Bryce: Get Dense

“[T]he real environmentalists aren’t headline-seeking activists and advocacy groups; they’re farmers, urban planners, agronomists, and, yes, even natural-gas drillers and nuclear engineers.”

Robert Bryce writes in the City Journal:

More than three decades ago, the British economist E. F. Schumacher stated the essence of environmental protection in three words: “Small is beautiful.” As Schumacher argued in a famous book by that title, man-made disturbances of the natural world—farms, for example, and power plants—should have the smallest possible footprints.

But how can that ideal be realized in a world that must produce more and more food and energy for its growing population? The answer, in just one word this time, is density…

The greenness of density leads to two conclusions. First, those who make environmental policy should consider density a desirable goal in nearly all the issues that they confront. And second, the real environmentalists aren’t headline-seeking activists and advocacy groups; they’re farmers, urban planners, agronomists, and, yes, even natural-gas drillers and nuclear engineers.

Read Bryce’s entire article.

One thought on “Bryce: Get Dense”

  1. All life must by definition alter its own environment in ways that are adverse to its own survival. It does this by consuming resources and producing wastes. Density as advocated by Schumacher merely allows concentration of the wastes produced in a manner that makes it more cost-effective to mitigate them. It does nothing to reduce the absolute amount of resources required.
    Because of its versatility and adaptability the human race will inevitably continue to expand until there are no more pristine environments. The entire planet will be devoid of ‘wilderness’ and completely become managed space.
    The limits to growth will be determined by whichever resource first becomes scarce enough that its shortage will inhibit further population growth. Then and only then can the population approach an asymptotic limit.
    Population density will at that time be non-uniform, with high density areas devoted to residences and commerce and nearly unpopulated areas devoted to resource production and waste sequestration, as well as the entire spectrum in between for transportation, education, and other various essential activities.

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