it better and worse, depending on the region you’re in. In the U.S., the west gets drier and the east/south is getting inundated.

    Looping back around, desalination is the only way to effectively provide the water source required for tripling agriculture output. But how much more water is that going to be? What are the costs associated with (probably not tripling, but) significantly increasing desalination on the coasts? We should be asking those questions first before assuming we can just triple the agriculture output without additional infrastructure investment.

  27. Oh trust me, I know about desalination. It’s a great solution to meet incremental needs such as population and irrigation growth. However, the real estate required, the capital investments, the costs both up front and over time, are not cheap.

    Pre- and post-processing concerns are not oft talked about. Where do you dump the concentrate? Back into the sea alters the ecosystem, so significant processing is required. You can leave it in fields to dry and make salt, but that needs even more land. You can reduce that land needed for drying through buildings and technology investment, if you have the coin.

    Energy required is another big sticking point. Hybrid systems (reverse osmosis, multi-stage flash, submerged, etc.), utilizing waste heat, and incorporating renewables definitely helps, but you’re still looking at a specific energy of 3 – 6 kWh/m3 of treated water for RO. At typical municipal capacities (100,000+ m3/day), that’s 300 – 600 MWh/day. Doable with a dedicated power plant.

    Now, the Green Revolution was fueled heavily by significant increases in irrigation of the land to convert them into crop-friendly areas. That water can only come from a ground source, a surface source, or the oceans. The first two are much, much cheaper to do than the latter, which is why it was primarily implemented. That did the trick, but now that we’ve tapped into those water sources, many of them now have a negative recharge rate because of it….

  28. War is unfortunately a far more nuanced driver of human development.

    Nuclear power, GPS satellites, SpaceX, flight, etc were all dramatically accelerated by warfare.

    In the end competition is what moves things forward. Sometimes it is nice like Apple vs Google, sometimes it is neutral like in the US-Soviet space race, sometimes it is brutal as in WWII.

  29. Classy response.

    1. Insult the author’s character
    2. Miss the point that NBF is generally pro human, pro solution, pro engineering, pro science
    3. Wish death on people who disagree with you
  30. No because developed countries don’t need to chop down forests to keep warm and cook food.

    That’s what methane and nukes are for.

  31. “And this is all happening in the face of more mouths to feed and thirsts to quench. Where do you think the water for that tripling of agriculture is coming from?”

    Where would water come from? Oh I don’t know why don’t you ask the Israelis. Or the Saudis.

    Its called desalination.

  32. Models get such a bad rep, usually from misinterpreting its actual message I find. At worst, it’s manipulated to serve a narrative. Let the numbers speak for themselves, it’s not that hard.

    Anyway, I’ll focus on the one question ultimately pertaining to our disagreement: “So, how does climate change redistributes the hydrosphere?”

    Here are a few references that address that:

    Global Hydrological Cycles and World Water Resources

    Lakes and reservoirs as sentinels, integrators, and regulators of climate change

    Global Water Resources: Vulnerability from Climate Change and Population Growth

    Flow and Storage in Groundwater Systems

    Satellite-based estimates of groundwater depletion in India

    A comparison of recharge rates in aquifers of the United States based on groundwater-age data

    Wilderness, Water, and Climate Change

    Future long-term changes in global water resources driven by socio-economic and climatic changes

    I don’t expect you to read all of these tonight; we’re busy people after all. Treat it more as food for thought.

  33. Indeed. A man of his time.

    In retrospective, even wrong theories can be advances, just by asking the right questions.

    Nevertheless, anyone persisting to believe them regardless of the evidence against is a fool or a shameless liar.

  34. Alright.
    What’s the current temperature of the planet and by how much did it change in the last twenty years? (No computer models projections allowed)
    What’s the human part in CO2 emissions planet wide? How does it compare to volcanoes, ants, termites, bacteria? (Hint: we are so very far from being the worst emitters it is almost shameful for our species).
    So, how does climate change redistributes the hydrosphere? If you had talked about wild urbanization and industrialization I would have agreed with you.

  35. Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so. —Robert A. Heinlein

    Ever notice how so many celebrity entertainers think that being paid a lot to sing or dance, and maybe even act, makes them experts on world affairs and social issues? Of course, the same could be said for most politicians, as most seem to think their ability to bamboozle people into voting for them also makes their opinion on anything that of an expert.

  36. So many myths…..
    1) The world can easily support 11-12 billion people. The main challenge is global population will be clustered around highly concentrated few urban mega-areas (India etc). For instance, Nigeria is expected to house 750 million (!!). It’s the “last mile” question to solve. Most of OECD will have a population decline, and a significant one.

    2) Todays energy footprint/capita is not tomorrow’s. If vehicles are entirely EV, and we substitute gas and fuel powered electricity with LFTR technology, HVDC etc we could conceivably have unlimited power available.

    3) Animal protein production is a non-issue. Most of tomorrow’s population growth are vegetarians (India) and the African areas expecting growth eat other proteins than beef. At the same time, China will see a huge drop in population and pork consumption. Therefore, net-net, feeding the world with beef is a non-issue, and so is poultry. Pork production will largely move to Africa. Growing crops is not the problem (when India wastes 30% of it’s grain stockpile every year).

    What many aren’t addressing is can the mega-clusters afford it? Tomorrow’s population centers of the world will need to have enormous increases in household income to “make the math work”. Ie leapfrog ahead of OECD levels. IMHO, that is not going to happen. Sub-continent/Nigeria, and other few places will be overcrowded and poor.

  37. When I born in 1943 the world population was a little over two billion, now almost eight billion. While humans are thriving, more or less, other species are on a death march and the suitability of our air is deteriorating. Water, big problem around the world. As for the climate, the planet is too hot now and will continue to get hotter. Feeding people is not the problem. Too many people is the problem.

  38. Africa is huge – bigger than China, the USA, and India combined, which have nearly three times Africa’s population. But the billion-odd people in Africa produce far less greenhouse gases, and consume far less of the Earth’s resources, than any one of those. If the West and China can figure out how to stay rich without crashing the climate system, Africa will be able to do the same.

  39. Here’s one from Svante Arhenius in 1908. ‘ If the quantity of carbonic acid [ CO2 + H2O  H2CO3 (carbonic acid) ] in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4°; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8°. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4°; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8°.’ So far CO2 has gone from 285 to 409 ppm. I don’t know what you’re getting, but in 2018 New Zealand had its hottest summer since records began. This year won’t be far behind.
    Here’s some more recent predictions.

  40. Developed countries also have slow rates and even negative rates of population growth.

    The Earth is not being overpopulated with wealthy people, its being overpopulated with poor and ignorant people. Poor and ignorant people are the most– reproductively– successful communities on Earth. And that’s economically and environmentally unsustainable– and politically disastrous in the long run.

  41. Pretty hard to deny the world would be a better place with 90% fewer people. Well it’s too late for that, so we’ll need to try to achieve sustainability with the present population level. Right now the main issue is Africa and some parts of the middle-east which have high birthrates. Asia, the Americas, and Europe all fortunately have low birth rates. Africa needs to be next…

  42. You may need to clue me in on why you think this. Unless it’s just an opinion, in which case sure go for it.

  43. Negative recharge rates for lakes, rivers, bodies of water that humans use as sources of water don’t have anything to do with water shortages?

  44. It was not that Malthus was “Right” or “Wrong” but rather for how long population growth of survival needs are met by economic productivity growth of survival needs. Some economic productivity (farming)enhances survival needs while other economic productivities (war and monopoly) reduce survival needs. Our understanding of complex ecological and economic systems given shallow politics and debate seems inadequately primitive to the modern task.

  45. I like the idea of reducing the human footprint in nature. As is pointed out in the article above this can be achieved by means of technological development. The article points out that we do not even need new miraculous technologies. Proposing the death of billions of people as the “only alternative” is just beyond evil.

  46. Wow, I wonder who’s cage was rattled so badly they thought an attack on David Attenborough would divert attention from whatever misdeed they were engaged in? I don’t see where this assassination attempt fits into a NextBigFuture context.
    David Attenborough doesn’t hate humans, he loves nature. This love of nature is not excluding. And as for you Global Warming deniers … a shrinking ice floe with a hungry polar bear seems your ideal habitat

  47. Well, these misanthropes have nothing to do with real science. But the fact they are morons does not mean science is not true.

  48. Why 5? How do you imagine, people living the same 70 to 80 far in the future? That’s not the case. People are going to live for hundreds of years few decades from now. Once 10B are born, it wil stabilize probably to 11 or 12 but not fall.

  49. I think you were a little hard of Malthus.

    “Malthus had the excuse that he was living in an age of cluelessness”

    Malthus had a much, much better excuse. Namely that he was right at the time. Human history up until the point where Malthus wrote was, on a scale of decades to centuries, Malthusian to a very large degree.
    On a millenial scale the tech advance was significant, but moving from say the 10th to the 16th century, the boom and bust, famine and population dieback pattern was more significant than the steady background improvement in tech.

    Malthus’s problem was that he was writing at the very point when his theory became incorrect.

    And probably not a coincidence. The very improvements in theory, mathematics and data collection that let him do his work was also responsible for allowing other people to break his work.

    But calling him clueless is too harsh.

    Calling those who follow his ideas today “clueless” is probably too mild.

  50. Aquifer depletion and water shortages have nothing to do with “thirsts to quench”. They are completely different orders of magnitude.

  51. Attenborough is a British elitist who was predicting an ice age in 1975, cherries, so I’d think twice about the whole global warming the world’s ending sham. The elites are all about “Conventional Wisdom” and I usually run the other way when I’ve identified Group Think… Use your computer to find the truth – not follow the leader, and BTW: read “Climate Gate” by Brian Sussman (a true meteorologist…) Note: Every…. (EVERY) single Global Warming prediction has proven false. Every one of them! The Green Movement is funded by our competitors.
    Find the Truth… Don’t follow the leader.

  52. Attenborough is a British elitist who was predicting an ice age in 1975, cherries, so I’d think twice about the whole global warming the world’s ending sham. The elites are all about “Conventional Wisdom” and I usually run the other way when I’ve identified Group Think… Use your computer to find the truth – not follow the leader, and BTW: read “Climate Gate” by Brian Sussman (a true meteorologist…) Note: Every…. (EVERY) single Global Warming prediction has proven false. Every one of them! The Green Movement is funded by our competitors.
    Find the Truth… Don’t follow the leader.

  53. Pathological skepctics like ScaryJello, WarrenTheApe and Attenborough aren’t just laughable, they require the outcomes they claim they fear–and politically will seek to engineer them–so they can comfort themselves by being “right”.

  54. Whoa now, before we even consider Green Revolution 2.0, we need a Blue Revolution. Climate change is redistributing the hydrosphere, leaving negative recharge rates for once stable sources of water, reducing snow melt for mountainous regions, and generally increasing evapotranspiration rates.

    And this is all happening in the face of more mouths to feed and thirsts to quench. Where do you think the water for that tripling of agriculture is coming from?

  55. Its not just about the ability to feed people. Its also about the quality life– not only for humans but for the other species that share our planet with us.

    In the long run (over the next two or three hundred years), we need to dramatically reduce the Earth’s human population by expanding humanity into the rest of the solar system (the surfaces of other moons and planets and within rotating artificial gravity producing artificial worlds).

    Humans living on Earth, should be strictly confined to living within the urban areas (towns and cities) which only represents about 3% of the Earth’s total land area– and on artificial floating islands in the world’s oceans.

    Agricultural and grazing areas (40% of the Earth’s total land area) should be turned into human managed nature preserves, visited by humans on Earth and from the rest of the solar system only during regulated eco-tours.


  56. That without adding the extensions to human inhabitable space we can make in other planets and in free floating settlements through this very special century.

    And the resources that may fall from the sky once we dominate industrial self replication in space, and masses of drones mine and produce stuff for us.

    Science and technology are such transformative forces, that it can happen that our ape brains simply don’t register it as good anymore but as a threat, looking to extract sense and familiarity even from primal fear, luddism and tribalism.

    And that is, by itself, a very big risk for humanity.

    Anguished people trying to hold to soon-to-be-obsolete power structures (not necessarily as rulers, just as unknowingly participants) are a primary risk for the species.

  57. Malthus was wrong … and although we could support 10 Billion will many living in poverty there is no value in having so many people. Economics and a rising global middle class and urbanization should painlessly dip the curve so we are looking at 5 Billion in 2100. That’s not a bad thing … many large families these days are due to old value systems that are disappearing as technical advance makes a better life available to more. And of course one solid pandemic could really put a dent in population numbers.

  58. Well, yes, Prince Chuckles has been subsidizing Potemkin villages for years. . Since the same centralized planning seems to be the answer to all of the world’s problems; it makes me suspect that our self-anointed betters see the problem as a lack of control rather than [fill in the blank impending catastrophe]. Really the only thing that centralized planning is an answer for is “why doesn’t socialism work, for $100, ALex?”

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