Passaparola - Earth Overshoot Day - How many Italies are we consuming, by Mathis Wackernagel



Watch the video with subtitles
08:00
mathis_wackernaghel.jpg

Earth Overshoot Day was on the 22nd August, the date on which humanity exhausted its ecological budget for one year.
Earth Overshoot Day is the day on which, according to the Global Footprint Network’s estimates, man’s requirement of resources exceeded the planet’s ability to regenerate: in just a little over eight months we used up all the resources available so, from the 22nd August through to the end of the year, we will be using more resources than we can afford, thereby putting ourselves in debt to this planet. Beppe Grillo


Mathis Wackernagel’s Passaparola,
Good day, my name is Mathis Wackernagel and I am president of the Global Footprint Network. We are working on a global scale and asking ourselves the following question: “How much nature do we have and how many times over are we utilising it?.
We can say that globally we have around 1.8, or rather in truth this year only about 1.7 environmentally productive hectares per person, that is grazing land, cultivated fields, wetlands, forests and productive seas where there are lots of fish, and if we add all of these together we get to a figure of around 1.8 hectares per person so we can ask ourselves the question “How much surface area do I need to grow enough cotton?” ” “How much surface area do I need to produce my milk?” “How much surface area do I need in order to absorb my CO2?” These are all questions that raise the issue of the battle for surface area because life itself is a battle for surface area. In Italy you have around 1.2 global hectares per business activity and you are currently using four times that amount. You are therefore using a surface area that is equivalent to four times Italy and if everyone in the world lived like the Italians, on average we would need to have three planets. It is also quite possible that we are actually underestimating the situation; with this data in hand, what we can say is that humanity requires about 50% more than what this planet is able to renew. In other words, it takes around 18 months for the planet to renew what we consume in one year. In 2014 the cut-off date was around 22 August: we have pointed out that Overshoot Day does not occur on a precise date. As occurs with money, it is indeed possible to spend more than you have for a certain period of time: The forests, for example, can be utilised excessively for a limited period of time. Fish resources decline far more quickly. CO2 can accumulate for a fairly lengthy period of time but this has a long term effect. In numerous places around the world, the availability of drinking water is constantly declining, which impacts on agriculture. At this time I’m talking about California we are currently experiencing a drought and the first water resources to be shut down are those required for agriculture because they are less profitable in terms of water, however, because California has much more money that say Bangladesh, we are able to buy food on the international markets. The reality however is that agricultural production without sufficient water much lower. As a result, we can increase or decrease purchasing power and we can adjust the demand, but in the final analysis, if we use more than what is available, even in the medium term we will feel the effects. When we as the Global Footprint Network look at the Euro crisis that has been going on since 2008, it is difficult not make the connection with the resources situation. The so-called PIGS countries, in other words Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, have received preferential loans from the European Union to build their infrastructure, but infrastructure requires more resources with which to run: airports, new hotels, even new roads. Traffic increases, demanding more resources, so these countries have increased their vulnerability by accepting these preferential loans without being able to maintain financial productivity and balance their budgets: worldwide, 85% of the population lives in countries that consume more resources than what their ecosystems can regenerate so we have an increasing number of countries with an ecological deficit.


Fig. Changes in the Earth’s bio capacity from 1960 to today.
The Global Footprint Network

Some of these are high income countries like Switzerland, but there are also others such as China and India, which have much lower individual consumption levels but are nevertheless facing a deficit in purchasing power. Therefore, for 71% of the world’s population the situation is already fairly complex; resources are not sufficient, as is the contractual power that enables easy access to extra resources from other countries, or the competition for these resources is becoming increasingly intense, thereby complicating things. Competition is becoming increasingly fierce, meaning that what is becoming really important is the ability to negotiate successfully to gain access to the available resources. From 1980 to today, the slice of the global cake that Swiss citizens have brought home has halved because economic expansion has taken place more rapidly in other areas of the world, the population has increate and therefore the Swiss have seen their negotiating power halved compared to that of the rest of the world. Switzerland is set to see their situation become even more complicated: even though the country may be able to shield itself in the short term, structurally it is walking a path that will make it fairly difficult to ensure long term economic success: Right now, in October 2014, we are seeing a drop in the oil price and it would be easy to think “ Wow, that must mean that there is oil aplenty”, however, the interesting thing is that the majority of the OPEC countries will be unable to meet their budget targets if the oil price is less than $100 a barrel. But what does that mean? Since they are extremely dependent on these revenues, they continue to pump more oil even though the price is low because they need the money: in many sectors of our economy we are seeing a veritable liquidation. In order to create revenues, I have to sell my resources as quickly as possible, so we sell off our silverware, we sell off our furniture, we even sell off grandma’s clothing! It is definitely true that farmers are not well paid. At this moment in time, resources are not particularly profitable, however, without farms and food it would be extremely difficult for us to stay alive. I’m not saying that there is not going to be any food, but there is definitely going to be less food for everyone and the restrictions are going to be more intense and conflicts are going to increase: is the fact that Italy consumes four times more than what it has available in its ecosystems a decisive factor? Above all else, Italy has to address the demand and understand what truly counts: having a stable economy? Guaranteeing employment? Having a prosperous society? How many Italies should the country consume? Italy is at the forefront in numerous areas in order to achieve these results. If you compare the Italian towns, the classical towns, and I think that perhaps Siena is a prime example in that the town has banned vehicles from the town centre, the town is compact and it is relatively easy to get anywhere in town by foot, so if you compare Siena with towns such as Houston in America, or with Dallas, or with any other huge spread out town, if you take a person from Houston to Siena without providing them with any instructions, that person will automatically consume three to four times fewer resources, probably be much happier, lose weight and be far healthier. There are thus many ways in which we can address these issues, which I believe are extremely important.
I will stop here although I could carry on ad infinitum because I am truly passionate about these issues.
Spread the word

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 07:22 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (1) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

Ebola in Rome?

ebola_kit.jpg

"The Ebola Virus epidemic, the most virulent ever recorded, is now frightening every country in the world, including the United States. And yet the evidence of what was about to happen was clear: already in April 2014, members of our Health Committee looked at the issues and they understood the dangers of the Ebola Virus and the potential epidemic that was unfolding. The World Health Organization thought that it would have run its course in a few months with a few hundred deaths. But instead, we are in October 2014 with 4500 deaths and 9000 new cases of people infected and estimates are suggesting that by December there will be 10,000 people infected each week.
In the United States, there are already people who have been infected and in Europe it seems inevitable that there will be other cases after those in Spain and Germany. And meanwhile the Italian government is moving very slowly, following behind the other states as regards emergency protocols, but without bringing in exceptional measures or taking any initiative to try to prevent a possible disaster. Minister Lorenzin, spoke to the Senate and said that we can just wait and hope and trust that the protocols are respected and that nothing goes awry if it happens that Italian people get infected.
It’s a shame that right now we are getting worrying news from the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, one of the two Italian centres selected to handle any possible Ebola emergency. There are serious gaps in the readiness of personnel - who have not done any preparatory drills for years - and there’s also not enough protective equipment.
The 5 Star MoVement, on the other hand, is taking action: after the news that the virus could be contagious even in the incubation period (something that would make all the protocols useless), we have decided to organise a meeting with the people in charge at the IRBM research centre in Pomezia, the world leaders in the search for a possible vaccine that is undergoing development and testing. Why is the Government, not using its privileged position to try and start discussions with the directors of Glaxo (that owns the patent) to at least get an exclusive deal or at least an understanding with its operators? While all countries have a heightened awareness, why is it that our media are not giving clear news bulletins and why is it that there is no provision of straight forward information about the Ebola virus for our citizens? Because of its geographic position, Italy is one of the countries most at risk from Ebola. After months spent underplaying the problem, we can wait no more: we have to act now".
M5S Senate

Posted on October 19, 2014 at 06:37 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (1) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

#RenzieTagliaLaSanità Renzi's cutting health care

renzi_taglia_sanita.jpg

"Renzi has slotted into the current package, the disgusting cut-health-care clause! If he has the courage, let the President of the Council, appear on TV and tell the Italian people the truth. The same truth that he kept hidden yesterday in a press conference at Palazzo Chigi: namely that his “Stability Law” offloads 4 billion of cuts onto the regions and that this will mean cuts to health care provision, a direct attack on the bare flesh of the citizens. The draft that the premier presented yesterday with a great fanfare, is hiding a “trap” for the regions: the so-called 'cut-health-care‘ clause: if the regional governors have not come to an agreement for carving up the 4 billion of the "spending review" by 31 January 2015, the government will be able to intervene 'and take into consideration the resources set aside for current spending on the National Health Care System'. It’s blackmail, pure and simple. A disgraceful bit of work that gives the government the freedom to plunder the funds that are normally available for health care, and this risks sending the very wobbly National Health Care System into a complete collapse. This government is deceiving us, giving us to believe that an irresponsible package is a good thing, whereas, in reality, it is smashing up one of the most delicate services of the country and it is blatantly violating the Health Pact that this very same government confirmed with the regions in August. The Pact set aside 112 billion for 2015 and 115 for 2016, but now this money is at risk of disappearing in a puff of smoke. And why’s this happening? Because Renzi has used the Stability Law so that he doesn’t have to say that he has gone beyond the margin of 3% imposed by Europe, even though, in reality the money’s not there and he’s just trying to get “brownie points” from Ms Merkel, while making the citizens pay dearly. An unacceptable action, that is yet another reason why we feel ashamed to have him as the President of the Council." M5S Senate

#RenzieTagliaLaSanità

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 07:32 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (2) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

"Only the people can save Europe" M. Armstrong on the M5S referendum #fuoridalleuro

fuoridalleuro_armstrong.jpg

“As Julius Caesar said: "the die is cast". He also said I came, I saw, I conquered (Veni Vidi Vici). The entire idea of the euro is a total disaster. This is now about a dictatorship in Brussels that has built a political infrastructure which will promote civil war in Europe – not peace and harmony.” According to his blog article dated 14 October, the American historian Martin Armstrong, believes that “Now the biggest single party in the Italian parliament has at last expressed the will of the people – not an easy task in Europe these days. They are now demanding a euro referendum to end depression and save democracy. Remember Spain? Greece? Maybe it will just take some Italians to clean up the mess.
Do you remember when The Economist called him a clown? OK, according to Armstrong, today he represents the battle for democracy and he just might have the last laugh. Beppe Grillo is an Italian comedian, actor, blogger and political activist. He arrived on the Italian political scene in 2009 as founder of the Five Star Movement. Recently he has launched a petition to bring Italy out of the monetary union and restore economic sovereignty. He has said: “We must leave the euro as soon as possible.”. This is a man who speaks the truth - says the American historian - It was the EU Commission who staged a secret coup against Italy robbing the people of their right to vote to ensure Berlusconi would be removed from office because he too wanted to take Italy out of the Euro. Only Italy can save Europe., says Armstrong. After all, it was in Italy in 509 BC where they overthrew the king and sparked the first Republican form of government that inspired the birth of Democracy in Greece within a few months.
Someone has to break the Euro to survive or we will see civil war in Europe. Italy could be the key for historically that is where it all began. History repeats – could it be Italy that takes down Brussels? Brussels may not be taking a leak on the rest of Europe much longer. Even the peripheral spreads are now rising for smart money is starting to see the handwriting on the wall. The EU Commission may only invite to Brussels career politicians because they know how to manipulate and survive, but they cannot hold Europe together by mere decree." from l'Antidiplomatico

PS: As has already been communicated to the relevant person in the last few days, the mayor of Comacchio, Marco Fabbri, who was elected with the 5 Star MoVement, put himself forward as a candidate in the provincial elections and has been elected in an alliance with other parties. The M5S statute precludes standing in the provincial elections and Fabbri, who was an M5S mayor, was not eligible to stand for other positions. The certification of the Comacchio list has been revoked. Fabbri is out of the M5S.

Click on the banner to make a donation!

banner_it5s.jpg

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 06:00 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (0) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

Lega of euro-softies: the referendum can be done! #fuoridalleuro

euro_timeline.jpg

The Lega of euro-softies threw the “exit-the-euro” stone into the lake and then it hid its hand.
The M5S will lead the Italian people to a referendum on the euro. As explained here, it can be done and even Salvini would understand even though he’s obviously not well informed on this matter. Salvini1,13 October 2014:
salvini1.jpg

Salvini2, 13 October 2014 :
salvini2.jpg

Salvini2, 14 October 2014 :
beppe.jpg

The advisory referendum to exit the euro, can be done! In order to get this going, there needs to be the approval of an "ad hoc" constitutional law as happened in 1989 when the Italian people were asked whether or not they were willing to give constitutional powers to the European Union:
An advisory referendum on the European Economic Community was held in Italy on 18 May 1989, alongside European elections. The non-binding referendum was called by all main parties with a special law, because the Italian Constitution does not speak about this type of question. The Italian political spectrum wanted to re-affirm the popular support of Italy to the process of European integration, particularly giving to the European Parliament a popular, constitutional mandate in event of a future European Constitution." from Wikipedia
The constitutional law to get the referendum off the ground will be presented to the Italian people as a “popular initiative law”. In order to be able to put this before Parliament, at least 50,000 signatures have to be collected in 6 months. Once it has been put before Parliament, presumably in May 2015, the M5S spokespersons in the Lower House and the Senate will present it so that it can be discussed in both Chambers. After the approval of the ad hoc constitutional law to set up the referendum, and allowing time for it to get through both chambers, by December 2015, the Italian people could be voting on this advisory referendum and express their wish to leave the euro.
Starting in November, we will begin to collective signatures for the popular initiative law to kick off the referendum. We need to get as many signatures as possible so that we leave no “escape clause” for those people led by Renzie, who carry out the orders given by Ms Merkel and the ECB. The Italian people have to be able to make a decisions as to whether they want to die clutching the euro or whether they want to live and reclaim their own sovereignty.

Click on the banner to make a donation!

banner_it5s.jpg



Posted on October 15, 2014 at 07:19 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (0) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

#RenzieSapevaDiGenova: Renzi knew about Genoa - Renzi resign right now!

renzie_sapeva_genova.jpg

“I’ve come back to my city and today I’ve gone out and about. I’ve seen scenes like those of 3 years ago, of 40 years ago. Nothing changes in this city, unless it’s the passion of the people, of students, of young people that get out there to give a hand. It seems that that is the solution: to take action after the event. But the solution is to take action before the event. It’s the political choices that are wrong. I no longer believe in disasters. It’s not acceptable to invest 8 billion in "La Gronda di Genova", in massive infrastructure projects like the TAV without considering small-scale investment throughout the region. There was a letter dated 5 August from the construction companies ready to do the necessary work to protect the land. This letter was sent to the Renzi government. The letter said: "with the arrival of the Autumn, it seems of fundamental importance to start immediately with this work. If there is any further delay, (apart from all the time that has already been lost without any legal reason) it means that it is very likely that the local population will once more be subject to the tragic consequences of what happened in November 2011". The tragedy has happened. There’s been one person who has died. There are thousands who are desperate. There are shops full of new stock ready for the winter season. There are the tears of so many people who are here with these wonderful young people who are lending them a hand. They no longer want to open their shops ever again. They have lost hope. One guy who was angrier than me is the parish priest of Foce. He was asking for money. They need money immediately! Don’t send tweets and April fool messages. They need money! They want each neighbourhood to have someone in charge who is not a politician. They want to be able to present estimates of the work that needs doing by the month of November and by the month of December they want the money. They want the money for emergencies immediately.
I’ve been out and about. Our parliamentarians are there. I’ve bumped into 4 or 5 that are there as private individuals with a sweeping brush in their hands. They’re mixed in with the folk who are here to lend a hand Part of our lot have stayed in Rome because we’re going to have a no confidence vote against the Renzi government because they haven’t kept their promises. These are people who lie and know that they are lying, and the ones that lose out are the vulnerable. I get shouted at. I listen. I thank the person that said to me "start shovelling!". If for you, I represent the word of politics and you’ve got to give vent to your feelings, take it out on me. I’ll come through it. I am ready to accept all the anger that you have inside you because you have every reason in the world to be angry. Even though my conscience is clear, because this is my city and I’ve been to my neighbourhood where I was born and where I grew up. I’m with you. The M5S is with you. We’ll always be on the side of the people who’ve been let down. We’ve had enough of these people that tweet, that put forward proposals and then don’t keep their promises.
I’ve opened a bank account and the IBAN is as follows:
IT11F0333201404000000812864 - Grillo Giuseppe - per Alluvione Genova - Banca Passadore, agenzia di Nervi
This is the account that I personally have opened for the people of Genoa who have suffered in the flood. This is how I’m earning money that will go into this account: "If a media organisation wants to interview me, they’ll have to deposit 2,000 euro into this account for the Genoa’s flood victims. If they want to interview Casaleggio, it’ll be 1,500 euro. When I receive the notification that the money has gone into the account, I’ll give the interview."
We’ll start like that! Greetings to everyone!" Beppe Grillo

...

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
Comments (1) | Sign up | Send to a friend | Share | Print | GrilloNews | View blog opinions
Tags:
| | Condividi

List all the posts of October 2014

Beppe Grillo Meetups

meetup.jpg
Groups 372 Members 76.596
Cities 281 Countries 10

Books and DVDs

grillorama

Check out the books and DVDs of Beppe Grillo (service in Italian)

Initiatives


Clean Up Parliament

Map of Power


Awards

Webby award
14th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections

Interviews


Tegenlicht - Beppe Grillo's Interview

"De toekomst van Europa volgens Beppe Grillo"

(Tegenlicht TV)

International Press Review

The New Yorker
"Beppe's Inferno"

Times
"The Comic Who Shook Italy"
(The video | Related post)

Forbes
"The Web Celeb 25"
(Related post)

BBC
"Meeting Italy's silenced satirist"

AlJazeera
People and power: "Beppe's Blog"

TIME magazine
TIME.com's First Annual Blog Index
(related post)