From the point of countries, politicians will perceive the ongoing situation as a wake-up call with regard to lower birth rates, more demands on houses, and more energy consumption. Firstly, more single households mean more single persons, and the population will shrink in the wake of falling number of married couples. Secondly, more houses are required to fulfill the need of individuals, which cause cities even more densely populated. London is a famous example; the number of houses has been stimulated by 48% over the past five years, and 80% of them are for singles. Finally, the consumption of electricity and gas will soar when more people choose to live on their own, and it will further pose a threat to our livelihood.
In addition, other elements conspire to take away from the harvest for which we worked so hard to produce. Despite the best application of modern agricultural practices, an unavoidable portion of what is grown rots in the fields prior to harvest time, or in the world’s storage bins afterwards. Every year, depending upon geographic location and intensity of El Niño events, crops suffer from too little water and wither on the spot, or are lost to severe flooding, hailstorms, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, fires, and other destructive events of nature. Many of these phenomena are at best difficult to predict, and at worst are impossible to react to in time to prevent the losses associated with them. In sub-Saharan Africa, locusts remain an ever-present threat (42), and can devastate vast areas of farmland in a matter of days. Even after a bumper crop is realized, problems associated with processing and storage lessen the actual tonnage that is available to the consumer. A large portion of the harvest, regardless of the kind of plant or grain, is despoiled or a portion consumed by a variety of opportunistic life forms (., fungi, bacteria, insects, rodents) after being stored. While it is conceded that at present the abundance of cash crops is more than sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s human population, delivering them to world markets is driven largely by economics, not biological need. Thus, the poorest people – some billion – are forced to live in a constant state of starvation (43), with many thousands of deaths per year attributable to this wholly preventable predicament (44). Locating vertical farms near these human “hot spots” would greatly alleviate this problem.
Perhaps the event that illustrates the most difficult moral decision of the whole novel is the murder of the hoodlums' leader. Prior to the event, the Doctor's Wife discovers that she had brought a pair of scissors with the intent of helping her husband shave. She never uses them for the original purpose and hangs them on a wall. However, after her rape, she grabs the scissors without hesitation and heads for the hoodlums' ward. As the leader rapes one of the women, the Doctor's Wife sneaks behind him and stabs him in the throat as he has an orgasm. "His cry was barely audible, it might have been the grunting of an animal about to ejaculate, as was happening to some of the other men" (Saramago 189). Saramago describes the hoodlums as having degenerated to the point of becoming animals, acting solely upon appeasing natural inclinations and vices. The Doctor's Wife runs away with the raped woman and breaks down. She justifies the murder by thinking, "And when is it necessary to kill... When what is still alive is already dead" (Saramago 192-93). Though the first inclination is to think that the Doctor's Wife justified the murder because the hoodlum had proven himself to be incapable of being human, she could have meant that it was she who was the inhuman one. She is the only sighted person among the blind. If even she has dropped to this level of moral decay, then the rest of the internees have little hope in restoring their own humanity until they regain their sight.