It’s Dan Brown so of course I’m going to read it. A history lesson, an art lesson, and an Italian literature lesson wrapped into one, Inferno delivers a much better story than his previous book “The Lost Symbol”. Though nothing will ever be “The Da Vinci Code” it feels as if Dan Brown is starting to write his books for Hollywood to turn into movies. Set in amazing locations, lots of chase scenes on motor bikes, cars, expensive Bentley’s, and of course the female character who falls for him this book was almost like reading a script. It uses the same character as Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon, and follows the same sort of plot where he has to figure out the mystery using symbols in art, famous buildings and old literature.
I liked this book, it was a fast read with characters who were minimally developed but easy to like. It seemed as if he was in a rush to end the book, as the whole story goes on and goes into great detail and then the end sort of flies all together in a mad dash. The weak characters and the movie script quality aside this book did two things for me which all other books I have reviewed on this site have not: It made we want to read a classic book that should have been on a high school list, so I downloaded The Divine Comedy originally by Dante Alighieri and it made me think about the world population.
Sometimes material that I read takes me on another tangent and that is what happen in this book. With The Tao of Martha it was more superficial though fun, with this book I was looking up the world population and the exponential growth we have experienced in the last 100 years due to populations multiplying and the advancement of medicine. The graph of population growth is actually staggering when you look at it
The issue is twofold, first if every person reproduces (meaning a couple has two kids, one for the male and one for the female) overpopulation will occur and the Earth won’t be able to maintain the ecosystem it currently has. Second the natural resources we will require to sustain the population won’t be available such as clean water, energy, and food. A very simple example is when the power goes out in the summer because too many people are running their ACs and fans so the gird cannot support the amount of electricity needed to sustain each families needs. In this example it is just a reboot of the grid and everything is back to normal. In the case of needing food and clean water it isn’t that simple. The good news is since about the early 90’s the fertility rates have started to decline. This is due to a number of factors including better education, female social roles, medical advancements in contraception and the cost to support children. Gone are the days where families would have 8 children, now days to support 8 children until they were 18 would cost around $3.2 million, and that means you aren’t paying for any college. If you plan on sending them all to college it would cost you around $4.4 million (Source Here)
The thought is still scary though and the fact that a fiction book got me this interested in something socioeconomic says a lot. So hats off to Dan Brown for a decent book but more for getting me to want to read Dante Alighieri and for opening my eyes to an issue I wasn’t fully aware of before.
Do you ever start to think about world problems and get so overwhelmed you stop thinking about them?
I do, yet I feel like this is the irresponsible thing to do. I think the correct way to look at issues that seem to broad to solve would be to ask the question, what can I do to help?