Kim Stanley Robinson: Empty Half the Earth to Save the Planet

Author Kim Stanley Robinson
Author Kim Stanley Robinson. By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Nick Shaw – US Author Kim Stanley Robinson wants half the Earth to be depopulated, by somehow inducing rural people to move into cities.

Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet

Kim Stanley Robinson

There are now twice as many people as 50 years ago. But, as EO Wilson has argued, they can all survive – in cities

Right now we are not succeeding. The Global Footprint Network estimates that we use up our annual supply of renewable resources by August every year, after which we are cutting into non-renewable supplies – in effect stealing from future generations. Eating the seed corn, they used to call it. At the same time we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate that is changing the climate in dangerous ways and will certainly damage agriculture.

The tendency of people to move to cities, either out of desire or perceived necessity, creates a great opportunity. If we managed urbanisation properly, we could nearly remove ourselves from a considerable percentage of the the planet’s surface. That would be good for many of the threatened species we share this planet with, which in turn would be good for us, because we are completely enmeshed in Earth’s web of life.

So emptying half the Earth of its humans wouldn’t have to be imposed: it’s happening anyway. It would be more a matter of managing how we made the move, and what kind of arrangement we left behind. One important factor here would be to avoid extremes and absolutes of definition and practice, and any sense of idealistic purity. We are mongrel creatures on a mongrel planet, and we have to be flexible to survive. So these emptied landscapes should not be called wilderness. Wilderness is a good idea in certain contexts, but these emptied lands would be working landscapes, commons perhaps, where pasturage and agriculture might still have a place. All those people in cities still need to eat, and food production requires land. Even if we start growing food in vats, the feedstocks for those vats will come from the land. These mostly depopulated landscapes would be given over to new kinds of agriculture and pasturage, kinds that include habitat corridors where our fellow creatures can get around without being stopped by fences or killed by trains.

Meanwhile, cities will always rely on landscapes much vaster than their own footprints. Agriculture will have to be made carbon neutral; indeed, it will be important to create some carbon-negative flows, drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and fixing it into the land, either permanently or temporarily; we can’t afford to be too picky about that now, because we will be safest if we can get the CO2 level in the atmosphere back down to 350 parts per million. All these working landscapes should exist alongside that so-called empty land (though really it’s only almost empty – empty of people – most of the time). Those areas will be working for us in their own way, as part of the health-giving context of any sustainable civilisation. And all the land has to be surrounded by oceans that, similarly, are left partly unfished

Read more:

A few thoughts.

One of the main reasons farming is far from carbon neutral is producing nitrate fertiliser is very energy intensive. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to break nitrogen gas molecules apart, and convert the shattered gas molecules into biologically available forms of nitrogen like ammonia and nitric acid. To give a sense of the scale of energy required, natural nitrate is largely produced inside lightning bolts. But there is nowhere near enough natural nitrate produced this way to feed the world.

Finding a viable artificial method to produce nitrate fertiliser was one of the great innovations which made modern agriculture possible. Reducing the land available for agriculture would require even more intensive nitrate fertilisation and enhancement of whatever land was left.

I appreciate Robinson’s desire for non-violence, but I doubt a purposeful policy of rural depopulation would remain peaceful for long. In Guatemala and Africa, creation of carbon credit forest projects has allegedly resulted in native people being forcefully removed from their homes.

Even if the violence was avoided, I don’t think natural demographic trends will achieve anything like the result Robinson seems to want. In the near future I suspect the social pressures which created the need for cities will diminish. Better transport and communications technology is making it easier to live outside cities. Growing numbers of people no longer have to commute to work; my office is wherever I open my laptop. There will always be people who love the bustle of high density city life, but plenty of city people yearn for a quieter life, with more affordable housing and with neighbours who aren’t always in their face. Modern technology and social change is making this choice increasingly available.

I like some of Kim Stanley Robinson’s work, the Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars trilogy is an excellent read. I want to believe Robinson’s intentions are good. But sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
March 22, 2018 7:38 am

Unless there is no evidence to relate human activity to climate change

Reply to  chaamjamal
March 22, 2018 9:42 am

“At the same time we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate that is changing the climate in dangerous ways and will certainly damage agriculture.”
Well, he certainly got this backwards.

Reply to  rocketscientist
March 22, 2018 10:26 am

Good one, rocket. When I saw “and will certainly damage agriculture” I had to blink in disbelief..

Pop Piasa
Reply to  rocketscientist
March 22, 2018 11:38 am

Does he even realize that way more than half of this planet is practially devoid of humans?

Reply to  rocketscientist
March 22, 2018 3:25 pm

Maybe just get rid of all the half-assed people?
How about the members of The American Academy of Sciences – aka AAS – both the Half-AASes and the AAS-wholes?

Reply to  rocketscientist
March 22, 2018 7:21 pm

He got it ass-backwards.

Chris Wright
Reply to  rocketscientist
March 23, 2018 4:05 am

He got it completely backwards.
The planet is getting greener and more productive, primarily due to increased CO2 and also due to global warming. Farmers routinely add extra CO2 to their greenhouses to increase productivity.
Sadly, alarmists seem to live on a different planet to the rest of us.

Bill Powers
Reply to  chaamjamal
March 22, 2018 10:51 am

It cannot be stressed enough, to those who just don’t understand what is going on with this climate alarm-ism,that the World Elites’ real fear, sparked in the 70’s by Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb”, is overpopulation in the face limited resources. What good is all their money if they can’t spend it on extravagant lifestyles. This spark ignited their fear of overpopulation and resulted in the creation of the IPCC in 1988 to send forth a message They needed the “dumbed down” public school masses in free countries to voluntarily give over control of their lifestyles to the government, bought and paid for by the money interests. They developed a plan. The best way to do that is for the Propaganda Ministry Media to broadcasts daily messages from the IPCC to stimulate their uninformed amygdala with a steady drumbeat of fear and guilt. “The world is coming to an end and it is all your fault. Turn to your government to save you. Trust us it won’t hurt a bit and we will save the children”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 22, 2018 11:43 am

Yes, they claim they will save future generations from being visited by our sins of emission.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 22, 2018 12:10 pm

I have an aging relative who’s been on the Overpopulation Bandwagon ever since the 60’s. Whenever he brings it up, I make a point to ask him “well, since government statistics show that white populations aren’t the problem for you, how do you plan on getting rid of all of the surplus black and brown babies worldwide? Since that’s what you’re going to have to do if you’re serious.”
He won’t talk to me about it anymore.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 22, 2018 2:09 pm

wws why do you think the The US government and UN supports a worldwide ban on DDT. Rachel Carson came out of the same school of thought as Ehrlich. Here is one of numerous one world government solutions to overpopulation. Malaria kills far more people than DDT could if you coated all African villages with it Holy crap the elites go around raising millions for mosquito nets so they can pat them selves on the back while millions of those black/brown babies are dying from a disease that could be controlled with DDT. Malaria is western world elitist convenient black population controller. But you won’t read about it in the NYTimes.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 22, 2018 5:39 pm

The population increases that will occur over the next generation or two are already “baked in” due to decreased infant mortality rates from vaccine programs etc. On the flipside fertility rates (births per female, assuming we are still allowed to use sex labels) are also dropping and will be below replacement levels in a generation or two. As Hans Rosling puts it… we are already at “peak baby.”
Anywho … could ramble at length, but clearly humans are adapting and quickly. Misanthropes such as Robinson who think peoplekind (hat tip Trudeau) are a cancer on the planet and think there should be less of us (something he is too cowardly to admit), should do us all a favour (in his opinion) and lead by example. I have always struggled to understand how these people can maintain a straight face while burdened with the cognitive dissonance of their neo-Malthusian thinking and their own “carbon footprints.” I could not live a life of such stupendous hypocrisy.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 22, 2018 8:01 pm

@Bill Powers
In Canada, at least, it’s a steady stream of climate alarmism, especially via the CBC, our faithful public broadcaster (faithful, per Orwell).
Rachel Carson was the patron saint of all life when I studied biology in the 70s but was DDT really so villainous? Was DDT applied at levels and in ways that made it far more dangerous than it needed to be in order to control insects? Was the DDT concern exaggerated?
In biology classes, we were presented with images of birds with malformed beaks and thin egg shells. Perhaps DDT was applied at levels far exceeding the need like it might have been for birth control pills or the treatment of Addison’s disease at the time. Does anyone know whether this was the case?

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 23, 2018 3:58 am

DMH asked: (ANSWERS IN CAPS BELOW, FROM MALARIA AND THE DDT STORY, The Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 2000)
“Rachel Carson was the patron saint of all life when I studied biology in the 70s but was DDT really so villainous?”
“Was DDT applied at levels and in ways that made it far more dangerous than it needed to be in order to control insects?”
“Was the DDT concern exaggerated?”
Below is a graph that quantifies the number of DEATHS EACH YEAR FROM MALARIA – between one and two million.
Note how malaria deaths increased steadily since 1980 (or earlier), after the banning of DDT in 1972, and how malaria deaths declined after DDT was re-introduced.
See the red area of the graph – that is CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE – FOUR AND UNDER – JUST BABIES FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Yes I am upset. This holocaust was preventable, and easily so.
I want to personally recognize the radical environmental movement for the key role it played in the banning of DDT and the resulting deaths of millions of people from malaria, especially children under five years of age. After this holocaust became fully apparent, many enviros continued to oppose DDT, based on flimsy evidence and unsupported allegations.
DDT was only re-introduced circa year 2002. Malaria deaths declined after that. The battle against malaria continues.
The Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 2000
• Malaria imposes colossal costs on mankind, in terms of lives
lost, ill health and impaired economic development. Over 1
million people, mostly children, die from the disease each
year and over 300 million fall sick.
• Malaria is primarily a developing country disease, but it was
not always so. Much of Europe and North America were
malarial up to the early 1950s, but spraying the pesticide DDT
eradicated the disease from these areas.
• Vector control (killing the anopheles mosquito) using DDT
was pursued as a one-weapon policy after World War II in
most malarial areas. While DDT was remarkably successful in
many areas, it was not always appropriate.
• Despite a lack of scientific evidence, DDT was banned in
many countries in the early 1970s following concerns about
its environmental and human health impacts. However, the
negative impacts from DDT use in agriculture, which led to
the concerns, are vastly different from the impacts of DDT
used in health control.
• The environmental impacts of DDT use in disease control are
negligible and indeed its use could be beneficial to the
environment. In addition, no scientific peer-reviewed study
has ever replicated any case of negative human health impacts
from DDT. Nevertheless, environmental pressure groups and
donor agencies disapprove of the use of DDT and actively
campaign for its withdrawal.

• Although malaria is a developing country problem, much of
the malaria control policy is formulated by developed country
agencies. As a result, developing countries are frequently
required to follow malaria control programmes that are not
necessarily ideal or even applicable to local circumstances.
• Following a more politically correct and purportedly
environmentally friendly policy, many health agencies, donor
agencies and governments withdrew their support for DDT,
and pesticide use in general, in disease control. The higher
costs of the alternatives and the development of mosquito
resistance to many alternatives increase the importance of
DDT use.
• Many countries have been encouraged to control malaria
with drug programmes and bed nets alone, repeating the
mistakes of following one-track control programmes of the
• In December 2000, country delegates to the UNEP Persistent
Organic Pollutants (POPs) Convention Negotiating
Conference showed their support for the use of DDT in
disease control, by granting exemption and allowing
continued use of the chemical.

Reply to  chaamjamal
March 23, 2018 5:11 am

Isolating the Contribution of CO2 on Atmospheric Temperature
In any serious scientific experiment, efforts are made to “control” for as many exogenous factors as possible. The whole purpose is to isolate the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable. ΔWeightloss = ΔCaloric Intake + ΔExercise + ΔBase Metabolism + error. To minimize the error of the model (maximize explanatory power), variables outside … Continue reading

Reply to  co2islife
March 23, 2018 6:09 am

What works for thermodynamics does not work for the human endocrine system. You, unfortunately, give nearly the worst example possible to make your case.

Reply to  DMH
March 23, 2018 6:14 am

??? Please explain.

Reply to  co2islife
March 23, 2018 10:24 am

Insulin, released when blood sugar rises due to the ingestion of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates, and sugary beverages, but also bread, pasta, and rice – to name but a few – is the primary driver of fat deposition. See Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, or his Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It for details, or Lustig’s Sugar: The Bitter Truth:

In short, more or less, consuming calories from fat and oils will not make you fat; consuming calories from carbohydrates will.
Exercise is great for muscle, bone, and cardiovascular strength, among other benefits, but it is generally regarded as useless for weight loss, despite what your local gym might suggest.
The second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the human metabolism in the way you suggest. Food calories are not equal to one another. Our metabolisms and our bodies, in general, are a little bit more like our climate – very complex and insufficiently understood by legions of experts, including, perhaps your own physician.

Reply to  DMH
March 23, 2018 11:34 am

Oh, I get it. That was simply an example model. Weight loss = exercise + caloric intake. I never thought that would be the controversial part of the post.

Russ R.
Reply to  co2islife
March 23, 2018 12:10 pm

For most of us, our bodies are adapted for seasonal periods of plenty, and seasonal periods of caloric rationing. It is an adaptation past down to us by thousands of ancestors surviving harsh seasonal and climatic variations, that hindered year-round access to consistent food supplies.
For only the last 70 years or so, most of us have removed the periods of hunger from our lives. That is the source of chronic fat stores. Aerobic exercise will burn fat. Anaerobic exercise will not, but the recovery process for either will also consume available calories.
The idea that exercise does not produce weight loss is refuted by every study ever done on the subject. The only times it does not, is when you don’t have excess body fat to lose, or if you replace the weight of lost fat, with the weight of increased muscle mass.
Your choice is simple: reduce your caloric intake, or increase your caloric burn. Best results are obtained from doing both.
Body fat is “calories in the bank”. It is true that carbs are more efficient at producing body fat, because they are more associated with “harvest seasons” that our ancestors used to prepare for winter. But if you burn them before they are placed in storage, they are not turned to fat stores. They are a good source of calories. But you have to limit your consumption, to what you are willing to currently utilize through movement.

March 22, 2018 7:38 am

So I take it he’s volunteering to go first?

Mark Hansford
Reply to  Todd
March 22, 2018 7:53 am

Precisely Todd. Anyway cities are all very well but are very vulnerable to logistical breakdown. In the past here in the UK we have nearly run out of fuel – one of them caused by union action blockading the refineries. The shelves of all the supermarkets quickly emptied. There is no way for a population the size of London – or any other mega city to feed itself – how quickly would order breakdown once the inhabitants got hungry?
Or just perhaps thats what ‘greenies’ are hoping – that populations will ‘adjust’ themselves. I’m sure his theorising means well, but the suffering is seldom considered as it is a necessary process to reduce the worlds population by half. Rich or safely cocooned advocates like this do not perceive themselves or their family and friends having to suffer

Reply to  Mark Hansford
March 22, 2018 8:34 am

Folks, this is another piece of the agenda 21/2030, and it is employed through predictive programming. Incremental, ridiculous, anti-human ideas of massive depopulation are injected into the discussion and it eventually becomes palatable. These people are classic satanists (ego centric, me-first-at-all-costs types). Plain and simple. They despise humanity because they are insecure, selfish, disgusting people who want to be comfortable and have all the resources. They hate competition which is why they love government, because they can use violence to achieve their goals while sitting in their Ivory towers, virtue signaling and trucking the well meaning masses.
To conclude this is anything but social engineering and eugenics based is a misplaced and ignorant interpretation.
Psychopathic parasites. That is exactly what these types are.

Reply to  Mark Hansford
March 22, 2018 8:35 am

Tricking. Android phone has terrible auto correct

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Todd
March 22, 2018 9:02 am

Robinson is from the Fatal Cult of Anti-Humanists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists & Radical Environmentalists described by Bob Zubrin in his “Merchants of Despair”. A thorough dismantling of all the inane theories described in the “Population Bomb” by high priest Paul Ehrlich and his acolyte John Holdren– Disciples of Malthus.

Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
March 22, 2018 10:33 am

Kim Stanley Robinson is a Science Fiction writer ( a brilliant one ) and can say whatever he likes.
It doesn’t make him or his novels correct.
Science Fiction is the perfect place for AGW to be discussed as it is fiction. I can read War of the Worlds without believing in Martians.

Edith Wenzel
Reply to  Todd
March 22, 2018 9:31 am

You said it for me Todd. The answer is not likely. Just like those who fly around the world, live in big opulent houses with 5 plus garages and use lots of electricity and fossil fuel but feel they have the right to lecture US on what we shouldn’t be doing.

Bryan A
Reply to  Todd
March 22, 2018 12:12 pm

Realistically speaking, the Earth is already around 90% empty. In fact, just the Land Masses themselves are around 90% empty. The World is so empty in fact that you could take every person alive today, all 7.6bn, and fit them ALL on the Islands of Hawaii. Of course each person would have a 6×6 personal space but they would all fit and the remainder of the Earth would be empty (if all on one level). But if you went to 8 stories tall, everyone would enjoy a vast 12 x 24 – 288sq. ft. personal space.
The Earth is really nearly empty

J Hope
Reply to  Bryan A
March 23, 2018 2:24 am

Yeah, Bryan, let’s build some apartment blocks on the top of Mount Everest. Lot of space there just for us. In fact we can cover every square inch of available space which won’t be a problem as long as we can live without water, and float our rubbish and human waste into space. Problem solved. 🙂 We shouldn’t let our opposition to the nonsense of AGW blind us from awareness of the very real population problem facing this planet.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 23, 2018 3:39 am

Why would you want another 700 million refugees that can’t read or write all clamouring to move to the USA or other civilized nations? And then blame it on climate change or global warming? This kind of messed up critical thinking by Bryan A is worse than the useful idiots promoting the CAGW bandwagon.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
March 23, 2018 6:00 am

You both obviously are slow on the uptake…(and far too literal)
The entire world populace CAN fit on the islands of Hawaii (not should)
That is how few people there are in the world

Reply to  Todd
March 22, 2018 1:23 pm

I will happily support Mr. Robinson’s view if he DOES volunteer to be the first in line to get off my planet. Otherwise, he can just get his mouth sewn shut. And stop breathing my air.
Rural people? Where does he think his food comes from? The Moon?
Does any sane person take this guy seriously, beyond his despicable attitude toward his own species? He most definitely ain’t one of MY species!!!

March 22, 2018 7:47 am

The cities cause most for the global warming, and are the ones demanding remediation due to their folly of building in unsuitable locations (New Orleans) or to close to the oceans. Leave us country folk alone.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Wyatt
March 22, 2018 10:57 am

Rural populations in the US are primarily employed in agriculture and mining/ energy production.
What better way to reduce the populations of urban areas than to cut off their food, energy and raw materials?.

March 22, 2018 7:49 am

so what is the difference between these new cities and concentration camps? all that is left is to fire up the gas chambers.

Reply to  ferdberple
March 22, 2018 8:44 am

Bio gas presumably.

J Mac
Reply to  ferdberple
March 22, 2018 9:11 am

Seattle doesn’t need gas chambers. ‘Progressive’ Seattle wants to implement ‘safe injection sites’.

Reply to  J Mac
March 22, 2018 9:54 am

The inmates are running the asylum here in the Peoples Republic of Seattle…but what is happening in Seattle is starting to affect the whole state of Washington thru our moronic state governor.

Reply to  J Mac
March 22, 2018 1:24 pm

Please define ‘safe injection sites’.

Reply to  J Mac
March 22, 2018 3:00 pm

I surmise it’s one of two things: either places where dopers can get sterile needles to shoot up with, or places where the suicidal can get a lethal injection, no questions asked.

Jimmy Haigh
March 22, 2018 7:50 am

OK – liberals and lefties first. That would sort the world’s problems out.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
March 22, 2018 9:13 am

Stalin and Mao both went after the academics. These people better watch out. They think they are superior and are untouchable, but history has shown otherwise.

Reply to  rbabcock
March 22, 2018 10:00 am

But the academics are the ones pushing this agenda on the rest of us. Kids in school today, all the way from elementary to university are being indoctrinated with this ‘sky is falling’ non-sense. The left wants all these kids to become activists…whether its about climate, social rights or guns. (Stalin, Mao, Polpot and Castro were for ‘social rights’…we can see where that got the human race.)

John from Europe
March 22, 2018 7:50 am

Why don’t these people lead by example?
If they hate humans so much..

Reply to  John from Europe
March 22, 2018 9:48 am

because they get up in the morning…look in the mirror…and make themselves look that way
…and approve it

Reply to  John from Europe
March 22, 2018 3:04 pm

They like to imagine themselves as something more than human.
In reality, they act in a way that’s less than human.

March 22, 2018 7:53 am

I could go along with this if we emptied the northeastern US and most of California, Oregon and Washington and sent those folks to cities in China and Mexico. But first we need to strengthen our borders or they’d just come back. I’d also have them take at least one person from each of our other big cities like Chicago, Cleveland, etc., with them. Just saying.

Reply to  JimG1
March 22, 2018 10:04 am

I live in Washington state, and I’d like to get my state back…back to what it was like when I grew up. I’d like to sent the libbies to Havana, or Pyongyang…so that they can enjoy their stay.

Reply to  Weather-Geek
March 22, 2018 10:57 am

Since most of them are wax poetic about the way the Chinese are able to get things done, maybe Beijing would be more to their tastes.

Reply to  JimG1
March 22, 2018 1:28 pm

No. These crazypants people need their own planet. Don’t send them to China or Mexico, because they’ll just come back here and we don’t want them, either.
There’s such a drive on right now to find a “twin Earth” that the first to go to one should be these pseudo-intellectuals who despise the rest of us. After they’re gone to their own planet, the rest of us can just get on with our lives.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Sara
March 23, 2018 10:02 am

We’ll send them in the B Ark. We’ll tell them that the rest of us will be coming along right behind them in the A and C Arks. 🙂

March 22, 2018 7:56 am

Yes, and call it the Frank Church Wilderness.

March 22, 2018 7:57 am

Much of the purported “wilderness” greens admire was formerly managed by someone for their own purposes. In the Americas or Australia, the natives managed the “wildlands” with fire, largely, for the purpose of improving hunting.
For an entertaining rant, Michael Crighton’s commentary on Yellowstone in “State of Fear” is illustrative.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 22, 2018 3:16 pm

Most early colonial settlements in the Americas were built on the sites of what had once been native villages. Plymouth of first-Thanksgiving fame was founded on the same cleared land where Squanto’s own tribe had lived, before disease all but wiped them out.

Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 7:59 am

He is being a trickster. Most murders take place in cities, so if everyone moved to cities more would be killed thus lowering the population overall. Those that aren’t murdered could be convinced to participate in Renewal at age 30. Perhaps a light could be implanted in everyone’s hand which would begin to flash indicating when it is time.

James Beaver
Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 9:44 am

Logan was armed for his run … and lived. 🙂

John Endicott
Reply to  James Beaver
March 22, 2018 11:37 am

Logan, like most elites, didn’t want for himself what he was willing to let the masses endure.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 9:52 am

Worse than murders is the concurrent increase in transmission of communicable diseases that comes from increased population densities.
Need observational evidence? Look at China.

March 22, 2018 8:04 am

How this idea looks like in the real world:

Bruce Cobb
March 22, 2018 8:05 am

Oh my. So much wrong with this thesis, so little time. He begins with the absurd notion that the “planet needs to be saved”, and that we can only get there by bringing CO2 levels down to 350ppm (wonder where he got the McKidiotic idea?), and goes downhill from there. His “solution” of everybody moving to cities is stupid on steroids, and typical of reality-challenged, ivory tower fantasies. He claims it will happen anyway. That’s Greenthink for “we will make it happen, like it or not”.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 22, 2018 10:13 am

Climate today is about feelings, not logic or data. These ‘academics’ are a bunch of navel gazers. They have no real world experience. They’ve been living off of the public for all of their working lives. (Academics from private schools are also arrogant, so it’s not just the public sector.) I just recently went back to school, and ended getting some less than stellar grades in one class due to not adopting the narrative. I refuse to be brainwashed. (Multicultural studies is the worst…no real world education, just feelings.)

March 22, 2018 8:08 am

These people are savage, ruthless and serious.If it sounds like 1984, Agenda 21 and Brussels, Paris and Kyoto all rolled into one…it’s because it is. The time has come for stern measures.

Reply to  Doug Day
March 22, 2018 1:58 pm

There is absolutely nothing new here. This is, simply, the “sustainability” doctrine that most universities and elites have bought into for the future. They have no idea how this would turn out for them or others. The guy is a mental lightweight and should stick to “fiction”. He also should read up on the French Revolution.

Sweet Old Bob
March 22, 2018 8:10 am

Another morosoph .
If we could reduce their population by half ….

Bill Yarber
March 22, 2018 8:16 am

Since the homicide rate in cities is 5+x that of the suburban and country areas, he is essentially advocating genocide by criminals!

Edith Wenzel
Reply to  Bill Yarber
March 22, 2018 9:32 am

Sounds like it. Not a nice person I am afraid.

Reply to  Bill Yarber
March 22, 2018 10:19 am

Why do you think the left defends criminals and illegal aliens? They want others to do the dirty work for them. Most lawyers are on the left, and make it easy for the criminal, but hard on the victim…unless victim-hood somehow helps them out politically.

Mark from the Midwest
March 22, 2018 8:18 am

A science fiction writer with a degree in English, that’s who the Guardian turns to for scientific opinion pieces

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
March 22, 2018 10:20 am

It’s getting to the point that a real scientist is no better…they’re all blinded by $money$ and politics.

March 22, 2018 8:19 am

“The final solution to the AGW question” has arrived. Paraphrased from a dictator’s walk in the garden.

Steve Case
March 22, 2018 8:20 am

From my file of tag lines and smart remarks:

Committed Communist will kill a few million – on the way to their goal.
Committed Environmentalists will kill a few billion – which is their goal.

Edith Wenzel
Reply to  Steve Case
March 22, 2018 9:33 am

I knew someone would identify the mole.

dodgy geezer
March 22, 2018 8:20 am

If you want to minimise the impact of people on the planet (which I take it is the meaning of ‘save the Earth’), you should do the opposite.
Cities can only exist if agriculture overproduces, and if the people in the cities are producing sophisticated specialist products like aircraft, banking, insurance and telecoms. If you close down all the cities and their sophisticated technologies, and force people to live in unsupported groups close to nature, you will lower the human footprint (and numbers) very rapidly. There must still be a few Khmer Rouge people around to show us how…..

Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 22, 2018 8:31 am

Yup, that’s what I was going to say. He, like most greenies, can’t have it both ways.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 22, 2018 10:23 am

Greenies (and lefties in general) can’t see beyond their own nose.

Reply to  Weather-Geek
March 22, 2018 1:33 pm

Correction, Weather-Geek: they do not WANT to see beyond their own noses.
Fixed it for you.

Stevan Reddish
Reply to  Weather-Geek
March 23, 2018 1:04 am

Yes, they don’t want to see beyond their own nose because then they would have to consider others’ noses.

Stevan Reddish
Reply to  Weather-Geek
March 23, 2018 1:08 am

Yes, I know – misplaced an apostrophe.

March 22, 2018 8:21 am

So, all the circular, lying word salad removed his plan is to force people into concentrated centers for their control. My, my, just where have we seen this before? Funny thing, his hero Pol Pot did the exact opposite, forcing people out of cities to control them, while Mao did a rope-a-dope by forcing people in cities out and rural people into cities, all in order to “re-educate” them.
Just exactly how does he plan to feed 7 billion people with no farms? Can’t farm on concrete and asphalt! And growing vegetables in buckets on your 4 foot by 8 foot allotted space in a “city” ain’t gonna get it done. And who, precisely, is he planning to hire to round up people and drag them into his “cities”?
I don’t think this clown has thought through his nazi-istic little fantasy very thoroughly.

Jon Jewett
Reply to  2hotel9
March 22, 2018 11:04 am

(,,how does he plan to feed….) Soylent Green? Or was your question purely rhetorical.

Reply to  2hotel9
March 22, 2018 1:45 pm

Soylent Green is people!

March 22, 2018 8:23 am

What kind of fabric is woven from ignorance as the warp and delusions as the weft?

Reply to  thomasjk
March 22, 2018 10:02 am

The cloak of “Erised”. Put it on and it will confound you and lead you off the nearest cliff.
Heck, I didn’t say it was a good thing….

March 22, 2018 8:23 am

Herd the Sheeple into the Pens.

David Charlton
March 22, 2018 8:27 am

The most serious error in this argument is that, for the most part, large cities don’t work. They provide inferior education, on average, the infrastructure decays everywhere, stress is higher, crime is worse, cost of living is higher and wages are not, at least for the lower strata, transportation is slower. Why is that? I don’t know but until something changes, it seems like doubling down on a failed model for living seems like a poor choice.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  David Charlton
March 22, 2018 10:20 am

David Charlton: “large cities don’t work” – so true … where does their garbage go?

Jon Jewett
Reply to  David Charlton
March 22, 2018 11:12 am

Well, they CAN work. Chicago stumbled along while old man Daily was in charge. He knew that it was possible to kill the goose. Lee Kuan Yew did a pretty good job in Singapore. Modern day Democrats just aren’t that smart.

Reply to  David Charlton
March 22, 2018 1:47 pm

Oh, so you’ve been to Detroit and Baltimore? Those aren’t the only cities like that.

Reply to  David Charlton
March 23, 2018 6:50 am

Large Cities breed dependence/socialism/Democrat voters.

March 22, 2018 8:29 am

He’s been living in a make-believe-world too long.

Reply to  beng135
March 22, 2018 10:24 am

Don’t most academic types?

March 22, 2018 8:31 am

My brain is already half empty — does that count?

Reply to  BallBounces
March 22, 2018 8:53 am

Skull is too large for the amount of brains in evidence.

Reply to  BallBounces
March 22, 2018 10:33 am

Neither half full or half empty … no assumed negative, no assumed positive.
Appropriate engineering response is 50% capacity.

Reply to  BallBounces
March 22, 2018 2:07 pm

That puts you ahead of most of the population.

Reply to  BallBounces
March 22, 2018 3:36 pm

Mr. Zombie sees it as halfway to another brain!

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
March 22, 2018 8:32 am

As if they even cared about the environment; No governments joining hands via the UN to halt the destruction of rain forests in Borneo, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil.
Why does anyone believe they actually care? It is just a ruse to achieve an agenda.

Greg Cavanagh

Gathering everybody in the US and Europe up into cities, saves the Amazon rainforest how?

March 22, 2018 8:34 am

The movement of people to the cities has slowed tremendously in recent years.
It used to be that technology demanded that people cluster together.
Newer technologies have removed that requirement.

Reply to  MarkW
March 22, 2018 8:56 am

Human advancement is the reality pinheads like Kim Stanley Robinson refuse to accept.

March 22, 2018 8:34 am

There was another science fiction writer, a committed Leftist like Robinson, and a name that he should recognize – Dr. Isaac Asimov. A city boy, who rarely ventured outside of New York City.
He, too, wrote of the “ultimate urbanization of mankind.” Except that, despite his own background, he realized he was writing about a dystopian culture, carrying the seeds of its own destruction. See The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, or the fate of Trantor in the Foundation series.
Cities have been, at least for the last few millennia, essential to civilization – but when allowed to become too dominant, they become cancers to that civilization.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 22, 2018 11:11 pm

Oh, yes, reliably Leftist, of the Malthusian/Luddite sect.
His science popularization books were, in the main, quite good though. Dang it, I wish the wife hadn’t rushed me out of the used bookstore several years ago, before I could buy the copy of his book on the coming ice age – I’d probably still be mining it for wonderful quotes.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 24, 2018 5:18 pm

Which is ultimately a stupid assertion, regarding the One Ring. Tolkein literally prefaced his trilogy with the statement (paraphrasing): if you try to shoehorn allegory into my story, just throw my book away please. Tolkein had his own motives, and to him– and only him– elements of his universe meant something specific. He knew he was making a fantasy, and only a fantasy, for others to read. Hence why he placed the intellectual wall at allegory.

Patrick B
March 22, 2018 8:43 am

Another liberal fraud. No science degree or training. He wants everyone else to live in cities. He’s living in “Village Homes” in Davis – 225 homes and 20 apartments on 70 acres – not atypical for California suburbs but certainly not city density.
And a brief search indicates he did numerous talks and books signings from Maine to NY to Phoenix to San Diego to Santa Cruz. I suspect a bit more searching will turn up many more. I’m wondering how he traveled to each of these distant locations? Surely not burning up jet fuel and destroying our world.

Reply to  Patrick B
March 22, 2018 9:07 am

His idea for the lowly masses would be akin to the megalopolis seen in such things as Judge Dredd, whilst the “enlightened” such as himself will live in palatial estates with high walls and armed guards.

Reply to  Patrick B
March 22, 2018 10:29 am

Just like Bill Nye, the unscientific actor guy who studied mechanical engineering.

March 22, 2018 8:43 am

Where do these nutters come from?

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 22, 2018 9:13 am

Aftermath of a Mongolian Gang Bang.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
March 22, 2018 10:25 am

I have no idea what that means but I laughed anyway.

March 22, 2018 8:44 am

Let’s see – 71% of the earth’s surface is water, leaving 29% of the surface that is not water. Of that, some is occupied by people (about 0.03%), arable (crop and pasture, about 10%) and the rest of it is neither occupied nor usable (about 90%). So, moving people from the 10% to the 0.03% is a solution to something? Huh? How can people not see the bigger picture? Oh, and by the way, there is nothing humans can do to change the climate at all. Period. And we are not changing it. The vast majority of the surface being water, it dominates climate. And it is virtually ALL subject to the sun, shaded only by clouds at times.

Bruce Cobb
March 22, 2018 8:47 am

And soylent green (the green wafers made from “plankton”) would be the food source, of course. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

Smart Rock
March 22, 2018 8:48 am

Science fiction writer proclaims himself as having a plan for a “sustainable” future. Lives in a world of his own imagination, convinced that his own in vacuo musing has value in the real world, and is worth our time in reading it. Sorry, not worth bothering to compose a response.

March 22, 2018 8:49 am

Where would the cities get their food? The fact is they wouldn’t, and the idea that you can grow food without feeding it is left wing loon craziness. If cut civilization off form the energy it takes to produce, transport and store food, which is what they’re trying to do, then the result will be genocide and the end of the human race as we know it.

March 22, 2018 8:49 am

‘It’s the only way to save the planet’
Wut? From what?
This big ol’ dirt ball will keep flying around the sun NO MATTER WHAT WE DO.

David S
March 22, 2018 8:55 am

Well remember he’s a science fiction writer. ‘Nuff said.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  David S
March 22, 2018 10:27 am

Obviously not “hard science” fiction.

March 22, 2018 9:01 am

I’ve got an idea for KSR. How about a future that includes the next ice age? Fertile ground, as I’ve yet to find an apocalyptic novel that doesn’t start with inundated cities.

March 22, 2018 9:03 am

He should move to Mars. Which makes as much sense as his idea of depopulating the countryside.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  gunsmithkat
March 22, 2018 9:46 am

You know what, all greenies should move to Mars where they can begin anew and mold the planet the what they want.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 11:02 am

Why waste a perfectly good planet on these nut cases.
Give them Ceres.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 1:52 pm

Naw, Ceres is covered in hydrazine or something like it. Send them to Titan. It has a permanent methane atmosphere that they can use for fuel to keep themselves warm. That infers that they’ll introduce O2 into the mix to make methane flammable, but what the heck – it’ll warm up that big moon in a heartbeat!

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 22, 2018 5:14 pm

Reminds me of the ending of “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” from the original series of movies.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 24, 2018 5:20 pm

Tom in Florida, suggesting the green fanatics all move to Mars and transform it doesn’t make sense! They would have to use– gasp– CO2!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 22, 2018 9:04 am

I only have one thought. I’m not listening to some guy that obviously has a half empty head

March 22, 2018 9:05 am

Makes a change from wanting to frogmarch everyone off to the countryside to wallow around in paddy fields and dig ditches I suppose. They’re certainly a restless, schizophrenic bunch these lefties with their Utopian visions. Can’t seem to make up their minds about anything, a lot like their bizarre weather prognostications..

March 22, 2018 9:11 am

Science fiction writers are often very bright, and creative thinkers. Unfortunately, they are seldom also practical thinkers — for every 100 wild ideas, one has a chance of being pragmatic and useful
I have read SciFi since 1960 (including every SciFi book in the main LA County Public library at the time, so caught up on all the books I had missed earlier), so am well-versed in the field.
SciFi writers have intentionally started religions (Hubbard) and accidentally started religions (Robert A. Heinlein).
Some have been highly trained practicing scientists and some have been drug-addled hippies.
Some write what will be known in 100 years as literature, some write pulp-fiction.
Having “science” in one’s occupation title (“Science Fiction Writer”) does not make anyone an expert on science and certainly doesn’t bless their opinions with any cache of value for society.
Robinson has missed nearly everything with this idea.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 22, 2018 9:18 am

Dr Goebbels would have loved Kim’s ideas.
Anybody can see that, except Guardianistas.

March 22, 2018 9:20 am

Kim Stanley Robinson

Reply to  fretslider
March 22, 2018 10:15 am

Kim Jong Robinson, the next North Korean dictator 🙂

Reply to  fretslider
March 22, 2018 11:12 am

A number of former camp guards slipped into the U.S. after the war.

March 22, 2018 9:23 am

Left the big city for country life 15 years ago. People can keep their cities, hate even going near them now. I wont be forced back either.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  J. Richard Wakefield
March 22, 2018 10:43 am

“Left the big city for country life”
You really didn’t need the qualifier.

Reply to  F. Leghorn
March 22, 2018 11:04 am

I grew in LA, I now live in a city of 50,000.
Not going back.

Reply to  J. Richard Wakefield
March 22, 2018 1:54 pm

I spent 30 years living in Chicago. Nothing could persuade me to move back there now.

Jacob Frank
March 22, 2018 9:27 am

Where do I sign up to whore for agenda 21? Really good work if you can get it

John Bell
March 22, 2018 9:31 am

I always get a kick out of these idiot control freaks who think they can solve a “problem” with some simple “solution” which would only create real problem.

Conodo Mose
March 22, 2018 9:32 am

FARMS have lots of GUNS. Me mates grew up target practicing. Can split a greenie pea at 300 m.

Tom Schaefer
Reply to  Conodo Mose
March 22, 2018 10:43 am

And that is the kind of people that are currently deterring, and will eventually win a civil was if liberty is directly attacked. These are the people I want as my neighbors.

Reply to  Conodo Mose
March 22, 2018 1:56 pm

Ditto. Plenty of deer in my county alone. No one would go hungry.

Myron Mesecke
March 22, 2018 9:58 am

This guy has some serious lack of knowledge when it comes to economic geography if he thinks everyone can move out of rural areas and go live in cities with everyone else. What are we going to do, bus and fly all the workers out to the mines, farms, forests, etc every day?

March 22, 2018 10:00 am

“I like some of Kim Stanley Robinson’s work, the Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars trilogy is an excellent read.”
I too enjoyed reading this trilogy, but if I remember correctly, this trilogy had a very anti-capitalist, pro-socialist bias with the character representing capitalism being murdered and the rest of the characters accepting this murder as necessary. Given that story arc, his current ideas do not surprise me.

March 22, 2018 10:01 am

Agenda 21 to the core.

Andrew Cooke
March 22, 2018 10:08 am

Oh yay, another socialist espousing necessary change that will be magically “voluntary”. Evil.
When I read his comments, all I could think of was the Judge Dredd movies (first one was horrible, second one was excellent) with its MegaCities and everyone shoved into dehumanizing, crime ridden apartment towers living on manufactured food.
Kinda like the way most of the large cities are now.

March 22, 2018 10:15 am

so….greatly (and I mean exponentially) increase the urban heat issue and take away food growth (so increase warming and increase CO2 due to less crops…) to save the planet. yeah….should have been honest and just said we need to kill half the population.

March 22, 2018 10:17 am

For almost the entire existence of cities they have been filled with horror and pestilence. Only the advent of sanitation changed them sinkholes of life that had to be sustained by forced migration from rural areas. Now the city folk dam our rivers, spread their waste on agricultural land and consume resources from all over the world. Cities are the epitome of non-sustainable but by their numbers urbanites control politics, resources and the media. They are horrible places filled with people who for the most part don’t sow or reap, sing or dance, build or tend. But let’s not be too harsh, they are all writing the next great novel on their three hour commute. By all means let’s all move to the city. I can’t wait to go shopping

Reply to  BCBill
March 22, 2018 11:00 am

Almost all cities need to grow or they begin to die. With the drop in population growth you can see the resultant problems in large cities. Chicago, Detroit, failing cities in California ….
But wait, if we could force growth into these cities they could be saved. The Chicago pyramid structure could last another 20 years. Yes, let us build up and extend the time to the pending collapse, such that the collapse will be that much more impressive.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 22, 2018 10:18 am

Strange and probably psychologically significant that he describes humanity as “mongrel”. Now can we think of anybody else in history who used this type of language to describe human beings who he despised. Oh yes we can. And at 55 million dead, at a probably modest estimate, we all know how that kind of thinking turns out.

March 22, 2018 10:36 am

Selective-child, one-child, or [catastrophic anthropogenic] immigration reform?

Tom Schaefer
March 22, 2018 10:38 am

Cities are SHTF death traps. I wouldn’t live within 20 miles of one – about how far most of the post-EMP zombies can walk before they die.

Mark Luhman
March 22, 2018 10:43 am

We only occupy 3% of the earth surface, why would occupy only 1.5 % of the surface make a difference.

Peta of Newark
March 22, 2018 10:55 am

Errrr, what?

Empty Half the Earth

But surely 70% is water – next to nobody lives there. Apart from Marina-Girl
Of the remaining 30%….
a) one third of that is ice – nobody there much. Apart from Pingu.
b) one third is desert – nobody there much apart from Lawrence and his camel/motorbike
(Oooooh there’s a goody for GHG explainers – why do Arabs wear black?)
c) one third is where people live.
Surprisingly its where the good dirt is.
And absolutely in the same league of guilt ridden incomprehensible babble,
What Is This:

One of the main reasons farming is far from
nitrate fertilisation and enhancement of whatever land was left.

Run that by me again, How many Hiroshima bombs to save one polar bear?
Or is this an admission that CO2 is real problem?
Not clear there, but we really must get away from the idea that nitrogen in any way enhances soil.
Start here:
Rough figures are that it takes about 1,000 cubes of (quality) Natural Gas to make a tonne of ammonia – call that a tonne of N
UK farmers, looking for 12 tonne per Ha of (high protein bread-making) wheat are advised to apply 340kg of N per Ha. Less for biscuit wheat
Over to you, how much N is used across Great Plains to get your (record breaking) 3 tonnes per Ha yields?
(3 tonnes???? Why buy a Ferrari then use it as supermarket trolley – that is what those wheat plants are, thanks to Norman Ernest Borlaug)
Do all the wheat farmers you know apply at least 3kg of calcium carbonate lime to their fields, for every one kg of N they use?
They better had or the shell fish farmers downstream of the little river across the farmer’s field are gonna be up in arms – blaming CO2 for oshun acidation.
There is a big picture…….

March 22, 2018 10:57 am

Here’s how we do what Kim Stanley Robinson wants. The following areas shall not be permanently inhabited and may only be used to briefly traveled through or for scientific research: the world’s oceans and Antarctica. That’s a bit over 70% of the Earth’s surface, so we’re done!

Loren Wilson
March 22, 2018 11:02 am

Regarding the following statement “One of the main reasons farming is far from carbon neutral is producing nitrate fertiliser is very energy intensive. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to break nitrogen gas molecules apart, and convert the shattered gas molecules into biologically available forms of nitrogen like ammonia and nitric acid. To give a sense of the scale of energy required, natural nitrate is largely produced inside lightning bolts. But there is nowhere near enough natural nitrate produced this way to feed the world.”
I agree that we don’t have enough natural fixed nitrogen to fertilize the world’s crops. I disagree that it takes a huge amount of energy to make nitrogen-based fertilizers. Logically, if it costs too much to make fertilizer, we wouldn’t use it. On a more quantitative level, consider the following scenario: The most popular fertilizer in the world is urea, with a chemical formula of CH4N2O. It is made from ammonia and CO2. Both the ammonia and CO2 are produced when making ammonia from natural gas. Current price for urea is approximately 345 USD per short ton. The application rate on corn is about 300 pounds of nitrogen per acre, or 600 pounds of urea per acre. This will produce yields of 250-300 bushels of corn per acre. The fertilizer will cost about $100 – $110 per acre. Assuming that half the cost of producing and distributing urea is energy, this gives an energy cost of about $50 – $55 per acre. If we used a coal-fired power plant (worst-case scenario – most ammonia plants used a natural gas combined cycle generator) we produce approximately 0.17 tons of carbon as CO2 to make the fertilizer. The amount of biomass we fix growing corn is about 11.2 tons per acre of which 3.8 tons is dry mass, and 1.7 tons is carbon. Unfertilized fields have less yield by up to 50% but long term will be much lower due to the lack of nitrogen in the soil. So fertilizing the field results in about 10 times as much carbon reacted to plant matter as the CO2 used to produce the growth. This is beneficial for the farmer because he or she gets more corn and more silage to feed the cows, and the poor people get to eat more. If you worry about too much CO2 in the atmosphere (I don’t – we aren’t even up to the long term average for the planet), this is a net drain on the flow of CO2 into the atmosphere, so a win-win-win as far as I can see.

[Without making any judgement about the accuracy or veracity of the content in the above comment, the moderators would like to point out this is the type of comment that is especially valued here at WUWT due to it (hopefully) advancing and adding to the conversation. Thanks thermoguy. -mod]

J Mac
Reply to  Loren Wilson
March 22, 2018 11:37 am

I urge you to expand your comment into a full WUWT article/post, with data sources cited.
Very interesting analyses!

Reply to  Loren Wilson
March 22, 2018 3:37 pm

I had to look up that per acre rate. Loren is correct:
For corn, if the fertility level is good, a small amount of fertilizer (about 100 pounds of starter per acre) will provide an adequate starter response. Do not apply more than 70 pounds of N + K2O per acre if the fertilizer is placed approximately 2 inches away from the seed. ( source:
For Illinois, the cost of fertilizer per acre has fallen somewhat for 2018. The object is to get higher production per acre at a lower cost. It helps to reduce costs if corn is rotated with nitrogen fixing plants like soybeans and/or alfalfa.
I’ve been reading these hysterical articles about the horrors of CO2, which is necessary for production of food crops like fruits and vegetables and grains. I still can’t figure out what in the world is so difficult for these frenzied Greenbeans to understand that without CO2, there won’t be any plants to provide O2 for them to breathe.
It’s something we learned in 7th grade – basic biology. Animals inhale O2 and exhale CO2. Plants absorb CO2 and release O2. (Simplified version) Without CO2, there will be no plants. Without plants, NO O2. What happened to that?

March 22, 2018 11:15 am

This was probably covered before, but…
“At the same time we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate that is changing the climate in dangerous ways and will certainly damage agriculture.”
…is profoundly and patently wrong, making the article completely incorrect. Increasing atmospheric CO2 is a great boon to agriculture and all plant life. If we agree, for the sake of argument, that increasing CO2 will warm the planet, this will also be a boon to agriculture, opening up vast areas that are currently to cold to grow much food, lengthening growing seasons in existing agricultural areas and reducing the threat of killing frosts. Too bad its not going to happen as much as they expect.

March 22, 2018 11:16 am

I suggest he go inform the Iranians and the Pakistanis—in person of course.

Michael Carter
March 22, 2018 11:27 am

Great idea! – Get rid of these ‘born again farmers’ buying up small blocks and complaining about our traditional farming practice. I have a greenie right next door. He complained that crushed limestone being sown by air was toxic. The local school is now tainted by cosmopolitan elite ideology and roads clogged by stupid little city cars doing 80 k/hr. They bring their city driving habits too. Send them back I say 🙂

Reply to  Michael Carter
March 22, 2018 6:42 pm

I once had a green jelly-baby while standing under a high-voltage corridor/to protest electric fields, tell me how damaging to humans and environment ‘electric fields’ are.
I pointed out that he was wearing an electron lowered digital watch, that produced an electric field.
He looked at his arm, looked at his arm, looked shocked and stunned.
I then immediately pointed out that every cable in every wall and ceiling, plus the fan he sleeps under, and all appliances in his home, emits strong electromagnetc fields, especially, lights, fridges and washing machines.
He looked agitated, so I asked him what he would like to do about it?
He actually gawped, but had no words coming out. It’s funny to see someone gawp, you read about it, you see it in cartoons, but seeing it for real is just priceless.
I said it would all stop if he turned the power offz and ditched his watch.
He actually stopped drivelling at that point and left.

Joel Snider
March 22, 2018 12:06 pm

This is the face of the next Holocaust. I would call Kin Stanley Robinson one of the most reprehensible pieces of human shit on the planet.

Ed wolfe
March 22, 2018 12:11 pm

Sounds like UN agenda 21

Tom Judd
March 22, 2018 12:18 pm

Maybe we could build a whole bunch of Berlin Walls (unless we’ve already forgotten about it) to keep people inside their allotted ghettos.

Alan Tomalty
March 22, 2018 12:21 pm

Kim Stanley Robinson is quite simply a stark raving lunatic, probably no worse than many others who believe in socialism. Because socialism is impossible to achieve in practice, the lunatics keep coming up with madhouse suggestions one at a time to implement. The CO2 scare just happened to be the costliest madhouse plan. This article is just another one; but it would be impossible to carry out without a 1 world government which is the true goal of lunatics. Of course a 1 world government quickly leads to a dictatorship.

March 22, 2018 1:46 pm

Erm… Sounds radical

March 22, 2018 2:10 pm

I went to the store on Tuesday after I got done voting in the primary, and picked up a pint box of strawberries from Florida. Not a bit expensive, either, and a real treat at this time of year. And I’m grateful to every strawberry farmer and carrot/radish/potato farmer on the planet that puts food on my table, because I know where my food comes from.
I grew up with back yard gardening as a given. Chickens love it when you let them out of the yard to go forage for bugs in the rows of peas and tomatoes. They got fat, and we had dozens of well-fed birds in the freezer by fall.
I find it extremely disturbing that people like Robinson believe that they are more important than the produce farmers and chicken/poultry farmers and grain farmers who produce the stuff that they buy at the grocery store. (Probably do not even do their own shopping, either.) They are NOT more important. They are in fact, far less important because they produce nothing that has any intrinsic value to the rest of us. We can get along just fine without them.
Therefore, since Mr. Robinson wants to empty the planet of the humans he despises so much, since he’s allegedly human, I suggest that he sign up first for disposal. He simply has nothing important to anyone.
Then the rest of us can go on about our business and… Man, he pisses me off!!
Sorry, mods, just venting.

March 22, 2018 3:16 pm

Robinson is another example of an intellectual with untempered emotions, which they think as an idea. Then there is the ambition to impose that idea upon other people. Most of these and their socialist supporters live in cities, parasitic upon those who live and work outside the big cities.
Bring the latter into the cities and everyone would be parasitic.
What a dangerous dreamer!

March 22, 2018 3:29 pm

“Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet”
This is what happens when you spend too much time admiring Thanos while reading Marvel comic books.

Gunga Din
March 22, 2018 3:53 pm

Here are a few quotes this guy would probably agree with (as long as they didn’t include him).

The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state. – Kenneth Boulding, originator of the “Spaceship Earth” concept (as quoted by William Tucker in Progress and Privilege, 1982)
We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand (writing in the Whole Earth Catalogue
Free Enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process . . . Capitalism is destroying the earth. — Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists
We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects . . . We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land. — David Foreman, Earth First!
Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. — Pentti Linkola
If you ask me, it’d be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won’t give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other. — Amory Lovins in The Mother Earth – Plowboy Interview, Nov/Dec 1977, p. 22
The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world — John Shuttleworth
What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy. — Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator (D-Colorado)
I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. — Economist editorial
We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!
Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental. — Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!
If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter
Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 22, 2018 5:13 pm

I particularly like this one: Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. — Pentti Linkola
Fine by me. We bar all people of that mindset from use of any kind of advanced technology, from phones and toasters to autos and internet services. No snail mail, either. And they can make like peasants that they are used to do: walk everywhere, no bathing unless it’s birthday or end of life, no modern medicines at all – NOTHING of the modern world.
That entire list just reeks of some kind of psychotic hatred of themselves. I know there’s a name for it, but truly, they need to be required to volunteer first for elimination.

Reply to  Sara
March 22, 2018 6:16 pm

” … NOTHING of the modern world.” — Sara

Bit harsh, you could at least give them some free bullets, to help.

Reply to  Sara
March 23, 2018 9:10 am

@ WXcycles
Obviously pre-WWI weapons do not qualify as “developed over the last 100 years”, so we may keep it.
And anyway, you don’t need sophisticated weaponry to wreck havoc. You just need more manpower to deal damage

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 22, 2018 5:20 pm

Free enterprise means the rich get richer, along with everyone else.
Socialism just means every one gets poorer, except for those who run socialism.

Russ R.
Reply to  MarkW
March 23, 2018 10:26 am

@Rob – “Treading water” with a flat screen TV / Computer monitor, a smart phone, a home with running water, heating / AC, and a full two car garage. Access to travel any where I choose, video calling to relatives around the world, and access to vast stores of information, any time any where.
The only real gripes the “non-rich, non-poor” have are the costs of things that the government “fixed” for us: the cost of home ownership, the cost of health insurance, and the cost of education.
I doubt adding energy to the list of stuff they “fixed” will improve our situation.

March 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Well you first, muppet.

March 22, 2018 6:06 pm

” … US Author Kim Stanley Robinson wants half the Earth to be depopulated, by somehow inducing rural people to move into cities. … ”
National Parks rangers on drugs.
They wanted to ban humans from those, first.
The next step in eliminating the commons and putting humans into UN approved chicken cages, and feeding them crickets.
No soup for you.

March 22, 2018 6:21 pm

First, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of sceintific rational to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero.
Second, CO2 levels are still lower then the oprimal for most plants. It would be better for agriculture if we could increase the CO2 level to at least .1% which is 1000 PPM. We have quite a ways to go to achieve that and may have to process carbonate rock to get there. Right now more CO2 is good for mankind.
Third, It is really the cities that are the real problem and they reqire huge amounts of agricultural land and fossil fuel resorces to sustain them. We would be better off converting our big cities into wilderness areas and reducing our population accordingly.
Forth, humans already inhabit less then half of the planet. The majoriety of the planet’s surface is some sort of H2O that humans may cross but they really do not inhabit.
Fifth, if you want a totally “carbon neutral” world without nruclear power, then you are talking about subsistance farms as being the norm and going back to horse power as the primary means of land transportation and wind power as the primary means of ocean travel. It is hard to sustain the transportation needs of large cities with horse power. Hydro power may sustain some cities but not as large and as many of the cities of today.

March 22, 2018 6:31 pm

He wants to move people around and increase the animal population.
Moving the people is not going to change anything at all unless he means he wants all people to be poorer and live in tiny hovels, but he won’t come right out and say that. More animals will increase carbon dioxide, too.
As far as the farming goes, carbon neutral farming can in no way feed the number of people we have on earth now unless he has some magic new technology. Also, if the farms are in a “common” area with no one to profit from getting the maximum amount of food from the land, the productivity will be as low as the Soviet Union was – while the government will have to force the people into farm labor.
He’s proposing mass starvation and serfdom to save our quality of life.

Reply to  SocietalNorm
March 22, 2018 9:01 pm

Of his life.

March 22, 2018 7:59 pm

Without reading further than the introduction (yes, I know, bad practice), I can offer a better solution.
Depopulate half of the cities, as in the non-working, non-contributing, non- functioning big city dwellers, and leave the countryside alone. The bush is where the food is grown for the city folks, in a lot of cases because millions of houses have now been built all over the formerly productive food-growing areas close to the cities. The countryside/bush is already more sparsely populated – and a much nicer place to live.

Karl Baumgarten
March 22, 2018 8:02 pm

A boy named Kim probably had the same problems as a boy named Sue.

March 22, 2018 9:00 pm

“It’s the only way to save the planet”
I think somebody has missed the point here. The planet isn’t in danger. Removing half the humans simply puts the humans in danger.

Ted Midd
March 23, 2018 12:10 am

“Empty Half the Earth to Save the Planet” Please start with the northern hemisphere.

Stevan Reddish
March 23, 2018 1:27 am

“my office is wherever I open my laptop”
That is possible for those who are wordsmiths or planners or analysts. But, if there were no manufacturers, there would be no laptops, nor electricity production plants to power them. (Nor farming tractors, nor food transport vehicles, etcetera, etcetera etcetera) How can manufacturing be decentralized?

Stevan Reddish
Reply to  Stevan Reddish
March 23, 2018 1:31 am

Forgot to put in my point – neither total urbanization nor total decentralization is feasible.

Robert of Ottawa
March 23, 2018 3:05 am

EMpty half the Earth, but not my half.

March 23, 2018 3:53 am

Mega-city one.

March 23, 2018 5:11 am

The True Face of Fascism is Socialist Big Government Not Conservative Small Government
If you read nothing more than this sentence of the article, the common denominator of almost all self-inflicted humanitarian atrocities requires a strong centralized Government that doesn’t respect human rights. Without a strong central government, there would have been no Holocaust, no Holodomor, Killing Fields, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, North Korean continued mass starvation, … Continue reading

March 23, 2018 5:12 am

Did Kim Stanley Robinson volunteer to go first?

March 23, 2018 8:37 am

Like, when British landlord expelled Scots & Irish dwellers to make room for lucrative sheep.
Only it isn’t even lucrative, the man is rich enough to afford some private wild zoo, I guess.

old construction worker
March 24, 2018 5:38 am

This guy has watched Soylent Green one too many times

March 25, 2018 6:48 am

What Real Fascism Looks Like; It’s Alive and Well in the 21st Century Progressive Left
Progressives are fond of associating today’s American Political Right/Conservatives with the “Righ-Wing” Nazis and Fascists. Nothing could be further from the truth, and those associations demonstrate an ignorance of biblical proportions. The hallmark of Fascism is a Totalitarian Undemocratic Government. Fascism is the biggest of big Governments, ruled not by the rule of law, but … Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: