Shame on you, Dan Brown! Shame on you!

I will spare you the usual introduction on how intellectual, witting and intriguing I can be. That you know from my previous entries.

If you really want to know, many of the ideas I write in this blog are based on what I read. And as a cosmopolitan professional and blogger, I like to keep “cool” with my books. Name any “cool” book; I have already read it. I consume “Murakamis” at breakfast, and “Dostoyevskys” to go to sleep.

However, when my wife is not looking and I do not need to be smart, I occasionally entertain myself with the latest page-turner to give my brain a vacation. I know I should not post this on a blog but hey, this is what I do. Now you know it. Do not tell my wife.

I am currently reading Inferno by Dan Brown. Half of you guys are probably rolling your eyes now. Sure the book clumsily mixes fiction and facts, using easy-cheesy tricks to keep the reader glued to the pages. However, I cannot help appreciate the extravagant descriptions of my beloved Italy, its art and its people (me!). Ah, what pride!

All was well until yesterday night, I reached about 30% of the book (yes, I have a Kindle, I cannot indicate the page number any more. Times are changing…), where the following graph is presented.


Apparently, the graph is a compilation of graphs originally presented in The New Scientist on Oct 12, 2008 as a Special Report, entitled How Our Economy is Killing the Earth. The message? Everything (water consumption, CO2 concentration, population, ozone depletion, etc.) during the past 250 years has been accelerating at an ever-increasing rate towards…apocalypse!  And the human race seems absolutely incapable to stop this process!

Is this true? Completely annoyed by the distraction but “thirsty” for more information, I un-glued by eyes from Mr. Brown’s book to google a few official statistics. Oh boy. Global water demand is projected to increase by 55% globally between 2000 and 2050. Or even worse, by 67–134% in 2050 & 31–242% in 2095.  By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Is this all true?!?!?!

Well, I say: Shame on you, Dan Brown. Shame on you! Why should I care if water use has been growing at more than twice the (already outrageous) rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are chronically short of water? Why should I care if my son and his generation will be without water? Why should I care when I just want to sit down and relax with a no-brainer vacation book?


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