Do you remember in algebra class when the logistical function was used to model the population growth of bacteria within a defined carrying capacity?
I assume the first day of a Blog Posting 101 course would consist of 90% syllabus talk, and 10% discussing a list of how not to start an article. I never took Blog Posting 101 but I’m sure “algebraic word-problems on exponential growth” are towards the top of that list. That is fine because I happened to borrow a permit from Ron Swanson…
Ever heard of Bertrand Zobrist? Genetic scientist and fictional antagonist of Dan Brown’s latest Robert Langdon novel, Inferno. In the book, Zobrist is obsessive about Dante Alighieri and the pending threat of world over-population. In a talk with the leader of the World Health Organization in the book, Zobrist declares: “Our species has exceeded our sustainable numbers… Under the stress of overpopulation, those who have never considered stealing will kill to provide for their young. All of Dante’s deadly sins — greed, gluttony, treachery, murder and the rest — will begin percolating… rising up to the surface of humanity… we are facing a battle for the very soul of man”. I won’t talk about his master plan to deal with the issue of population growth for fear of providing a devastating spoiler; but just know that the over-population of Earth is not just a plot tool for mystery thrillers.
Inferno was released in 2013, but our friend Emily Badger wrote an article back in October of 2009 that toed the “greener” side of the over-population problem. In her Let’s Try Cap-and-Trade on Babies, Emily touches on reproductive health, and birth control, and family planning (oh my!) Honestly, after reading this article you won’t think the Bertrand Zobrist character is as much a villain as he is just an extremist of a legitimate concern for mother nature.
I saw a 1968 Walt Disney production on family planning and the looming threat of over-population a while ago. 1968!? Disney!? Check it out:
The San Diego Zoo sure knows a lot about the Honey Badger! Today’s fact again comes from them when they inform us that, similar to the Skunk, Honey Badgers have a gland at the base of their tail every bit as stinky and powerful as the other black-and-white animal we should strive to avoid.
Hit me with your favorite literary villains and any thoughts on world population and sustainability on my Twitter: @joshg22