Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Inferno

My wife just bought me Dan Brown’s new book Inferno. Dan Brown is the man who wrote (among others) The Di Vinci Code and Angles & Demons: both page turners about a professor named Robert Langdon and the unbelievable secrecy, power and reach of the Catholic church, and the extreme the Vatican will go to protect its doctrines and dogma. Both books made in to movies starring Tom Hanks.

The Inferno finds Robert Langdon in Florence, Italy being hunted down by a hit woman with spiked hair, a powerful criminal organization, the Italian military police and possibly even the American government. A powerful plague is about to be released on the world and the secret to the disruption of the plot lies in the text of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Inferno: a trip through the multiple layers of hell.

“We are on the brink of the end of humanity, and our world leaders are sitting in boardrooms commissioning studies on solar power, recycling, the hybrid automobiles? How is it that you – a highly educated woman of science - don’t see? Ozone depletion, lack of water, and pollution are not the disease – they are the symptoms. The disease is over population.”

Perhaps a good argument for the culling of our run-away population growth?

Half way through the book I felt like I was revisiting some of my earlier blogs on world population as pollution. Since 1900 we have been doubling our population approximately every forty years. We now have over seven billion people in the world and by midcentury we could be looking at fourteen billion. This is past the point of sustainability. Population scientist set four billion as the optimum population that he planet can sustain.

Dwindling water supplies, ozone depletion, global temperature increases, depletion of ocean resources, deforestation, species extinction, and sea level increases have all risen at the same rate as population growth.

This book is a must read. It is not only a gripping adventure novel, but also dissertation on the biggest environmental danger to the human race.

I just got back from Augusta where I had an appointment to service my car…and I had to stop by Barnes and Noble and buy Dante’s DEVINE COMEDY, which begins with the Inferno… (like we need another book in our small cabin – fortunately my wife has the same obsession with books.)

Read it – or wait for the movie…but read it.

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. OB,
    Excellent review! Much better than mine by a long way. I did feel the book kind of bogged down in the middle with the chase thing through the museums. Kind of a unneeded art tour of Florence in my opinion.

    Where is your closest B & N?


  2. Has Brown's writing improved at all? His style has always struck me as awkward. Interesting plot lines, but clunky wordsmithing.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."