Global Doubling of Cars Versus Doubling of People

The World population of people is not expected to double by 2100. There are currently 7.9 billion people and this should reach 10 billion in 2050 and maybe 11.2 billion in 2100. This assumes that average world life expectancy increase from 72 today to about 80-85 in 2100. If world life expectancy increased by 10 years from the UN baseline to 90-95 then there would be 400 million to 800 million more people in 2100. If world life expectancy increased by 20 years from the UN baseline to 90-95 then there would be another 400 million to 800 million more people in 2100. If there was a leap in radical life extension starting in 2040 and this was distributed to most people in the world by 2070 then there would be about 3-4 billion more people from the UN baseline in 2100. The same resulting world population in 2100 could also happen in households in Africa still had about 4 children instead of decreasing to family sizes of two children as expected in the UN baseline. The maximum human population that is possible in the world is a doubling of the current population-based upon a radical life extension scenario combined with the expected natural population increase.

There were 1 billion cars in the world in 2010. This figure represents the number of cars, trucks (light, medium and heavy-duty), and buses, but does not include off-road vehicles or heavy construction equipment. The world vehicle population passed the 500 million-unit mark in 1986 and 250 million motor vehicles in 1970.

The world population of humans has doubled since 1975 but the number of vehicles is up about 5 times. The US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia have over 700 million vehicles today. The places in the world where the population increased by about 50% or less still had more than a doubling in vehicles since 1975. The average mass of the vehicles has increased. There were a lot of 4000-pound vehicles in 1975 but there were also 1800 pound Beetles. Many of today’s trucks and SUVs are 5000 pounds. We shifted from smaller vehicles in the 1970s to SUV, Trucks and minivans. The total global vehicle fleet mass is about seven times more today the global fleet in 1975. Global oil consumption only doubled from 1970 to today because of more efficient engines.

Air travel was relatively rare in the 1970s and is now common. Houses and apartments were smaller in the 1970s. Those have all grown faster than the population increase. Per capita income is increasing and about 70% of the world will be middle class or richer by 2060.

Between 1950 and 1970, the vehicle population doubled roughly every 10 years. World light-duty motor vehicles will reach 2 billion units in 2035. World vehicles could reach 4 billion in 2060-2080. This scenario might be avoided if full self-driving enables robo-taxis and self-driving trucks. The self-driving scenario could reduce the world fleet of vehicles by a factor of 5 to 10. The self-driving reduction of vehicles would have less of a reduction in vehicles if people were in mobile offices and still had low occupancy in vehicles.

The amount of energy and resources used is less a factor of how many people there are in the world than the technology we have, the vehicles we use and various aspects of per capita wealth.

There are many other options for having a lighter and more efficient environmental footprint than reducing family size.

People could choose not to drive 2000 to 3000 kilogram SUVs and large trucks. SUVs and heavy trucks are about 60% of the new vehicles in the USA.
People could still drive vehicles but lighter and more efficient vehicles.

If the world increases from a life expectancy of 92 from 72 today then this would be about half of the maximum population increase from a radical life extension scenario (by 2100). A life expectancy of 92 is natural and is already achieved by Asian women in New Jersey. There is no super medicine involved. There is also no talking about any “horror” than Asian women in New Jersey eat well, take care of themselves, are affluent and live to 92.

The 1970s film and science fiction book Logan’s Run had the premise that people had to be killed at the age of 21 or 30 to manage resources. The consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty. The book had the age of mandatory death at 21.

If vehicles and industry no longer use fossil fuels (but solar, wind and nuclear fission and nuclear fusion) and we have advanced additive manufacturing (3d printing) and full recycling of products then we can support 100 billion on Earth with less impact than 8 billion people today.

Even with virtual immortality, the world population would not reach 100 billion until about 2300-2500.

We will have mass-produced fully reusable space vehicles by 2030. Full solar system colonization will be trivial by 2050-2080.

The solar system has 1 billion times the resources of the Earth and the solar system can support a population over 1 billion times more than the Earth.

SOURCE- Wikipedia, UN population forecast, Logan’s Run
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com