Don Brown no doubt has cemented his place among the league of extraordinary fiction writer, with his bestselling novel “Inferno”. just like is previous novels, “The Lost Symbol” and “Da Vinci Code”, a lot of research went into this particular novel, making it so mystical, educative and suspense-filled at the same time. The book caught my attention right from the very beginning to the end.
As usually, Don Brown conjured his fictive novel from historical Phenomenal, personality and artistic works, which he coincidentally relate with present reality. The major theme of this novel is the problem of overpopulation in the world today.
Don Brown employed the villain in his work, Bertrand Zobrist, a character you can refer to as a desperate genius, to introduce a virus that was meant to prune the population of the world by causing one-third of the world’s population to be infertile, thereby reducing birthrate. The intensity of this novel also made me consider not fathering a child.
Brown electrified the atmosphere of the novel with shocking fact that can convince even the most conservative mind beyond a reasonable doubt that the human race was at the brink of extinction; this would be caused by the unrestricted and uncontrolled explosion in the population of the human race. This might sound like a paradox, but this is an undisputable fact.
The fact that the population of the world is exploding beyond what we can imagine or anticipate has been an issue that is bothering men with extraordinary consciousness. Basically, overpopulation occurs when a population of a living organism exceeds the carrying capacity of the region of their habitat. According to the statistic available to us, the population of the world tripled in the nineteen century, as a result of the improvement in modern medicine. The current population of the world is put at 7 billion by the United Nation, while the carrying capacity of the earth is estimated under existing condition between 4 billion and 16 billion. The population of the world is projected to reach 9.3 billion and 10.1 billion between the year 2040 and 2050.
In Nigerian however, the uncontrollably increase in Human Overpopulation is one of the major problems the country is grappling with. It is a problem we have failed to see and acknowledge. An issue that has not in any way won our attention. The Government have basically gone mute or are oblivion of this issue, while Professionals who should speak up on this issue have been in an inaction mode for too long. Presently the population of the country has been estimated as 170,123,740, with a land mass of 923,768. And the 7th most populated country in the world. However, it is the most populated country when we compare the ratio of her population and land mass with other countries on the list of the most populated countries in the world.
Poverty has long been associated with an increase in population. This means that the population of people living on a scarce and depleting resource is increasing, thereby poverty level sky-rocket. It is true that poverty is synonymous to Africa, a fact we Africans are comfortable with. Africa is known for a high number of poverty-stricken people, nutritional deficient children, an absence of social amenities and people without a future. Numerous International Organizations have made doom prediction concerning Africa. these organizations have donated generously to the continent, to help us do the right thing. But despite the advocacy of these groups, the population of Africa is predicted to double by mid-century as a result of our relentless pro-creation. It is said to increase from today’s 1.1 billion and potentially reaching 4.2 billion by 2100, and Nigerian would likely account for one-third of this figure.
One other problem associated with human activity and the increased population is global warming, this is when the ozone layers shedding the earth surface from the ray from the sun is being lost as a result of the continuous release of carbon into the air, indiscriminate disposal of waste, any other unhealthy activities. This has led to the depletion of the ozone layer, raise in water level flooding and other nature’s violent responses. We cannot but notice the impact of global warming in our environment. In the parts three years, Nigeria has witness series of flooding episodes in the different part of the country, including the northern parts, where we know have low rain falls yearly.
Terrorism, war, strife, conflict, crime, violent. And others have also instigated by the increasing number of human population. The strive to control resources have been the main reason conflict is brewing all over the world. As a result of population growth, there is a decrease in resource available to us. This rush and the greed to take control of this resource have triggered a lot of violent ripples that have cost so many lives. Even though the motives for this upheaval differ, and have taken so many dimension, such as religious, socio-cultural and political.
In essence, overpopulation will also be a threat to the political, economic and social stability of a nation. The militancy problem in the south-south, kidnapping in the east, terrorism in the north-east, Fulani herd men attacks in the north-central, armed robbery in the west are both a few examples of the repercussion of overpopulation on a community. The real fact is that human has brewed conflict to control scarce and meager resources available for the ever increasing population.
Different reactions have greeted the issue of overpopulation, while some people have a positive disposition, own to the fact that, the high population in a country most likely guarantees economic growth for that country, since human capital is available in large quantity to power the economy. Many have opted that population growth should not be an issue human should worry about since it’s a divine mandate for humans given by God for man to multiply and replenish the world, they have their views rooted in the tenet of their religious beliefs. However, very few people and organization have expressed their concern and indeed taken action to curb population growth.
The World Health Organization have been in the vanguard in curbing overpopulation, this has been done through advocacy and the supply of contraceptive to young boys, girls, and women in third world country, even if religious organizations undermined their activities.
I have not written this piece to create awareness about the facts, realities, problem, and solution of overpopulation, I actually intend to share my views as to the solution need to be employed to remedy the situation. Even though I strongly acknowledge and support Don Brown’s views as to the criticalness of the problem of overpopulation, I oppose the fictional solution he advocated. I really don’t see the need for a single man to dictate and make decisions for the whole of the human race, neither do I think that it is appropriate for a man to solve this population problem with the introduction of a lethal virus, more or less a chemical weapon to distort the will of people who wish to be parents- Bertrand cannot deny people the right to have children of at least a child, even though his motive was genuine and selfless.
Since we can’t sit back and watch as our race flop into inexistence like dinosaurs of millions of years ago. Deliberate actions need to be taken to ensure that the doom staring at us passes over us. Nigerians need to take responsibility. Important legislation needs to be enacted, especially to policies met to limit childbirth per family. China, which is the most populous nation in the world had introduced the policy, and this has impacted and has trimmed their population that seemed to be skyrocketing. It is time we do the talk, instead of just paying lip service to this important issue.