October 06, 2013

Versilia’s killer incinerator

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“Versilia is in a state of shock after the p8ublication of an investigation carried out by the Viareggio health authorities indicating the Falascaia incinerator (located between Pietrasanta and Camaiore), as the cause of thousands of deaths. In the last few decades, various international research projects have shown that there’s a positive correlation between the incineration of waste products and an increase in cancer. However, the Viareggio investigation, is particularly relevant because although Versilia is not an industrial area, it has the highest cancer rate in Tuscany. The research project tried to identify the connection between dioxins produced between 1974 and 1988 and the nearly 3000 patients suffering from cancer and living in Pietrasanta and Camaiore. More than a thousand of these have died. But research also covered the period from 2004 to 2010 while the new incinerator was in operation. It was closed in 2010 after the judicial authorities in Lucca discovered that the French multinational Tev Veolia had falsified the data relating to emissions of carbon dioxide. In this second research project the health authorities are investigating connections between problems relating to pregnancies and the nanoparticles emitted by the incinerator.
Incinerators are the functional response created by the economic model of infinite growth in a finite planet. Constructing them is like saying: don’t worry, you consume and we will burn everything. But this is forgetting that in nature everything is created and everything is transformed, but nothing is destroyed. In other words these mega monsters are transforming our rubbish (that in fact are a gold mine) into billions of nanoparticles that cannot be filtered out by any filter. Since 1992 Italians have been obliged to pay 40 billion euro with the so called “cip 6” (an extra 7% on the electricity bill). This is money that should have been used to develop renewable energy but instead has gone to the companies constructing incinerators. In other words, tax payers have been obliged to pay money to increase the probability of getting cancer. This is thanks to obliging politicians who have acted in the interests of the various multinational work providers like Veolia rather than acting to protect those whom they represent.
The objective is to have Zero Refuse but this is a result that can be brought about by subverting the current model of neo-liberal production, that as Tiziano Terzani puts it, has the aim of making us work at horrendous rhythms to produce more and more objects that are mostly of no use for other people working at horrendous rhythms so that they can buy them.” Gianluca Ferrara

You could find these posts interesting:

A special day
Coldiretti against the incinerator
Who still wants Parma’s incinerator?

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:35 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 11, 2013

Jeremy Irons: “Do everything you can against Parma’s incinerator"

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Do everything you can to try and put a stop to Parma’s incinerator. Incinerators work against recycling. Recycling of our resources is the only way to the future. People will tell you it gets rid of the problem - it doesn’t get rid of the problem it passes it on – it puts more of a problem into our health - by burning these plastics and other waste at high temperatures, they turn into other chemicals which we absorb eventually into our bodies through the air, through the earth and we have no way of getting rid of them. So medically, incineration should be a non-starter. As far as government is concerned environmentally it should be a non-starter because incinerators have an enormous appetite and they will therefore “eat” all the waste, all the rubbish which we should be recycling, reusing. We’re told it’s free energy – it’s a wonderful way to make energy – it’s not. To make a bottle of water - the energy required to make that plastic bottle is 26 times the energy created by burning that bottle. It’s “waste to waste” It’s wasting energy.
So for economic reasons – to recycle has to be the way forward. But that means that our government, our local councils have to put in place a recycling process – has to allow us as citizens to package our rubbish when we throw it out into separate compartments. It needs organisation but that is the responsibility of government not to say we will allow you to build this multi-million incinerator to burn everything just so that we can get this problem out of the way. It is the problem of councils and it is their responsibility to guard the citizens, and on every level. An incinerator does not do that. You must realise that there are huge financial dealings at stake both for government, councils and for the incinerator owners – the people who build these. You have to fight very hard against them. it’s no good being reasonable! You have to protest, protest, protest and do everything you can to spread the word to make people realise that the building of incinerators is putting the most terrible threat on future generations and doing nothing to hold on to our limited world resources.
Do everything you can to fight it.” Jeremy Irons
Interview brought to you by the Associazione Gestione Corretta Rifiuti e Risorse di Parma - GCR, {Parma’s Association for the Proper Handling of Rubbish and Resources} by Francesca Battilani, Gian Paolo Ilari and Luca Giuberti

PS: “La Cosa” is not a TV channel, but a web channel and it will not distribute any decoder, as was reported today by some badly informed journalists (?). “La Cosa” is only transmitted on the official site.

You could find these posts interesting:

A special day
Coldiretti against the incinerator
The fumes of the Food Valley

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:09 AM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 06, 2013

Lazio poisoned by rubbish

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“The Region of Lazio must resolve the problem of rubbish once and for all. In the election campaign, Zingaretti promised to start a big effort with collecting different sorts of materials for recycling, but after 6 months we have not seen a single positive step in that direction. We have presented a motion to stop the burning of Lazio’s rubbish in the thermo-electric power stations and in the cement works, but as we have seen with the bipartisan rejection of our proposal, it is evident that common sense is not at home in the regional council at Pisana, perhaps because of the proximity of the Malagrotta rubbish tip. We have presented a resolution asking for the Ardeatina rubbish tip not to be used, but even here this request was rejected by the PdminusL and the PDL, who were in perfect agreement. Thus, this region wants to continue with the foolish policy of accumulating rubbish in the tips and burning our future and that of our children while poisoning the air, the water, and the land.
The 5 Star MoVement Lazio is contacting all the regional councillors to propose that we have an extraordinary council meeting to discuss the emergency relating to rubbish during the month of September. The endless dispensation at Malagrotta, the risk of a new rubbish tip at Falcognana, the sites storing nuclear material, the drama of Albano, Castelli, Riano. There has to be a stop to the numerous authorised and unauthorised (estimated to be 32) tips managed by the mafias, where toxic and dangerous rubbish is buried under the ground. In fact, the statements made by Carmine Schiavone relating to the burying of containers of toxic and radioactive material are worrying. He is a member of the camorra considered to be credible when talking about the sites in the area of Caserta but less believable as regards those in the region of Lazio and especially in the Pontina area. Zingaretti stays silent and what is worse he’s hiding stuff.
In relation to that, we are drawing attention to a significant sentence in the letter sent by the Minister Andrea Orlando to the President of the Region, to the Leader of the Province, to the Mayor of Rome: “…as I said when the position of commissioner for Rome’s rubbish emergency was renewed, I have always considered that structure to be a support to help the relevant agencies and not something that is a substitute for them.” That is, this is once more underscoring the inadequacy of those who are managing this issue, with very little attention to the problems of the citizens. On 11 September 2013 from 3:30pm onwards, in the headquarters of the Lazio regional council (via della Pisana 1301 Rome), we are organising a public meeting to which we are inviting all the citizens, the local associations and the environmental associations, to put forward proposals for presentation to the extraordinary regional council meeting. The 5 Star MoVement is ready to give a decisive “about-turn” to the management of rubbish in Lazio. We are not to be stopped when faced with the interests of private businesses handling rubbish. We are not going to give guarantees to those who want to hide the true figures relating to the health of the citizens in the areas of Lazio that have been polluted by rubbish tips and incinerators, and we will continue to get away from the intensification by mafia and politicians that are enveloping this sector making it a sector for achieving private interests and removing it from offering a public service. They will never give up, neither will we!” M5S Lazio

You could find these posts interesting:

Look at the rubbish, see the mess up
The end for incinerators
Managing rubbish 5-Star-style

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:03 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 15, 2012

The petrification and pyrogassification of Valle d'Aosta

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The Valle d'Aosta is an enchanting place. Its castles, Roman bridges, alpine slopes, its streams that tumble down into the river Dora give the impression that time here has stood still. The very seat of the administration of the Region of Valle d’Aosta seems unchangeable, a building that houses a petrified junta, even more petrified than the rocks of Mount Cervino. Its president is called Augusto like the Roman emperor to whose memory is dedicated the arch at the entrance to the ancient city that has lasted unsurpassed for a good fifty years. Augusto Rollandin was already a regional councillor in 1978, the year when Jimmy Carter was president of the United States and Brezhnev was general secretary of the Communist party in the Soviet Union. However, neither Brezhnev, nor Carter have ever been definitively convicted by the Court of Cassation and sentenced to 16 months in prison with the prohibition of holding public office for abuse of office and aiding and abetting in the tendering process. Compared to Rollandin, Formigoni, in position in the Region of Lombardy for about two decades, is no match. Political renewal in patois (the local language) is a forgotten term. Rollandin wants a pyrogassifier that each year will produce 10,000 tons of vitrified waste material and 2,500 tons of dangerous waste to be got rid of abroad. It’s not just madness in itself, but it’s a backward step, against the environment and against health. The objective of zero refuse, with new jobs thanks to recycling and reusing in a region that has 128,000 inhabitants, like that of a small city, is in fact achievable in a few years. And after that, what would be the use of a pyrogassifier? What’s it been constructed for? To burn refuse imported from other regions? The pyrogassifier is an enormous waste of public money, hundreds of millions needed to construct and manage it. Money that could be used for differentiated collection of waste and achieving the objective of zero refuse. The incineration of refuse belongs to the past, just like Augusto Rollandin. The future is clean air.

Tomorrow evening, Friday 16 November, I will take part in the demonstration for the referendum for YES against the pyrogassifier. At 9:00 pm, in piazza Chanoux in Aosta. See you there.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:19 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 16, 2012

Parma’s incinerator

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”For years Iren Spa, with the backing of the president of the Province, Bernazzoli (Pd) and the mayors of the city of Parma Ubaldi and Vignali (Udc - Forza Italia - Pdl) refused to publish the Economic and Financial Plan for Parma’s incinerator. And yet a decision taken by the Parma city council on 31/03/2006 decided to “recognise the right of the citizens to have access to all the documents relating to the incinerator”. By chance, years of silence ended with the victory of the MoVimento 5 Stelle {5 Star MoVement} and Federico Pizzarotti. The Plan has been published in Parmadaily.it (for his pains, the editor immediately received threats). In the Plan, it’s clearly written that the life span of the plant is 20 years!!! So it’s anything but “a temporary solution” as the PD was saying. 20 years of smoke and poison paid for by the citizens with really high charges. Did the other towns in the province of Parma know that? In all these years, the supporters of incinerators, led by the PD and PDL have been promising “lower charges with incinerators” A colossal lie. From 2013 to 2032, if there is activation of the incinerator, that the citizens of Parma and the city authorities don’t want, the charge for getting rid of waste will be 168 euro/ton (+ inflation). By comparing the costs of waste disposal, you can see that the bill will be really high. In Reggio Emilia they’ll pay 140 euro/ton with the construction of the mechanical biological treatment system (source: provincial cabinet member for the environment, Mirko Tutino) instead of the incinerator that was dropped partly because of the campaigning by the Blog and by M5S. In Piacenza they’re paying 117 euro/ton. In Naples they pay 109 euro/ton to dispose of waste in the Netherlands. In Turin, with the useless and damaging TRM Gerbido incinerator, they will pay 97 euro/ton. There are other points in the Plan that are not clear.
It’s predicted that for 20 years, there’ll be the incineration of 108,000 tons of unsorted waste each year. And if there’s an increase in the collection of waste sorting? Are they going to go and get waste from outside the province of Parma? But didn’t they promise the exact opposite? Here’s the demonstration of how incinerators are an obstacle to waste sorting and the reduction of waste while they are in operation. And who has the responsibility of checking up on Iren’s charges? On the basis of what market research has Iren checked the conformity of its costs? In whose pockets is the money of the people of Parma going to end up? The city council and the cabinet of Parma have already voted for the way forward for a project that is an alternative to incinerators. Iren, that is continuing to ignore the wishes of the citizens and of the City of Parma, the fourth public shareholder, will be summoned to a council meeting to clarify its position about the absurd prices it wants to charge. This will be broadcast live on the web.

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Matteo Incerti, MoVimento 5 Stelle

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:47 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 26, 2012

The bund is not for eating

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State bonds cannot be eaten even if the “spread” goes down. The real economy, the one that we serve up on our kitchen table every day, is getting the upper hand in relation to the paper one. A billion people are suffering from hunger in the world. In the future there’ll be no limits, perhaps two or three billion people. Hunger could shift from the poor countries to the West. The prices of maize and soya have soared to record highs. The last upswing took place in 2010 when Russia was in flames and so that the people could eat, it stopped the export of cereals. This year, the the United States is suffering the most serious drought of the last 50 years. For the first time ever, the price of maize has gone above 8 dollars a "bushel" (about 35.24 litres). Exports of maize from the United States will go down by 300 million bushels. The situation will get worse if there’s no rain in the next few weeks. In the poorest countries, new bread riots will soon happen, like those that broke out with the 2008 increase of grain prices in Africa and Asia. If money can be created from nothing and the ECB can magic up trillions of euro, the same cannot be done for food. Italy is not self sufficient in relation to food and it is becoming even less so. Every day 100 hectares of land are cementified. A wheat field is turning into a mirage. In Italy "50% of vertebrates, 15% of higher plants and 40% of lower plants are at risk because of the transformation or destruction of natural habitats, due to pesticides, water pollution, deforestation and fires.Ispra report 2011. Italians consume more food resources than they produce as can be seen from our country’s ecological footprint, calculated by the Global Footprint Network that does an annual analysis of the food sustainability of our planet. For some years now, certain countries like China and South Korea have been buying up cultivable land in Africa and South America because of the lack of food resources. The Great Game of the Overflowing Banquet Table has been going on for some time and its value is greater than all the bank deposits in the world. Food sustainability must become an objective. In the future it could be that we no longer have “bread” but just “circuses”.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:24 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

January 10, 2012

Subversive kitchen gardens

Orti sovversivi
(18:48)
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“The potato is anarchical and the bean is a bomber. The carrot has always been a non-conventional weapon. The tomato and the artichoke are insurrectionists. The pepper is a communist. The kitchen garden is the final slap in the face of Power. The kitchen garden is subversive!” Beppe Grillo

“When we encourage people to cultivate some of their food we are encouraging them to take power into their own hands. Power over their diet, power over their health and power over their wallet. I think that this is truly subversive because we are saying to take that power away from someone else, from other social beings that currently have power over food and health.” Roger Doiron

Presentation by Roger Doiron, the founder of "Kitchen Gardeners International" a non-profit network made up of 20,000 people in 100 countries.

Cultivate a subversive kitchen garden

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:10 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 14, 2011

The respiration of the left

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The most polluted Italian city is Turin with 47 microgrammes per cubic metre a year. Milan is hot on its heels with 44 microgrammes per cubic metre. Data given in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report at the end of September. By now the consequences are well known: tumours of the throat and the lungs, infantile leukaemias, respiratory failure, heart attacks.
In Turin and Milan people die of polluted air. The buildings of these cities have the colours of smog with shades that go from black on the ground floor to soft greys on the top floors. Pisapia has tackled the problem head on with a great idea: incentivising private transport. Straight after the start of his term of office, he increased the public transport fares. A measure that affects those who have decided to NOT pollute. An increase of 50% for urban fares! From one euro to one euro 50. The population of Milan has responded with enthusiasm. In the month of September less than six million tickets were purchased as compared to 7 million three hundred thousand in September last year. About a million and a half fewer in a month. People who chose the car for reasons of cost. In fact the fixed costs of a car are paid anyway: the road tax, insurance, coupons. The difference between the bus fare and the car is to be found in the price of petrol. The car becomes cheaper.
The boom in traffic has for a few days been at twice the guideline recommended maximum level for Pm10, in this case we cannot blame the central heating given the African heat of October. Pisapia’s move has been to stop the circulation of traffic on a Sunday. The day when there are no commuters and the people of Milan escape from the city. A way of taking us for a ride. The blame is put on the dryness of the air and the lack of wind. So as not to die, you have to do the rain dance. Meanwhile, Pisapia, with the money from the City Authorities, obtained even thanks to the increase in fares, is financing the cementification of Expo 2015. The city has in fact gained an extra one million seven hundred thousand euro from the increase in fares in September in spite of the collapse in passenger numbers. The city authorities will become shareholders in the company that manages the terrain for the Expo, called Arexpo, by putting in 32 million euro. Public transport should be facilitated. It should be free and the money should be raised by taxing cars coming into the city and making parking facilities available at the external access points. The circulation of vehicles with alternating registration plates should be brought in. Anyone who uses a car should pay the fare for those who use the tram, whereas in Milan anyone who pays the increase in tram fares is giving an incentive to the cement of Expo!

PS. Can someone tell me the whereabouts of Fassino? After being appointed mayor he called for the iron fist against the TAV and then he disappeared. Veni, Vici, Tav!

Calendario dei Santi Laici 2012

Calendar of Lay Saints 2012
A hero every day.
Buy your copy today.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:50 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 17, 2011

Nothingness advances

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Nothingness advances and consumes reality. Sheds, supermarkets, exhibition spaces, car showrooms, second and third houses, commercial centres, tarmacked roads, phantom buildings with closed windows and “for sale” signs. The territory is ratified, trivialized and unified into a single nightmare of cement. We are the last Indios. The Amazonian forest is Italy. “When the last tree has been felled, the last river poisoned, the last fish fished, we will realise that you cannot eat money. Our land is worth more than money.” proverb of the North American Indians.
Each year we destroy 500 square km of land (*). A frightening rate. Lombardy is leading the group with 116 thousand square metres a day, 4,800 an hour, 80 a minute. An acceleration that knows no limits while waiting for the devastation of Expo 2015 that ironically is dedicated to “Nourishing the planet”. From 1995 to 2009 four million new homes were constructed in Italy. In Liguria three million square metres of land have been turned over to residential buildings. After a few years anyone who comes back to any place in Italy from Cape Passero to the Brenner Pass, doesn’t recognise it any more. Ancient landscapes have been turned upside down and agriculture has disappeared. In just three regions: Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lombardy the area dedicated to agriculture has gone down by 9,400 hectares a year while we are buying Chilean pears and Chinese tomatoes. We are losing two medium sized agricultural companies a day and we are reducing to zero the agriculture sector that is still exporting 26 billion euro’s worth of produce a year, equivalent to 13% of GDP. Homes are constructed unnecessarily, financed by the banks, facilitated by the town authorities and they stay empty. In Rome cement has advanced by 12% in 15 years, 4,800 hectares have been absorbed by building speculation, and yet it is the city with the highest number of unrented apartments in Italy.
Tourism has become a business for the construction companies. A record case is the province of Olbia –Tempio that has been cementified at a rhythm of 25 square metres per inhabitant a year, six times the already catastrophic rate of Lombardy. The Veneto plain, once Europe’s source of grain, is 22% covered with cement and the lower part of the “virtuous” Alto Adige is 28%. The most cementified province in Italy where the glimpse of a meadow is equivalent to blasphemy is that of Monza – Brianza with 50% of the land urbanised. This destruction has to finish. Anyone who is constructing is (literally) poisoning you too. Land is the true "safe investment", not bricks and mortar.

(*) Data on the destruction of the land in Italy comes from the Annual Report of the “Centro di Ricerca sui Consumi del Suolo di INU”, Legambiente and the “Politecnico di Milano”.

Soldi rubati - di Nunzia Penelope

Soldi rubati - by Nunzia Penelope
I cittadini sono poveri perché i delinquenti sono ricchi {The citizens are poor because the delinquents are rich}
Buy your copy today.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:32 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 10, 2011

The camel through the eye of the CO2 needle

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If a camel produces 45 Kilos of methane a year, the equivalent of a ton of carbon dioxide, how many camels are needed to get the emissions of a car that covers 20,000 Kilometres a year? The exact response is 4! In fact on average a car produces 4 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

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If a country eliminates 4 camels it can allow itself a new car or it gains 4 credits valued at a tonne (the so called "carbon credits") to use for pollution or to sell on the world market for emissions. Killing camels is useful to respect the Kyoto protocols. They are a natural “Ecopass” {urban toll} with humps on. The Australian company Northwest Carbon has launched a camel extermination project to get the “carbon credits” for the local industries that will be able to pollute more. The project is being examined by the Australian parliament and plans to kill the camels from helicopters or by machines equipped for the desert. Their flesh will be used as dog food. The director of Northwest Carbon values the death of a camel in economic terms "a benefit for emissions reduction”. The camel is not aware of polluting and producing excrement without bothering about the future of the planet, but he’s not the only one that produces enormous quantities of gas. The cow is right behind him with 35 kilos of methane a year, equal to 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The elimination of most of the cows in the world would give a formidable boost to world production and to the development of GDP. However, the problem would keep coming back over time. Industrial production knows no limits. The most overpopulated countries will then be the most fortunate ones. They will be able to allow themselves a two or three figure growth rate. “Breathing produces approximately 2.3 pounds (1 kg) of carbon dioxide per day per person.” source: Wikipedia.
Anyone who has tens or hundreds of millions of people to wipe out from helicopters or by targeted bombing will be able to have an excessive increase in their GDP.

Sources: Jeremy Woods, Imperial College London; The Financial Times

Spegniamo il nucleare

Spegniamo il Nucleare {Let’s shut down nuclear} (Book)

Survival Manual in the face of nuclear lies
by Beppe Grillo
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:59 AM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

February 24, 2011

Taranto’s poisons

Taranto’s poisons
(11:20)
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Taranto is a city at risk of extinction. A place blessed by God and more than cursed by men. You are breathing industrial quantities of dioxin and benzopyrene and by now tumours are normal. The usual blackmail “work or health”, as though the two things were irreconcilable and you cannot work without polluting the environment and killing people. In Taranto as well as the company called Ilva, there are two incinerators, one, as ever, belonging to Ms Marcegaglia. Just so that we don’t miss out on anything, yesterday, saw the sequestration of 27 tons of radioactive ferrous scrap with a high rate of Cobalt-60 on its way to Ilva for steel production.

Interview with Federico Catucci, organizer of the Taranto group of “Amici di Beppe Grillo” {Friends of Beppe Grillo}
I want to talk to you about my marvellous city, that was once the capital of “Magna Grecia” that has closed the annual accounts with a black hole of about 637 million euro in 2008.
If you look at Taranto using Google Maps you’ll notice a black crater, disappeared, there’s coal dust, iron dust that has kept us submerged for 5 decades, from the time they decided that in this beautiful place with two seas, this incredible location had to be the site of the biggest steel works in Europe. As well as that, there’s ENI that is a petrochemical works, Cementir … a whole series of heavy industry companies that are located at less than 100 metres. You can imagine to what extent all this is beneficial to our health.

Taranto is a black crater
Taranto, given that it finds itself in this situation for health and the environment, in 1986, it was declared to be at very high environmental risk. In 1998, a plan for the cleanup of the territory was approved by the Province and the reclamation of the territory itself is still there on paper, in spite of the commitment, in spite of our action in the way of protest and proposals, followed by a series of promises by the industrial sector, politicians and trades unions. One by one they have been nullified and it seems that many are willing to take on the spirit of waiting. However we have no time.
The latest figures for the number of deaths from the formation of a neoplasm, in the city and province of Taranto indicate there are 1,200 a year. However we are talking about figures for 2003. Since then we have no register of tumours, quite probably because people would realise what sort of problem we are living with. There are no epidemiologic maps that would clearly give us the causal link between the presence of industry attached to the city and the consequent fatal illness. It would also be good to check the connection between the presence of pollutants and cardiovascular diseases. This is the state of the art, mainly determined by a steelworks, owned by Ilva, that’s the biggest in Europe. There are European registers that record the pollution values for various activities, it’s called Inef. For that industry it has declared that it emits 92% of all the dioxin produced industrially in Italy. And at the European level it represents 8.8%.

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Lo stivale della vergogna

The boot of shame (Box containing 7 DVDs)
Italy 2008- 2010 as told by Marco Travaglio
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:17 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

January 07, 2011

In Emilia Romagna it’s raining turtle doves

The mass death of turtle doves in Faenza
(1:39)
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Whereas in Arkansas it’s raining blackbirds, in Emilia Romagna it’s raining turtle doves. Let’s go back a week in time. During the New Year festivities, thousands of red-winged blackbirds die in the small town of Beebe. They fell from the sky into the gardens, the roads, and onto the roofs as though they had been struck by lightning. The causes of the mass deaths are still not known. The hypotheses up until now are high altitude hail, poisoning in the air and even the shock resulting from New Year fireworks. The only verified fact is that the blackbirds lost their lives as a result of blood clots caused by internal injuries. The strange fact is that no other type of bird has been hit and that the inhabitants of the place have not suffered any malaise. The strange episode at Beebe is however not the end of the matter. Three days later, hundreds of blackbirds were found at Baton Rouge and Organza in Louisiana. Four days later a hundred jackdaws died in Falkoeping in Sweden, with the same injuries found in the blackbirds. Five days later hundreds of blackbirds died in Murray in Kentucky. On 6 January it’s the turtle doves, eight thousand in their death throes on the state road of Faenza and its surroundings.
In science fiction films the danger of a catastrophe is announced by gigantic flocks of birds that rise up into the sky and fly far away. If instead of flying away they fall right on top of our heads, what does it mean?
“The bodies of hundreds and hundreds of "Collared Doves" have been found in Faenza’s industrial zone, in the area of the property of Tampieri SpA. Since Sunday, the WWF wildlife rangers have been collecting dozens of dead birds every day, and it’s not even as though they were the Arkansas blackbirds, sent out from the channel carrying the waste water. For the last few days, people of the neighbourhood have been complaining of a particularly sharp smell, like burnt meat. Many of them have been gathering up dozens of dead birds and disposing of them in the rubbish bins. It’s a danger to public hygiene, but on the other hand, no one is dealing with them… A lad from the Ravenna 5 Star MoVement has gathered up three dead turtle doves. We are getting organised to take them to a laboratory and we as a council group, will pay to have analyses carried out on them. The Tampieri company is famous for producing that incredible odour that you can smell when you a going along the A14 motorway as you pass Faenza. Its owner is the president of the Ravenna Confindustria. No administrator in these twenty years has ever intervened in a concrete way to put a stop to these terrible miasmas. We believe that action should be taken by the cabinet members for Health (Lusenti) and for the Environment (Freda). And for this reason today we will present a formal question in the Region.” Giovanni Favia, regional councillor in Emilia Romagna with the 5 Star MoVement

Berluscoma 2010

Berluscoma 2010 (DVD)
The sunset of the Second Republic as told by Marco Travaglio
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December 12, 2010

Cancún: the climate that is cracking up

Cancún: the climate that is cracking up
(11:00)
cop-cancun.jpg
At the conference in Cancún they decided not to decide. Perhaps they couldn’t do otherwise in the face of national egoisms. A world agreement on climate is today impossible. They preferred a “Do It Yourself” approach whereby each nation has to decide whether and how to put in place actions to save the Earth. And like that, while the States are busy thinking up incentives for production and are creating debt at an unsustainable level, the planet’s temperature is going up. In the latest issue of the "Royal Scientist's journal" they forecast a probable increase of 4 degrees by the year 2060 if there is no global policy and the certainty that it is almost impossible to stop the raising of the temperature by 2 degrees according to the study published by the "UN Environment Programme".


...

The blog managed to make contact with Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, one of the people responsible for the Climate Conference in Cancún.

Telephone interview with Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff in Cancún. Thomas is the Senior Director of the Department for policy programs planning in GMFUS.

From Copenhagen to Cancún
“My name is Thomas Kleine Brockhoff. I am with the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC, overseeing the transatlantic and globalization programs including climate change at the German Marshall Fund. The first issue is the question of how the so called Copenhagen Accord, that a group of countries agreed upon last year and that the U.N. conference only acknowledged, now becomes part of the official goals and the official documents of the U.N. convention. That is important because the midterm and long term mitigation goals will be enshrined in that, and with that the world would try to get to a pathway that would allow it to no more warming than two degrees centigrade. So, there is the first question about the Copenhagen Accord going forward. The second question is about the degree of intensity of verification and supervision of climate mitigation that the United Nations would be able to conduct in different countries. Here China is very skeptical. There are a couple of other bigger ones, but those two are probably at the forefront of the discussion. The first one is the question of how the so called Copenhagen Accord, that a group of countries agreed upon last year and that the U.N. conference only acknowledged, now becomes part of the official goals and the official documents of the U.N. convention. That is important because the midterm and long term mitigation goals will be enshrined in that, and with that the world would try to get to a pathway that would allow it to no more warming than two degrees centigrade. So, there is the first question about the Copenhagen Accord going forward. The second question is about the degree of intensity of verification and supervision of climate mitigation that the United Nations would be able to conduct in different countries. Here China is very skeptical. There are a couple of other bigger ones, but those two are probably at the forefront of the discussion.

The melting of the polar ice caps
What is necessary is a global transition to a clean energy industry and a clean energy way of life. The question now is how best to achieve that. For 20 years since Kyoto, the negotiations and the run up to Kyoto, folks were concentrated on the top down approach of a legally binding framework. Now that we can't have that, we have to realize that the voluntary commitments that countries are making from their self interest will not be sufficient to contain the warming of the earth and the scientifically defined acceptable level of 1.5 or maybe 2.0 degrees centigrade warming that the world probably could swallow without too great a damage. But even that is doubtful. So now, the question becomes how do you feel the gap between what people and countries are willing and able to do voluntarily to what is scientifically necessary. And that is the question that will be discussed over the next few years. How can international financial institutions channel funds to projects that help mitigate... The regional development banks of the UN system are doing that. The World Bank is doing that. The Inter American Development, to name just one example, is planning to change its whole lending capacity to emphasis energy and climate to a dramatically higher extent. They're about at 4% or 5%. They want to increase that lending for climate and energy to 25%. So, at conferences like this, these are catalytic moments for the world community to drive new ideas and new instruments, but it is unlikely to have a globally binding accord, anytime soon anyway. That's not because we don't have an agreement. If we had an agreement, people would break it. Just remember that the Kyoto Accord only pertains to three dozen countries, only five of which actually did what they said in the agreement. So, we need to step back from the insight that an agreement will save the world. We have seen that agreements are unattainable, and even if they are attainable, they probably are too weak to do anything. But, your question is more towards actual consequences. The most obvious one, of course, is the melting of the polar ice caps that we're seeing in front of our eyes going on, especially in the Arctic. The ice cap in the Himalayan is the next one that is underway. It's not quite as visible yet, but if continuing, it has dramatic consequences for a major part of the population that is dependent on these water sources. I think even if there is no globally binding agreement, if we do come to accept the fact that it will not be the near term achievable solution for things, I do believe that these climate summits every year have a huge importance. They are the only global events or conferences in global governance where science, business, the NGO community, think tanks, plus the states' negotiators come together in an osmotic process in which... This is the World's Fair of climate and energy. Everybody globally who has anything to say and think and do on these issues is here. So, these conferences have an enormous relevance to global capacity building and to the global change of mindset that we're seeing. When you just look at what has been happening over the last three or four or five global conferences that I have witnessed is the mainstreaming of the climate issue to other countries that weren't on the landscape with enormous movements towards a clean energy economy. Here, you can see the United Arab Emirates, who were just oil countries a few years ago, changing their approach to energy. Kazakhstan, I learned yesterday, is thinking about emissions trading, as are some Chinese provinces. Here, this is a huge transmission machine, and a huge ideas and project generator for mainstreaming climate and energy transformation in the world, and it is done through one yearly conference. A second element will be that, if and when you have a voluntary system in the future, you will need measurements and standards and some version of a voluntary oversight. I can't think of anybody who would be able to do this type of standardization of our approaches better than the United Nations. Now, that is a far cry and a big difference from the global negotiating that is being done now that in the future, that then would be a more technical approach to the global warming question that the United Nations would find a role for itself in. I'm not a natural scientist. I can just repeat what people say and I read. But, there seems to be a widespread agreement that once you have melted your ice cap, it is very hard and long term to freeze them again. It's not like your refrigerator. You turn if off one day and you can turn it on the next day and you will have ice cubes again. That is not the case. So, it seems, from what I understand from scientists, is that triggers a process that can be either irreversible or only reversible with major climate shifts back.

Berluscoma 2010

Berluscoma 2010 (DVD)
The sunset of the Second Republic as told by Marco Travaglio
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:17 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 18, 2010

The neo-colonialism of starvation

madri_africa.jpg


925 million people in the world are suffering from hunger while the price of food is going up. Since July, that figure has increased by 18%. Malnutrition is the main cause of death, and it comes so far above illnesses like AIDS, malaria or TB. Most of the starving nations are in Africa. Having said this to start off with, the first thoughts of the richer States should be that of helping Africa and not exploiting it.
13 million Ethiopians don’t have enough food. However, the Ethiopian government has offered three million hectares of cultivatable land to nations where starvation is unknown. 1,000 hectares have already been rented out for 99 years to a billionaire from Saudi Arabia and cultivated with greenhouses, constructed with the best technology, that produce 50 tons of food a day and sent within 24 hours to restaurants all over the Middle East. A study carried out by the company called Grain has shown that 50 million hectares of fertile land (almost twice the surface area of Italy) has been bought by international economic groups or directly by governments of the top States in the world. Darfur is not only a massacre, it’s also a business. Jarch Capital, a New York investment company has rented 800,000 hectares in the South of Sudan. The estimate return on investment is estimated to be at least 25%. For years, India, China and Korea have been going shopping for African land in Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and Senegal. Africa is the planet’s great feeding trough at the expense of the starving. Like the others, the EU plays its part. With the directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources there is the objective of producing 10% of energy from biofuels by 2015. According to the organisation ActionAid, the European biofuel companies have already bought nearly 4 million hectares that in the future will become 17.5 million.
Disruptive events due to hunger are ever more frequent. The causes are the erosion of the soil in the more developed nations due to cementification and drying up due to intensive cultivation, and the change in climate with massive flooding, as in Pakistan, or fires of proportions never experienced before, like the one in Russia where they had to forbid the exportation of wheat. The food war is at the beginning and in comparison, the oil war will seem like a walk in the park. On the world chess board, things are happening, to get possession of cultivatable land, it’s the most powerful nations, like in a great big game of “Risk”. This is neo-colonialism of starvation that cannot go on for a long time. It’s not possible to think of Africa or South America where China is present with the acquisition of immense agricultural territories, not taking action to hold back their food resources in the event of a world crisis. It’s not possible to bomb cultivatable land. In the future true wealth will be a field of wheat, a kitchen garden or a greenhouse.
If possible near home.

Calendar of Lay Saints 2011

The Calendar of Lay Saints 2011
Hundreds of homicides and dozens of slaughters in the post-war period have still nobody identified as the perpetrator. How many people know who did it and yet remain silent?
And it’s this that nourishes the Power, the indifference of the Italians.

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:47 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 05, 2010

Rubbish: change is possible!

Children at 5 Star Woodstock
(03:48)
W5S_bambini.jpg
The most serious accusation that you can bring against the political scene, against the bureaucracy that springs from it, against the municipalised companies, and against the concession companies that are the direct fruit, is to be incapable of managing public goods, the reason why they are being paid. ‘Waste’ is an invention of the parties, an alibi for the construction of incinerators, an excuse to create rubbish tips, to make use of the army against the citizens. The parties are not adapted to run the country. They create emergencies to justify their own existence. At Cesena the citizens have demonstrated that it’s possible to recycle 91% of the so called ‘waste’. So-called in that ‘waste’ does not exist in nature, but there are secondary raw materials that can be sold. In two days, the participants at 5 Star Woodstock produced ‘waste’ equal to that of a city like Forlì. They recycled it almost entirely and they sold it with an income for the organisation of 2,000 euro. It’s possible to do it. The 5 Star MoVement can do it, any public administration can do it and if doesn’t manage it, it can go home.

“Thank you to the 50 men and women volunteers who transformed themselves into rubbish collectors to gather up bags, sacks, packets, putting their hands on every material and giving the participants advice. Thanks to the tens of thousands of people who in two days made their contribution, by separating the post-consumption materials (called ‘waste’) into the appropriate containers and by contributing in reducing them by drinking drinks ‘on tap’ or by bringing with them multi-use water bottles, pots and pans from home. 5 Star Woodstock Zero Waste is a reality. We beat every record for big events by demonstrating that “to wish is to be able”. In the Mondiali Antirazzisti di Casalecchio {World Antiracist event in Casalecchio} last July, 73% of the material was separated out (30 thousand participants in 5 days for 9,570 kg of waste produced of which 6960 was sent for recycling-composting). 5 Star Woodstock did better with 91%! An absolute record for any event held in Italy.
The numbers. 56.64 tons of ‘waste’ was produced. Considering that it was an outside event plus a camp site, a daily production of 400 grammes a head (average figure for door to door production without industrial stuff) there was a production equal to about 141,625 people concentrated on the days of 25/26 September.
Results. Composting: in total, according to the data from Hera that carried out the transport of what was emptied from the bins of organic material and non-separated rubbish, ‘waste’ weighing between 40-45 tons was sent to the composting plant. For rubbish disposal there was 5.1 tons. Whereas, the figures supplied by Centro Riciclo Vedelago , talk about 10.54 tons of recyclable and transformable material collected by separating out the material.
Of these:
2,920 Kilo of cardboard, sent to the paper handlers (market price: 86 €/ton)
60 kilo of plastic (market price: 240 €/ton)

894 Kilo of aluminium /steel (average price 422 €/ton)
2,137 Kilo of PET ( 445 €/ton)
4,320 Kilo of glass (42 €/ton)
100 Kilo of wood (110 €/ton)
110 Kilo of “dry recyclable” material (160 €/ton).
The value of the material sent to Centro Riciclo Vedelago was about 2,000 euro.
Environmental/Energy Advantages . Recycling 4,320 Kilo of glass, has made it possible to save 5,184 Kilo of raw material for the production of new glass.
- If you think that to produce 1 Kilo of recycled aluminium 0.7 kWh is used instead of 14 kwh if produced using raw materials, there’s a saving of 11,890 Kwh.
-To produce a ton of paper from raw materials, 15 trees are cut down and 440,000 litres of water are used, 7600 kwh. If instead the paper is recycled: 0 trees, 1800 litres of water, 2700 kwh. 5 Star Woodstock has saved 43 trees and caused the saving of 1,270,780 litres of water, 14,210 Kwh.
- The production of PET was limited to 3.77% of the ‘waste’ but usually represents 10% of rubbish, that gave a saving of 6,000 Kilo of PET, whose production needs 105,000 litres of water and causes the emission into the atmosphere equal to 240 Kilo of hydrocarbons, 150 Kilo of sulphur oxides, 108 Kilo di carbon monoxide and 13,800 Kilo of carbon dioxide (CO2)." from Matteo Incerti-Raffaella Pirini, the people responsible for the project “Woodstock 5 Stelle-Rifiuti Zero” { 5 Star Woodstock Zero Refuse} project and Federica Cuppini, the person in charge of coordinating the “Woodstock 5 Stelle-Rifiuti Zero” teams.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:47 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 26, 2010

I hate the hunt

sanfrancescogrillo.jpg


I hate the hunt,
whoever kills a roe deer, a capercaillie, a woodcock,
the one that shoots the sparrows or the great tits for fun,
to do some training,
I hate those who take birds and make them blind then use them to attract others, who lay traps, baits, snares
I hate those who use a rifle but say that they are protecting nature,
I hate the woods, the meadows transformed into shooting ranges,
I hate the smell of leather, of gunpowder, of red, yellow and orange cartridges,
often as big as their targets,
I hate the shocking (*)1 massacre of animals that happens every year in Italy,
those who shoot the migratory birds, the falcons, the swallows, herons ,
I hate the good hunter who is defending the natural habitat
and the irresponsible one who kills his friend or a parish priest while he’s sleeping,
I hate the restaurants with animals hung up like trophies,
squirrels, marmots, and owls watching you with glass eyes,
I hate those who shoot close to housing, lead shot in your garden,
I hate the fascist law (*)2 that allows entry into private land
the hunters moving around at less than 100 metres from the houses (*)3 with a loaded rifle when the law forbids it,
I hate anyone who takes away from me the pleasure of seeing a deer, a jay,
animals that my children will only see in the zoo or in the parks,
I hate not being able to go and look for mushrooms without the fear of being mistaken for a wild boar and to hear the deep and cadenced sound of the double-barrelled guns instead of the singing of birds,
I hate the disappearance from the sky of the arabesques performed by the birds in flight.

...

(*)1. The estimate is 150 million animals killed each year
(*)2. Art. 842 Caccia e pesca {hunting and fishing} – The land-owner cannot prevent the entry of anyone entering in order to hunt unless the land is closed in ways laid down by the law on hunting, or the land is being used for cultivation of crops that could be damaged.
(*)3. Hunting is forbidden for a distance of 100 metres from homes, factories, and buildings used as workplaces. It is forbidden to shoot towards such buildings from a distance of less than 150 metres.

Ps: support groups campaigning against hunting.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:29 AM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 11, 2010

Chronicles of Armageddon

Floods in Pakistan
(1:34)
Pakistan_inondazioni.jpg
In 2010, Planet Earth has made its voice known. It deserves the cover of TIME magazine as the personality of the year. It’s a voice that cries in the desert of the media that mention biblical catastrophes as facts to be chronicled, a tiny space between the happenings of our court of miracles, between a Bocchino and a Bondi. The voice of the earth, never so powerful and frequent, has become a background noise, a familiar rumbling of thunder, a background to human affairs, something that is inevitable like the great epidemics of plague of yesteryear, or a heap of worrying and unpleasant episodes that humanity will tackle thanks to the miracles of technology. The gods of fatality and progress have always been great allies of human stupidity. What’s striking is the detachment in relation to the destruction of our environment, of the house where we live. As though we were Martians on holiday on earth. On 12 January a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti caused more than 200,000 victims, three million people hurt by the quake. On 27 February an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 struck Chile and the whole of the South Pacific. On 14 April, a quake of magnitude 6.9 caused 3,000 victims in the region of Qinghai, in China. On 20 April in the Gulf of Mexico: the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform caused 11 deaths and a gigantic outflow of oil: it’s the worst environmental disaster ever recorded in history. On 16 July, the explosion of two oil storage pipelines in the port of Dalian in China, according to Greenpeace, one of the most serious ecological catastrophes, that poured into the sea between 60 and 90 thousand tons of crude oil. On 30 July and in the days that followed the worst episode of bad weather for 80 years causing 1,500 deaths and twelve million displaced people in Pakistan. In the month of August an unprecedented heat wave in more than a thousand years, is attacking Russia with colossal fires causing hundreds of victims and the block on the export of grain. Some nuclear power stations are surrounded by flames. In the month of August in the sea near Mumbai in India, a collision between an oil tanker and a cargo vessel with the leaking of oil, tens of tons of crude oil poured into the sea. The load was made up of 1,200 containers with chemical substances and more than two thousand tons of oil, diesel and lubricants. In the month of August a landslide struck India with hundreds of dead and millions homeless. In the month of August bad weather caused flooding in central Europe with dozens of dead. In the month of August a flood without precedent in the memory of humans with rivers of mud hitting the region of Ladakh in Tibet.
The UN is talking about “a disaster worse than the tsunami and the Haiti earthquake" in reference to this summer’s floods. The Earth has a fever; the temperature of the first six months is the highest ever recorded. There’s a return to medieval processions like in Russia with the Orthodox Patriarch invoking rain, the Tibetan monks who are asking for the support of prayer and the Pope who is issuing an appeal for all the populations who have been hit. Meanwhile a big block of ice four times the size of the island of Manhattan has broken off from Greenland and is floating in the Atlantic Ocean.
To the end of 2010, there are only a bit more than four months. Let’s get ready. So far, what’s missing are a 2006-style tsunami, a 2005 Katrina hurricane and the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. With a bit or patience even those will come. What’s important is to demonstrate healthy indifference.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:13 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 04, 2010

A long hot summer

Russia in flames
(1:20)
Russia_in_fiamme.jpg
What have these things got in common: the worst flooding in the last 80 years in Pakistan with 1,400 dead and 27,000 people cut off or dispersed and a million and a half homeless; and Russia going up in flames during the worst drought ever with a hundred thousand hectares burned, dozens of dead and whole villages evacuated? The response is in the document: "State of the climate in 2009" published in the last few days by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The document that should be forbidden to those with a weak heart, describes the state of the climate and its effects on planet earth. The authors of the publication made up of 218 pages of data, images and statistics (better than Stephen King’s latest book to take with you on holiday) are 300 specialists in 160 groups on every continent. I don’t want to reveal to you (even because you already know) the ending of the tome that I have on my desk, but just a few items to help make you shiver for free during the torrid heat. The year 2009 was hotter than 2008 by 0.1°C and the ten year period from 2000 to 2009 is the hottest decade ever recorded. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) has gone up by 1.5 ppm (parts per million) in relation to 2008 with an atmospheric average of 386.29 ppm, since 1750 about 335 billion tons of CO2 have been released into the atmosphere, of which half has been since the 1970s with a continual increase year by year. The year 2009 was the 19th consecutive year which has seen the recording of the retreat of glaciers, many of which have disappeared. India has had the hottest year in history, Australia the second hottest year, New Zealand the hottest summer in 155 years. China has had the worst drought in the last 50 years. The temperature of the oceans is continuing to go up, transforming them into the primeval broth that we came out of.
The climate has an immediate effect on agricultural products. A few weeks of hot weather up to 40° has destroyed most of the wheat production in Russia and the price of wheat has gone up by 50% on world markets. For the Russians, the only thing left is the rain dance. The Orthodox Patriarch Kiril has prayed for rain: “I’m sending out an appeal that you join together in prayer for the rain to come down on our land”.
While I was reading the report, my eye was attracted to the news that there’s a fall in the registration of cars in Italy in July: 152,752 auto, down by 25.97 % in relation to last year and of the great uproar that followed for the resulting unemployment. Italy already has a record 59 cars for every 100 inhabitants. Perhaps the time has come to reconvert automobile production rather than getting to the point of one car per inhabitant. Towards the catastrophe with optimism!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:36 AM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 27, 2010

Mediapolis: hypothesis of environmental destruction

Interview with Marco Preve author of "La Colata"
(11:48)
copertina-mediapolis.jpg
The destruction of the territory is taking place even thanks to three sets of actors: the banks, the parties and the construction speculators. The parties give the concessions and create the infrastructure, the speculators rake in the money. In the case of Mediapolis, a commercial monstrosity that will destroy the morainal area at the foot of the Serra of Canavese, the banks are IntesaSanPaolo and Unicredit, the parties are both PDL and PDminusL and it doesn’t matter when they are alternating in the leadership of the Region of Piedmont and the entrepreneurs are almost unknown. A part of the ownership of the company Mediapolis is connected to a company in Luxembourg whose shareholders are not known, as is explained by the journalist Marco Preve, the author of the book called “La Colata” {outpouring). The area destined to be Mediapolis is owned by Olivetti, thus by Telecom Italia, that has not opposed it. Bernabè is from Trentino and he’s not interested.
The trick to “get the project to move forward” is always the same: “work, work, work”. The area of Canavese, that with Olivetti was in competition with the most famous names in the world in the field of computing, has been reduced to hoping for a shopping centre and in doing away with the most spectacular European amphitheatre related to a moraine.
If the Region of Piedmont has money to throw away on this crazy idea, let it rather use it to promote the small and medium sized enterprises in the field of technology. Let it think of the future of the young people and let it preserve Canavese. Meanwhile, up until the moment that they withdraw the financing from Mediapolis, I’m inviting the readers of the blog to close down their current accounts with Unicredit and IntesaSanPaolo. They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Interview with Marco Preve author of "La Colata"

What is Mediapolis?
- What is Mediapolis? First of all it’s 600,000 m² of green space, there behind me, in a zone that is absolutely still uncontaminated from an environmental viewpoint, above all it’s at the foot of the moraine called La Serra that is one of the places most well known in Italy for its natural beauty. What is Mediapolis? It was so many things, just recently it was to be a great theme park on communications, but then if you go and have a look at the project, if you go and read it, you realise that basically as well as a series of vague ideas about centres, laboratories that would have something to do with communications, then it’s not clear whether it is mass media or communications like the TV, or simply entertainment. Above all Mediapolis is a really a big shopping centre. The millions of visitors that the project owners and the people coming up with the ideas hope will come, will above all go to enrich a whole chain of shops. To cope with this avalanche, with this throng of possible and hoped-for visitors, the project has plans for a series of enormous infrastructure projects, motorway access roads, roads, flyovers, projects to hold back the water and even a heliport. To whom does Mediapolis belong? We have discovered that it is difficult to discover the real owners. In this case there’s the promoting company and it’s called Mediapolis Spa, and within that there are about 30 entities, some are individuals, private people who are owners of the areas of land who have sold, others are gentlemen, people of Ivrea who have decided to participate in the operation. And then unmissably we find three foreign companies, one of which is also called Mediapolis, but it is based in Luxembourg, another one, Brainspark, is based in London, and another is based in the Netherlands. As many of you will know, these are geographic locations that allow for tax benefits. And not just that but they make it possible for those who want to hide money maybe from those in Italy who want to know more. People who want to know who the real owners are. This is done by means of funds, shares, bonds, quotas and in fact right now it’s impossible to say who is behind these companies.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:18 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 24, 2010

Mediterranean of oil

Drilling operations at Sciacca
(6:46)
mediterraneopetrolio.jpg
William Allen Kruse shot himself in the head. He was the captain of a fishing boat in Louisiana. He had lost work because of the black liquid that has been coming out without interruption from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Claudio Scajola, however, is OK even though he’s not seen around as much as once upon a time. He no longer gives his usual "ad minchiam" interviews. He lives his life as unaware as ever. Stefania Prestigiacomo, who is still Minister for the Environment, goes shopping when she has the possibility, for fashion and leather goods in the Capital’s streets.
The duo Scajola/Prestigiacomo has allocated concessions for 95 new drilling permits in Italy. 71 on land and 24 in the Mediterranean. The relevant drilling zones in our seas cover an area equal to that of the Region of Abruzzo, about 11,000 square metres. The oil companies can make holes anywhere, from the Tremiti archipelago to the coasts of Sicily, from the coasts of the Marches and off Apulia to the Egadi islands to the island of Pantelleria, from the Ionian Sea to the waters around the Isle of Elba to those of Oristano in Sardinia. The race for Italian oil and the destruction of the environment and of tourism, is an irresistible call for the oil companies of half the world, obviously including the Italian ones. It’s almost a stampede, the race for the black gold. The president of Assomineraria, Claudio Scalzi explains that there is “a certain disorder at the beginning” compensated however, by the movement that brings investment, royalties and vivacity”. As far as I know in Italy, there is no responsibility on the oil companies if there is an accident. The blue flags of our coasts will become as black as oil and they are in fact, already well on the way to that. Italy has the greatest number of non-bathing sites in Europe.
In thirty years, the people of Italy have changed, from Chernobyl to the disaster of the BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. After the nuclear accident, no politician dreamed of proposing new nuclear reactors in Italy. Nuclear was deleted with a referendum. Today, in the face of the biggest environmental disaster in history that could lead to unimaginable outcomes like a dreadful underwater gas explosion, now compressed by oil, with the disappearance of whole States in America, Sogliola and Presty are drilling the Mediterranean and the Italians, like the stars, look on.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:45 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 20, 2010

The Era of solitude

Endangered species
(5:00)
Bonobo.jpg
A meteorite smashed into the earth and it was more devastating than the one that fell on the Yucatan peninsula and marked the end of the dinosaurs. A meteorite made up of 6.5 billion fragments of the human species that gave rise to the sixth Great Extinction on the planet, after the fifth that saw the end of the Mesozoic Era. A voracious species that loved solitude that lives in artificial ecosystems. The other species are superfluous, often annoying. Their destiny leaves them indifferent. The climate changes brought on by man will by the year 2050, cause the disappearance of a quarter of all the species of fauna and flora. A “mass specicide” that is happening now, day by day. Since 1973, Malesia has lost 266 species of fresh water fish. The island of Guam has lost its land birds. Lake Victoria has lost 50 species of cichlids. The United States has lost 7 species of birds. Man is draining the freshwater reserves, that account for just 2.5% of all the water on the planet and that are host to 10,000 species of fish (out of a total of 25,000) and 5,473 species of amphibian. Fish have disappeared from 80% of China’s great water courses, that’s equal to 50,000 kilometres. 35% of frogs, toads, and salamanders are endangered. 34 have disappeared in recent years, and there’s no more trace of 113 of them.
In the history of the earth, the extinction of the odd species has always happened, However that has never happened with the timing of a biological catastrophe that man started 150,000 years ago. From the time that Homo sapiens came onto the scene, the rhythm of extinction has increased 100-fold and furthermore, more species are disappearing, the faster is the rhythm of extinction because of the disappearance of whole eco-systems in which a number of species live interdependently.
Have I terrorised you enough? Because I too am terrorised. And I have just delicately picked up a little ant in the living room, and put it down on the grass outside. I did the same with a tiny fly on the glass of a window that I opened and wished him well as he flew out. I don’t want to be the only species on the earth. Solitude has never been a thing I liked.

(*) figures taken from "The Creation" by Edward O. Wilson

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:25 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 15, 2010

La colata – interview with F. Sansa and M. Preve

Pouring it out, the cement party that is deleting Italy
(16:40)
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Italy is like the Amazon basin, it’s disappearing. Every week, hectares of greenery are transformed into hectares of cement. A meadow is no longer a meadow. It’s a business. Every day what are appearing are earth shifters, second and third houses, and buildings that are never lived in. Whole areas are built on for no need, for no tenants. Cement kills tourism. It chops out jobs. It doesn’t create jobs. Cement is laundering the dirty money of the national mafias who are investing in bricks and mortar. In Milan, skyscrapers are going up when a third of the city is for sale or is searching for tenants to pay the rent. Expo 2015 is just cement. You can’t eat cement, but the politicians are eating on the back of cement, as are the local authorities and organised crime. That Italy is disappearing under a flow of cement, like Pompeii buried by a flow of lava, makes you feel compassion and anger. The towns should forbid the construction of every building that is not necessary and if appropriate, they should check up to see if there is already an existing building that could be restructured. We need to start a new industry, that of deconstructing buildings and sheds that are not occupied. With public money, our mayors must no longer build a single room unless it is to be used for a social purpose. Those of you reading this who are working with cement and those who are recyclers, listen to me, constructing is no longer a business, invest in renewable energy and in tourism.

Interview with Ferruccio Sansa and Marco Preve:

F. Sansa
: "I am Ferruccio Sansa, a journalist with “Il Fatto Quotidiano”. Together with Marco Preve, of “La Repubblica”, and with other colleagues namely: Andrea Garibaldi of “Il Corriere della sera”, Antonio Massari of “ Il Fatto”, Giuseppe Salvagiulo of “La Stampa” - we have written a book called “La colata” {pouring out the cement}. It’s a book that talks about the enormous risk that Italy is subject to right now, the risk of being ruined forever by cement.

The urgent need to take sides
It’s a book that has taken us a year’s work. There have been 5 of us and the work has been really long and hard. We think that right now it’s the moment to write a book about cement in Italy, because the consequences of what is being decided, of what is being done will be paid for by all of us later on. Right now, at this very moment, we have to decide which side we want to support, whether we want to be “pro” or “contra” cement. Here, it’s not just a choice for environmentalists and chic radicals. On the contrary, that has nothing to do with it. This is an alibi used by those who want to construct. It’s a choice that has a profound influence on our quality of life, our life and on the lives of our offspring, on our present existence and on our future. Quality of life means “how we live” whether we live well or not. Italy has decided, unfortunately to concentrate its energy into cement and asphalt and the consequences of this choice will be really serious: because it’s a choice, as we demonstrate in this book, with all the relevant figures, that is absolutely uneconomic. It creates damage that cannot be undone. Damage to one of the main industries of our country, namely tourism. Construction creates jobs that last only a short time and that are for low skilled workers. So don’t be taken in. Construction has few advantages. Furthermore, it’s an animal that eats itself, because Italy has its main wealth in beauty. If we ruin the beauty, we lose jobs in tourism, we lose jobs in so many ambits of our economy that survive thanks to the beauty of Italy.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:19 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

May 20, 2010

Peak water consumption - Interview with Lester Brown

A plan to save humanity
(12:14)
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Lester Brown, one of the world’s foremost environmentalists and founder of the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute, raises some very interesting issues. He says that we must stop extracting crude-oil from the offshore fields unless they can be made absolutely safe, including the existing oilfields. The Gulf of Mexico could be just the beginning of a black tidal wave. The crude oil peak, in other words that point where crude oil reserves will begin to run out, will be accompanied by a water peak. These two phenomena will change the face of the economy, as well as civilisation as we know it. This is not something that is going to happen decades from now, it’s already happening now. In his book entitled "Plan B 4.0 - Mobilization to save civilization", Lester Brown, who also contributed to the creation of the documentary film entitled "Terra reloaded", produced in conjunction with Greenpeace, provided some guidelines for the future. A sort of survival plan, if you will, but also a plan to ensure a better tomorrow for future generations to come.

Interview with Lester Brown

The “Chernobyl” of the oil industry
Blog: "A few weeks ago, one of BP’s extraction platforms exploded and now oil is seeping out into the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, Countries all over Europe are busy failing. What on earth is happening to this world of ours?"
Lester Brown: "We don’t know what went wrong. What we do know, however, is that BP was drilling in an area where the water is more than a mile deep and the oil reserves are under another half mile of rock. Therefore, the oil in the reserve is under extreme pressure. This raises two questions. Did something simply go wrong, or was the pressure in this reserve simply too high for our current technology to control? If the latter is true, this raises a red flag with regard to deep-water offshore drilling operations, simply because we don’t know what conditions we will encounter. Perhaps, notwithstanding the fact that our deep-sea drilling technology has worked well in the past, it may be inadequate in terms of managing any new problems arising from extreme conditions. Someone has said this could very well be the oil industry’s equivalent of Chernobyl, at least as regards deep-sea drilling operations, because if this oil spillage were to continue for months, the environmental and financial damage that it would cause would be enormous. The interesting thing in terms of the national economy is that this event is going to push up the GDP of the Gulf of Mexico region because everyone is going to be so busy trying to sort out this problem. But then it will decrease once again, given that this latest event is bound to negatively affect the local economies, as well as the local beaches, marine fauna, fishing industry and local businesses.
We have probably reached the technological limits as regards being able to extract oil relatively easily from the remaining reserves. These oil spillages are busy changing public opinion. Given that we know that we will soon have to find some sort of alternative to crude oil, why are we taking such risks simply to extract what little crude oil still remains in the reserves? I think that this is going to change the way in which we see the future of crude oil and all the other fossil fuels.
It is interesting to note that the values that lead to our excessive utilisation of natural resources are the very same values that lead to our excessive utilisation of financial resources. That same kind of excessive utilisation that exceeds the capacity of our credit system. We have seen this in the United States, with the huge levels of debt of the American credit system. It has now gone down a bit, but Americans continue to be totally unconcerned about the future. This leads to economic problems and environmental problems, and the overlapping of the two sets of problems due to over-consumption of natural resources.
The biggest problem facing the world today is the economic growth of the past fifty years – it has virtually quadrupled – and the consequent increase in the consumption of natural resources, which has increased far beyond sustainable levels. Agriculture is decreasing, fish catches are crashing, underground water reserves are declining, land is being eroded and savannahs are turning to desert. We are slowly, perhaps not so slowly and surely destroying the natural support systems. No population can survive once their natural support systems have been destroyed.
I asked myself, how will this excessive consumption hurt us. My forecast is that it will translate into a food availability crisis, price increases and an increase in political instability, as well as an increasing number of Countries going bankrupt. The overall number of Countries that are in the process of failing – Countries whose Governments are unable to guarantee personal safety or security of food supplies – is busy increasing. This raises an awkward question: how many Countries have to fail before our entire civilisation as we know it fails? We don’t yet know the answer to that question. We have never before experienced anything like this.

The ignorance of the economists
The question is: what can we do about it and what is the price we will have to pay if we don’t?. Indeed, if we don’t do something about it then it’s all over! Our civilisation will not continue to survive if we carry on with “business as usual”. We have to make some major changes, like cutting CO2 emissions, stabilising population growth, eradicating poverty, which is closely linked to the stabilisation of demographic expansion, and re-establishing agriculture, fishing, water reserves, in other words, our natural support systems. The problem is that we’re dealing with a complex set of issues and government leaders are in many cases taking advice from the economists. There are many things that economists are particularly good at, but there are also a number of things that they don’t do very well at all. Economists don’t understand the concept of sustainable yield limits of natural systems. Economics simply cannot fathom this concept. There is nothing in economic theory that can explain why Canada’s cod-fishing industry collapsed, or why the glaciers of the high plateaus of Tibet and the Himalayas are busy melting. Economics cannot explain why the polar ice-cap is busy melting in Greenland and why sea levels are rising. The economists have somehow become detached from the real world. They are isolated from reality by a body of economic theory. They are trying to discover the best way of making minor adjustments in order to adapt the system to explain what is actually going on, however, economic theory fails in its attempt to explain the basic relationships that exist between the global economy and the natural support systems. I have realised that the economists that advise Obama, or for that matter the Secretary General of the UN, the World Bank or the President of the EU, have no idea whatsoever of what is happening to this world of ours and don’t understand the urgency of, for example, the need to restructure the world energy supply markets.
Economics is also unable to explain the phenomenon that we call climate change. For example, the melting of the ice cap in the far northern Atlantic could lead to flooding in the rice paddies located in the Asian river deltas, thereby drastically reducing the size of the rice harvest in those regions. Unless they study these phenomena, they won’t immediately realise that the melting of Greenland’s glaciers poses a very real threat to rice cultivation in Asia, which is where half of the world’s population lives. This is the kind of complexity that we have to be able to deal with. The economists simply don’t have the right tools to develop appropriate policies.
Half of the world’s population lives in Countries where the underground water levels are dropping. These include three of the world’s major grain producing Countries, namely China, India and the United States. But the same thing is also happening in a number of smaller Countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, Mexico and others. By pumping water out of the underground water reserves at a faster rate than nature is able to replenish these reserves, we are merely feeding a food-production bubble. In essence, we are artificially increasing food production at the expense of our water supply.

The water peak
Once we have exhausted our water supplies, we will be obliged to reduce our pumping rate to match the rate of natural replenishment. These are not merely theories or discussion topics. This is reality. We have created some huge food-production bubbles that will burst sooner or later and I don’t think that the world is ready for this. It seems to me that there are certain irrigation zones in the United States Areas where water utilisation peak has already been reached and water supplies are now busy dropping. The same must certainly also be true in India. The same could very well be true in China, although we cannot be sure of this, as well as in a number of other smaller Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Mexico. What this means, in essence, is that we have probably reached peak water extraction levels and peak oil extraction levels at the same time. Many people talk about the peak oil extraction level, but very few people ever mention the peak water extraction level. However, I think that we have reached that point right here and now and I believe that I have some very convincing arguments in this regard. Once we have truly reached peak water extraction levels, the world as we know it will be very different to the one that existed prior to reaching peak extraction levels. During the course of our lifetime, our use of water for irrigation purposes will undoubtedly decrease. We face living in a very different world, one that we could never even have imagined. The same is obviously true in the case of crude oil. During the course of our lifetime, crude-oil extract has continued to increase, but now it’s declining. It’s going to be a very different world indeed.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:54 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 04, 2010

The destruction of woods: the Attila/Bresso law

Mercedes Bresso and the environment
(1:43)
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The Region of Piedmont has decided to produce 20% of its energy it needs from renewable sources. How does it want to do this? By the destruction of woodland. To produce energy, 2.2 million cubic metres of wood each year will be used, according to the mad regulations of the new regional law on forestry (L.R. 4/2009). A law in complete conflict with the arrangements for sustainability of the Resolutions approved by the Ministerial Conferences on the protection of the forests in Europe. The Attila/Bresso law got bipartisan approval (and how else could it have been approved?) from both the PDL and the PDminusL. In a few years, part of the woodland of Piedmont will disappear, both in private and public ownership. In fact, according to a WWF communication: “By means of the mechanism of the provisional associative management in Piedmont (L.R. 4/2009, art. 18), the cutting down of woods can now happen without giving direct communication to the owner. If the owner wants to preserve the wood, it’s up to him to chase the administrations that decide to cut it down and thus oppose that; if he does nothing he finds the wood cut down! The timber will be paid at the real market costs, but whoever then uses it as biomass will get a super-valuation “drugged” thanks to public money, as discussed above.”
The woods are a precious resource and they are ever rarer. The per capita amount in 1861, the year when Italy was born, has halved. The woods should be passed on to future generations. To destroy the woods to produce electrical energy is not economic, as well as being criminal. In fact, wood has a low “energy content”, equal to about a quarter of that for oil.
Why has the Region of Piedmont approved a law AGAINST private property, AGAINST the environment and AGAINST the economy? According to WWF: “The response is in a system of excessive incentives, that have no equal in other European Nations and that is not accompanied by an adequate corollary of limitations. What’s missing is the evaluation of the environmental costs of the activity, that should be on the contrary, binding in the decision-making processes. What they are getting ready to do is a massive economic speculation, with devastating environmental effects. The French, the Swiss and the Austrians, our neighbours along the Alps, even though they are using the woods all the time, are not dreaming of producing electrical current from forest bio-mass, but they are limiting themselves to intelligently exploiting the by-products of working the timber for heating. If we were to overpay, at the current price of timber for construction purposes, the timber that it is planned to burn in Piedmont in a year, we would get to the figure of 58 million euro. In the current “drugged”, market, to use that same amount of timber and produce energy, the Public Administration will spend a sum that is much higher, that no one has calculated (or made public) , but of which we can have a perception if we consider that the declarations made by the Region: in the last 5 years 300 million euro have been allocated to promote the use of renewable energy sources and by 2013, they are forecasting investments in the sector that will reach a billion euro. The figure refers to renewable sources in general, but considering that the Region wants to get 60% of the energy from forest biomass, it’s automatic that most of the investments will finish up in that sector. Just to cite an example, of a related item of expense, it is considered that for the forestry affairs in Piedmont, it is forecast that there will be 2,000 kilometres of NEW FOREST ROADS and the same number of kilometres need maintenance work. That is money coming from the citizens who are shelling out for a kWh of biomass about three times its real value and that is paying for public investment that is supporting the so-called timber supply chain by means of various channels and relevant organisms: FESR, FAS, Social Fund, Rural Development Plan (that finances the power lines for agriculture) forestry consortia, IPLA, UNCEM, mountain and forestry public authorities, etc..".
We are destroying ourselves in silence. We are a race that is undergoing extinction. Let anyone who still has a heart and a voice, write an email to the President of the Region of Piedmont, Mercedes Bresso: presidente@regione.piemonte.it.
PS. Download and distribute the WWF document: "Il grande inganno energetico da biomasse forestali della Regione Piemonte" {The great deception of the Region of Piedmont and its forestry biomass energy}

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:27 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

January 27, 2010

Milan is dying of smog and the politicians absolve themselves

Milan is dying of smog – Interview with Enrico Fedrighini
(07:00)
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Milan is a gas chamber and people are dying. Everyone is noticing this, not just those who are sick. Even the politicians like the PDL town councillor, Barbara Ciabò, whose son has been afflicted with leukaemia. Everyone except Mortizia Moratti who on the FOURTEENTH consecutive day of out-of-control-smog has given a sweet response to pass on to the parents of the Milan children who are suffering from leukaemia: “The air in Milan is not worse than it was last year.” A response worthy of Marie Antoinette when she suggested giving cake to the starving because there was no bread. In December Ms Moratti received a notification of proceedings. She is under investigation for the pollution of Milan. A research study, that was requested by the city, that revealed the intolerable and criminal levels of pollution is still "kept hidden” by the city. What is needed is a “class action” against the city of Milan (to be repeated in all the cities that are polluted). Enrico Fedrighini, town councillor for the Green Party, has been occupying the Milan Council Chamber for some days. The blog interviewed him.

Interview with Enrico Fedrighini

“My name is Enrico Fedrighini and I am a Milan town councillor and I am the leader of the Green Party in Palazzo Marino. Since yesterday [25/1/2010, editor] I have been occupying the Council Chamber of the city of Milan to push the administration into taking the initiative with concrete, urgent and immediate steps for the smog, which has its origin, above all in the traffic of private vehicles.
In 2006, the city of Milan started to tackle the problem, recognising the existence of the problem, unlike the two previous Albertini-led administrations that denied there was a problem. The current mayor did an election campaign promising to tackle the problem of smog and started off with a measure that we valued for its courage, in a city that has never wanted to do anything against the “Party of the automobile” and also for the innovative level of this measure, one of the few that exist in the world. It’s an urban toll called "road pricing" within the centre of the city, a bit like they have done in London within the “inner ring-road”, having a toll payment for private vehicles and commercial vehicles that varies according to the pollution capacity of the vehicle, based on data provided by the European Union. The measure that came into force on 2 January 2008 has interrupted a dynamic that continued for the previous 20 years in which private traffic continued to grow, while the use of public transport went down. These two factors suddenly switched, not in a revolutionary way, but for the first time the users of public transport has grown by 22,000 passengers a day and the number of cars in circulation has gone down, not just within the tariff zone, but inside the whole city.
Halfway across the ford, the politicians, the special interests of the lobbies, above all of the commercial sector, and the fear of not getting votes in the “Party of the car drivers” started to get them to move into reverse gear. A more serious element, because the citizen is also willing to make sacrifices and accept unpopular political choices, but only if they aren’t done Italian-style, if they are done seriously and where the existence of a strategy is well in evidence, and there’s the objective of protecting health.
Clearly the “pass” on its own has little weight: in Milan we can even double the number of surface-based public transport vehicles, and that is the fastest and most immediate solution, but if we continue to travel in a queue behind the cars, we are just increasing the congestion. A proportion of the space in the urban area has to be reserved for the movement of surface-based public transport: that means space for cycle tracks, and that means moving around on bicycles that in Milan is one of the most important alternatives. The length of the average daily journey in Milan is 3.5 Km. That goes down to 1.5 Km inside the inner ring-road. Basically it is a flat city, to take away space from private vehicles to give it to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport vehicles. All this was part of a strategy that was started and then suddenly interrupted: the cabinet member Croci was sent away, sacrificed to the interests of the lobbies of the commercial sector, for whom the car has to go everywhere and must have space available everywhere. Every year there is voting and thus the election becomes the element around which choices are constructed. Today the “Ecopass” is paid by only 15% of the vehicles that enter the city: it’s practically like not having it.
The results of research studies commissioned by the Administration show that , if the “Ecopass” were to be extended to all the classes of vehicles that have access inside the inner ring-road, we would have a reduction of more than 35% of the traffic in the centre and more than 15% in the rest of the city. Today, one of the results obtained by the lobby of the commercial sector is for a certain type of vehicle to not pay. It’s the diesel Euro 4 without filter and though there are only a few thousand of these vehicles they are responsible for almost 30% of the polluting emissions. And an anti-particulate diesel Euro 4 without filter, pollutes much more than a Euro0 running on petrol, going on the basis of a research study whose results have been anonymously passed to us by the Administration.

...

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:45 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

January 22, 2010

Keep the GMOs out of Italy

GMOs out of Italy
(2:24)
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Undeterred, the Government continues to “carry on regardless” with its daily idiocies. Today it is the turn of agriculture. If it is true that wherever Attila the Hun set foot the grass no longer grew, then wherever the Berlusconi government sets foot the indigenous potatoes, peas and tomatoes will no longer be grown. On Thursday 28 January, the go-ahead will be given for traditional crops and GMOs to live side by side. We are about to be colonised by the multinationals, mainly the American ones, which hold the patents on the seeds. Coexistence between normal crops and GMOs is impossible. The GMO seed contaminates all other crops via the air, the soil and the water courses. Following pressure from the multinationals, some time ago the EU approved a European Directive that permits patents on living material (98/44) and so began the spread of GMOs and the total disinformation of European citizens. This is one topic on which a referendum should be held. The EU then contradicted itself by admitted that any coexistence with the GMOs is impossible and proceeded to leave the decision on how to introduce GMOs up to the individual member States. Italy in turn left the decision up to the individual Regions, which were unable to find any solution (because there isn’t one) and thereby effectively blocking the spread of GMOs. Now, all of a sudden, without any public consultation, without distributing any information, like a bolt from the blue, it appears that some or other mysterious agreement has been reached between the Regions (via which representatives precisely) and the Government regarding the spread of GMOs. A decision taken without any regard for the affected parties (consumers, farmers, distributors, etc.), thereby violating the AARHUS International Convention to which Italy is a signatory. Who is it that really wants to see the introduction of GMOs and the destruction of Italian agriculture? GMOs must be classified as illegal, and here are a number of reasons why: - they promised increased yields and a reduction in the levels of chemical pollution, promises that have since been overturned (see the C. Benbrook report dated November 09: 10% reduction in harvest yields and 4 times as much pollution by pesticides) - the constitute a health and an environmental hazard - they have privatised the Earth’s living matter, a “communal asset” that is as precious as water - they do not contribute to improving the distribution of food around the world but instead are one of the causes of the worldwide spread of hunger. The world’s population depend on multinationals that are profit driven and cash in on patent royalties (for each and every crop cycle) and whose aim is to control the global food market. The Government is attempting to very quietly pass a law that will ruin Italy, notwithstanding the fact that the following individuals and organisations are against GMOs: - the Minister of Agriculture, Minister Zaia - 41 Provinces, 2,446 Municipalities and 16 Regions - the Coldiretti Association (9,812 sections across 18 Regions with 568,000 farmers as members) - the Coop, the Country’s larges foodstuff distribution chain - foodstuff manufacturing companies such as Barilla, Amadori, Bovinmarche and Fileni - Gianni Alemanno, former Minister of Agriculture and current Mayor of Rome And even the Pope himself who, in the 2009 document entitled “Instrumentum laboris” drafted for the Synod of African Bishops wrote that: "The campaign for the planting of GMOs claims to be ensuring foodstuff security … This technique threatens to ruin small-scale farmers and to kill off their traditional crops, thus making them dependent on the companies producing GMOs ". Write to Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia to stop the GMOs: write to.

Data drawn from Equivita

>>> Marco Travaglio will be presenting: "DemoCRAZYa 2009 – Political diary of a year in Italy" at 18h00 on Friday 22 January at Feltrinelli Libri e Musica in piazza Piemonte in Milan.

SIGNATURE DAY
EMILIA ROMAGNA
: MoVimento 5 Stelle Emilia Romagna Saturday 23rd: signatures will be gathered in Bologna, Modena, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Guastalla, Piacenza, Cesena, Rimini, Forli, Ferrara and Faenza. Sunday 24th: signatures will be gathered in Bologna, Rimini, Forli, Cattolica, Cesenatico, Cesena and Modena. (Remember to bring along your identity document).
Click here to find out the times and venues for the weekend: http://www.emiliaromagna5stelle.it/

LOMBARDY
Friday 22nd: Milan – No.2, Piazza Piemonte, in front of Feltrinelli. Marco Travaglio will also be there from 17h00 to 20h00; Varese - c/o the Travaglio Show - Piazza della Repubblica - from 20h00
Saturday 23rd: Bergamo - Via Pizzo della Presolana, in front of the PalaCreberg – 20h00 to 24h00
Cremona – No.42, Via Massarotti, c/o Autobar –Presentation of Civic List and gathering of signatures for Desio – No.6, Via Garibaldi – 14h00 to 19h00; Gussago (BS) - Piazza Vittorio Veneto Market – 09h00 to 12h30; Milan - piazza Cordusio/ Via dei Mercanti – 14h00 to 18h30; Milan - piazza Lima – 10h00 to 18h30; Pavia - Viale Matteotti (Piazza Petrarca) – 10h00 to 17h00; Vimercate – No.1, via Cavour – 14h00 to 19h00; Rozzano (MI) - Red Point Café Yamaha Rozzano – No.55, Via Valleambrosia – Meeting with Marco Travaglio in Rozzano – 17h30

PIEDMONT
MoVimento 5 Stelle Piedmont - Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January: Alba, Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Borgo Ticino, Borgomanero, Bra, Canale d'Alba, Cuneo, Grugliasco, Ivrea, Livorno Ferraris, Mondovì, Novara, Saluzzo, Susa, Verbania and Vercelli. Details reflected on the Calendar (bring along your Identity Document). Click here to find out when and where to go and sign.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:20 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

December 26, 2009

The Earth under water: interview with Greenpeace

The Earth under water: interview with Greenpeace
(12:25)
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The Copenhagen conference was supposed to save the world, instead, all they saved were the petroleum industry, the coal industry, the nuclear power industry and, as well as them, also the irresponsible economies of the old and new generation of industrialised countries. We will have to resign ourselves to the fact that those who won’t learn the easy way will just have to learn the hard way. The Pacific Ocean islands that are busy disappearing may not be our problem, but when the Island of Elba disappears together with the Tremiti islands and Venice, maybe then we will start worrying. Heading for catastrophe, with absolute optimism! Merry Christmas to Planet Earth.

Blog: "From Copenhagen we hear everyone stating that the conference was a failure and that we are facing some serious risks. What can we expect once we exceed the three degree threshold?"

Onufrio: "As regards us exceeding the three degree threshold ... what exactly did we expect from Copenhagen? To form the basis for an agreement that would be fair, that would share the responsibility for reducing the risk, and to limit the rise in global temperature to two degrees. In reality, many people are even questioning this objective, which was already written into the G8 document and was accepted by all of the Countries of the International Community. However, even with a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees, many small islands would be submerged by the rising sea level resulting from the combined effect of the melting of the glaciers in Greenland and the thermal expansion of the oceans.
No agreement was reached and the commitments made would lead to a maximum decrease of 20% in the level of emissions, while we need to achieve at least twice that decrease just to remain on the right path towards limiting the global temperature increase to just two degrees by the end of this century. Indeed, given the current commitments made, we are heading for an increase of more than three degrees. The conference has left the planet in a situation in which climatic chaos is guaranteed, which will be seen in a number of ways, such as the fact that the number of people suffering from drought worldwide will increase from the current 400 million to 1,700,000,000.
We will risk losing somewhere between 15 and 40% of our ecosystems, here we see (see the video) the temperature, this is the two-degree limit, at the moment we are headed for more than three degrees with a consequent increase in the impact, the number of people that risk landing under water will be somewhere between two and 15 million, and an increase in a number of different pathologies …"

Onufrio: "More specifically, the areas in Italy that are most exposed to this kind of risk are the northern Adriatic and the Ionian. ENEA has calculated some 35/36 points on the Italian coast that would be in trouble.
So what’s next? The failure to achieve what was planned is due to the fact that the coal and petroleum lobbies in the United States are blocking a bill from passing through the Senate. A bill that is in itself weak in that, in the United States they are discussing a system like the one in Europe, where pollution credits can be traded, namely CO2 emission reductions that would take us back to 1990 levels, which were the reference levels already used for the Kyoto protocol and that represent a reduction of four percentage points. What we are asking the industrialised Countries to achieve is a 40% decrease in emissions. Europe had already made a unilateral commitment to aim for a 20% and was prepared to increase this to 30%, which is the minimum needed in order to halt climate change.
This chapter was not completely closed in Copenhagen, so there is still a faint flicker of hope. We now have one year of time in order to update the Kyoto Protocol and for the less industrialised Countries to ….counteract the lack of any specific undertakings by the more highly industrialised Countries. The emerging Countries that currently have the highest emissions, remember that China has surpassed the United States in terms of emissions,….but the chemical composition of the atmosphere is the result of the emissions released in the past 100 years, because carbon dioxide has an atmospheric life span of around 100 years so, looking at the bigger picture of emissions during the past century, the highly industrialised Countries account for 75% and, although China has now surpassed the United States in terms of emissions, in reality, as regards historical responsibility, the greatest burden of responsibility lies with the United States and Europe.
... we have seen that a number of Countries have shown some willingness to deal, on condition that there is money on the table, because it is clear that no international agreement can be reached without something in hand to give to these Countries. Here we are obviously not talking about emerging Countries like China, but other Countries that are struggling to adapt to the changes that will affect Africa and the Asian Coast, which will be submerged by rising sea levels... the money needed to gain access to technology to reduce emission levels and to compensate those Countries, where there are still large expanses rain forest, namely Indonesia, Brazil, the Congo. Recognition of their role in combating global climate change, in exchange for basic resources to ensure ongoing biodiversity, climate stability and indeed to limit deforestation, which alone accounts for 20% of the overall effect.
We stood by and watched a conference fail, and I would like to remind you that 4 Greenpeace activists are still sitting in jail at this very moment, the four that conducted a blitz on the procession of the Heads of State going to the dinner in Copenhagen. So we have a paradoxical situation where the Heads of State that caused the failure of the conference headed back home in their private jets without having done their jobs, while the activists who faced the risks that Greenpeace always faces when involved in spectacular protests will spend the holidays far away from their families.
The conference was even a greater disappointment than initially expected. We were not particularly optimistic as regards the outcome because we had seen the documents that had been doing the rounds during the past year and … however, we hoped that President Obama would be able to take a real step forward, but instead, all that came of it was a document that has done nothing to close the discussion, but has essentially postponed everything so that they can wait and see what will happen."

Blog: "It’s like a script for an apocalyptic movie, a race against time, with the activists and the scientists on the one side and the intolerant politicians on the other."

Onufrio: "Yes, it is rather. The only thing that has changed since the end of the Bush era is that, these days, no one other than the press in this backward Country that is Italy would dare to state that climate change is not man’s fault and that the situation is not that bad.
Unfortunately, the signals coming from the scientific community are disturbing. There is a risk that the only international venue where an exchange can take place between wealthy Countries and poor Countries as regards the widely held concept that we live on a very small planet that is becoming increasingly warmer and on which our continued survival depends is being put at risk by changes that have the potential to become catastrophic."

Blog:"One newspaper headline carried the headline: “Italy paralysed by snow and they’re saying it’s global warming!”, a minor bit of disinformation...?"

Onufrio: "Unfortunately there is always an intellectual tendency to equate climatology with meteorology, but they are two totally different things. We talk about temperature increases, we mean the increase in the average temperature recorded during the course of any given year, but this does not mean that it will stop snowing, or that rainfall patterns will change, or that the number of days in a year that these phenomena occur will change because of global warming. Certain people whose job is global in nature realize that things are changing visibly. Plants bloom at odd times or increasingly frequently, increasing cases of bleaching of coral reefs and an increase in the spread of malaria, or of dengue fever, the climate is changing and this is visible in many parts of the planet, particularly that part known as the cryosphere, or the overall reduction of the planet’s ice cover, which is a very visible effect and gives a very clear indication of what is happening, as well as constituting absolute proof: the trend as regards the glaciers and the frozen areas of the planet."

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:39 AM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

December 09, 2009

Terra Reloaded @school

Terra Reloaded @school
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Change starts in school, with the youngsters. The documentary Terra Reloaded is available for free for every school that asks for it. In Terra Reloaded some of the world opinion leaders: Stiglitz, Rifkin, Sachs, Wackernagel, Brown, and Pollan explain the madness that we are living through. That is killing us, humanity. It certainly won’t kill the Earth that will survive anyway.
In Italy the destructive madness is accelerating. It has taken control of the parties, of the Confindustria, of the information media. The deliria of going 150 an hour in the motorway, the new incentives for the production of cars, the Smogpass in Milan that you can use to pollute on payment. And continuous actions against nature, anything but trans, like the construction of new nuclear power stations, incinerators that distribute tumours through dioxin, the Messina Bridge, the cementification of Italy.
The new generations will curse us, and we have to take this into account. We have ruined, or allowed others to do so, a planet of inestimable beauty. We are continuing to do so with the babbling of the Copenhagen Conference.
Young people will inherit an Earth that is sick and vindictive. Gaia is rebelling against the virus.
Terra Reloaded is an antivirus. Right now I’m thanking all the schools that ask for it. I’m thanking them because they will show it to the men and women of tomorrow.
Many schools have already written. Please use the attached form so that the documentary can be sent to you.
I’m citing a few:
Dear Beppe, what do I have to do to ask for a copy of “Terra Reloaded” for my school? I.C.S. "Giovanni Giannone" 74026 Pulsano –TA I know it doesn’t cost a lot, but we don’t even have money for soap and for paper. Parents take it in turns to bring what is needed from home. Thank you for everything you do. Fernanda Dimitri”
”I am a teacher of Letters in a Middle School (ICS "Primo Levi". Via Pistoia 30, 20153 Milano). I’m writing this comment the day after the Government has even sold off water … I would like to view and show the DVD to my pupils, perhaps they will become a generation that is less like imbeciles than those who have preceded them, darkened by the TV …. LUCA FALORNI”
I teach philosophy and history at the Liceo Scientifico di Arezzo "F.Redi" and I’m coordinating an eco-school project that has a number of aims, apart from raising awareness about the topics connected to the current environmental crisis, it also has practical interventions by modifying the anti-ecological attitudes of those who live in the school and by planning interventions of renewal of the building in relation to the waste of energy and the water resources. I would be really happy to receive the DVD Terra Reloaded. Go for it and I wish you courage. Piero Campanile

All the schools that ask for Terra Reloaded will be cited in a special page of the blog even with a link to their website.
Thanks in advance to all the schools who participate in the initiative.
They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Spread the word about this initiative
scuolafinale.jpg Copy the code
and paste it into your blog

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:04 PM in Ecology | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 27, 2009

The Ligurian PDminusL of cement


The blog is mobilised against the cementification of Liguria wanted by the axis of the Ligurian cement mixer PDL- PDminusL , in which the PD-man Mario Tullo towers above the others. Thanks to you, the most shameful amendments have been cancelled, the ones that allowed for a 60% increase in the volume. However there’s still a shameful law remaining with building filth like the increase in the size of the houses in the parks and the inclusion in the size increases even of the houses that have been amnestied.
We must not give up!
Let’s send an email to Claudio Burlando, Sandro Biasotti, and his opponent in the forthcoming elections, Luigi Cola – the PD deputy who holds the record for amendments, and Nicola Abbundo – the PDL property entrepreneur who is fighting for this plan. “Dear Grillo, At times we even need to have trust. Hope. After the articles in the newspapers, after the mobilising of this blog, and the hundreds of emails that have arrived at the Region of Liguria, perhaps the wall has been knocked down. The housing plan that the Centre Left wanted to have – and supported by the PDL, that was at risk of giving the green light to the definitive cementification of Liguria seems to be crumbling. The Majority has decided not to present the most shameful amendments, the ones that allowed for the increase in volume up to 60% and that also included buildings that are industrial, for artisan work, and agricultural. Basically, the plan is less devastating, even though it is still a slap in the face for the environment: there is the possibility to enlarge the houses in the parks of the hinterland (and the Monte Marcello park) and there’s the risk that even a part of the amnestied buildings are to be included in the “reward”.
And there are still other thorny points to be sorted out: Roberto Della Seta, Debora Serracchiani and Pippo Civati (members of the PD who have to be given recognition for having sided with the environment) have made weighty accusations: “This is the worst housing plan in Italy. In the PD, there’s a cement lobby.” are the words of Della Seta. The accusation from the Greens was: “We have gone further to the Right than Berlusconi.” But no word of denial has come from the Ligurian PD. In fact, Mario Tullo the man stepping down as the PD Regional Secretary for Liguria, replied: “Let them mind their own business.” But the moment of truth will be tomorrow, 28 October: the Region of Liguria will vote on the definitive version of the housing plan. And there are those who are frightened there will be an ambush, an underhand manoeuvre to save the cement: the amendments from the friends of the brick could be presented by the Centre Right and voted on by a branch of the PD. That way the plan of shame would be the approved all the same.
For this reason, we are asking you to keep on following us. Tomorrow [today, editor] to keep your eyes fixed on what is happening in Genoa. Don’t leave Liguria isolated.
Marco Preve, Ferruccio Sansa, journalists and authors of the book: " Il partito del cemento" {The Cement Party}
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Previous post: "Italians – more stupid than crafty"

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:18 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 20, 2009

Italians – more stupid than crafty

Ferruccio Sansa and Marco Preve: building speculation
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Italy is being destroyed day by day, palm tree by palm tree, cementified centimeter by centimeter, but is has to be said, with the help of many Italians. More crafty rather than intelligent, more stupid than crafty. We will leave for our offspring 40 extra square metres in an environment that is devastated by speculative building. Sardinia, thanks to Cappellacci, elected by the Sardinians with a massive majority, is inventing cement beaches and lead dunes. Now it’s Liguria’s turn. Burlando, elected by the majority of Ligurians, will cementify what remains of a formerly very beautiful region. In Sardinia the PDL. In Liguria, the PDminusL. And in both regions, the Italians, always present when it’s a matter of money.

Dear Grillo,.
No one seems to have noticed, but on 28 October, the destiny of one of Italy’s most beautiful regions, Liguria, will be decided. A few days ago, it was Sardinia’s turn, where they voted for the plan of governor Ugo Cappellacci (PDL) that removed the restrictions that Renato Soru hoped would save the coast. But the Centre Left is no better: the region governed by Claudio Burlando is getting ready to start using the housing plan that is equally generous with the cement lovers.
A disaster without remedies, that can however be stopped. The Left stays silent. The Right stays silent, perhaps because in these parts they are friends of bricks. The citizens stay silent and they unfortunately do not know: the Region of Liguria will vote for a document that goes well beyond the expectations of the Berlusconi government. No one had talked about it until a few days ago, when Bruno Lugaro wrote about it in the newspaper “Il Secolo XIX”. And yet it’s enough to study the plan presented by the Commission and above all the amendments proposed by the left and the right (read here). The houses below 100 cubic metres will be able to increase their volume by up to 60%, the others will be able to grow by up to 30%. But that’s not all: the volume of sheds for industrial, artisan and agricultural use can be increased. And that’s just the beginning. While reading the document approved by the commission and the amendments wanted by the Centre Left and the Centre Right (the one signing is an entrepreneurial property owner) it is discovered that there’s even much worse: the benefits will also go to the buildings that have been amnestied. So basically, civil and social damage, not just town planning. Anyone who has built without respecting the laws will now be able to make use of the benefits allowed by the Region. Instead of punishing those who do not respect the environment, it has been decided to reward them. And the unauthorised buildings? Thinking has also gone to them. The basic text excluded them, but here you have councillor Luigi Cola (former mayor of Cogoleto, PD) who asks for a correction: there will be exclusion only for those buildings “in total dissimilarity or with essential variations”, basically those that are really very much unauthorised. Enough? Not at all: not even the parks of the hinterland are saved. “It’ll be enough to get a permit from the park authorities to increase the volume of the houses”, as is explained by Carlo Vasconi (Greens).

But as explained by Vasconi, the final blow is the one that will hit the zones that the urban planners call “places of the spirit”. “Spirit”, not a casual name because these are precious places that however are not subject to total protection. Here too the bulldozers can operate undisturbed as long as they are more than 300 metres from the coast.

And for Liguria, it will truly be the end, because for too long some of those that govern this land have decided to squeeze it, to hand it over to the lords of cement like a whore.

...


Marco Preve and Ferruccio Sansa, journalists and authors of the book “Il partito del cemento” {The cement party}

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:13 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 26, 2009

Mathis Wakernagel, Overshoot Day

Mathis Wakernagel, ecological debt day
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***** FROM 17H30 TODAY THIS BLOG WILL TRANSMIT THE ADDRESSES FROM THE RED AGENDA MARCH IN ROME VIA LIVE STREAMING *****

The clock is ticking for the Earth’s resources. This year, the hands of the clock stopped on the 25th September, or Overshoot Day. That is the day on which we used up the last of the renewable resources for the year that began on the first of January 2009. The Earth has become simply a magical object to be consumed in our lifetime. This Blog interviewed Mathis Wakernagel, creator of the concept of the ecological footprint, the index used to measure human demand on nature. Wakernagel is one of the narrators in the documentary entitled "Earth reloaded".

"Good day, I am Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director of the Global Footprint Network. We are an international study centre with offices in Oakland, Brussels and Zurich and we collaborate with about 100 partners to raise awareness in decision-making circles regarding the concept of ecological limits. Today (25 September 2009, Ed.) is a very special day, Overshoot Day, or "the day we go into ecological debt".
What does this mean? It means that all the resources that we as humanity have consumed from the first of January until today, however we view them, are all the resources that the Earth will be able to reproduce during the course of 2009. We have used up the entire 2009 budget and we will now have to go into debt. What can we do with this information? In one way it is a bit like having information regarding your bank account at your disposal. If you spend more than you earn for an extended period of time, sooner or later you will land up going bankrupt. Natural resources are no different. If we continue the way we are going, sooner or later we will be facing ecological bankruptcy. Which is more difficult to overcome than financial bankruptcy because, while we can simply print more money, we cannot do the same thing in the case of natural resources.
So, what can we do about this? The first thing is to view ecological processes in the same way we view financial ones and review the way in which we “spend” and manage the resources. The majority of our policies are based on demand: “how can we increase sales irrespective of what will it cost in terms of resources?” We are simply opting to consume more resources every year. What we need to do is to find some way of maintaining our lifestyle using only those resources that the Earth is able to produce.
How do we do this? We must pay more attention to the way in which we build towns. Here is one example. Siena, in Italy, whose residents enjoy a good standard of living, uses approximately one third of the resources per capita of those used by the residents of Houston, Texas. This is certainly a start. Personally, I would prefer to live in Siena rather than in Houston. The way in which we build our towns essentially dictates how we utilise our resources. This notwithstanding, if everyone lived like the people living in Siena, it would take three planet Earths to sustain this kind of lifestyle for every inhabitant of our planet.
What else can we do? Obviously we must support and urge our governments to be more proactive as regards climate change. CO2 emissions contribute about 50% of humanity’s ecological footprint. In countries such as Italy, and in many other industrialised countries, C02 emissions are responsible for 70% of the Country’s ecological footprint. If we manage to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions – and the scientists are asking us to reduce emissions by 80% within 2050 – we will also address the problem of overruns. The difficult thing is to meet this challenge without simply shifting the problem elsewhere. For example, while biofuels could well reduce C02 emissions, they would also produce an enormous impact in other areas, like the virgin forests and the tropical forests for the production of palm oil. We must address the problem rather than simply shift it elsewhere.
Our governors have a golden opportunity to sign important agreements. The first opportunity will come this week in New York, namely the UN meeting for climate week, where many leaders and diplomats are gathering in preparation for the Copenhagen meeting scheduled for December this year, for which we have very high expectations. The other opportunity is the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, also due to take place in the next few days, where the delegates are gathering to draft a agenda for Copenhagen (global meeting on climate change).
Many of us will probably be disappointed by any agreements that may be reached in because they may not go far enough. In which case we will be called upon to react even more forcefully. In a world without a strong Copenhagen agreement, there will be even more confusion and unrest. Countries will have to adapt even more quickly to the shortage of resources. We live in hope that others will act on our behalf, however, in a world where the ecological budget is continuously being exceeded, unless we citizens are prepared to live in a more efficient manner, we will be the ones that suffer due the shortage of resources. Therefore, irrespective of whether or not the Copenhagen Conference delivers a strong agreement, we will have to act locally.
Another thing we can do is keep track. Just as we keep track of any movements in our bank account, every nation should keep track of the what biological resources the Country has at its disposal, what resources are drawn and what resources are utilised.
Should you wish to find out what your ecological footprint is, kindly visit our website. Italy doesn’t appear, but Switzerland does and it is very similar to Italy, and you can take the test in Italian. Go to ecological footprint."

Ps: David Letterman has been swamped by more than 14,000 of your requests regarding YouTube in just a few hours. Hell Guys, you really are a force to be reckoned with!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:12 PM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 06, 2009

Terra reloaded

The melting of the glaciers
(4:52)
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World governments are in the thralls of an hysterical joy. They have saved the banks, and thus themselves, and they feel safe. Everything as before. A stimulus for cars, CO2 and cement. For the production of useless goods that fuel a senseless economy that is destroying the planet. The fashion parade of the G8 with clothes, lunches, dinners and “cotillion”, has ended with nothing concrete. The participants at the l'Aquila parade are irresponsible people. They decided not to decide. To move the hand of the clock to 2050 to limit greenhouse gas emissions to a maximum increase of two degrees. By then Obama, Merkel, the psycho-dwarf, Brown and their consorts will be dead. Two degrees-2050, a good pairing. Why not one degree in 2020 or half a degree in 2015? These folk are playing at dice with our lives. Economic interests are guiding the governments, not social interests. The economic crisis has been a great occasion (already lost) to redefine priorities. We should be arriving at change by necessity.
Man is the only living being that destroys the environment that allows him to live. He seems like an alien come from space with the mission of eliminating life on earth. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) are producing data and analyses about the disappearance of the glaciers. Glaciers contain three quarters of existing fresh water. If they all were to melt, the level of sea water would rise by 65 metres. Just the disappearance of the Greenland ice cap would correspond to a rise of seven metres. Glaciers are evaporating before our very eyes while we are committed to increase the number of cars world-wide and to rejoice for Fiat and Ford. The Alps have lost 22% of their glaciers since the year 2000, two thirds of those in the Pyrenees have disappeared since the middle of last century. Just in the heat of 2003 European glaciers lost between 5 and 10% of their volume. Future hypotheses forecast many years like 2003. China and India are not part of the G8, but they are very interested in glaciers. With the current rate of melting, within 40 years, the glaciers of the Himalayas will no longer exist. The life of 40% of the world population depends on the water reserves of the Himalayas which sees the source of some of the world’s greatest rivers like the Ganges and the Yangtze.
Information is the best way of stopping the disappearance of the glaciers. For months, we have been warned about the spread of a flu virus, but the media are giving no importance to the disappearance of the reserves of fresh water. The blog has interviewed some of the best minds on the planet about the future that is waiting for us and how we can face up to it. Their voices have been collected together into a documentary put together with the help of Greenpeace and it will come out on 15 September with the title: “Terra reloaded”. There’s not a lot of time left, but we will do it.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:05 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 31, 2009

Grillo Bear

Dozer: Grillo Bear
(3:55)
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Bloody hell guys, I have just become the adoptive father of an Asiatic Black Bear. His name is Dozer. I have a photograph of him on my bedside table. Every now and then I send him a postcard. He smells the card and then proceeds to eat a coconut. You should all adopt an Asian Black Bear. There are 16,000 of them still imprisoned in China, Vietnam and Laos, being tortured by bastard murderers whose only semblance of humanity is their appearance. Please help the Animal Asia Foundation.

"Dear Beppe,
Brother Bear, Sister Moon, murderous man. And so, in September 2008 our battle commenced. A battle that has also become yours, all of you, the battle of everyone who, from that moment on, felt that they were indebted, duty bound to act and that have made a difference.
Do you remember the photograph of Brother Bear? Via the blog, his image was transmitted all around the world. Having been imprisoned for years, this young bear was slowly dying, with infection coursing throughout his body and a deep wound in his belly, from which the bile was slowly dripping out. He had been refusing food and water for days, and for a number of days he had not even moved his head nor opened his eyes.
Watermelon, a bear who, by accepting a small piece of watermelon also accepted life, is a marvellous and gentle bear that today enjoys savouring the smell of grass and the fragrance of freedom.
Just like Dozer, the bear that you have adopted and that has now to all intents and purposes become Grillo Bear and the Blog’s mascot. I met him in May at the shelter, amongst the trees in the Tam Dao forest in Vietnam. I fed him some coconut, his favourite food, and I passed on your best wishes to him.
Brother Bear, Sister Moon, murderous man. Watermelon and Grillo’s story is much the same as that of the many other Asian Black Bears to which the Animals Asia Foundation has been able to give a new start, and they are part of us, as is their pain and their suffering because that is where we find the reason for our mission. 16,000 Asian Black Bears are currently imprisoned and being tortured simply in order to satisfy the growing market demand for bile. The bears are milked of their bile on a daily basis, without even the most basic of hygiene standards, without any veterinary care whatsoever and without the use of any anaesthetics. In the name of so-called humanity, their teeth are extracted, their claws are amputated and they are denied food, water and freedom. The bile is used in the preparation of medicines, beverages and shampoos, notwithstanding the fact that there are a number of natural and synthesised alternative products available that are far more effective, safer and cheaper.
It is extremely difficult even to talk about these bears and about the pain and the senseless suffering that they are forced to endure. Your Blog has been able to spread the word to everyone near and far. Animals Asia Foundation, the organisation founded by Jill Robinson that has for a number of years been fighting for the liberation of these bears by paying a ransom for them, housing them in the Foundation’s shelters and attempting to help them forget the torture that they have forced to endure, operates worldwide and now, finally, also has a branch in Italy, of which I am the President.
Our objectives are very specific, namely to find long-term solutions by talking to governments and local authorities so as to ensure that the bile factories are shut down once and for all. Awareness and knowledge are the tools that will enable us to bring about change.
Albert Einstein once said that the only people that can truly change the world are those that are crazy enough to believe that they can. There is little that we can do on our own, but together as free men out to realise a dream, we can give our Brother Bear back his moon. We are in excellent company. To date, more than 300 bears like Watermelon and Grillo have been rescued. With gratitude " Carmen

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:53 PM in Ecology | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 09, 2009

Grillo168 – half-free beaches

Grillo168 – half-free beaches
(2:47)
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The State’s money has dried up and the payments to the local authorities are no longer arriving. To survive, the presidents of the regions and the mayors of the towns are mortgaging the property of whatever they are administrating. Ugo Cappellacci, the son of the psycho dwarf’s accountant, president of the Region of Sardinia has straight away started off well.
With the decision number 24/24 of 19 May 2009, the Sardinian Regional Cabinet approved the renewal of new concessions along the Sardinian shore, in favour of private structures for beachgoers. Basically it has sold the territory of the Sardinians, who for the next six years will even have to pay to go and swim in the sea in their own land.
In Europe the beaches are almost all free and equipped. In France there are tens of kilometres of free beaches, public toilets that are looked after and free showers, surveillance by the police and the fire services, and “bike sharing” to limit the traffic. Things that we Italians cannot even imagine…

Text:
“I have seen things that you humans, Italians, Sardinians, could not even imagine. I have seen clean beaches, perfect and free. With showers that are completely free for bathers. I have seen the sparkling of towers with enormous beach lifeguards with a focaccia who looked after the safety of the citizens. I have seen things that you cannot even imagine. And all these things will vanish like tears in the rain. All these things are over. It’s the moment of the great speculation.
By now there are beaches full of stuff. Full of deck chairs, full of umbrellas, full of children. Full of sellers, of folk from Morocco, from Senegal. Full of anyone. Even the boutique owners pick up their stuff, close their shop and go and sell. It’s all an orgy! You pay two euro an hour for car parking, you pay for anything. To get a swim in the sea you have to do kilometres on foot in the brambles, and get across motorways. You get there, you spread out your beach towel and there’s not even a square metre where you don’t pay anything. It’s all been changed with a law. Here in Sardinia you have paradise on earth and you let them snatch it from beneath your eyes with the Cappellacci law. The Cappellacci law, my God! Just in the ten days since they were installed the regional cabinet has done so much mad stuff. Cappellacci, what do you expect Cappellacci to do? He does “cappelle” {cappelle=hats}! He has done this decision that has made 40,000 hectares of public beach in concessions for 6 years, not a fortnight. Do a fortnight and that way you see how they behave. Six years! Just imagine the beaches, the territory. Anything. What will happen here? The time of liberty is finished. Free beaches, from the moment they are called “free” the beaches are no longer free. Why add an adjective to free beaches? The beach is the beach. It’s not free. It’s that we have added “free” to justify the fact that they are not free. Because we are a semi-free country. Like our beaches.
Good 168 to you all!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:47 AM in Ecology | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 21, 2009

The Copenhagen Call and the green Coca-Cola

Riccardo Petrella: the Copenhagen Call
(14:16)
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The outlook for for the future of planet Earth and its inhabitants is anything but good. The Copenhagen Conference will be held in December in order to decide on the post-Kyoto rules. The wealthy Countries that are responsible for 80% of all CO2 emissions are not prepared to make any commitments and, given this example, the poor Countries are not even thinking about it. The main role player at the Conference is Green Business, in other words, money. As far as the banks and multinational companies are concerned, it is sufficient to maintain the current development model and paint it green. The planet cannot wait any longer and with anything more than a two-degree increase in temperature, the first problem will be a shortage of water and billions of people suffering from thirst. An issue that will be totally ignored at the Conference. Riccardo Petrella, one of the worlds leading experts on issues related to water, will now explain precisely what we can expect in the future.

Interview with Riccardo Petrella:

The Kyoto objectives betrayed by the wealthy Countries

We should be extremely concerned about the progress of the preparations for the Copenhagen Conference, which is supposed to cover topics such as climate change and is expected to culminate in the signature of a new, post-Kyoto treaty, scheduled to come into effect in 2013, which would govern the world economy and the relationship between the economy, development, welfare and environmental management over the next fifteen to twenty years. This is set to be the greatest-ever global negotiation resulting in a global agreement on the future of humanity.
So why should we then be so concerned? The reason, based on what we see emerging, is that the wealthy Nations – dare we say it – are failing to maintain the promises that they committed themselves to in the past. As you know, all the studies conducted by the International Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,500 scientists that has been working on the problem of climate change for a number of years on behalf of the United Nations, have shown that if the world wants to prevent a terrible environmental catastrophe, we have to limit the increase in average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to less than two degrees from now until 2100. In order to achieve this objective, all of the studies show that the 1990 levels of CO2 emissions will have to be reduced by 60% by the year 2050. This would entail a reduction of 80% for the wealthy Countries and a reduction of 20% for other Countries.
We are now noticing that the wealthy Countries don’t want to maintain nor to comply with these indications and indeed, as regards the interim objectives to be achieved by 2020, which require wealthy nations to reduce their 1990 emission levels by 20%, only Germany and to some extent France have indicated that they still aim to achieve these quantitative emission reduction objectives. Meanwhile, on the 12th June, Japan stated that they are only prepared to commit to achieving a maximum reduction of 8% while the United States has said two important things: the first was that the Country had no intention of reducing its CO2 emissions by any more than 4%, which is a far cry from what they should be doing, and secondly that the new Administration has shown the same tendency as that of all the previous Administrations. Obama has confirmed that the United States is not in favour of a global agreement and that the guiding principle for the new Copenhagen treaty should be one where each Country makes its own commitment at the national level, but there should be no global agreement specifying mutual commitments and verifications to see whether Countries have met their targets. And so, on 12 June in Bonn, at a preparatory meeting for the Copenhagen Conference, they stated that they themselves would not be asking China to commit itself in any way, a gesture of understanding that says: “We understand that China is a developing Country and we cannot expect that Country to commit itself to achieving quantifiable objectives that would force the Chinese to not achieve the rate of growth that they actually deserve..”. In actual fact, what the United States is attempting to do is to create a United States/China agreement by saying: “you don’t need to make any commitment whatsoever because we won’t ask anything of you”, hoping that, in return, China will not require any equivalent emission reduction commitment from the United States. Now, we are well aware that Brazil, India, China, Russia and all the developing Countries have been saying for years that if the wealthy Countries refuse to accept their responsibilities and take the lead in terms of this issue, given that they have been guilty of plundering the planet’s resources over the past 100/150 years, if the wealthy Nations don’t significantly reduce their emissions, then the emerging Countries will rightly refuse to make any commitments whatsoever in this regard. The bulk of the responsibility lies fairly and squarely with the wealthy Nations. And so we are left with a huge problem. Will the wealthy Nations manage to meet their commitments? Will the wealthy Nations take the necessary action in order to avoid a huge catastrophe and the terrible potential upheaval that will result should the atmospheric temperature increase by more than two degrees?
The second issue that we should be concerned about is that we are seeing – and this was confirmed at the end of May – that not only the leaders of the wealthy Countries, but also those of the so-called emerging Countries are convinced that the problems associated with climate change and even the problems resulting from the current economic/financial crisis can be resolved purely by menas of a green economy and making changes to the energy system. So all they are doing at the moment is talking about green motorcars, green bridges, green railways, green Coca-Cola, green houses, green cinemas, green tomatoes and green everything: meaning, you understand, a green economy, but covered in the green sauce of capitalism, and they are all saying that we must re-establish the global economy by means of economic tools such as private investment, market mechanisms and the financial and market exploitation of the forests, trees, waters, etc.

The Copenhagen Call

This newly-found consensus, which I would call the global green consensus, was recently confirmed on the 24th and 26th May in Copenhagen, when the Danish Government took the initiative and brought together the world of business and finance. More than one thousand people came together at the World Business Summit held on 24 and 26 May and approved a document entitled “The Copenhagen Call”, in which the business world laid out its demands to the politicians and the future negotiators of the Copenhagen Treaty. In essence the business and financial world’s demands focus on two specific issues. The first is that technological innovation must be encouraged with regard to the lead times and yield mechanisms of the technical innovations themselves, in other words, in accordance with an economic and financial rationale, and the second is that it is the public sector’s duty to provide the incentive funding and the tax incentives for private enterprise. Therefore, the Copenhagen Call is an affirmative statement by the business world that, when all is said and done, green capitalism is a panacea for the problems that will have to be addressed in the new global agreement. To the extent that, two days ago, Danish Prime Minister Rassmussen declared that he agreed fully with the proposals that emerged from the World Business Summit in the form of the Copenhagen Call and that they would be the carriers of the ideas expressed by the business world.
And now for the second issue, namely, should any proposals be tabled in Copenhagen that do not coincide with the priorities set and adopted by the business world, what are the chances that these proposals would be adopted? Finally, here comes the main issue, namely that the Copenhagen Treaty is being monopolised by the issue of energy, in other words, that our leaders are telling us that the biggest global problem, and the one that needs to be resolved at this global negotiating table to ensure the future of humanity, is the issue of energy. However, while energy may well be the biggest global problem for us wealthy people, it is not really a problem for the 2,8 billion poor people in the world, in other words, for the African, Asian and Latin American people their main problems are access to water, access to food, access to healthcare, how to obtain decent housing, how to get a decent education, and not how to get green motorcars or green homes. Also because in the future, once we have 200 million additional green motorcars on the world’s roads, where will these 200 million green motorcars go? In which city and on which roads? And when we have green motorcars, green homes, new houses using passive and active energy, which we must have, in New York, Singapore, Melbourne and Paris, will this contribute to the upliftment of the three billion poor people around the world, or will it simply improve the quality of life of the billion or so rich people?
And so the problem becomes the following: "Why have our leaders identified the issue of energy as being the only priority on the agenda for the Copenhagen Conference?"

The future of humanity depends on the protection of our water supplies

Here is the real reason why our battle must continue: water. Water is the world’s number one problem, so much so that the inter-governmental climate change group has drafted a number of reports stating that the main consequence of climate change revolve around water. Water is set to become the one necessity of life that is most affected by climate change, namely the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers that feed all of the world’s water catchment areas. Water will be the scene of the greatest devastation and the biggest problem, and the studies conducted by the GEC (Global Environment Centre Foundation) and the IPCC confirm that by 2050, 60% of the world’s population will be living in areas subject to severe water shortages and where there is no water, there can be no life. So one of the important consequences of climate change is access to water and to life itself, yet water is not even mentioned on the agenda items for discussion at the Copenhagen Conference, so we need to push to have the issue of water included on the Copenhagen agenda. We are not certain whether or not we will be successful and current indications are that we will not be. The problem is that it is not true that people have to accept as inevitable the belief that it is impossible to think about the interests and the future of humanity and the right to life, which is a recognised human right and one that is sacrosanct because life itself is sacred.
The Copenhagen Conference is scheduled to take place from 7 to 18 December and we therefore have six months left in which, I believe, all of the human rights movements and those dealing with matters such as citizenship and water must go to the attack on all fronts. As regards the various religions, we are now attempting to arrange a major meeting involving representatives of the various religions to draft an appeal to the Copenhagen Conference to respect the sanctity of life and to truly address the needs of the world. And what about the academics and researchers? Why don’t the researchers and the university academics organise some major demonstrations in an attempt to force the Copenhagen Conference to include the real problems affecting the future of our planet, scientifically speaking, on the Conference agenda? Irrespective of whether one is old or young, an academic or simply a man on the street, a pensioner, a woman, a Buddhist or a Christian, I believe that we have a tremendous agenda to deal with in the next six months, as well as a duty to be present on site at the Copenhagen conference.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:23 AM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 05, 2009

The cows and the Amazon

The Amazon under our shoes
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Cows instead of trees and pastures instead of woods and forests. In a report released last week, Greenpeace reveals that the Amazon is disappearing thanks to the increase in the illegal allocation of areas for pastures due to the high level of demand from the major international chains and luxury brands. The housewife that buys a steak from the supermarket, a pair of shoes from a main street store, a brand name handbag or a cosmetic product becomes an unwitting accomplice in the destruction of the largest green area on the entire planet. The meat and leather industries are worth five billion Euro per year to Brazil, which hopes to double this figure within a very short space of time. It’s the same, age-old question of money and multinational companies. Transforming the planet into goods and the environment into shares on the Stock Exchange. Without leaving any traces. The principal is always well hidden.
The commissioning company that lies at the end of the chain is well protected from prying eyes. All Countries should introduce legislation to completely prohibit any activities that destroy the environment for profit-making purposes. The environment belongs to all of the Earth’s inhabitants. Meat is the new Dollar. Although it offers one advantage over cash, namely that it can be eaten, it also holds a further disadvantage in that it destroys the planet.
There are more than a billion cows in the world and one quarter of the world’s land surface is used for raising livestock. In the USA, meat is a formidable business. It accounts for 36 billion Dollars, or 7% of the supermarkets’ turnover, but employs only 0.2% of the total workforce of the USA. An astronomical added value. The world is an immense slaughterhouse that operates day and night. 100,000 Cows are slaughtered every day in the United States alone.
From “Beyond Beef” by Jeremy Rifkin:
"70% of all the grain produced in the United States is used for animal fodder. Unfortunately, of all the domestic animals, cows are the least efficient energy converters. In order to produce one Kg of beef ready for slaughter, it takes nine kilograms of fodder, of which 6 kilograms is made up of "grain and grain by-products” and the remaining three kilograms is made up of fibre". Only 11% of the fodder goes towards meat production... Each year in the United States, 157 million tons of grain, legumes and other vegetable proteins suitable for human consumption are utilised to feed cattle, which produce the 28 million tons of meat eaten by people". The beef sandwich has become the latest weapon of mass destruction.
From the Grenpeace site:
"The evidence that has been gathered shows that, in fact, the meat and leather leviathans of the Brazilian market, namely Bertin, JBS and Marfrig, are receiving regular supplies from livestock farmers that have flattened far more extensive areas of forest than those permitted by the law. The raw materials that are the fruits of criminal deforestation “sully” the production chains of many global brands and distributors. Amongst these are the following: Adidas, BMW, Geox, Chateau d’Ax, Carrefour, EuroStar, Ford, Honda, Gucci, Ikea, Kraft, Cremonini, Nike, Tesco, Toyota and Wal-Mart".

Send an e-mail to Geox, Nike, Timberland, Adidas, Reebok and Clarke's, asking them to allow the Amazon to breathe.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:26 AM in Ecology | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 17, 2009

Star No.1, the Environment - Maurizio Pallante

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Maurizio Pallante:
"It is no easy matter to speak immediately after Beppe, but together we will nevertheless consider a few issues, beginning with some comments on the current crisis, a terrible crisis because it involves two different issues: the one is the financial issue of excess production of goods that are not selling, while the second issue is environmental, both as regards the depletion of resources and pollution, but above all the aggravation of the greenhouse effect.
This crisis has been one of excess production from the very start, even though we tried to pass it off as a financial crisis, in other words, when the American banks were granting mortgages to people who would not be able to make the mortgage payments and by doing this they were supporting the construction industry, thereby enabling them to produce more than the market could absorb, all of which was simply a way to delay the oversupply crisis that was already busy exploding. Both aspects of the crisis, namely the economic/financial/employment aspect and the environmental aspect, are due to the economic growth mechanism, namely that the aim of the economy is to produce greater quantities of goods each year, thus utilising ever increasing amounts of resources and producing ever increasing amounts of refuse, so we continue to flood the market with huge quantities of goods that can no longer be absorbed since all of our houses are already overflowing with things, meaning that we won’t have to buy more of them for years and still manage to have all we need.
The recession that we are living through is an opportunity, however, since it is putting the brakes on the environmental crisis and, because not all bad things are necessarily terrible, it is forcing us to look back on 50 years of folly in which we lived through and, due to the fact that there was an abundance of cheap crude, we were able to lose all common sense, all common sense in terms of our relationship with the world around us, as well as all common sense regarding the relationships between us and as regards our own individual lives.
There is currently a dangerous misconception that we can get through the current crisis simply by kick-starting the economy and re-launching the traditional industries, namely the motor vehicle industry and the construction industry. What they are doing today has no end in sight, it simply won’t work for two reasons: 1) simply because both the motor vehicle and the construction industries are already more than saturated, we are sitting with lots of houses standing empty and we have so many cars that we don’t know where to put them all, while the traffic in our towns has become impossible; 2) because not only is the market over saturated, but there are extreme energy consuming items. We know that our cars are energy guzzlers because they run on petrol, just like we know that our houses and buildings are energy guzzlers too, even more so than our cars because, just to heat our houses and buildings for 5 months each year, we use more energy that that used by all of the cars and trucks on our roads for the entire year.
These choices lead us nowhere. I live on the outskirts of Turin and I have absolute proof of this fact. While we hoped to re-launch the local economy thanks to the construction work for the Olympic Games, the result is that many of those buildings are already showing signs of decay, while on the other hand we have a whole lot of buildings that are consuming energy and a population, namely Turin residents who are currently in debt to the tune of 6 thousand Euro each, including babies. Were the City to sell off all of the Council owned buildings, it could pay off about half of its accumulated debt, but the city is blocked, all thanks to construction industry pressure.
The second aspect, and one that is even more problematic, is that of the motorcar. On July 2, 2007, fireworks were set off into the skies over Turin because the economy was going to recover and production levels were going to increase again thanks to the Fiat “Cinquecento”, however, just one year and four months later, all of FIAT’s workers are on short time. These people don’t know what to do, they don’t have the slightest ability to forecast the future, not even one year ahead and they are simply re-hashing what they have been saying for decades. They have no imagination and no creativity whatsoever; have you read today’s papers? How does Berlusconi propose to re-launch the economy? Via the construction industry, on the one hand by encouraging construction by private individuals in order to increase their living space, and on the other hand by encouraging public construction by means of major public works.
Not even the evidence is enough to convince these people that this route leads us nowhere, so what needs to be done in order to get out of this situation? This is an issue that also affects Obama because, although there is a vast difference between Bush and Obama, all that glitters is not necessarily gold and Obama also has a certain commitment as regards the motor car and, as regards energy matters, we always highlight the fact that while he does talk about renewable energy sources, he also talks about nuclear power, bio fuels an clean coal, because the thinking is still set on producing what we produced in the past.
What is the right way to go, you ask? What is the alternative? We must re-start the economic cycle and kick-start production and employment by means of policy measures aimed at eliminating the root causes of the two aspects of the crisis. We need to develop technologies that reduce the amount of resources used and the environmental impact. There is ample room for these technologies in the marketplace because we have totally ignored them for the past 50 years, but they enable us to give new meaning to our work by adding a human touch that will improve our world, and they enable us to transform the crisis into a great opportunity for change and improvement that we simply cannot afford to miss.
From this point of view, I believe that the candidates appearing on the civic lists for these will have to focus their campaigns on initiatives that will enable the development of technologies aimed at reducing the use of resources, aimed at reducing environmental impact, and there is a lot the local authorities can do in this regard.
Let me give you some simple examples: as regards energy, we need to set ourselves an objective to reduce our energy consumption by at least 50%. Our currently wastage of energy is running as high as 70 and even 80% and it makes no sense for a so-called civilized society to claim that it is technologically advanced while there is this kind of negative performance going on! How can the local authorities reduce energy consumption? Well, the first thing to do is to is to do an analysis of energy consumption in their buildings and fix any faults because they have no right to tell other people to behave in a certain way unless they set the right example!
There are certain public officials that have done such an analysis and so they know precisely how much energy is being consumed in each of their buildings and how much is being wasted. They are able to intervene where necessary, albeit second time around, and know when a roof needs to be replaced, or when extraordinary maintenance is required, simply because they know which buildings are wasting energy, so they can re-allocate money in order to ensure that the consumption is reduced, thereby cutting the cost to the end users.
At that point, all that is needed is a slightly higher expense on energy efficient materials, because the workers need to do the job anyway, the roof needs to be replaced anyway and the scaffolding needs to be put up anyway. At very little additional cost, the extraordinary maintenance can become a great opportunity to show commitments and to reduce our environmental impact.
Once we have put our own house in order, the second point concerns the building regulations. All councils are entitled to make their own building regulations, as well as an energy appendix stating that: in this municipal district, no houses may be built, and no old houses may be renovated, if they consume more than 7 litres per cubic metre per year, which is the maximum permissible amount in the Alto Adige Region, as well as in Germany and a number of other European Countries. Still in terms of kick-starting employment and the production of these technologies, they must encourage the establishment of firms known as Energy Service Companies, firms that do energy renovation at their own expense and then recover their costs by cashing in, for a specified number of years, on any energy savings that they are able to achieve. This involves arranging a massive re-allocation of funds, funds that are currently being spent on purchasing fuel from abroad, to rather paying the wages and salaries to people that can help us to reduce our consumption of fuel from abroad. This is one way to re-launch the economy and to self-fund these types of projects. All we have to do is to say no to any type of additional power stations that is proposed for our area!
As a second measure, after reducing our consumption, the kind of renewable energy sources that we support will be based on small installations to supply the individual needs of buildings, as Beppe was saying earlier. We don’t need huge power stations, what we do need is a lot of citizens that self-produce enough energy for their own needs and input any excess energy they may have produced into the power grid. Another very important measure that will be introduced by the city councils is to propose that heating charges for apartment blocks be based on actual consumption rather than on a lump sum because, at the moment, these costs are charged out to the tenants based on the square meterage of their apartments, so there is no real incentive for them to fix their heating installations, whereas, if their charges was based on actual consumption, if any tenants renovate their apartments in such a way that they are more energy efficient, they will recover these costs over time by reducing their consumption of fossil fuels.
What we are talking about is transforming these savings into salaries for a lot of people with specific skills, which are now simply hanging around in a manner that is unacceptable from a civic duty point of view!
A final issue that is often discussed is that of bio-fuels and of agricultural production aimed specifically at producing bio-fuels, but no one talks about the fact that certain types of crops can be used to produce materials that could be used to reduce energy consumption rather than simply to provide energy. For example, there is significant proof that hemp can be used as insulation material for buildings or, just think that we currently have huge amounts of poor quality sheep’s wool that is deemed to be special waste and is simply taken to the rubbish dump, at a very high cost. This wool could be used as wall insulation in houses, thereby reducing consumption, reducing the amount of waste, reducing energy consumption, reducing environmental impact and creating some new jobs.
Point two is land use. We need to put a stop to the continuous expansion of urban plans. Not another square inch of our agricultural land must be lost to urban construction!
This is not intended to block employment or to block construction in any way, but rather to redirect our construction industry towards the renovation of existing buildings. For fifty years we have been building in a shameful manner and we now need to right the wrongs of the past 50 years. There is an enormous amount of work to be done and a measure such as this will force the people working in the construction industry to use their skills to fix the problems of the past, so that we build in a more environmentally friendly manner!
Still regarding land use, as Beppe has already said, we must rehabilitate that which we already have, rather than build something new, by demolishing where necessary and re-building in a more decent manner, however, we often underestimate the importance of reclaiming our urban parkland, which we do by creating a wooded avenue here and a little flower garden there. Instead, what we need to do is to bring back the right balance between the organic and the inorganic in our towns, because when we develop our green areas significantly and not just for the purposes of embellishment, we achieve 3 basic things: 1) the green areas absorb water and allow the level of the water table to rise. Waterproof surfaces instead force the water to runoff, while we continue to use more water and at the same time we increase the amount of surface area covered by waterproof tar and cement, thereby preventing the water from reaching the water table. 2) the green areas lower the temperature of the local microclimates in our towns, which are 3 or 4 degrees warmer than the surrounding microclimates. 3) urban forestation absorbs Co2 and therefore reduces the greenhouse effect and slow down the rate of climate change!
We need to realise the real importance of access to green areas in our towns. Another important issue is that of refuse, which will be the specific topic of a later address, but all I would like to say is that we need to start preparing those of us who will soon be sitting on the town councils to view the problem of refuse from a financial perspective, because this is the only way to approach this problem, also in terms of the environment. If the quantity of refuse is reduced and if we can reclaim the secondary raw materials contained in the refuse, then we will save on the costs of transporting the refuse to the dump. If I don’t have to dump one kilo of rubbish, either because I haven’t produced it or because I have recycled it, then I will be saving the disposal or incineration costs, but if I don’t take it to the dump at all, it probably means that I have sold it to someone else, who will extract the secondary raw materials from it.
For this very reason, differentiated refuse collection and the reduction in the quantity of refuse will enable the town councils to reduce the current refuse removal costs borne by the residents and indeed to convert these costs into revenues that will increase their budget, something that is essential in order to reverse the current suicidal trend of increasing the available funds by destroying the territory as they are doing at the moment.
As regards the technical issues, these will be discussed in a later address, but all I wanted to do was to highlight this very important issue regarding the method.
The next thing is that the municipalities should also consider are the economic – employment policies. We were talking about short production chains. We must draw attention to our local products. It is inconceivable that we transport products over such long distances because this has a certain environmental impact, which in turn increases the greenhouse effect and that takes jobs away from people because we then over-exploit workers in faraway lands, who don’t get paid a fair value and that provide us with products that are not good for us, or rather, products whose goodness is only as good as their low price!
We must increase the people’s purchases of organic products, products produced in an environmentally friendly manner and produced close by. Our town councils must manage the organic waste products from our school canteens in a responsible manner. There is stuff being wasted that brings tears to God’s eyes. The amount of stuff that is being thrown away is truly frightening and we cannot allow this to continue … a whole range of stuff is being thrown away untouched for some or other silly health reasons, while there are many, many needy people!
Anything that cannot be used for this purpose must be used to produce compost to enrich the soil with organic nutrients. We must give preference to our farmers and our small-scale local growers and appreciate the fact that they can sell their wares in town and have to overcome all of the bureaucratic requirements such as VAT registration numbers, etc., which are no great obstacle for the large companies but represent a real problem for the small, family-run firm.
You should know that this phenomenon of the farmer’s markets and short production chains is one that is gaining ground all over the place, in all of the more advanced industrialised countries. We need those of you who will be entering the institutions to be in favour of this type of process.
Two more things before I close: the first being the issue of traffic. We must prevent the historic centres of our towns being turned into parking areas, because doing so means increasing the traffic in our towns. We must prevent the creation of parking areas in office and factory buildings, because this encourages people to go to work by car rather than use the public transport, and we need to identify alternative means to ensure mobility. This is essential and I don’t know why the electric trams were taken out of circulation, because these are the epitome of environmentally friendly vehicles, also because they don’t have to carry the extra weight of on-board batteries but draws its power from an overhead line. These trams have been eliminated from our cities. We need to re-introduce them and, better still, they should be powered by a line passing under the road surface rather than an overhead line. Once these underground lines have been installed to power the trams, the same lines can also be used to power electric cars with no on-board battery packs. Therefore, the tram service can be augmented by introducing a fleet of “public cars”, which can be used by members of the public with “pay as you go” cards and then left at his/her destination, to then be used by other users.
Thus, if the electrical supply lines are laid under the asphalt we could power not only buses, but also a fleet of public cars for private use.
There are also other systems that we should consider, in particular, there is a group of people in Rimini that is busy experimenting with a system called “Jungo”, a sort of card-based hitch-hiking system, which could go a long way towards reducing traffic levels. This system is being tested in the Trento Province and we should investigate it more closely.
Finally there is the issue of water and the fact that it should be considered a public asset. I don’t believe we should really need to discuss this issue any further because it is such an elementary concept, however, that is not enough and a lot of work needs to be done in terms of repairing the aqueducts. We have some aqueducts that are losing as much as 40% of their water, so we are pumping water and losing it at the same time, so we need to do something to ensure that this water is not lost. This is a major undertaking.
I believe that companies that operate in a certain manner, like the Esco (Energy Service Company) companies, can assist communities with this type of initiative to repair the aqueducts and benefit from the water savings resulting from their intervention. I can think of a myriad … My hope is that the greatest possible number of people from our civic lists get voted onto the town councils, because it won’t take many, perhaps one or two town Councillors voting against a vacuum, could take the reigns of the situation and lead the way for others who have no ideas and who don’t know what to do, to follow!
Even if our success in the elections is limited, you must remember that each and every one of us that that is voted onto a Town Council is equivalent to 10 other councillors, because the important thing is to have clear ideas, to be able to make constructive proposals and to have the ability to convince others to follow. I also believe that our presence on the town councils will not only improve the quality of life in our communities, but also provide a very strong general impetus to help us get through this crisis in terms of increasing skilled employment, adding meaning to our work, improving the environment and thus convert the danger we are facing into a great opportunity for change. Thank you and goodbye!"

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:18 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 29, 2009

From +1 to +6

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We’re about there at +1. To get to +6 we need to wait for a few more decades. Between one and six, there’s two, three, four, and five. Every extra degree, a tiny step towards hell. The world economic crisis is a great opportunity to change and to stop in front of the chasm. Capitalism has failed. Democracies killed. The world consumed. It’s not possible to found a society just on capital alone. Anyone possessing it gets into power. The vote is an illusion. A labourer will never become the President of the Council. A rich P2-guy will do instead. A farm-worker will never be the mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, wife of an oil baron, gets there instead. Regime information deals with dwarves, psycho-dwarves, fascists and lega people sold to the one who offers the most (it’s always the same guy), with incinerators and incentives to banks and to Fiat. Meanwhile the planet is warming up, one degree at a time.
It’s worth reminding ourselves about what is about to happen and what is happening now. One thing I’m certain about. Our offspring and their offspring will never forgive us.
+ 1: Melting of the Arctic – Disappearance of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers – Shrinking of the main glaciers from the Alps to Tibet – Start of the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef – Extinction of hundreds of species – Increase in the number and the intensity of hurricanes – Rise in sea level with numerous atolls being submerged, including the archipelago of Kiribati with 78,000 people.
+ 2: Reduction in the degree of alkalinity of the seas with the gradual destruction of plankton and of organisms whose shells are made of calcium carbonate (plankton is at the base of the food chain in the ocean) – A drop in the growth of plants in Europe by up to 30% - Melting of the glaciers in Greenland – Disappearance of the Polar Bear – Famine in India and Pakistan.
+ 3: Disappearance of the Amazon basin and the rain forests – Desertification of Australia – Super-hurricanes in North America – Permanent drought in the continent of India because of a change in the monsoons - Indo and Colorado dry out - New York and other coastal towns submerged by water – Development of epidemics in Africa.
+ 4: Melting of the Antarctic – the Nile Delta submerged by the sea – Famine in China – Mass migration towards temperate countries like Russia and Europe.
+ 5: Expansion of the deserts – Drying up of the aquifers – Increase in mass migration – Possible disintegration of the continental shelves – Tsunami – Civil wars and ethnic conflicts for resources.
+ 6: Possible outpouring of hydro sulphuric acid from the oceans – Clouds of methane. Poisoning of the surface of the earth. Disappearance of a good part of the vegetation. Drastic reduction in the population.
These disasters could happen by 2100.
Crikey. I feel bad. I never want to produce another particle of CO2.
There’s something we can do straight away. Print out and give out the Florence Charter. The twelve points for a 5 star town. We have to start with something, let’s start with our town.

PS. Forecasts taken from the book: “Six Degrees” by Mark Lynas, winner of the "Royal Society Science Books Prize" in Great Britain in 2008.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:02 PM in Ecology | Comments (9) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 06, 2009

The Orsi Bill and the assassination of nature

Hunters at sixteen years of age
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Nature is worthless. We would rather have concrete and double-barrelled shotguns in the hands of sixteen year olds, with which they can exterminate the last few wild animals that are still around. LIPU has examined the Orsi Bill and compared it to the current animal protection legislation. Franco Orsi of the PDL should call himself "Big Hunter" or "Son of Boss(ol)i". What we should be doing is organising patrols to check what our parliamentarians are getting up to. Day by day these guys are trying to make our lives more miserable.
Here is one of many e-mails I have received regarding the Orsi Bill.

"The Bill proposed by Senator Franco Orsi: an endless list of errors.
Out of the Senate, in recent days, has come one of the most serious attacks on Nature, in other words on animal, on our Parks and even on our own safety: a bill that calls for the total liberalisation of hunting. Signed by Senator Franco Orsi.
Animals used as decoys, hunting in our Parks, reduction of protected areas, the slaughter of bears, wolves and stray cats and dogs and many more vile deeds.
Law 157/1992, the only existing law that directly protects the wild fauna in our Parks, is about to be torn to shreds.

Here is the list of horrors:
- Gone are the national and international interests as regards the protection of animals. Italy has an irrefutable heritage, namely our wild animals, which he is apparently no longer interested in protecting!
- Gone is the definition of super-protected species. In Italy, animals such as the wolf, the bear, the eagles, the flamingos, the swans, the storks and many others, will no longer enjoy the special protection envisaged by the European Union and international regulations.
- Hunting season open along the migration routes, something that will undoubtedly create a major disturbance and will encourage poaching in areas that are very important in terms of the difficult voyage and essential stopovers undertaken by the migratory birds.
- Total liberalisation of rules regarding live decoys! Are you aware of precisely what live decoys are? They are live birds held “prisoner” in the tiniest of cages for the purpose of attracting other birds. This terrible practice is already permitted by the current legislation, albeit with certain restrictions. But Senator Orsi now wants to liberalise this practice totally. It will be possible to keep and use an unlimited number of these decoys. Gone will be the identification rings for live decoys. All that will be required is a certificate. One certificate for all of these decoys! Hunters will be able to use any species of birds as decoys, whether legal prey or not, even bramblings, chaffinches and redbreasts.
- 700 thousand taxidermists. The hunters themselves will automatically become taxidermists, without even having to follow any procedures. Animals killed and stuffed without any rules. How many poachers do you think are going to spring into action to illegally capture and stuff wild animals?
- Scientific research eliminated. The State’s own scientific authority (the “Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica” or National Institute for Wild Fauna – currently known as the “ISPRA”) is at risk of being totally replaced by regional institutes. These regional institutes will thus be issuing opinions on national and European Union matters. Plus the very real possibility of not being able to carry out studies or research, or establish uniform standards valid throughout the Country.
- Open hunting season in our Parks, for currently protected species. The incredible formulation of the Orsi Bill will make it possible to get exemptions (in other words, to get permission to hunt otherwise protected species), even in our Parks and other protected areas! Regions that protect more than 30% of their regional territory will be penalised! How offensive is that ruling! Those who protect too much “Nature” will be punished. As if creating a park, where people and animals can move about freely, were a punishable crime!
- Hunting licences issued to 16-year olds. Instead of teaching our kids respect, we now give them rifles!
- Freedom to exterminate wolves, bears, deer, stray cats and dogs, etcetera! An incredible provision that gives the mayor the power to authorise the slaughter and extermination of animals, in total contradiction of even the most basic of European standards. All that is needed is that there is be “problem animal”. A veritable naturalistic “Wild West”.
- Regional legislation permitting the hunting of protected species. Apparently, four European Union infractions and two four European Union infractions Constitutional Court rulings were not enough. Senator Orsi is about to give the Veneto and Lombardy regions, or rather the Ultras of the hunting world, a gift, namely a chance to hunt protected species, and to do so using regional legislation. I suppose we will be forced to pay the European Union fines too!
- Hunting in the snow and ice. Hunting will be permitted even in the snow and ice, in other words, those times of the year when the animals have a very hard time finding food, refuge and heat.
Let me go back to the issue of using birds as decoys! How medieval is that! Owlets tied by their claws and wings and used as bait!
- Less control over hunting. Fauna and flora guards will no longer be able to carry out inspections! In a Country that has one of the highest rates of poaching in the whole of Europe, what does Senator Orsi go and do? He reduces controls over hunting!
- The “Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali” (National Animal Protection Body) chucked off the National Technical Committee. The number of environmental associations represented on the committee of 157 are reduced from four to three. “ENPA”, the historical Italian animal association, is completely excluded.
Circulate this document and register on the wild animal protection lists on the various blogs and on Facebook.
Let’s stop Italy from resorting to this type of barbarity. Nature is our life."
The text of the Franco Orsi Bill (PDL) compared with that of the current law, drawn from the LIPU

website

1. Contact tthe members of the Senate Territorial and Environmental Committee that will be discussing the Orsi Bill.
2. Send an-email with your comments and/or suggestions regarding the bill directly to Franco Orsi
3. Join the group on Facebook

Photo of enricofede07x


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:02 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

February 24, 2009

Beppe Grillo in Chiaiano

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The rubbish swindle
"Ch'aggia fa jè? Ch'aggia faa? No, then I want to clear up something – even for the unauthorised spectators who are watching from their own homes. It’s marvellous! Well then, what I want to clear up with you is that I am incredibly embarrassed because these young people on the committee that we are in contact with called me and asked me to come down and what is the idea? Why am I here? What’s the meaning of my presence? Yes, the idea of gathering together a few people and that’s OK, but above all to get a message across to the media, to the TV stations.
Hang on. Don’t applaud too early! Wait! Well then, this role of intermediary of the means of communication is no longer valid because they are no longer mediating anything. We need to find another way of communicating these things to the rest of Italy. So then, I have come here, I have been out for a spin with them. Shall I tell you what I’ve seen? I’ve seen the delirium of anything. I’ve seen the third infantry brigade that was in control of the tins of tuna. I have seen the “Bersaglieri” {riflemen} who were impounding a dog that had a bag of rubbish in its mouth.
I have seen the barbed wire, I have seen the machine guns. As soon as they saw me, they arrived with a tank, an eight-ton panzer! We have absolutely no hope of having demonstrations against the military. They have laid out barbed wire. They watch us and they preserve the territory.
I want this law to be clear why the military are here. This law was done by signor Prodi and the Left just a fraction of a second before they left office. Remember this stuff. So if it is under a military siege, even a mayor that says to his own population that there will be a rubbish tip there or that they are going to construct an incinerator there, or that right there they are about to construct a nuclear power station, just for having said that, he is risking five years in prison. So it’s necessary to search out other forms of carrying on the fight!
Here, ladies and gentlemen, rubbish, I can say this as one who lives in Genoa, and I don’t even want to say that we won one-nil with Naples “tiè tiè”! I don’t want to say that. I don’t want to say that and I won’t say that. However, I’ve come here just to tell you dear ladies and gentlemen, that by now the rubbish is a publicity stunt. It’s of no interest to anyone. Gentle folk, you are like an Indian reservation. There’s the battle between the Indians and the cow boys. Here the rubbish is of no interest to anyone! Toxic noxious rubbish and nuclear waste is no longer of interest! What is causing annoyance to the rest of Italy is you lot! You lot, with these strange illnesses that you say you have, this pain that you have just thrown down there! It is your pain that is so annoying! It has to be a silent pain. Well then, will you get it into your heads that you have to suffer in silence? This is what they want. With XXXX that we suffer in silence! Well then, here the camorra has become literature that sells books. It sells newspapers. They’ve got names: Cicciuzzo... what’s he called? Cicciuzzo Mezzanotte {Midnight Cicciuzzo}! Toro seduto {Sitting Bull}. Sandokan!

...

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:52 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

December 06, 2008

Lester Brown and the irresponsible economy

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YouTubeQuickTime 56k3GPiPod VideoAudio Mp3

This blog interviewed Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, author of the book entitled "Plan B 3.0" and winner of numerous environmental protection awards. The Washington Post has called him "one of the most influential opinion makers in the world ".
In terms of our Italy and its nuclear power stations, regasification terminals, incinerators, toxic waste disposal dumps, withdrawal of incentives in favour of alternative energy sources and backtracking on its Kyoto commitments, his words seem to be coming from a complete other world. Yet it is the same world in which we live. We only have one world and that has been sacrificed at the altar of consumerism and profit. The psycho(dwarf)peddler of consumerism and second hand television programmes exercises control over all the information media. This planet, however, couldn’t give a damn about the information media.
Download Plan B 3.0

Text:
"The most important thing that Governments have to do is to force the markets to tell the truth. The market is very good at doing certain things. One thing, however, that it does not do very well is to factor in the indirect costs (into the products - Ed). For example, when we buy a litre of fuel, we pay the cost incurred in extracting the crude oil, the transportation to the refinery, the refining of the crude oil to produce the fuel and the cost of transporting the fuel to the pump. We do not contribute anything towards the cost of treating the respiratory tract infections caused by breathing in polluted air, just as we don’t contribute to paying the cost of all the damage caused by acid rain and certainly not the cost of climate change.
When the British Government asked the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Sir Nicholas Stern, to estimate the cost of the consequences of climate change, he highlighted the fact that climate change was the result of a monumental failure of the market. What he meant was that, having failed to factor the cost of climate change into the fuel price or the coal price, the next generation finds itself having to cope with the enormous costs of climate change, such as the melting of the world’s glaciers, the rising sea levels, the increasingly violent storms and so forth. What we have to do is to force the market to tell the truth. We must factor in the indirect costs. We now know what these are.
We must do this by reducing income tax and increasing the tax on CO2 emissions. This needs to be done progressively, say over a period of 10-12 years, so that the people will know what to expect and will plan their choices accordingly. Others prefer the carbon dioxide market approach, which sets a ceiling on emissions and make the right to pollute something that is negotiable.
That is precisely what Europe has attempted to do, but this approach has not proved to be particularly effective. Most economists prefer the route of tax rate re-organisation. This is the most effective way of overhauling the economy and forcing the market to tell the truth regarding environmental issues. In my travels around the world, I am often asked the question: what can I do, what must I do? I think people expect me to say: recycle your newspaper, or replace you light globes with more energy efficient ones.
These are certainly important actions, however, what we have to address is the need to overhaul the entire economic system. We need to force the market to tell the truth regarding environmental issues, and this involves becoming politically active.
For decades now, we environmentalists have been talking about saving the planet. Now we must talk about saving civilisation itself.
The reason for this is that the increasing burden of peaking petroleum production, the increase in crude oil prices, scarcity of food, scarcity of water and all of the problems linked to climate change are leading an increasing number of failing governments becoming fearful, thereby driving the world towards a situation where the world itself could become uncontrollable. Saving civilisation is not a spectator sport. We cannot afford to simply sit back and wait for someone else to do something on our behalf. We all have our own interests on the line. We all have children and grandchildren and, therefore, we must think about what we need to do and how quickly we need to do it in order to save our civilisation.
For a long time now we have been talking about sustainable development. The only alternative to sustainable development is unsustainable development, in other words economic decline and failure. If we take the time to look back at earlier civilisations, we can identify all of the environmental problems that they were unable to resolve. For the Sumerians, the main problem was the increase in the salinity of the soil. They attempted to overcome the problem by switching from the planting of wheat to the planting of barley. However, the level of salinity continued to increase, resulting in the disappearance of the barley fields and subsequently in the disappearance of the civilisation itself. In the case of the Mayans, the problem was the soil erosion resulting from deforestation and excessive agricultural activity. Together with the decline of the food production system came the decline in the Mayan civilisation. Now the entire area has reverted to jungle. The lands occupied by the Sumerians have since become deserts. We know from experience that if any civilisation is unable to manage their environmental problems, these problems will eventually result in the decline of the civilisation itself.
Beppe, I would like to thank you for your interest and your support on environmental issues. I would like to remind you about the time, in early 2006 when Plan B 2.0 was released, when we posted an extract from the book on your blog, amounting to a few hundred words. That posting led to so many hits on our site that our server gave up the ghost and we were obliged to replace it with another server that was ten times as powerful. It was absolutely extraordinary to note that all of this began with a simple posting on a single blog outside of the United States. Subsequently we began to do some research and discovered that your blog is one of the most powerful blogs anywhere in the world. The very idea that one individual can compete with the major-league media companies such as the BBC and CNN is way beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. I think that your efforts to fully utilise this extraordinary information medium are admirable and we are pleased to be able to work with you.
I believe that together we could truly turn things around. But we don’t have much time. We must act quickly and get everyone involved!
Congratulations on what you are doing. Thank you very much!" Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:28 PM in Ecology | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

December 02, 2008

Biowashball

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Biowashball
Click on the image


In the programme “Mi manda Rai3” that was devoted to Biowashball what was missing was the two million people who have used it and value it.
They got the RAI, the magazine called “il Salvagente with the Co-op label (the Co-op that loves detergents) and some people because they were signed up to a Beppe Grillo Meetup who were against the product (guess why they were invited – and only them).
Missing from the studio was the housewife from Voghera, the one who knows what washing is and who can provide a professional opinion on the Biowashball because she has used it.
If a product doesn’t do what it says it does and they want money in exchange, that’s called fraud. The company that distributes the product worldwide, has no court action against it and in no State where Biowashball is sold has the product been withdrawn.
I have said many times that before giving an opinion it’s necessary to get information and to check it. However I haven’t said that to do that, you have to watch the TV or read the newspapers financed by the State.
I have tried it. My family has been using Biowashball for two months and even the families of some of my friends. For us it works. Before giving your opinion, I advise you to use it, perhaps on loan from a friend. On the Internet there are hundreds of statements from satisfied Italian users.
After this reaction from the media I believe that it is time to start a campaign against detergents, one of the tools used to destroy the planet, used often unnecessarily and nearly always excessively. A difficult battle because they have the media (financed with their advertising) as allies.
They will never give up, (but is it in their interests?) neither will we.

(*) 800,000 Biowashball in Europe, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Italy …. 250,000 in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand. 950,000 in Asia : Korea, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, ... 50,000 in the USA in the first month after the launch.

PS. I am not paid to advertise Biowashball (read the letter), anyone who says otherwise is lying knowing that they are lying. They can expect a court action for defamation. money that I get will go to charity.
PPS. The symbol for the Civic Lists will be published tomorrow.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:51 PM in Ecology | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

December 01, 2008

Jill and the Moon Bears

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I’m publishing an interview with Jill Robinson (*) of Animals Asia Foundation. The blog has already described the Calvary of the Moon Bears. Unable to move inside a tiny cage for 20 years, for as long as they stay alive. Twice a day their bile is extracted from their bodies for use in medicines, drinks and shampoos. The pain is so great that they try to commit suicide. To stop them doing that, their claws have been pulled out and their teeth sawn off. 10,000 Moon Bears are tortured in China, Korea and Vietnam. Jill will shortly tell us about the products containing their bile and the addresses of the torture sites.
I have asked Jill if I can adopt a Moon Bear as a mascot for the blog. As soon as I get the photo I will publish it. Crikey. I feel like a father waiting outside the delivery room. Help Jill by going to the site Animals Asia Foundation.

Text:
Jill Robinson: “This poor bear has clearly been in a cage for years and years and years. He’s not only performing severe stereotypic behaviour but it is to such an extent that he has actually worn the fur completely off his face and some of his body. He’s also got very dry and cracked pads, hyperkeratotic footpads which again indicate that this bear has not stood on solid ground for years and years. It’s a complete disgrace.
These two baby bears are actually sucking each other’s paws. This is the noise that they would actually make when they are sucking milk from their mother. The first bear, which doesn’t seem to be in too bad a condition, but we are quite worried about some of these here. You can see the suffocating cages and one of them has an eye problem.
But until we get them out here we can’t really see their condition but you can smell some of them. I think we have some problem bears here with infections. We think 29 have arrived but then again, until we get them off, we’re not sure. This one we are really worried out too. During the night he’s been moaning a lot. He’s been bringing his back legs up to his chest as though he has severe abdominal pain. He’s got a lot of ulcers around his mouth. He’s trying to scratch inside his mouth. He wants to eat but it’s obviously causing him some pain as well. He’s quite thin and he’s also blind in one eye.
So we have a lot of problems with this one too. I’m quite worried about him. Actually his face is horrible. It’s very badly ulcerated on the lips.
Interviewer: Do you think he’ll make it?
Jill Robinson: I don’t know. I don’t have a good feeling particularly about this one, but you know, they prove us wrong time and time again and we do see miracles, so let’s hope for this one. They are such a stoic animal, you know they can withstand so much pain and stress. No other animal would be able to adapt to that sort of environment, certainly no human being. But again we find time and time again, they pull through. But I can’t help being very very worried about this one.

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Moon Bears in cages for bile extraction

Interviewer: “How long does a typical bear survive in these conditions?”
Jill Robinson: Until they fade away. Months and months and months. Dogs and cats wouldn’t survive that sort of trauma at all."

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Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia Foundation

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:21 AM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 21, 2008

The Land of Fires

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Banner confiscated in Rome


Italy was the Land of Persimmons, then of Indian Fig Opuntia, now of fires, set in the whole of Campania to destroy toxic waste. Dioxin is oxygen for politics. I have no more news of the trial of 'O Governatore, whose real name is Antonio Bassolino. Is it still going on while awaiting the time out for the Statute of limitations? Will someone let me know.

Dear Beppe,
We are young people committed at the coal face for an environmental drama that finds ample reflections even in the pages of V. The final chapter of the book is dedicated to that: “The Land of Fires”. Just as in the rest of the country, here the serious problems are ignored by the official media. So, while the country is chasing after the scurrilous choices in relation to the environment, by the one government and by the other one, and everyone is getting worried about incinerators,… in the meantime, tons and tons of specialist refuse (*) is still being poured out onto the streets in the outskirts of Naples and Caserta. The whole lot is set fire to, especially at night. Within site of everyone including the Italian Army.
The Refuse Emergency is transformed into the single and “simple” issue of urban refuse. With risks and sacrifices, putting at risk personal safety for about six months, we have denounced with videos and photographs a scandal that has been going ahead undisturbed for years, as can be seen on the website www.laterradeifuochi.it. It seems like a battle field. Great columns of dense black fumes are rising from the ground. It brings back memories of Kuwait when the oil fields were burning.
Some TV channels have started to take note of the issue, but that is not enough. A real vast area (the province between Naples and Caserta in particular the urban areas of Scampia, Ponticelli and those adjacent to the towns in the province of North Naples like Giugliano, Qualiano, Villaricca, Mugnano, Melito, Arzano, Casandrino, Casoria, Caivano, Grumo Nevano, Acerra, Nola, Marigliano, and Pomigliano; on the Caserta side there are the towns of Parete, Casapesenna, Villa Literno, Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Casal di Principe, Aversa, Lusciano, Marcianise, Teverola, Trentola, Frignano, and Casaluce) is still transforming itself into an immense incinerator with cells dotted around” There intensity increases as the sun goes down and they burn the whole night long. The fires are interminable even during the day. But what happens at night is indescribable. The air pongs like the whole Earth is in putrefaction. There are hundreds of families obliged to close themselves indoors. The whole thing is documented from satellites. It’s enough to take a tour of our site on Google Maps. We have created a map with a census of the locations. Among the specialist refuse there is glue, solvents and industrial paints, off cuts from manufacturing processes. From textiles to manufacturing of footwear, going on to mechanical, bodywork and thermo-hydraulics. From electric wires to the shells of white goods. The killer Eternit, full of asbestos is burning! What is externally visible is that old tires are burning. In other countries they are completely recycled. Here they are burned to enrich criminals who poison our lives. From the evidence collected, we have reached the conclusion that the fires are done because they feed the illegal market for the disposal of special refuse. And at the same time the illegal recovery of certain materials, form “precious” copper to common metals like iron and steel.
Health, Agriculture, the image, the Economy and the Development of Campania are compromised beyond every limit. As well as the holes for burying dangerous refuse, there are above all the FIRES. In Marcianise some independent doctors are engaged in clinical research that is showing that mothers are advised to reduce breast feeding. Because of too much dioxin in their milk. Raffaele Del Giudice, protagonist of “Biutiful Cauntri” and the leader of Campania’s Legambiente, has declared that the environmental strata have all been compromised. Important biological indicators are beyond every possible tolerance limit. Has anyone ever asked the reason for all the miscarriages? And the male infertility, the thyroid illnesses, the child allergies and the problems to the respiratory system? When the doctors examine us, they can say where we come from just by the types of pathology that we have. And yet no one is talking about this! Why is health spending in Campania so high? Is it all bad management and theft, or is it that we are really sick? How many more deaths do we have to weep over? With a tiny fire everything is contaminated. The air, the water table and enormous sections of the surface. Even at a distance of kilometers. For the mozzarella with dioxin, they have examined the buffalos. And the population?
Those responsible are not people. Like the medieval plague-spreaders, these mad assassins disseminate the plague and poisons in a subtle and silent way through the whole of the population. To those who in critical moments have accused the people of Campania of being absent, we respond with the institutions. Where were the institutions and where are they right now? The phenomenon has been going on for many years. It has been written in the reports of Ecomafia, and of Legambiente. Now, however, thanks to “Gomorra” it’s as though everyone has read the reports. Help us to spread the word about the website www.laterradeifuochi.it. Everyone is called to take care of their own land with a civic action of video-denouncing environmental scandals. A mobile phone is enough. Given that with a single action there is an attack on the health of millions of people, we want really severe penalties for the environmental criminals.
We are a group of young dreamers who want to believe in the institutions. These, however, do everything to discourage us. We have sent appeals to the highest positions in the State. From the President of the Republic, the Honourable Giorgio Napolitano to the current president of the Council, the Honourable Cavaliere Silvio Berlusconi.
Anyway, in recent days, with the statements of esteem and solidarity that Roberto Saviano is receiving from the whole world of politics, here at Gomorra, the scandal continues…” Angelo Ferrillo – president of Associazione La Terra dei Fuochi - www.laterradeifuochi.it


(*) The specialist refuse is that derived from: agricultural activity – construction activity, demolition and excavation – industrial work, artisans, business – service activity, recovery and disposal of refuse – health service activity – obsolete machinery and vehicles and engines that have been scrapped. (art. n° 7 D. Lgs. 22/97)"

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:59 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 19, 2008

Sequestration of Marcegaglia’s incinerator

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The story of stuff


Good news: In Modugno, near Bari, Marcegaglia’s incinerator has been sequestered thanks in part to a declaration by the young people of the Bari 2 Meetup. It is a great victory for the health of the people of Apulia. A defeat for the politicians and the Confindustria people who are aided by the State.
In relation to the environment each one has the Ministers they deserve, but we have exaggerated. Two declarations that would freeze Dracula’s blood:
- Stefania Prestigiacomo, minister of the Environment: We are really doing badly on Kyoto. We have a growth trend in emissions of 13% instead of a decrease of 6.5% but even here… does it make sense that it is we who take on the job of the pollution of the world when to wriggle out of Kyoto are the countries like the United States…?”
Renato Brunetta, minister for the Public Administration and for Innovation, on the reduction of polluting emissions: Europe has little to punish us for because 20-20-20 [20% more in energy efficiency, 20% less in polluting emissions and 20% of energy sourced from renewable sources by 2020, editor] is madness. For the companies and for the country… It is madness above all for a manufacturing country like Italy that has an intensity and a density of companies greater than the European average because our country would have disadvantages.” But he added reassuringly: “We want a clean environment. We want controls of an environmental type that do not kill our companies and our families.”
Give me a bucket so that I can vomit….

"Ciao Beppe,
I am Lello Ciampolillo of the Bari 2 Meetup. I wanted to let you know that in a sea of ‘rubbish’ news today we have a positive item. The magistracy works. Politicians no.
On 22/09/08 Dr. Francesco Bretone prosecutor at the Procura of Bari, has sequestered the building site for the construction of the incinerator of Eco Energia Srl (Marcegaglia group) at Modugno (BA) and he has placed 4 people under investigation; one of these is a director of the Ecology Section of the Region of Apulia. The sequestration has recently been confirmed by the Magistrate for the preliminary investigations. The investigations have been carried out partly as a result of two denunciations presented by the Bari 2 Meetup with the help of the lawyer Gaetano Filograno. The declarations provide evidence of the dangerousness of the establishments between Bari and Modugno of a turbo gas electricity generating station and the incinerator, inserted in an environment that is already heavily polluted by the industrial zone just by the city of Bari, as well as the presence of an Enel electricity generating station inside the city, recently converted from combustion oil to gas about whose legitimacy our Meetup is carrying out technical and judicial investigations to be submitted to the relevant authorities.

...

They will never give up, and neither will we.” Lello Ciampolillo organizer of Bari 2 Meetup

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:48 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 30, 2008

Moon Bears

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Brother Bear, Sister Moon, Tormentor man. Matrix’s agent Smith described man as a virus. He knew what he was talking about. We are the only species that destroys the environment in which we live, that kills for fun, that tortures living beings for filthy lucre. The Moon Bears are immobilized in a tiny cage for twenty years, the duration of their lives. Every day, twice a day, bile is extracted from their flesh for medicine, drinks and shampoos. The pain that they suffer is so great that the bears try to commit suicide. To stop them from doing that, their claws are pulled out and their teeth are sawn off. 10,000 Moon Bears are tortured in China, in Korea and in Vietnam. I have seen a whole film sequence about the torture and I felt ill, I wanted to turn off the PC, but I got right to the bitter end. At least this I owed to Brother Bear.
Jill Robinson, an English lady, is dedicating her life to the Moon Bears with the organization AAF. Let us help her by means of her website. In the next few days I will interview Jill for the blog, to find out about the products that contain the bile and the addresses of the places where the torture takes place. I will publish this and I will adopt a Moon Bear as a mascot for the blog. Read the letter from Carmen of AAF.

“Have you ever heard of “bile farms” in China, Korea and Vietnam and of the atrocities practiced on the Moon Bears? These marvelous animals, once they have been captured with traps that often cause terrible mutilation, are imprisoned and tortured for a practice that is so cruel that it has few comparisons. They are prisoners in tiny cages, no bigger than their bodies, cages that prevent any type of movement, that deform their bones and atrophy the limbs. About 10,000 bears are “milked” twice a day for the really painful extraction of their bile by means of rudimentary metal catheters inserted into their gall bladder. In ancient times, the bear was killed and its bile was used in traditional Chinese medicines. In the 1970 the bear, considered a protected species because it was becoming extinct, was imprisoned for life giving an infinitely superior production of bile. Today its bile can be completely substituted with herbal alternatives and more economic and more effective synthetic products. The market has an excess supply and to reduce the stocks, the producers also use it for the production of drinks and shampoos! These creatures go through indescribable suffering. Their limbs become atrophied a bit at a time until they have absolute immobility and with an agony that can last 20 years, they suffer this torture every day, until they die from tumours or chronic infections produced by the catheters that are inserted into their flesh. Nothing else is done for them: the infections, the psychological suffering, the malformation of the bones caused by the pressure of the bars, the pressure sores, the malnutrition kills them more rapidly. But most of these animals, very resistant, survive this unthinkable torture for decades. Many bears would like to put an end to their atrocious suffering by committing suicide, but they are prevented from doing this, by having their teeth sawn off, by having their claws pulled, leaving them only the possibility to be maddened for life.
The saving of the bears began in 1993 when a courageous English woman called Jill Robinson went to visit one of these places. In 1998, AAF-ANIMALS ASIA FOUNDATION was created to put an end to this cruel practice and1999 saw the opening of a centre for the recovery of bears that have been saved where the AAF staff gives these martyred animals the joy to live once more. Today there have been more than 280 bears that have been freed. The knowledge of the torture that the Moon Bears have had to undergo is moving. It provokes indignation and nudges consciences. With her association, Jill is today negotiating with the Chinese government to get the maximum result: the definitive closure of every individual bile farm. Jill and AAF can only fight their battles thanks to the donations that come from every part of the world.” Carmen
AAF – UK Tel.+44-1579-347148, ITALY Support Group - Tel. +39-010-2541998

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:33 PM in Ecology | Comments (6) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 23, 2008

Nicotine and the death of the honeybee

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If you see a honeybee that is busy dying, you should be very concerned indeed. Albert Einstein once said that: “Were all the honeybees to disappear, man would only have four years left to live”.
Honeybees play a pivotal role in the production of honey, pears, apples, tomatoes, clover, medicinal herbs, milk and meat. They transport the pollen and transform the world around us into food. The honeybee, which is a bio-indicator of environmental health, is a species that is currently at risk. If the honeybee is at risk today, tomorrow it will be our turn. In an article entitled “Honeybee deaths reaching crisis point”, The Guardian reports that fully one third of the total of 240,000 British beehives actually died off during the past winter and spring. British Minister Rooker has stated that if nothing is done to remedy the situation, there will no longer be a single honeybee left on the island within the next ten years. Honeybees contribute some 165 million pounds sterling per year to the British economy through the production of fruit and vegetables. That is, of course, over and above the honey that they produce. The Honey Association predicts that no more locally produced honey will be available in Great Britain by Christmas. New stocks will only become available during the summer of 2009.
This, however, is a worldwide crisis. The world’s largest producer of honey is Argentina, where the 75,000 tons produced annually has now dropped by 27%. In the United States (25% fewer beehives in 2008) and the rest of the world, the honeybees are deserting us. In Italy it has been a disaster. Fifty percent of our honeybees died and 200,000 beehives were lost in 2007, resulting in a 250 million Euro loss for the agricultural sector. However, it would seem that this is not a national priority. Apparently, the real priorities are the deployment of soldiers on our streets, gagging the Justice System by means of the separation of duties, gathering the fingerprints of gypsy children, the Alfano Bill to ensure the impunity of the Top Four Gang and Impregilo’s incinerators. These are the real priorities!
And why are the honeybees dying you may ask? They are dying because of environment degradation, climate change, Varoa (a type of mite), the conversion of grazing land into fields of Soya beans used in the production of bio fuels, the indiscriminate use of pesticides and the pollution of our water courses. The beehives are being decimated by a phenomenon known as CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), and all because mankind is busy poisoning our planet.
There is something that we can do immediately as far as Italy is concerned. We can prohibit the use of nicotine-based pesticides. They have already done so in France. Nicotine has a disastrous effect on honeybees. It makes them lose their sense of direction, they are then unable to find their hives and so they die.
In addition to putting the honeybees at risk, those producing nicotine-based pesticides are also threatening our survival. Please give me a hand by adding your comments to this information posting regarding the manufacturers and users of these pesticides and the consequences for the environment.
Anyone who poisons a honeybee is also poisoning you.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:22 AM in Ecology | Comments (15) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 12, 2008

Blocks of Ice and Blocks of Shit

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The polar bears are contaminated. They are becoming yellow. The seals and the penguins can see them from a distance and flee. The yellow gold against the snow is better than a light-reflector. At the Pole, the bears are getting thinner and they let themselves float off on blocks of ice riding on the currents. The icebergs are melting, but the whole planet is focusing its attention on the Olympics. Our civilisation and the icebergs are at risk of finishing at the same moment.
The glaciers of the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau are melting at a rate of 7% a year. By the year 2060 they could disappear, but already the flow that they pour into the Yellow River and the Yangtze has gone down, as has the harvest of rice and of grain.
The Gangotri Glacier could disappear in twenty years together with the Ganges that could be transformed into a little seasonal river.
The ice of the Himalayas is being transformed into rivers, the rivers into food for India and China, two over-populated nations. A few extra billion people could die of hunger, but in Beijing the nations of the world are thinking about archery and synchronized swimming.
In its own way, the human race is great, it manages to dance on the edge of a volcano during a sea-quake while an asteroid is striking the Earth.
When the glaciers of the North Pole are completely melted, and that will happen soon, perhaps in less than 10 years, the level of the sea will rise by FIVE metres. The icebergs of Greenland will melt straight away after that and the level of the sea will rise by a further SEVEN metres.
Any human being living in a place lower than TWELVE metres above sea level should move house. A research study by the International Institute for Environment and Development has estimated that the house moving will involve 600 million people.
Humans will become yellow like the bears. They will be dragged out into the oceans like the bears. Not on blocks of ice. Which will no longer exist. But on blocks of shit.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:26 AM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

February 29, 2008

Cut and sew

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Click the video

A technique used by TV journalists is “Cut and sew”. Your words are used against you. The technique is useful for making you say the opposite of what you think or to make you seem to be mad. The guest to be knocked out is interviewed before the broadcast, never live. Those who are watching at home know nothing about the cuts. They hear just the snippets chosen by the presenter. Everything you don’t know is true!


Dear Beppe,
Mario Tozzi invited me to take part in “Terzo Pianeta”, his programme about rubbish that was broadcast on 16 February. The chunk into which I was inserted, was recorded on Friday 15 in the rubbish tip of Serre. I was talking with Paolo Degli Espinosa, a supporter of Brescia’s incinerator. I knew that I would not be treated on an equal footing and I suspected that some of my statements would be cut, but I thought that it was still worth the effort to make it possible to hear a voice that is not in the same chorus as Tozzi. Actually Degli Espinosa had a lot more space, in an interview on his own at the beginning, and then in the debate with me. But that was not a negative thing, because he was able to say more a lot more things without foundation that are easily shown to be false in a few words. What I didn’t expect is however, the amount of cutting made to my contribution. I had calculated that there would be a few snips, but hardly anything remained. I’m listing the things that got cut out.
1. Incinerators are an economic disaster. Without CIP6 they wouldn’t get by. After that was removed from the new incinerators, the tender competition to complete the Acerra one was deserted, and Prodi brought it back in with a special decree for the three new plant planned in Campania.
Incineration is a choice as an alternative to differentiated collection. If the quantities of refuse delivered to an incinerator were to go down and the burning process were not to operate at full capacity the economic shortfall would grow.
Every half word the politicians say that we have to stay in Europe. And yet incineration is the opposite of the measures indicated by Europe on the treatment of refuse, which are in order of precedence: differentiated collection and recycling, recovery of energy without combustion (anaerobic digestion of the organic part), the recovery of energy with combustion. He made me repeat this sequence twice. So that he could cut it out better?
4 For the undifferentiated residue I described the Mechanical-Biological Treatment and its advantages in relation to incineration in terms of investment costs, recovery of material, economic gain, impact on the environment and on health, final disposal of the inert minimal residue.
5 In response to the (pseudo) argument that emissions from traffic are greater than those from incinerators I pointed out the absurdity of his logic. You can’t compare apples with turkeys. Emissions from incinerators should be compared to emissions from other systems for treating refuse; with those from our stock of buildings, from houses that are constructed better; and compare emissions of car traffic with emissions of other transport systems.
7. The part in which I said that the nano particles can cause cancers, was cut.
When Tozzi made out that incineration gets rid of refuse I reminded him of the Lavoiser law. Even this citation was cut.
I think it is useful to make known this vision of “behind the scenes”, that in the last analysis is a sign of cultural and political weakness. If you have to take refuge in these methods to convince the public of the benefits of a despicable choice in terms of the economy and ecology, that is represented by incineration, even in spite of the current frenzied media campaign, they have not succeeded. In fact, as far as I can see, they have contributed to increase the number of those who are right to fear it and therefore reject it.”

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:38 AM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 19, 2008

Maurizio Pallante and the disappearance of the refuse

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Refuse is no longer the main talking point in Naples. Attention has moved on to political refuse, which is far more toxic and is not recyclable.
Incinerators are hazardous to our health and to our pockets. We subsidise them by means of a levy on our ENEL utility bills, called the CIP6 and amounting to around 7%. Without this subsidy, they would all be shut down. This contribution is being taken away from the renewable energy sources, for which the levy was originally intended. It has been proven that incinerators waste energy instead of generating it, and they only manage to survive thanks to the tax on electric power.
In order to change things, we will have to get to the point of personally reducing our utility bills until such time as the CIP6 is allocated to wind power and solar power, as occurs in the rest of Europe. I am seriously considering doing this.
Instructions will be posted on this blog. Stay tuned.
Listen to the interview with Maurizio Pallante, an expert in the field of environmental technologies and consultant to the Ministry for the Environment.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:29 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 16, 2008

Biutiful cauntri

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Read the card on Biùtiful cauntri

The incinerator at Terni has been closed. There’s the possibility of the crime of environmental disaster. Incinerators are anti-historical and produce dioxin and nano-particles. If what I am writing is true and documented then those who should finish up being accused in the future are all those who are responsible for the deaths by cancer: the politicians, the administrators, the entrepreneurs with money from the CIP6 of our electricity bills.
If what I am saying is false, I invite the salesmen of incinerators to demonstrate the contrary on this blog.

Dear Beppe,
I’m afraid that the political decisions of the last few days in the “Pianura case” in Campania intend to use the emergency to legitimate and to adopt long term choices.
In recent days, even by means of media bombardment, infused with superficiality and common expressions, it would in fact seem that the refuse emergency in Campania can only be resolved by using tips and incinerators, without being aware that this represents a long-term political strategy and it is not the only way of resolving the immediate issue.
There’s a wish to put into action a political choice, something that the whole of Europe is having second thoughts about. or really to unbalance the management of refuse with the creation of plant rather than with the politics of “r”:
- reduction of consumption
- recycling
- recovery
- repair
- re-use
- reprocessing
They want to put into practice a precise political choice: to create in Campania three incineration plants in the territory of the province of Salerno, in Acerra (Naples) and in Santa Maria La Fossa (Caserta). The one in Acerra, as is well known, is without any environmental impact assessment and is using ancient technology, as has been amply demonstrated by the Bi-Chamber Committee on refuse, it is far too big and to be economically beneficial it would have to burn quantities of CDR (combustibles derived from refuse) in proportions that are such that it would discourage recycling and the virtuous cycle that results and would determine as has been shown by the Court of Accounts, even capital damage to the local finances.
The direction dictated by the emergency is intended to unbalance the management of the integrated cycle of refuse in favour of the classical system of combustion, giving the main function to the idea of incinerating refuse, which has however been indicated as residual and marginal by the regulations and by the existing jurisprudence.
To radically change the direction of the politics of refuse in Italy it’s necessary to exit from the cul de sac of CIP 6 and to definitively cancel even for those plant that have already been created, the discussion number 6 of the Interministerial decision on prices that in 1992 declared (the only country in Europe) refuse as a source of renewables, thus making it possible to have public funding for incineration plant. By taking resources directly from the citizens in their electricity bills, in the last 15 years, the CIP6 has influenced the politics of refuse in Italy focusing the attention mainly on the final phase, exactly on the disposal and the realisation of incineration plant. By means of CIP6 parasitic sacks and financial incomes have been fed and these have had as their main objective that of burning most of the refuse “exactly as it is” impeding and putting obstacles in the way of the start of recycling. The public financing coming from CIP6 has influenced the regional planning tools and has slowed down, not just the development of recycling but of sources of clean and renewable energy like wind energy and photo-voltaics.
A practice like that of incineration that increases the waste, with an energy return of 10-15% as opposed to an expenditure on resources that the energy produced does not even remotely compensate for. A practice that provides incentives for the creation of plant that at their maximum output produce on top of the toxic and harmful ultra-fine dust, such a quantity of ash that they need the creation of large quantities of tips to hold the new refuse produced by combustion. To see this it’s enough to go for a tour round Montichiari where the ash and the dust from Brescia’s mega-incinerator are piled up, and this has anyway been condemned by a decision of the Court of Justice.
Thus let there be serious consideration given to the idea of going from primitive methods of disposal like “fire and a hole” to models that have already been trialled with success in certain parts of Italy like the “cold” mechanical biological treatment. Let the emergency be used as a great occasion for relaunch and renewal and not as the excuse to affirm choices that are looking back in time, that is to the time of fire.” Alberto Lucarelli - Ordinario di diritto pubblico - Università di Napoli Federico II



V2-day, 25 April, for freedom of information:
1. Put your photos on www.flickr.com with the tag V2-day
2. Put your videos on www.youtube.com with the tag V2-day
.
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:56 AM in Ecology | Comments (17) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 14, 2008

See Brescia and die

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Brescia is a sacred site for those looking for incinerator locations. They go there on pilgrimage in order to breathe in the healthy air directly from the chimney. They drink the locally produced milk and take a bicycle ride I the surrounding areas. It is a victory of science over darkness.
In order to find out more about this miracle of innovation, I decided to carry out a simple investigation. Today I am publishing the first part of the incinerator voyage. Hold on tight.

"Brescia displays a number of disconcerting similarities to Campania. The milk originating from companies located in the vicinity of the city have recently been found to contain higher than normal dioxin levels. We also encountered an extremely high incidence of liver tumours.
The National Health tumours register, however, reassuringly but without any verifiable data, puts this down to a high incidence of hepatitis and alcohol abuse (Giornale di Brescia, 10 November 2007). It must be pointed out that Eng. Renzo Capra, Chairman of Asm, is also a member of the ASL Tumours Register Scientific Committee, which he also funds.
It is maintained that there is an annual saving of 470 thousand tons of CO2 emissions, however, what is not being said is that the comparison is being made to the waste disposal dumps, and not to recycling, which enables CO2 emission reductions of three times this amount (AEA Technology. Waste management options and climate change, European Commission, 2001).
In Brescia they pretend to be practicing differentiated waste collection. However, this is annulled by the continuous increase in the amount of waste being produced, including the special waste. In the 10 years since the incinerator was commissioned, the amount of differentiated waste to be disposed of has remained at a level of 1,1 Kg/day/per capita, precisely the same as in Campania and 5-6 times as much as the undifferentiated waste, which is collected door-to-door, at a specific fee (e.g.: Consorzio Priula Treviso). After all, the incinerator requires a certain of waste, and Asm has managed to perform a “miracle” by maintaining the same quantities for a period of 10 years!
In order to inflate Asm results, it provides figures in kilowatt-hours (570 million), pretending not to know that the standard unit of measurement, outside of private dwellings, is in fact the gigawatthour (million KWh) or the terawatthour (billion KWh). If the truth were told, the Brescia plant (800,000 tons/year) has a capacity equivalent to one tenth of that of a normal turbo gas power station. The plant cost per MW supplied is 5-6 times higher than that of a turbo gas power station, and the yield is approximately 20% of the calorific potential of the waste, as against the 55% of a turbo gas power station. The minimal amount of energy recovered is negated by the wastage of other valuable materials (Each year, 5-6 thousand tons of iron, 6 thousand tons of aluminium and hundreds of tons of copper exit the plant together with the ash in the case of Brescia). In conclusion then, the contribution made by Lombardy’s incinerators, 13 plants, to electricity production in the area is equivalent to 2% of the total!
This is a wastage plant, and an unprofitable one at that, which is only able to continue its operating thanks to the scandalous funding, via the Cip6 (see the posting), paid to the Brescia incinerator, namely, more than 60 million Euro per year, for 8 years, or double the actual investment for the plant itself!
In 2006, the Asm incinerator was proclaimed "world champion ", having won the "Wtert 2006 Industry Award". Except for the fact that the Award Body, namely Columbia University’s Wtert, is sponsored, inter alia, by Martin GmbH, Germany, the manufacturer of the very same Asm plant." Marino Ruzzenenti, www.ambientebrescia.it

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:25 PM in Ecology | Comments (10) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 11, 2008

The travelling salesmen of the incinerators

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In the past natural catastrophes, from the floods of Polesine, to the earthquakes in Friuli, bring about the phenomenon of dispersal. Today we are witnessing the dispersal of the rubbish, however from a federal viewpoint. If the Region is controlled by the Centre Left it opens up tips and incinerators for the rubbish of the Region of Campania (Centre Left). If it’s controlled by the Centre Right is vetoes this. The travelling salesmen of the incinerators have let all hell break loose, in Milan those who already have one want another one straight away, but at a low grade. They are asking for more rubbish to be burned. No one is tackling the issue of recycling and of eliminating useless containers. No one is explaining that you can drink the water from the tap in the house and not from the plastic bottles. We are the top country in the world for the consumption of water in plastic bottles. No one is talking about the ecomafia that is a continuation of politics in Campania (and even elsewhere) that is transforming agricultural land into cancer factories.
Where there is recycling, there’s no need for incinerators.
Zero refuse: this must be the objective. Matteoli and Bersanetor are breathing in the dioxin and the nano-particles.
Read the witness statement by Francesco from Naples.

Dear Signor Grillo,
I thank you for having given space and for having squashed the heavy black cloth that is wrapped around the business of rubbish in Naples and its province. We who are living here – or at least are trying to live – are astounded to be seeing the frenetic dance of voices, shouts, positions established, denunciations and so on. Those bottom-faces don’t even have the good sense to stay silent and to be ashamed. Everyone knew and everyone lied, those in opposition and those in the government. The problem is an old one, it’s 20 years old and they have splashed around and have got our exchange, collusion or kick-back vote. For months we have had rubbish on all streets and thanks to God it is winter otherwise we would all have died of the plague. But I’m not writing to you because of the problem of rubbish, today everyone’s doing that and it is fashionable. A few years ago only a few of us were doing this and the newspapers threw our letters in the bin even La Repubblica di Napoli, because we were not making news.
I am writing to you for another issue that is much more serious and scandalous that few have had the courage to tackle and almost no one has talked about. In the province of Naples, as they have revealed, for decades, the rubbish was collected into great big holes in the ground and then these were closed up. That’s what happened for the Pirucchi tip in Palma Campania, for the La Fungaia tip in Ottaviano, for the one in Pianura, Acerra, Casalnuovo, Tufino, etc. I’m just citing the so-called legal ones – without talking about the hundreds of abusive tips and mini-tips managed directly by the Camorra. But do you think that the real problem was taking the rubbish from the Region of Campania and burying it in these sites with or without permission? No. The real business was, and still is partly, the burying of tons of toxic waste coming from beyond Campania, from the North of Italy and from Germany and from Switzerland.
Even today some old people of Palma Campania – a miracle that they are still alive – remember large trucks ‘shaped like a bottle’ that queued yup at night to unload. To unload what? Toxic and dangerous refuse that continue to send out cancer-causing substances. Up until a few months ago, as the association of consumers, we asked (but uselessly) the ASL Napoli 4 {local health authority} (one of the worst heaps of rubbish in Italy) – for data on the incidence of cancers in the province of Naples, especially in the territory of Acerra, Nola, Casalnuovo, Pomigliano and Vesuviano. This data was denied us for years until, officially, it was admitted that the only ASL in Italy with the rate of cancers is different is that of ASL Napoli 4 – that is the territory affected by the uncontrolled dispersal of refuse. From the data published by the ASL, it turned out that the incidence of cancer in almost the whole of Italy, with a few points where it has increased in certain well-defined places, well the only zone in Italy where the rate of increase is double that of the previous period was that in the territory of the ASL Napoli 4
This news item was published at the end of 2005 but strangely there was no follow up and everyone seemed to have forgotten. In reality, things have got much worse. There is no family that has not recorded a case of cancer in this area: lung cancers, cancers of the uterus, of the breasts. There is a specially high incidence among women rather than among men. It is a real slaughter with millions of deaths and a lot, really a lot of suffering. Just in the street where I live two women have died this month. One was 40 years old and the other 52. Another three of my female colleagues at work in Nola (aged around 40 years) are having chemotherapy treatment with a poor prognosis.
We don’t need to bother the statistics or investigations. We are living in this refuse and we are paying the consequences every day. We are sewer rats – in Naples they call them ''è zoccole'' – we slither through the rubbish, the incivility, the camorra, the bad business, the bad politics, hoping that the next one to be struck down will be our neighbour and not us.” Francesco

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:49 AM in Ecology | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 10, 2008

Pecoraro the Scapegoat

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The hunt for Pecoraro Scanio has begun. He’s the guilty one. Not Bassolino, not Jervolino, not the Presidents of the Council for the last 15 years, not the Camorra, not the companies of the North that got rid of toxic waste in Campania to save money, not the ones that took the billions of Euro from the European Community for public works that never got done, not the municipal companies that got politicized, not the parties, not the regional cabinets, not the mayors that are a continuation of organised crime, not those who didn’t allow recycling, not the magistrates who didn’t start enquiring, not the journalists who didn’t denounce a thing, not the parliamentarians from Campania who stay in Rome, not the health authorities who should check up on food products, not those who should check up on air pollution.
No one. No damned institution is responsible for a Region that is ruined, with radioactive detritus under the tomato fields and an alarming increase in cancers.
The ones at fault are the Greens, the people who want clean water, clean air, meat, eggs and mozzarella without dioxin. The ones at fault are those who want a park, a tree, a beach without sewage,, functioning purification systems.
The ones at fault are those who want recycling, zero refuse. The ones at fault are those who think that the people of Campania are civilised people like others who can get the same results for the environment as the Danes or the Californians.
The ones at fault are those who tell the truth about incinerators and Cip6, the tax on our Enel utility bill, that has taken away billions of Euro for renewable energy to gift it to the oil barons.
One of the greatest political failures of the Italian Republic has been transformed into a problem of public order. Bassolino reigns with De Gennaro at his right hand.
The ones at fault are Pecoraro the Scapegoat and all the inhabitants of Pianura who were promised that the tip would never be reopened.

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Click to see the video

V2-day, 25 April, for freedom of information:
1. Put your photos on www.flickr.com with the tag V2-day
2. Put your videos on www.youtube.com with the tag V2-day
.

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Click to see the video


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:41 PM in Ecology | Comments (10) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2008

Incinerators. No Comment

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Paul Connett, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at St Lawrence University of New York talks about incinerators and the strategy of “zero refuse” .

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:53 PM in Ecology | Comments (27) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 07, 2008

Rubbish Tour

Rubbish Tour – a tourist trip to see the rubbish

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Click to see the video


Foreign journalists have toured Campania. A Rubbish Tour. They couldn’t believe their eyes. But the readers will believe their articles. Campania is like Seveso. Products of the earth contaminated like those at Chernobyl. Bye bye tourism. Bye bye agricultural production. Bye bye everything except an increase in cancers. Those who are responsible for a disaster that is worse than an earthquake don’t want to be made to budge from their armchairs of power. Creating confusion are the Bassolino-Jervolino pair, both of them in the 45 wise people of the Democratic Party. In Capri ‘s square, the Neapolitan President Napolitano, party companion of Bassolino said he was alarmed.
Those who’ll land up in prison are those who protest. Those who are responsible will stay free and be paid by us.


V2-day, for freedom of information:
1. Put your photos on www.flickr.com with the tag V2-day
2. Put your videos on www.youtube.com with the tag V2-day
.
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:23 AM in Ecology | Comments (8) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 05, 2008

The tandem of records

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It is difficult to explain precisely what is going on in the Campania region. When the responsibility lies simultaneously in the hands of politicians, entrepreneurs, organised crime and certain citizens, where does one begin?
A fish always starts smelling from the head-side.
Bassolino, “diessino-diossino” (Ds member and dioxin producer) was Mayor of Naples in 1993 and was re-elected in 1997. In the year 2000 he became Regional Premier of Campania, and was re-elected in 2006. Rosa Russo Jervolino, elected as Mayor of Naples in 2001, was re-elected in 2006.
Bassolino-Jervolino would appear to be a tandem brand, in that, when one of them leaves the Municipal Council, the other takes his place, while the former moves up to the Regional Council.
My dear residents of Campania, stop the tandem, perhaps then things will change.


I suspect that the whole palaver surrounding the refuse in Campania is merely a pretext for relaunching the incinerators. Those that Bersanetor and D’Alema sauvely call thermo-enhancers and that no one else in Europe is building any longer.
I have written about the reasons for a no vote, as well as what the alternatives are.
Print and circulate the pdf file.


Incinerators, why not?
1 – Incinerating refuse converts it into toxic nanoparticles and dioxins
2 – Incineration requires substances such as water, lime and bicarbonate, which increase the initial mass of the refuse
3 – One ton of refuse produces one ton of fumes and 300kg of solid ash, as well as certain other substances
- by law, solid ash must be disposed of at a waste disposal dump for hazardous toxic waste, a waste product that is infinitely more hazardous than that contained in the old waste disposal dumps
- the fumes contain 30kg of cancerogenous fly ash and 25kg of chalk
- incineration produces 650kg of polluted water requiring purification
4 – If inhaled into the lungs, the microscopic dust particles (2pm to 0,1pm) resulting from incineration will reach the bloodstream within 60 seconds, and all the other organs within 60 minutes
5 – The pathologies resulting from the inhalation include: cancer, foetal malformation, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer Syndrome, heart attacks and strokes. This has been proven by thousands of scientific studies
6 – The incinerators, also called thermo enhancers, were financed by means of a 7% levy on all Enel utility accounts, by linking them to renewable energy sources, together with waste products from the petrol-from-coal refineries. Without this tax the incinerators would not be economically viable. Provision was made for incinerators in the last Budget, but only for those already built.
7 – There are currently 51 incinerators in Italy and it would be interesting to set up metering stations to analyse the quantities of microscopic dust particles in the vicinity of each incinerator, and to monitor the rate of derived illnesses in the areas over the long-term.
8 – The only beneficiaries of the incineration of refuse are the petroleum magnates, incinerator constructors and the parties openly being financed by these companies.


What to do with the refuse.
1 – Reduce the amount of refuse produced (for example, Berlin has managed to reduce the quantity of refuse produced by 5% in a period of only six months)
2 – Door-to-door differentiated waste collection with detailed billing tariffs
3 – Recycling of all differentiated waste collected
4 – Any refuse remaining after the implementation of the first three points should be sent to specialist plants for mechanical selection of the remaining undifferentiated waste. Anything that is not recyclable can be treated in biological drying plants, without burning it
5 – Economically speaking, where there is a differentiated refuse collection system in operation, it is no longer viable to burn refuse, because:
- any wood can be sold on to chipboard manufacturing companies
- recycling paper produces more energy than that produced by burning it
- recycling plastic makes financial sense. 2/3kg of petroleum is required in order to produce one kg of plastic
6 – Differentiated refuse collection can make up as much as 70% of all refuse produced and the remaining 30% can be further reduced to 15-20% by means of biological drying. This quantity is less than, or the same as the amount of waste products from the incinerators. However, the former are inert, non-toxic products requiring lower management costs and fewer environmental and health implications.


If the waste disposal sector was not legally controlled by privately held monopolies financed with public funds, but instead there was some real market liberalisation, competition between the companies would affect the level of recycling, and incineration would become a thing of the past.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:06 PM in Ecology | Comments (11) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 27, 2007

The CO2 oilers

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figure from the Financial Times

The European Commission has proposed a reduction in vehicle CO2 emissions by 2012. The emission limit would be an average of 130 grams per kilometre instead of the current average of 160. The manufacturers that exceed this limit will be obliged to pay 20 Euro per gram in excess of the set limit, a fine that will go up to 95 Euro per gram by 2016.
The 19% cut in the level of poisons is deemed to be “a very disappointing proposal” by Sergio Marchionne, and inadequate by the environmentalists. The heavier a vehicle is, the more it pollutes. An SUV poisons better than a Fiat five hundred. The 120 grams/km limit is far more difficult for larger-engined vehicle to achieve. The list of current lung killers is led by Porsche, with around 255 grams/km, followed by Subaru, Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Mazda and Mitsubishi.
Green Germany’s Angela Merkel, having viewed the results, instead of taking issue with her Country’s vehicle manufacturers, stated that this was an attempt to: “implement an industrial policy at the expense of the German motor manufacturers. Then, without even blushing, she proceeded to add that: “It is unacceptable that nothing will need to be done in terms of half of all the French cars, while 90% of German cars will be affected, this is an imbalance that needs to be addressed”. Perhaps Merkel would prefer it if all cars polluted the atmosphere as much as Porsche does.
The Italian National Automobile Trade Fair Association, ANFIA, states that the EU is: “heavily penalising small engined cars that are already virtuous as regards emissions”.
The reactions from the CO2 oilers, both large and small, are all the same. Lungs do not enter into the equation as regards their production parameters.
Who ultimately pays for the pollution? The national healthcare system does. The cost of hospital admissions for the treatment of lung ailments, including tumours, is borne by the State. What does vehicle pollution cost us? Even the cyclist pays part of the cost of the SUV when he/she purchases antibiotics.
I propose that a health tax be levied on motorists at the source. The more the vehicle pollutes, the more the motorist pays. Furthermore, SUV drivers should be obliged to pay a monthly visit to the terminal illness wards where people with lung tumours are treated.
Town mayors can go one better than the EU. Hybrid fuel taxis, electric buses and cycle paths. Let them deny access to their city for the worst polluting cars. The owners and their families can equally breathe in as much CO2 as they wish, right in the comfort of their own garages at home.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:39 PM in Ecology | Comments (16) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 26, 2007

The children and the graders

Carabottoli.jpg
Click here to watch the video

Once upon a time Baby Jesus was found in the feeding trough of a barn. But times have changed and these days, on Christmas Day, they put the children in the graders in order to protect the families’ land and accompaniment for their bread.
500 residents of Sant’Andrea del Pizzone are today awaiting a joint charge by the police and the army. They want to “move” these people in order to make room for the umpteenth waste disposal dump needed to cope with the umpteenth emergency. The residents have not been consulted, the rubbish is not theirs and the local mayors have been the beneficiaries of particularly close scrutiny.
Those responsible for the waste disposal emergency in the Campania region, instead, are still there. They are untouchable, just like the rotten institutions that they represent. These people are the real rubbish of what was once “Campania Felix”.
This blog is spending Christmas with the residents of Sant’Andrea.


Hi Beppe,
I wanted to tell you about the absurd situation that has arisen in our area in the past few days. I live in S.Andrea del Pizzone, a hamlet of the Municipality of Francolise (Caserta). The current extraordinary commissioner for the waste disposal emergency, Pansa, has designated the “Carabottoli” site, which falls within the municipal boundary of the Carinola district but is, in fact, not very far from our area, as the preferred storage site for the so-called ecocrap. At present, we are in the dark as to what selection criteria were adopted by the prefect, but this decision has unleashed a demonstration involving not only the residents of our municipality, but also residents of adjacent districts. Our protest is not simply born of a refusal to accept other people’s rubbish, but also from the fact that over 90% of the local economy is based on agriculture. Ours is the place of origin of Buffalo Mozzarella, which is famous worldwide and enjoys the D.O.P. and D.O.C. quality certifications, as do numerous other local products. I sincerely doubt whether Commissioner Pansa has ever tasted a good mozzarella, which makes his assessment criteria even more questionable. In actual fact, the area chosen lies at the very epicentre of the production zone. The residents’ occupation of the site in order to deny access to the graders has already resulted in an initial confrontation with the forces of law and order. It is important to note with what haste (unlike in other cases..) the police and the army intervened in an attempt to disperse these people, resorting to the use graders.
Their attempts were blocked when a number of mothers placed their children in the path of the graders. Also involved in this confrontation were the municipal mayors, who were not exactly treated with due respect, given the positions they hold. The site is currently being watched over, night and day, by a group of more than 500 people who, whilst awaiting the outcome of a meeting between the committees and the commissioner, are expecting another charge to take place, who knows when, perhaps on Christmas day?.” Salvatore P.

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December 01, 2007

The war against the Cape Verde dolphins

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Dolphins on the beach at Cape Verde

Today I am going to tell you a modern fairy tale, in the words of a girl from Cape Verde.
The wolf is long gone, only to be replaced by the American naval bases with their nuclear-powered submarines. And now, the part of Little Red Riding Hood is not being played by Putin but, in this case, by the dolphins and those unfortunate ones that are obliged to host the armaments of the American Dream.
They take the medicines out of their mouths and have no public health system, all in order to be able to give us arms.

"Hello Beppe,
My girlfriend was born in Cape Verde, a beautiful archipelago of islands, which was still completely uncontaminated, that is until just a few years ago. Now read what has happened there:

- Terrible news. I was phoned on Sunday morning at about 4 am and informed about what was happening. During the night, perhaps around 1am, first 10, then 100 and then 300 dolphins landed up beached about 9 km away from my home, at Morro de Areia near Chave.
At 6 am, together with a large group made up of Cape Verde locals and foreigners, we went along in order to try to save them. However, after having pushed about forty of them back into the water and kept them at bay for some time, they came back to shore. We continued in our attempts for no less than 9 hours, but to no avail, because they continued coming back to shore, apparently wanting to die. I don’t know if this is in fact so, but this is most certainly the impression we got.
What a tragedy it was, seeing these dolphins, with tears in their eyes, simply asking to be left alone to die. They all died, notwithstanding all of our efforts, and there was little else left to do but to bury them.
Again on Monday, another 70 beached dolphins, this time near Ribeira, between our house and Chave, right in front of where they are busy building the Riu. The dolphins were returned to the water with the help of some of the workers and, after numerous attempts, they proceeded to return to deeper waters, and only five of them died.
The theories put forward on Sunday tended to lay the blame for this tragedy on the presence of ships or submarines in the area, whose sonar signals either caused the dolphins to become disoriented, frightened or drove them insane.
We now know that, once again, man is the responsible party. This is, in fact, confirmed by the presence of an American nuclear-powered submarine, which docked at Sao Vincente after having navigated between the islands.
It was shown on the television, in the roadstead where the future American naval base is due to be built. The submarine was navigating in the area, sometime between the Saturday and Sunday on which the phenomenon occurred. During the night, between the Saturday and the Sunday, a group of no less than 265 dolphins beached themselves.
The worst part is that there are another 400 dolphins on their way here, whose fate seems to be sealed, something that we sincerely hope can be avoided. We are told by the Cape Verde radio service and thereafter by the Harbour Authority that these dolphins are currently zigzagging toward us.
Herewith a hug and a hope that the desert and the sea will be with us! "A girl from Cape Verde”.

Ps: MicroMega, sponsored by the Catanzaro Province and scheduled to take place in Catanzaro tomorrow, 1st December 2007, at the Provincial Council Building (Luigi Rossi square). There will be a debate on the subject of: "The law and the power of the powerless ". Speakers will include: Luigi De Magistris, Marco Travaglio, Carlo Vulpio, Antonio Massari, Raffaello Magi, Marco Del Gaudio, Melania Salazar and Domenico Ciruzzi. Moderator: Emilio Carnevali.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:34 PM in Ecology | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

October 14, 2007

Bersanetor the Incinerator

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Bersanetor is the Minister of the nuclear power stations in Slovakia bought from Enel, the guarantor of the economic groups of the incinerators and the regasifiers. The financing of the incinerators through the Cip6, the tax on the electricity bill has been abolished. The Cip6 was meant to be used for renewable sources, but instead it has been used for a decade for the tumour-producing incinerators thanks to the addition of the little word “similar” sources.
Bersani, hi there, the Cip6 for your friends the oil barons, has gone.
The man has been grabbed by panic. After the Emilia Romagna Regional Federation of Doctors and Surgeons asked for there to be a block on the construction of new incinerators to protect the health of the citizens, he denounced them to the Ministers Turco and Mastella.
The doctors didn’t allow themselves to be intimidated.
Bersanetor used a mirror to practice making a grim face and after that said that:
”We are becoming a country in which everyone is doing someone else’s business and nobody is bothered about doing their own properly.”
Translation: the doctors are not taking care of the health of the citizens.
”I have read that the president of the Emilia Romagna Regional Federation of Doctors wants to go on. The task of that body is in no way that of expressing an opinion that even today has been rejected by president Pizza.”
Translation: Let the Federation of Doctors not express opinions that are contrary to the interests of the lobbies.
”If the Federation believes that one of its members, during the process of authorisation of any plant, has not met the obligations of their professional code of conduct, then let them intervene. For the rest let them abstain from giving opinions that lead in fact to the disorientation and confusion of the general public.”
Translation: the incinerator is going ahead.

The doctors are going ahead. Will Bersanetor denounce them to Al Gore?
In fact listen to the astounding declaration of the incinerator’s briefcase-carrier:
”Great news that Al Gore is getting the Nobel. Let us hope that this will soon be followed by a strong commitment from the United States in the fight against climate change and thus in the policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And that then it will be possible to consider credible a global commitment to the matter of climate, thus bringing a chance for the efficacy of the efforts already being made in Europe.

There are those who have a face like a bottom and those who have their bottom in their face.

PS: The globules have formed. I repeat: The globules have formed.

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August 31, 2007

Cementing the Aeolian Islands

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The Aeolian Islands are very beautiful. The gods lived there and the traces of their ancient presence can still be seen. I hope that the Aeolian people won’t be offended, but the islands don’t belong only to them. They are world heritage. recognised by UNESCO. For this reason the appeal I’m publishing is for all the citizens of the world. I know that many Aeolian people have emigrated to Australia. And you too from “Down Under” make yourselves heard. Our Minister of the Environment is invited to intervene to earn his salary.
The cement party in Italy must no longer find followers or political representation. There’s the need for something else, for spaces, for deconstruction, for the demolition of second and third houses lived in for two weeks a year. Of the recovery of the “Bel Paese”. In certain towns only those residing there are allowed to build. It seems like an initiative to be copied.
The blog is available for a reply from the Mayor of Lipari.

Dear Beppe,
In the name of a group of fellow citizens I am writing to you from Lipari, in the Aeolian Archipelago.
The Aeolian Archipelago, included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites and recognised among the “Treasures of Humanity” is an enormously environmentally ugly risk! And I’m not talking about an abusive villa or an extra hotel. …
With the reconfirmation of the outgoing Mayor in the last local elections, there’s the danger of an unprecedented destruction in relation to the environment and to the landscape of the archipelago.
The Forza Italia Mayor, Mariano Bruno (a former winner of the Legambiente black flag) is getting ready to launch a massive project: the construction of a Mega-port that would cover all the coast of the historical centre of Lipari, involving one of the most beautiful bays of the archipelago and destroying it for ever. Apart from the physical destruction of the maritime centre of Marina Lunga, in front of the coast they are to build a 4.5 m wall, that will block the view of the sea.
The plan sees the construction of volumes and surfaces in cement that would increase that of the current port by a factor of ten. And the construction of a big commercial complex that would occupy a stretch of quayside that is completely based along the sea. Then there’d be no counting future damage: in the summer months there’d be a concentration on the island of hundreds of big and little boats as well as cruise ships, with little or no benefit to the community but obvious damage to the environment, as this would determine excessive footfall.
As though that were not enough, the port will in fact be private for the next 50 years, since it is entrusted to a private-public company formed by the town of Lipari (with 30% stake) and the Società Condotta d'Acque spa. This privatization also includes the commercial port structures, that is the natural and basically the only access route for the island, where ships and hydrofoils embark and disembark passengers. Naturally, all this raises big questions: any future spending relating to the maintenance of the port risks being passed on to the shipping companies and consequently onto the citizens. Furthermore, this disgraceful project is being planned and put into effect in a total absence of controls and protection, like the regulations of the Countryside Territorial Plan that sets out the need for a preliminary plan for the Regulation of the Ports that up until now has never been created. And it is reasonable to fear possible mafia infiltration.
Let us remember that the Aeolian Islands, unique in the world are currently at risk of being struck off the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
We believe that this project is not a local fact, but a national and international issue. Thus it is necessary to have an information campaign that goes beyond the local reality and this is why we have turned to you. In Lipari, we are starting to get moving to try to prevent this disgrace at all costs, and we are trying to inform the public as much as possible. If you can, spread the word.
On Youtube, we have posted a video in which in parallel with the virtual presentation of the feasibility study of the Società Condotta d'Acque, we have highlighted the most important critical points of the project. Thank you for the collaboration, it is truly important!” Paolo

PS: It is possible to write to UNESCO to tell them about World Heritage sites that are in danger at: wh-info@unesco.org

Reply from Bonelli, Leader of the Verdi: The Minister of the Environment Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio has already taken action and will take further action in relation to the Aeolian Islands, by calling for the establishment of the National Park of the Aeolian Islands. This is a necessary step so as to be able to take action against the cementification and the eco-monster. Unfortunately the responsibility for urban planning lies with the Region of Sicily. But we are working hard to ensure that the marvelous ecosystem of the Aeolian Islands is preserved by setting up a National Park.”

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August 28, 2007

God’s water

water.jpg
photo by Buddha's Ghost

Water is rain. Water in a bottle is marketing.
Each advertisement for bottled water should be followed by an invitation to drink tap water. Advertising common sense. If any Minister is interested I’ll offer myself for free.
Put the rain into a container with a label and sell it with brain washing. That’s what the multinationals do, the concessionaires. You’re buying in a bottle what comes out of the tap at home.
A priest has told me that Formigoni wants to privatize water in Lombardy. Pious Roberto couldn’t do it. Water is a gift of God. But he will do it, the psycho dwarf and Moratti will intercede with Opus Dei. Formigoni also wants to deal with the churches in Lombardy. To take over the sacraments and give them to “Comunione e Liberazione” as a concession. A confession 2 euro, monthly ticket 10 euro. 30% discount if the confessor is don Gelmini.

Water: Universal property of all!

”Why use up so many words to demonstrate that water is a universal good for everyone, a fundamental right? Is it really necessary? If it were, poor us! Oh yes – it’s anything but talking about civilization! It would mean that we have lost every concept of rights, if it is true that the first rights are those that are constitutionally part of human beings and of the universe. It’s as though, talking to a world that reckons it is civilised, it’s necessary to demonstrate that there are rights of freedom, justice and peace. Another thing is to know exactly what these rights consist of, and knowing that to put them into action. Even here I would be careful to talk about civilization today, when we are witnessing such a distortion to the detriment of liberty, justice and peace that I start to have doubts: is it possible that ancient civilizations like that of Babylon, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, were far superior to our own? In those times, with the concepts they had of justice, liberty and peace there isn’t the gap that there is today. Today, there’s only talk of social justice, religious and political freedom, universal peace and at the same time never before have we had world wars, never before have we seen such social inequality that is so inhuman and cosmic, never before have we had freedom so much at risk because of conditioning by market forces that are shouting for a vendetta in spite of every human right.
Once upon a time natural goods were the property of the universe. They were seen as goods that were exclusive to the divinity, that made them available to the service of humans. Water was a gift of God and that’s how it stayed. Now it’s just a matter of grabbing every gift of God, and so for example water becomes merchandise.
If water is a common and universal good, not only can I not take it for myself to make it a source of profit, but society, even more so if it reckons to be civilized, has the obligation to give to all without exception, the possibility of using it. With the lowest possible cost.
And here we are with our Region of Lombardy, governed by one who develops the cult of the market of God, the very catholic Roberto Formigoni, is bringing in the worst and most inhuman of laws about water, by trying to privatize it, even taking it out of God’s hands. Water has become the property of the divinities, that is of the multinationals which are made use of by the political Right to exploit the world. Hands off water! Mayors of Lombardy, rebel against the culture of money the God. And against the obscene policies that are ruining the environment and every other sacred right of Humans. Unite and involve your towns, at least those that are still healthy, those that still believe in the possibility of giving a radical change to this poor society, governed by those following an atheist cult! Why not return to giving the political festivals that social-political image of once upon a time, when there were discussions, between a salami and something else, of serious things? The water issue is a really serious problem, to be tackled with frankness and stubbornness. There’s no time to lose! Disintegrate the rubbish laws that the Lombardy Region is doing in the name of God money, to the detriment of Humans and the Environment!”
don Giorgio De Capitani - S. Ambrogio in Monte di Rovagnate (Lecco)

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August 19, 2007

The city and the rainbow

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photo from spaceview.com

If advertising is an invitation to consume, what is left but advertising for those who cannot consume?
Advertising is a good of visual consumption available for everyone. The more we see, the more we fall into line, we feel reassured. Advertising is the enemy of the rainbow. Once upon a time the sandwich men were paid for carrying round advertising messages, today people do it for free, and if they could they would pay.
For how long have we been living without breathing immersed in advertising shit? It’s a brown mess that submerges the cities, the people in designer clothes from tip to toe, objects, the sacred and the beautiful. We pay because advertising is paid for with the product, to see our cities transformed into boobs and bums and great brand names. The Mayor of San Paolo has banned advertising. Renzo Piano has written me a letter. If any Italian mayor wants to imitate Gilberto Kassab let them knock once.

“Dear Beppe
In San Paolo in Brazil, Gilberto Kassab has decided to remove abusive advertising and to forbid it. And while he was at it, he has forbidden any form of advertising on the walls of the city. It’s a historic decision that goes in step with that adopted elsewhere to limit and forbid access by car to the historic town centres and to only build car parks in the periphery and in the green belt. Pollution in the cities is obviously in the atmosphere but it is also acoustic and visual and if the spaces of the cities are massively occupied with advertising stereotypes, they all become the same. Cities are places of diversity, of surprises, of discovery, of human and cultural curiosity. They are places of exchange, by decorating them with advertising their character is hidden, it makes them all the same, it flattens them under a single unique annoying stamp.
There are those who say that San Paolo has lost in vivacity and colour. I don’t believe that. I think that it is rather the addiction to the commonplace (that today is called trash) that plays nasty games. On the contrary I am certain that the absence of visible rubbish will help to gather emotions that have been a bit forgotten, those of the urban environment. We’ll see. IT’S A GOOD SIGN. Greetings.”
Renzo Piano

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May 11, 2007

De Longhi Dioxin

incendio_De_Longhi.jpg
photo: KevThaBass


Fire in the De Longhi factory at Treviso last April.

There are no reasons to believe that there is a risk connected to dioxin in the fire at the De Longhi company. The company is not among those at risk, because of the sector where the fire took place, and also for the type of material that caught fire. It’s not considered that there are consequences for the health of citizens.
The hydrochloric acid and the PAH present in the plume of smoke produced are not in such concentrations that create problems to the citizens.” Arpav, Agenzia Regionale per la Prevenzione e Protezione Ambientale del Veneto, 18 April 2007.

“In the air samples taken a few hours after the fire started, there were 270 pico grammes of dioxin per cubic metre compared to a threshold of 100.” from La Stampa 20 April 2007

“After an intense and accurate series of analysis conducted systematically it has been found that all the values are within the established limits. The environmental analysis carried out by the Chelab laboratory both inside the offices and in the courtyards of the building have not discovered any trace of toxic agents.” De Longhi, 24 April 2007.

“Note that 70% of the De Longhi products are plastic and when they catch fire they produce dioxin.” Paolo Barbiero, Cgil Treviso, April 2007

“I am referring to the De Longhi fire that happened 18 April at 1:00pm in Treviso. My daughter and two girls aged four and one, live 10 Kilometres from Treviso.
That day at 3:30 pm she was out for a walk with the one year old . The windows were wide open, the washing was hanging on the line outside. A lady told her about the toxic cloud.
She was terrified and closed herself inside the house. No one knew exactly where the fire was, where the cloud was going. My daughter could have come to me in the vicinity of Belluno, but at 6:00pm the Arpav announced that there was no danger of dioxin. My daughter stayed where she was.
The following day there were other reassuring communications, then in the evening finally the truth: there was dioxin and benzene and other carcinogenic substances. My daughter was desperate.
The following day, Friday 20 April, she came to my place with the two girls. But too late. From that moment she hasn’t eaten or slept. She believes she is guilty of not having escaped earlier.
What’s more the girls are ill with a temperature, cough and cold. Obviously this doesn’t mean anything, because they are often ill. What’s more, no one knows what to do.
No one gives precise indications. What to do with the washing that stayed out that day and all the night. About the push chair left out all day, of the long-haired dog that stayed outside, of the grass in the garden?
We can’t even find out whether the place where my daughter lives, Varago di Maserada sul Piave is in the zone where the cloud spread.
And now is it OK to go back? Who should we believe? Who is responsible for the psychological health of my daughter?
Apart from the need to have precise information, I would like to denounce something but I don’t know how and to whom.
My daughter had the possibility to go away, after all she is unemployed. She didn’t do that because of the information given out by Arpav.”
Maria da Cesiomaggiore (TV)

“Moles, blackbirds, sparrows and pigeons in unimaginable quantities. The death of small animals around the De Longhi factory is making those people residing in the neighbourhoods of Fiera and Selvana di Treviso tremble.” La Stampa.

For the moment we are not yet talking about Seveso. It’s only the small-sized local fauna that has dwindled. Dioxin no, Dioxin yes. Dioxin De Longhi.

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April 29, 2007

Italy on the Moon

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Italy has an ecological footprint of 4.2. The footprint compares the inhabitants with the territory that can be used, energy, water, food. The more inhabitants there are for the same resources, the more the footprint seems like a kick up the backside and approaches zero.
The inhabitants with the greatest footprint, like Morocco with 0.9, are trying to get better footprints. The United States are among those who are the biggest consumers of resources. A small State like Maine has the same surface area as the North of Italy and 1,300,000 inhabitants.
The States must therefore have a tiddly footprint. But no, they’ve got 9.6. They consume the footprints of the others…
The solution to the Bossi-Fini is not a new law but new migration flows. Let the countries with the best pedigree take the emigrants and the excess of Italian pensioners. So let those who have a good quantity of resources and a low population density assume their responsibilities. Advice for the boat owners?
Canada 7.6, Sweden 6.1 and Australia 6.6. They can even be satisfied with France 5.6, with almost twice our surface area and a population only slightly higher than ours.
Italy is 35% mountainous and it’s saturated. It’s over-saturated. It needs emigration flows. We should do like the Japanese and keep 30% of the population round the world taking photos.
Laws are of no use against the impenetrability of bodies. The Po Valley no longer exists. It’s the Po Periphery. Rubbish is on the increase? Is there no longer water for all? Is there not sufficient energy? As well as consumption, let’s also reduce the inhabitants.
I want an ecological footprint of 7 and 50 million inhabitants. Not one more. The drop in population numbers is not taboo, nor a calamity. Move the power from those possessing capital to those possessing work. It’s a fortune, let’s not let it escape us.

Living Planet 2006 Report.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:35 AM in Ecology | Comments (18) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2007

The roar of the mouse

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The multinationals are always trying. But on a small scale, someone is reacting. What’s needed is lots of courage and a few sponsors. That’s what the blog is here for Signor Privato.

"Dear Beppe Grillo,
My first name is Privato. My surname is Fenaroli. I am the Head of the Breast Surgery Department and the Centre for Breast Studies at the United Hospitals of Bergamo. I live at Tavernola Bergamasca on Lake Iseo (on the Bergamo side) where there is a cement factory belonging to Lafarge, the French multinational that is a world leader in cement production. Now they also want to burn special refuse in the Tavernola cement factory. Tavernola is a village with 2,400 people and because of the cement production it has a level of pollution from nitrogen oxide NOx (Source: Arpa) like that of the city of Bergamo (about 100,000 inhabitants). We have formed a Civil Committee for Public Health and I am the leader. We want to stand up against this attempt and we have produced fliers and had meetings. Last October we even invited Stefano Montanari to Tavernola to show us the risks of this type of activity and we made contributions to the fund to buy the electron microscope.
Now as I am the leader of the Committee, I find an action for defamation has been taken against me by Lafarge. According to them, the fliers showing true data (taken from the official INES register) about pollution are offensive and incorrect.
I have discovered that in a similar case, involving a Mayor in the Province of Udine, that you intervened. We, unfortunately, have the Mayor (email the Town Hall) against us and we are tiny compared to Lafarge. But we will not let them frighten us off. Signor Grillo, can you help us? If they make us keep silent, they are imposing silence on a whole community. I know that you will be at Treviglio (near our village) on May 12 and as the Committee for Public Health, we will be present at your show, from which we always learn lots.
I know that we are perhaps asking for the impossible, but we want to be able to place our trust in your feelings to help the weakest and those exposed to the multinationals. I thank you, in the name of those I’m representing and all those who would like to speak but who for many reasons are afraid and need examples who are visible like yourself.”
Privato Fenaroli

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March 24, 2007

Water is not a commercial product

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Water is not a commercial product”.
Repeat this every morning in front of the mirror. It’ll give you awareness.
Numbers talk and they whisper data to us that we don’t want to hear. A thousand million people have no drinking water.
ne million eight hundred thousand children die each year from illnesses caused by polluted water. Where does the water go? A cup of coffee needs 140 litres of water, a pair of jeans needs 11,000 litres, a car 400,000 litres. And only 3% of the water on the planet is drinkable.
In Italy, water is a financial resource and thus it gets privatized. Where before there was a spring, a public fountain, the entrepreneurs have arrived. The water commercialisers. A primary good is transformed into shares, assets, profits.
Water must stay in public hands, our hands. If the public domestic water supply doesn’t work, if it’s got a hole in it, it should be repaired, even if we have to kick them up the backside. Private people must stay out.
I’m publishing part of the letter received from the President of Greenpeace Italia.

“The Directive 60/2000 of the European Union says: “… water is not a commercial product but patrimony that should be protected”.
The lack of culture on water brings about the consumption of 170 litres of bottled water per inhabitant every year, as opposed to a European average of 85 and a world average of 15, equivalent to 5,000,000,000 plastic containers that get transformed into 100,000 tons of urban refuse per year.
Bottled water, subject to control mechanisms that often are not completely secure, costs between 30 and 50 cents to which you have to add the cost of disposing of the containers, whereas 1,000 litres of water from the domestic water supply, more carefully controlled on a chemical-bacteriological level, doesn’t cost more than one euro.
The Italians say that at the basis of this paradox there is the conviction that bottled water is safer (51%), “better” (35%), less “hard” (14%).
Our country is rich in underground water (between 5,000,000,000 and 12,000,000,000 cubic metres). In spite of this, the water crisis is very near in the whole country, as is the global climate change effect that will see the drying out of the Centre-South and the semi-tropicalisation of the North.
What’s the origin of this announced scarcity?
- a decade long lack of care and lack of maintenance of the networks with a level of leaks that goes from 30% in Emilia-Romagna and more than 50% of the Domestic water system in Puglia.
- pollution of the rivers by industrial sites, both active and no longer in use, by urban centres going against every regulation, even because of the total lack of environmental controls.
- unsustainable water needs of a primary sector that for decades has been characterized by intensive monocultures and irrigation techniques (for example: spraying) that dissipates more than 30% of the water that is used
- the general lack of equipment that minimizes consumption and gives an equal service, for domestic consumption.
In relation to this, the excellent experiment carried out at Bagnacavallo in Emilia Romagna has shown how just this measure, whose cost is really low (2-3 Euro per inhabitant) is paid back with blank certificates for the reduced energy costs for the water service and it allows family consumption to be reduced by at least 10-12 %.”
Walter Ganapini, President of Greenpeace Italia

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March 21, 2007

With Optimism towards Catastrophe

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In April or May, the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) will publish its Fourth Report on Climate Change commissioned by the United Nations. A few weeks ago an extract: “Climate Changes – Summary for Policymakers” was presented in Paris.
2,500 experts from 130 nations have worked for 6 years to say something that we were witnessing, that we already knew: that our offspring and their offspring will think of us as delinquents.
If the first part of the twentieth century produced great criminals like Hitler and Stalin, their successors have been hundreds of millions. Nations, States, Corporations. Never like in this period will the sins of the fathers be visited on their sons.
The usual “no global” people, the catastrophists, not even the journalists (who have shattered our balls with Mastrogiacomo and the team game played using money from the State) are saying this. It’s the United Nations. It’s the scientists who are writing.
There’s discussion of the melting of the glaciers, of the disappearance of the great rivers, of the poisoning of entire cities as though these facts were relating to someone else.
And it’s true. They relate to our offspring. The ones that we are taking to see the pediatrician for a cough, but who tomorrow will not even have air. Eleven of the last twelve years have been among the hottest since 1850, when reliable records began. Thirty per cent of the species are at risk of extinction. Tropical forests will be substituted by the Savanna. Between 1,000,000,000 to 3,000,000,000 people could die of hunger or thirst.

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When will all this happen? In a few decades. Very soon. If you look at a photo of the North Pole from the satellite, you will see that it is disappearing. Future generations will talk of the Pole as we talk about the fabulous Atlantis. Why is all this happening? Has our species voted for suicide like the lemmings?
The causes. We need to take action on the causes. But if that’s the effect, rather than the causes we should be talking about the blame, of criminals, of politicians serving the economy based on oil and of growth without limits.
Certainly, once we know that we are committing suicide, we must do something. We must do it and impose it on our employees. The priority is the life of future generations. For all the rest, dear employees, we no longer give a fig!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:40 PM in Ecology | Comments (18) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

March 01, 2007

China is Near

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China and India arrived late at the CO2 banquet, but with big appetites. Up until now it has been the United States and Old Europe who have taken care of poisoning the planet. The Chinese and the Indians are right. It’s intolerable to let the pollution and destruction of the environment be considered a Western copyright. It’s a competition to see who is the strongest.
We can share in the thinking behind the arguments of Gao Guangsheng, Director of China’s Climate Change Programme:
“China uses carbon, not because it loves it, but because it’s the resource that it has available.” Gao gets cross with Australia. In fact if China could produce the same amount of CO2 per head. 20 million Australians against one thousand three hundred million Chinese people. That could get to 8,600,000,000 tons of CO2 from the 1,300,000,000 tons currently. It’s obvious. It’s a demographic problem.
Every inhabitant of the planet must have their CO2 quota from birth.
According to the International Energy Agency, China will become the leader in CO2 emissions in 2009. Beating the United States.
If it gets there. 16 of the 20 most polluting cities in the world are Chinese. 400,000 Chinese die every year from smog. A quarter of the Chinese drink polluted water.
We are devouring the world. The West is exporting pollution together with below cost production. It’s often dictating slavery. The more that China and India are producing. The more they export. The more the GDP increases and the prices go down. It is a suicide race.
Governments must change their priorities. Cancel the Ministries of the Environment. They are just an embellishment. They never count for anything. Institute Ministries of Humanity. On which all the others depend. With the power of veto.
A sick economy is accelerating its growth and our destruction. It is bartering the GDP with the planet. The polluting countries, including ours, deserve a new Nuremburg trial. The judge, who is also the executioner, already exists. It is our earth.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:09 AM in Ecology | Comments (8) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

February 17, 2007

The sewer otter

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Near to Serre in the province of Salerno, there are otters and herons and pure air. It’s an ideal place for a mega tip with sewer rats. The inhabitants protest, but they shouldn’t. They too get likened to the shit. Who do they think they are?
To resolve the constant problem of the tips there are however two solutions. The first is to leave the refuse where it is in the cities. Between Pm10, dog excrement (and also human) and urban rubbish of every type no one will notice.
In fact who notices the pong of the city? A tip in Piazza del Duomo in Milano or in Piazza Venezia in Roma would not be noticed.
The other solution: China. From that far off and immense country every day massive ships arrive full. They go back empty. They should be filled up with refuse. Pay something to China that will win out.
For us it would cost less than the construction of purifiers and mega tips. With the benefit to the companies, for employment and for foreign commerce.
Let’s read Martino’s letter and let’s visit the Oasi Faunistica di Persano while we are in time.

Dear Beppe Grillo,
I’m a young man living in Serre. My community has been living a nightmare for the last two months since Bertolaso, the current boss of the refuse emergency has identified a clay quarry at Serre with dimensions of 60,000 m2 and a height of 25 metres where he has decided to install a regional mega tip, to resolve the refuse emergency. A beautiful idea? I don’t think so!
Even a child would be able to identify this as a stupid idea! Why?
Perhaps because this regional mega tip will be in the Oasi Faunistica di Persano (DPGR 4060/1976) where there are many animals in danger of extinction, like the otter, many species of bird like the heron and it is a very important resting place on the migration routes of birds!
The tip will be 400 metres from the River Sele that irrigates all the Sele plain, that is the most productive agricultural region in the whole of Campania. This tip would bring down to its knees the economy of a whole province!
At a few metres from the site, the Puglia water supply draws drinking water for the homes in Puglia. I believe that if a tip is placed near the River Sele the people of Puglia will be drinking rubbish!
This is one thought about the topic: why haven’t the politicians lifted a finger for the fifteen years of the refuse emergency? And why is it always the province of Salerno (that is becoming Campania’s rubbish dump) that has to pay? And why is it always Serre that has to pay with the presence of 3 tips already? The reply from these gentlemen (even including the Lega ambiente and the CGIL) is:
”Better to kill a small village than a big city!”
Anyway Beppe, help us! I don’t know who to turn to.”
Martino

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:26 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2007

Sustainable fishing

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The inhabitants of the sea are disappearing. The nets and our jaws are consuming them one by one. Last November (*) an article in ‘Science’ magazine predicted the collapse of commercial fishing by the year 2048. An event that has already been foreseen in the reduction in the shoals of cod.

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Cod catches in millions of tons. Period: 1950-2002. Blue: North East Atlantic. Green: North West Atlantic. Red: Total

Our grandchildren will see many fish just in the aquarium or in historical documents. To resolve the problem we need to get too many countries to agree. Too many interests and even too many scoundrels. And to define a sustainable ecosystem and fishing quotas for each nation. Improbable.
There is an alternative. Starting from our behaviour. From the money we spend and how we spend it.
In 1999 the Monterey Bay Acquarium has started an initiative called Seafoodwatch. The species that are going into extinction are listed in a pocket guide that has already seen 8 million copies distributed.
Among these are the monkfish, the red snapper, the shark, the sturgeon, and the swordfish. The guide also shows alternative choices of species that are not at risk of extinction. Many Californian restaurants have joined the sustainable fishing initiative and are eliminating from their menus the species at risk.
To get the initiative going in Italy I will translate the guide with the permission of the Monterey Bay Acquarium. I will make it available in pdf format and I will insert it on the blog with a list of all the Italian restaurants that are joining the initiative.
(*) Global Loss of Biodiversity Harming Ocean Bounty Science

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:52 PM in Ecology | Comments (9) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

February 06, 2007

Pay Parks

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Dallas Ransom 2004

The construction of car parks where you pay continues without a pause in our cities. You pay to park even at the hospital to visit a sick person. Car parks have speculative designs.
They are useful as earners for those who give the areas in concession, for those who construct, for those who get the cash for parking. They are of no use to reduce the traffic. In fact they increase it. More spaces for cars. More cars.
If the purpose of the car parks is to make money, to change things we need to use the counter measures. We’ll build pay parks instead of car parks. Parks that are cared for and controlled. Without broken benches, needles and drug addicts. Parks for children. For elderly people.
For those who want to read a book lying on the grass. With checks at the entrance. Pay to get what we deserve as a right seems folly. But if it’s the only way to get back the public land, let’s do it. Pay parks in the cities would be bursting at the seams. A tiny entrance fee could be enough. We’d partly avoid the weekend exodus to see an oak or a cow.
A few suggestions for those who would like to exchange metal boxes with trees:
- Tell the town authorities to fence off the pavement where your front gate is with elegant steel bars. Like in Amsterdam. The tiny rectangle of land surrounded by metal in a few months will become a meadow. It can be done.
- Collect the highest number of signatures to reconvert a square transformed into a car park into a public garden. It’s a question of shifting 50 to 60 fxxking cars to give back the space to the citizens. Because it belongs to the citizens.
- Create Acquisition Groupings for the parks to make an offer for the public areas used or to be used for car parking.
Tiny meadows, public gardens, pay parks. It’s possible. Show that it is possible.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:09 AM in Ecology | Comments (17) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

February 05, 2007

Noises from the floor above

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Rosa and Olindo, the precursors of a New Italy that is waking up to itself now. They killed four people because of the noise coming from the floor above. They were overcome with madness. Alessandro used his knife twenty times on his neighbour. Because his dogs barked.
Noise can be clattering, like the noise made by the rubbish collection lorry at six in the morning. Disturbing like the hooter of the scoundrel who insists on bringing his car into the city centre and then finds himself in a jam. Yesterday I even saw a Smart blaring away at a lady on a pedestrian crossing because she wasn’t walking fast.
Noise can be nauseating like the high volume advertising on TV. Wallpaper-style like the programmes that have talked about the elderlyboiledcouple in every moment. Or the unsilenceable anti-theft device of an apartment whose owners are away on holiday.
Noise. Pronounce this word slowly: n-o-i-s-e. Turn the radio off. The TV off. Get double glazing. Get the apartment sound-proofed. And listen to words. Your words, your friends’, your children’s. Isn’t it wonderful?
Noise makes us deaf. It is estimated that the hearing capacity of those who live in a city or in a noisy environment is reduced by 30%. Anyone who shouts, turns up the radio in the car, turns up the volume for the advertising spot, should be fined. Severely. I propose decibel sensors available to the urban police and the condominium administrators. On the signs welcoming you to the city or town, as well as the speed limits, there should also be a maximum decibel limit.
Noise is a violation of our privacy. No one gives the right to a crazy guy to shoot 100 decibels at our ear drums. Noise is also in the background, and we no longer pick it up, but it corrodes the mind.
The violation of your home is valid even for noise. If a noise is not authorised to enter our homes it has to stay outside the door. And if it’s so obstinate that it comes back day after day, it could happen that the source of the noise gets suppressed. Basically it’s only a question of privacy.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:30 PM in Ecology | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 20, 2007

A letter from Gore Vidal

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Gore Vidal has recently come to Italy and has sent me a letter for the Blog.

"Dear Beppe,
Humanity – and the whole world with it – is at a decision point. We have to start acting now because if we don't change direction there's a good chance that there will be no world to look after in ten or fifteen years. And we will be dead or dying. And the saddest thing is that this would not happen because of an inevitable destiny but for a simple lack of political will.
There's a need for a primitive impulse of a survival spirit of which there is no trace today. In 1957 I wrote a play called 'Visit to a Small Planet', and everyone was blown away. At that time the planet was considered to be a source of eternal riches and anything but tiny. Obviously today we know that it's not like that.
Recently I've had a conversation with Gorbachov, who asked me "Do you know which is the most important liquid on earth?" "Vodka?" I replied. "Petrol?" No – water". He said. And it's true. Even water is a limited resource. But humanity has always persisted in its illusions of eternity…
Humanity – and the West in particular – must radically change its life style if it doesn't want to eliminate itself. And a change of direction must come first of all from the United States, the leading consumers and polluters in the world. The problem is to convince our government or rather the shadow government that controls it, that responds only to a delirious capitalism.
That, in simple words, consists of creating products that we don't need and finding the way to sell them to us, without caring about the consequences. What's more, capitalism cannot survive except in the absence of laws.
It obeys no law except the fictitious ones that the system itself has created, like "supply and demand" And this is why we can expect no change from on high except with the weight of pressure from the people.
It is paradoxical that many governments, like that of the United States, feel legitimized to get mixed up in our liberty to reproduce but don't waste a word on the electricity that we consume. This is why the change must start from below.
This year we are starting to supply our house in California solely with solar energy. But I don't see how the average citizen can do that. It's still very costly at least in the United States. This is why the actions of an individual – though very important – must aim at institutional change. And today our cause is supported by a series of powerful and innovative tools like the Internet…
And we have to go yet further in reorganizing our lives. And this is the difficult part: to renounce what gives us pleasure has never been part of our nature.
Think of the millions of smokers in the world. I have recently lost a close friend who continued to smoke until the day of his death, even though he knew that smoking was killing him…
People – even Americans – are starting to wake up. There's a growing revolutionary feeling in the air. Governments are starting to wake up: for example I am looking with admiration at what Hugo Chavez is doing.
It's an inspiration for the whole world, unlike the United States that is not an inspiration for anyone apart from potential dictators. Even our politicians know very well what is happening in the world but they are paid to stay silent. This does not mean that one day they won't rise up against their masters.
But I'm warning you: the process of change will also be a violent one. The elite - the corporations – will not easily give up their privileges. However, you start your revolution and I will be happy to be your Trotsky."

Gore Vidal

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January 18, 2007

Almost False

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The letter from the Pope was almost false. Almost because the letter refers to concepts expressed with and by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in our meeting. Almost because the Pope himself has made statements more than once in favour of renewable energy.
Almost because the people, as demonstrated by the comments, would like to have a Pope who communicates with them via the internet. And one who holds close to his heart the future of our planet.
Almost because the photo with the Cardinal is true (many swore it was a photomontage). Almost because no newspaper, TV News, magazine, radio has talked about it. And when this happens, the news item is ALWAYS true. The exception to this is radio radicale, but only because they took exception to the scoop on Pannella.
Almost because the Vatican really wants to concern itself with clean energy starting from its buildings. Almost because the post picks up a good portion of the speech made by the Pope at the university of Ratisbona.
A speech broadcast for a month by the media. An item of evidence that I wanted to insert precisely for a post that is almost false and not almost true. Almost because the quoted words of the cardinal are true.
I and my renewable energy experts are available to the Vatican for free. To let them save and to give an example. Next time I will publish a letter from the Most High, with whom I am in contacts to at least negotiate purgatory.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea grandissima culpa. The next time the Pope writes to me, no one will believe it. Not even Cardinal Bertone who telephoned me for congratulations.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:29 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 14, 2007

A letter from the Vatican

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Dear signor Giuseppe Grillo,

It is a pleasure for me to be able to send you this letter about renewable energy. My thoughts go back to the years when I started my activity as a university teacher at the University of Bonn. It was 1959 and still the time of the old university of ordinary lecturers.
Contacts with historians, economists and naturally with the theology faculty were very close. Once every semester there was a so called "dies academicus" in which the professors of all the faculties presented themselves in front of the students of the whole University, thus making it possible to have a true university experience: the fact that, in spite of all the specializations that at times make us incapable of communicating with each other, we form a whole and we work in this whole with the single reason with its various dimensions, thus staying together even in the common responsibility for the correct use of reason. This fact became a living experience. This internal cohesion in the cosmos of reason is not disturbed even when on one occasion one of our colleagues said that there was something strange in our university: two faculties that were concerned with something that did not yet exist: renewable energy.
Even faced with such a radical skepticism, it is necessary and reasonable to ask about energy from the wind and the sun. To reason about this and that this must be done in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: however in the whole university this was a position that was not discussed.

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All this came back to me during a dialogue with Cardinale Tarcisio Bertone with whom you recently had a personal audience in Genoa.
Cardinale Tarcisio Bertone reminded me that we are relying almost exclusively on a single source of energy: oil. And that we must find alternative sources.
The dialogue covered all the structures that allow for alternative energy sources and it paid particular attention above all to the use of photovoltaic panels on buildings owned by the Vatican, starting with schools and hospitals. In this letter I would like to mention a subject that within the context of the topic "nature and reason" has fascinated me and that will serve as a starting point for my reflections on this theme.
In the seventh discussion (διάλεξις – controversy) edited by prof. Khoury, the emperor explains in great detail the reasons for which the spread of civilization by means of violence is against nature is something that is unreasonable. Violence is in contrast to the nature of God and the nature of the spirit.
The decisive statement in this argument is: to not act according to reason is against the nature of God and against the conservation of our planet. The editor Theodore Khoury, comments: for the emperor, a Byzantine, this affirmation was evident.
Here a dilemma opens up. One that today challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting against nature is in contradiction to the nature of God, only a Greek thought, or is it always valid and is it valid on its own merits? I think that on this point there is a demonstration of the profound agreement between what is Greek in the best sense and what is faith in God based on the Bible. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John started off the prologue to his Gospel with the words: "In the beginning was the λόγος".
This is the exact word that is used by the emperor: God acts with the logos. Logos means both "reason" and "word" – a reason that is creator and capable of communicating itself but, precisely, as reason. The faith of the church has always kept to the conviction that between God and us, between his eternal creator Spirit and our created reason, a true analogy exists, in which certainly the dissimilarities are infinitely bigger than the similarities, however not up to the point of abolishing the analogy and its language (compare Lat IV).
God does not become more divine by the fact that we push him further from us in a pure and impenetrable voluntary-ism. But the truly divine God is that God that has shown himself as logos and has acted as logos and acts full of love in our favour, including in this the natural environment.
In the western world there is widespread domination of the opinion that only positivist reason and the forms of philosophy that derive from that are universal.
But the profoundly religious cultures of the world see precisely in this exclusion of the divine in the universality of reason an attack on their most intimate convictions and living in harmony with the natural context.
A reasoning, that when faced with the divine is deaf and pushes away the religion to the ambit of sub-cultures, is incapable of inserting itself into the dialogue of cultures.
For a long time, the West has been threatened by the centrality of profit and of gain in opposition to the conservation of nature and its full enjoyment. It is to this great logos, to this vastness of reason, that we invite our interlocutors into the dialogue of cultures for the preservation of the planet.
I send you my greetings and wish you complete success in your initiatives.

From the Vatican, 11 January 2007.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

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January 05, 2007

The GM Bee

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The bees that feed on GM products don’t appreciate them. They are behind the times. They have not evolved. It’s difficult to keep up with the human race. Their lack of appreciation is such that after a bit, they die. But before that, they pass on the message.
And on GM fields, bees are no longer to be seen. The bees, before dying produce GM honey. We eat GM honey without knowing it. Will it do us any good? We will only know by dying. That’s the good thing about GM. It’s always a surprise.
How do the beekeepers find out that their bees go over the boundary into GM fields? The bees move around without taking precautions. They go from one flower to another. From one GM cultivation to another GM cultivation. Even in the experimental ones. With GM products that have not yet been approved. The bees are against progress. Those that don’t adapt are lost. And don’t get quoted on the Stock Exchange. The bees are an economic resource but they don’t produce bonds. A bee hive can contain up to 50,000 bees. In Europe there are thousands of millions of bees. Every time that a bee goes out from the beehive it pollinates a hundred flowers. The effort delivered by the bees in pollination is worth a few thousand million Euros in salary in the European Union.
But the value of pollination cannot be measured. Without the bees, hundreds of plants would die. Does anyone think they are able to do this work? Perhaps with new GM products from the multinationals that always reassure us about our future and about the value of their shares?
We have become unconscious guinea pigs of by-products of GM products. There is a solution: Buttiglione. He’s the big Italian bee. He’s painted yellow and black. His sting is put where it needs to stay. And he is reproduced in GM fields on posters for bees. On seeing him they would understand the extent of the danger.
The United States have more than half the GM cultivations in the world. Almost 50 million hectares out of 90 million. To overcome world hunger. They say. Or perhaps it’s for export, like democracy.

P.S. In the United States for reasons connected with pesticides, environmental changes and GM, the population of native wild bees has gone down by 90% in the last 50 years. The number of beehives has dropped by two thirds.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:13 PM in Ecology | Comments (14) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

October 31, 2006

An inconvenient truth

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If we want to avoid future generations spitting in our faces and demanding damages from us, we need to do something for the planet. The iguanas outside the window of my home in Genoa, look at me like a foreigner by the October summer sun. The crickets sing all night long. The bees do double the work summer/winter. Data about the greenhouse effect is by now provided daily just like the weather forecast. It is overwhelming us. Just as the waters will do for the coasts and the cities.
But there are always the sceptics. The ones that don’t believe and that say there are always alternatives. Without ever saying what they are. Others who more modestly just aren’t bothered. The glaciers melt. The rivers run dry. The water tables go down.
That’s enough of catastrophe-ism. Enough of the normal catastrophic drift to avoid facing up to the problems. 279 species of plants and animals are moving northwards. Malaria arrived from the Andes. The melting of Greenland’s glaciers has doubled in the last 10 years. And the catastrophic drift continues with forecasts for our grandchildren. Those who will throw our bones away in a rubbish tip.
By 2050 the North Pole will disappear, a million species will be extinct, sea level will be up to 5 metres higher.
Al Gore has produced the film: 'An inconvenient truth’. The English version will be out on 21 November. This is the first time that I’m advertising a film. It’s a tiny tribute, a stupidity for the salvation of the planet.
Straight away we can make a contribution to improve earth with tenthingstodo.

1 Use compact fluorescent light bulbs
2 Use the car as little as possible
3 Recycle
4 Check tyre pressures on the car
5 Don’t waste hot water
6 Don’t buy products with lots of packaging
7 Regulate the thermostat in your home
8 Plant a tree
9 Turn off the machines in your home
10 Send this list to others. Spread the word.


They don’t need great strategies, they are boy scout actions. There are no excuses. I’ll add another one. An agreement with banks that contact me for loans for the purchase of solar panels for blog readers. And then another one for Prodi: tele-working for the public administration, to get to 30/40% in a few years. That’s all for now. I’m worn out. Look at the trailer.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:18 PM in Ecology | Comments (25) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

August 04, 2006

Killing a fawn costs 40 Euro

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At last, good news. Italy is full of fawns. The last time I saw one was in the film Bambi. But now, however, things are different. Fawns and their mothers are everywhere. There are so many of them that they represent a problem for public order.

And so, even with a sad heart, you can’t but approve of the decision of the Regione Piemonte of the pro-TAV person Mercedes Bresso to kill 600 of them in the Province of Alessandria. The hunters have booked, while the Greens of Piemonte have let their disapproving bellows be heard loud and clear.

The hunters will pay 40 euro for a cub and 110 Euro for an adult. When you consider everything, it’s quite a moderate amount. To shoot at a fawn. You don’t get a chance like that every day. It’s better than a discount.

Governor Loiero has offered to give hospitality to some in Calabria. Sgarbi has publicly opposed this killing. Even the gentle Franco Frattini, vice president of the European Union, has spoken out and is exhorting “the environmental associations to rebel against this badly thought out decision”.

But are you asking about Pecoraro Scanio? As far as I know he’s not been seen. He’s too busy trying to forget of having voted for the pardon.

I hope that other governors will follow the example of Loiero and adopt the fawns. I hope that this killing will not start.
I still hope. Hope is the last to die. I hope that the Greens will start to do the work of Greens and that they will operate in favour of the environment, of health, of animals. This is the patrimony of all Italians and not just of a few. Pecoraro!!!!!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:13 AM in Ecology | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

July 06, 2006

A message in a bottle

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The pollution of rivers has become normal in Italy, slowly, slowly, year by year. A part of our natural rights, those that we have from birth, to be able to enjoy nature, has been taken from us. The right to bathe in a river, to play with our children there and perhaps even to see a water shrimp. Without picking up an infective disease, without a pong, without rubbish, without scum and without poison.

Heavens it’s our right! It can’t be taken away.
The river follows the usual path. The houses and the factories that let stuff flow into the rivers stay still. The inactive purifiers when they aren’t completely missing are still. The authorities of the towns, provinces, regions, public health, mountain communities, all these good people know or could find out who is polluting. It’s not difficult to check up, to find those responsible and if the river or the stream has become a sewer, to apply the law.

But are the mayors responsible or not?
Last year in the Valle del Sacco, 25 cows died after drinking the water from the river. In Milan, the Lambro dissolves people better than acid. The Tiber contains more bacteria than the Ganges. Is this all normal? Has no one seen anything?

“Living with your neighbours” is the magic catch phrase. I don’t think that the local authorities don’t know or couldn’t know. That the public health authorities cannot intervene. That local people don’t know that the hotel or the next-door neighbour is without a purifier. How many crimes against water courses are committed in Italy?

Because of global warming we have always got less and less water, but even for the theft of water that is becoming normal.
Legambiente and il Corpo Forestale dello Stato have produced a report: “Fiumi e legalità” {rivers and the rule of law} about the state of the rivers. But they cannot see everything.

Describe the story of your river, your stream, your brook that has been polluted, devastated, cementified. Do that on this blog. If you really want to, fill up a bottle with water and send it with a label detailing its origin to the Minister of the Environment Pecoraro Scanio, Viale Cristoforo Colombo, 44 - 00147 ROMA, to keep him informed.

That way, we can all get depressed together with him.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:58 AM in Ecology | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2006

The end of the bear called Bruno!

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A dangerous carnivore in a brown national socialist uniform and of the dimensions of the war criminal Goering has finally been tracked and killed in Germany. Thus the bear will avoid a severe trial for having killed some sheep in Bavaria. The skin of the bear has been delivered to Chancellor Angela Merkel who will wear it at the Oktoberfest in Munich. This end is a warning to every animal that wishes to make a clandestine entry into Germany without a passport.

However there is always someone who is ready to justify the cruelty of the bears. Unwillingly I publish his letter.

“Dear Beppe,
I’m writing to point out the umpteenth “act of supremacy” by human beings in relation to the nature that surrounds us.
This time however it wasn’t the country of Pulcinella to supply the spark for the bitter reflections that follow, but the great Germany.
A two-year-old brown bear has been killed tonight in Bavaria. The plantigrad was part of an ambitious Italian project for the reintroduction of the brown bear to the central Alps.
This is a costly project that is trying to reintroduce this native animal that has disappeared. The project is reintroducing bears into adjacent countries where the bear (for not much longer) is still in existence.

The animal killed was one of the sons of a couple that was reintroduced and it was thus the first feeble witness that the project is succeeding. The animal’s death sentence came after the carcasses of some sheep were found. Considering the rarity of the animal there was no danger for man, who for centuries has been living with the plantigrads without mutual dis-harmony.

The most absurd thing is that a group of hunters from Finland were called in. They were accompanied by vets and trained dogs and were to put him to sleep and transfer the animal to a “safer” area. Safer for the animal away from the easy trigger of Teutonic hunters. But the killers got there first. I wonder what’s the point in calling in super-specialised hunters to put him to sleep and at the same time to call in the hunters to kill him.

Now with all the respect for the sheep, but I’d say, could we not have made compensation payments to the sheep farmers and then transfer this poor beast at risk of extinction, into our zones? Just as they have done and are continuing to do for the reintroduction of the wolf in the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo. Have you lost a sheep? Here’s 200 Euro… OK I’ll give it to you from my own pocket. An adult wolf that is sexually active is worth much more.

Why has a sheep got value and biodiversity not? Speak to you soon. “

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:07 PM in Ecology | Comments (10) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (1)

April 20, 2006

The yellow cloud

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Numbers, numbers, numbers. The earth talks to us through numbers.

1.6 million square kilometres in China are covered with a cloud the colour of sulphur. 200 Million inhabitants in 562 cities search the sky to see if they can see the sun once more. In a single night in Beijing 20 grammes of toxic dust and sand fell on every square metre of the city for a grand total of 300,000 tons. It’s like being on the beach without the problems of the sun’s rays and getting burnt. This is how the people of Beijing can save on sun glasses and sun barrier creams.
The immense yellow cloud (and how could it be any other colour?) is depositing its fall out all over the Pacific.

Korea, Japan and the United States are importing sand polluted by China without paying customs duties.

This is the true global economy. The one that encourages the circulation of sand and goods and increases the Gross Domestic Product. The global economy of the great tunnels and the great bridges, of the multinationals without political control. Of all those cars in a queue, of so many empty trucks of so much clean cement.

This concept of the economy that is separated from the planet and from people in China is producing deforestation, desertification and drought. It’s producing illnesses of the lungs and of the skin. It’s producing pollution caused by the coal fired electricity generating stations. It’s drying up of the great rivers.

But at the same time, luckily it produces the growth of the Gross Domestic Product of 10% a year, what all the yes-global people in the planet admire, as well as enormous urban spaces with 20 to 30 million inhabitants.

In this scenario, there is however a good bit of news even for the Chinese people. In China new cars are registered sparingly because imported petrol is not sufficient.
The supply of petrol is drying up and so its price is going up. Prices of 100 dollars a barrel are not far off.
The Chinese people will have to start car sharing. I hope that the petrol dries up before the planet ends.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:14 PM in Ecology | Comments (16) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2006

A hut that goes and comes

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Tiny things can give rise to the rebirth of a sense of civic pride in this country, even when it comes to the reconstruction of a hut that was burned down in Puglia.
Let’s give a hand to these courageous young people who are asking bloggers for help in rebuilding this hut as soon as possible.

“Dear all,
It’s with great bitterness that we would like to tell you about something that has happened:
yesterday, 13 March 2006, unknown people set fire to a small but delightful little hut belonging to LIPU (Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli = Italian League for the Protection of Birds) that was in an abandoned zone of the wood called Bosco Difesa Grande in the territory of the town of Gravina in Puglia. The hut was irreparably destroyed.

Perhaps it is excessive to describe the sadness that we feel right now, but we’d like to do it anyway.

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It’s a way of letting off steam for those of us who are passionate about the world around us and its great marvels. Some of us have sacrificed the love of our families even wives and children to dedicate our “free time” to working on maintaining and improving the area around this tiny but significant “jewel”. Some of us prefer to come here to pick up the scythe and cut down the grass round the hut rather than go out for a Sunday stroll in the city or to go out into the countryside to celebrate Easter Monday with friends. Others prefer to plant new trees, or simply to listen to people passing by and talk to them about the national association called LIPU. We also find ourselves exposed to derision from those who do not understand the importance of protecting birds and everything else in the ecosystem. Of course we appreciate the consensus of lots of people who are touched by the ideas and who take action every day. Thanks to many volunteers who offer their contribution to helping Nature.

That day, someone started off by shooting at the window, then they impaled some birds (including a buzzard) on the pole in front of the entrance, they then broke down the external wall and after taking the door off its hinges, they set fire and burned this little hut down to the ground.
Forgive us for these reflections. But at the moment we feel a bit isolated.
Please look at the photos. Thank you!”

Friends of Lipu - GRAVINA IN PUGLIA (Bari)

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:02 PM in Ecology | Comments (13) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2006

325,000 pups skinned

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I'm a carnivore. I like meat, prosciutto crudo, salame, lardo, bacon, marrowbone, raw meat, zampone and cotechino with lentils. I enjoy bistecca alla fiorentina, the one that weighs 700 grams net and then has the bone as well. Perhaps I will delude the vegetarians, but I don't feel at all guilty.
Eating meat is part of my nature.

However what really annoys me is the cruelty, the total lack of feeling, the gratuitous killing of living beings simply for money, to increase the GDP. And if they are defenceless pups, aged 2 or 3 weeks (the time needed to grow a white fur covering), killed by beating with a stick and then skinned alive, that really disgusts me.
325,000 baby seals are currently being killed in the civilised country of Canada, whose Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has stated that his country is the victim of propaganda and that the massacre is necessary.

The “World Society for Protection of Animals” has declared that it is the “biggest and most cruel killing of marine animals ever recorded on the planet.”.

The young animals are clubbed to death to avoid damaging the skin.
Cod fishing is declining because of industrial fishing and the young seals are a resource for fishermen living in isolated areas.
This disgusting activity makes 8.3 million pounds sterling and the skins are sold to the fashion  industries in 3 countries: Russia, China and Norway.
For the Canadian economy. 8.3 million pounds sterling are little or nothing compared to the loss of public image on a world scale.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:30 AM in Ecology | Comments (28) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2006

The Business of World Hunger

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image from: www.mindful.org

On Thursday 9 March 2006, at the meeting of the European Community, Great Britain will propose to maintain the cultivation of seeds called Terminator GM, or even terminator technology.
It’ll make the same proposal in two weeks time at a world level meeting in Brazil.
Terminator GM is a technology that allows the seeds of the plants to be made sterile. The harvest can be done just once. Each year the farmer has to go back and buy more seed from the seed producer, usually a “yes global” multinational.

In 2000 this abomination, created with the intention of avoiding the contamination of non Genetically modified crops by GMO crops in nearby fields, was banned with an agreement promoted by the United Nations. However the agreement was opposed by Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and of course, the United States.

Today this group of nations, with the indifference of the agriculture ministers of the European Union, is trying to let the ban fall by using a technique of judging the use of GURT on a “case by case” basis.

The sterilisation of seeds or Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT) is applicable to common crops from rice to wheat and its effects are worse than the bubonic plague.
If this were to spread to the Third World, this would put at risk the survival of 1,500,000,000 people and in every case, the genetic contamination could have effects on ALL crops.

The shares and the profits of the biotech companies that are “yes global” would however be repeatable, clean and without contamination.

Hunger in the world would thus become a formidable business tool. The GURT seeds would promote it everywhere and thus would contribute to, together with famine, the certain growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and planetary control on primary food sources by the multinationals.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:38 AM in Ecology | Comments (14) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 14, 2006

The end of resources

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I've asked Lester Brown for some forecasts about what we can expect in the future. He's one of the most important analysts of the environment, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and defined by the Washington Post as: “one of the most influential thinkers in the world”.

Here’s what he has to say (this is worrying!):

"As we head into the New Year, I would like to reflect on how our global economy is on an environmental path that the earth cannot sustain. While this has long been clear to ecologists, what is happening in China is now making it clear to economists as well.

Among the basic resources, such as grain and meat, oil and coal, and steel, China has now eclipsed the United States in consumption of all but oil. If China's economy expands at 8 percent per year, income per person will match the current U.S. level by 2031. At that point, its 1.45 billion people will be consuming more of many resources, for example, oil and paper, than the world now produces.

There goes the world's oil. There go the world's forests.

The western economic model--the fossil-fuel-based, auto-centered, throwaway economy--is not going to work for China. If it does not work for China, it will not work for India, which by 2031 will have a population even larger than China's. Nor will it work for the 3 billion other people in developing countries who are also dreaming the "American dream."

And in an increasingly integrated world economy, where all countries are competing for the same oil, grain, and steel, the existing economic model will not work for industrial countries either. Sustaining economic progress now depends on shifting to a renewable-energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system. Business as usual--Plan A--cannot take us where we want to go.

It is time for Plan B, time to build a new economy and a new world. Plan B has three components:

1- a restructuring of the global economy so that it can sustain civilization;
2- an all-out effort to eradicate poverty, stabilize population, and restore hope; and
3- a systematic effort to restore the earth's natural systems.

Glimpses of the new economy can be seen in the wind farms of Western Europe, the solar rooftops of Japan, the fast-growing hybrid car fleet of the United States, the reforested mountains of South Korea, and the bicycle-friendly streets of Amsterdam.

Virtually everything we need to do to build the new economy is already being done in one or more countries. I discuss these issues in my new book "Plan B 2.0," which can be read for free at www.earth-policy.org.”

Les Brown

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:45 AM in Ecology | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 29, 2005

Dario Fo in Bosco di Gioia

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In Isola in Milan, instead of the Three Kings, the bulldozers have arrived.

"We are at Isola, a historic neighbourhood in Milan. A month ago I went with Franca to take part in a demonstration of the district. There was a group of young people who were walk on stilts.

The top clown was a dear friend of mine living there. A Brass Band played joyful music. There were more than a thousand of us demonstrating against the plan of the Comune {City Authorities} and the Province, who want to transform this zone into a mass of buildings and skyscrapers, for a total of a million cubic metres of buildings.

A dozen young people from the “Friends of Beppe Grillo” dressed as “sandwich men” were carrying enormous letters making up words of sarcasm directed at the creative minds behind this cement monster: a kind of dragon spread-eagled over the terrain, with swirls like a serpent that would have squashed for ever the Bosco di Gioia, a tiny forest full of centuries-old-trees, some of which are very rare.

A few days ago we were all in a debate in a cinema-theatre of the Gronda Nord, once more to block the plan for this stupid urban project, when Michele Sacerdoti, one of the most determined supporters of the fight against the disruption of Isola, enthusiastically read out a document, resulting from an Appeal, which blocked the determination of the Local Authorities in cutting down the whole of the Bosca di Gioia and starting to construct.
A chorus of shouts and applauses greeted this splendid news.

But here we are two days after Christmas, instead of planting the Tree of gifts, workmen arrive, sent by the Local Authorities, with orders to cut down every plant.  Angry citizens run to see what’s happening and a representative of the Authorities exhibits a new document which annuls the previous one: It’s possible to remove all the trees”. And that’s that!

The workmen start to remove the bushes and undergrowth around the tree trunks. Shortly the trunks will be sawn down at the bottom. The execution of 200 trees will be carried out: the only oasis left in Milan is on its way out. But the inhabitants, kept back outside the iron fence, gather round astonished, unbelieving. An old man shouts out: “Assassins!” The screeching of the chain saws starts an insufferable chorus. With a creaking that sounds like a lament, behold the first great tree falls. Its branches smash against the ground.

A group of kids try to get in by climbing over the fence. They are intercepted and sent out. Then: Michele Sacerdoti arrives on a bicycle. He is the unyielding defender of these trees. He is a man of 50 years, but agile and as fast as a young kid. He scoots past the servants and the workers and with an incredible ability climbs up the most enormous tree: a massive magnolia, still loaded down with leaves. He disappears between the twigs and then reappears up there.  The “tree-choppers” don’t know what to do. The official from the Town Hall shouts to the intruder who has climbed up to come down or they will have to cut down the tree with him in it. Sacerdoti replies cheerily: “Go ahead. I’m not moving from here. You’ll have to cut me down too.”

Now the snow is coming down thicker. A group of young people chant: “You come down from the stars” Everyone laughs, including the tree-choppers who take refuge under the great magnolia to smoke a cigarette.
Long pause.
Then very soon, the unsupportable noise of the chain saws and one by one the trees fall to the ground, as clouds of snow rise up.”

Dario Fo

PS: Here’s an appeal from Michele Sacerdoti

“Dear friends,
many thanks for your messages to save the Bosco di Gioia.
Yesterday I told you that I was up a yew, I made a mistake, it was a beech.
Today at 2:30pm we will demonstrate in Milan in front of the Pirelli skyscraper in piazza Duca d'Aosta where the Regional Assembly is meeting.
I know it’s not a good time of day, and that many of you don’t live or work in Milan. I invite all those who can come to take part so that we can take the protest to the Internet and across the territory.
I’ll be looking out for great numbers of you.”

Michele Sacerdoti

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:44 PM in Ecology | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

Heavy machinery in Bosco di Gioia

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photo: Heavy machinery in Bosco di Gioia

The untiring employee-administrators of Milan cut down the trees even during the holiday period. The trees are those of the tiny Bosco Di Gioia, one of the few that have survived in this cement city, that seems more and more like a Monumental Cemetery.

The trees are troublesome, they loose their leaves, their fruits. They create dirt.
They get in the way of car parks and when it snows they even cause damage to parked cars if a branch falls off.

The trees of Gioia are even worse than the others. They bear witness to the green space that was once seen in Milan. This witness is weighty and embarrassing for the employees FormigoniAlbertiniPenati.

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photo: aerial view of Bosco di Gioia

It’s better to cementify it all with a beautiful building of the Lombardy Region.
This, especially in Milan, where at every entrance there are signs saying there are offices for sale or to let, where whole office blocks are empty. Where the trees are a rarity and those that exist are dying (a good reason to cut them down). Where from Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Castello, there’s no bush, no tree.

Bosco di Gioia is the property of the people of Milan. They don’t want more cement.
Today in the Bosco di Gioia there is a fortified position to prevent the disappearance of this tiny oasis. There are citizens of Milan, Dario Fo, and the Milan MeetUp group.
One man climbed up a tree.

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photo: a man in a tree in Bosco di Gioia

I’m not there. I’m trapped in Genoa by the snow, but it’s as though I’m there.
Keep at it! Beppe Grillo.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:19 AM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 17, 2005

Tomatoes and Oxen from your own Village

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For more than 20 years in Europe and in the rest of the world, the transport of freight is growing at a rate that is almost double the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Thousand of millions of tons of goods go backwards and forwards on roads, rail, in the skies and on the sea. And each year this increases and they go further.


Progress can’t be stopped, they say. As if progress were like a locomotive in descent and without brakes. The only thing that has not already been affected by progress is the idea of progress. I’m fed up of imagining progress as Marinetti and the futurists imagined it at the beginning of the last century: roaring, clattering machines, always bigger, always more powerful.

If we want to continue believing in progress, we need to progress the idea of progress.

A progressive progress is one that whispers, that doesn’t roar. It’s a progress on tiptoes, not a progress with jangling chains. “From the atom to the bit” was the promise of the technology gurus of twenty years ago. I understood that instead of moving ever more atoms, we would be moving ever more bits, (that is information).


I understood wrong.


What’s actually happening is very different.  There is an explosion in the exchange of material goods and the use of thousands of millions of tons of infrastructure and of combustible material to transport more stuff longer distances and for more insane reasons. It’s very clear to me that the communication routes have been the arteries of civilisation and that free and fair trading has brought advantages to all.


But the situation has changed. For more than 2,000 years goods have been transported with various forms of indirect solar energy, that of beasts of burden, of wind, of water. Today the means of transport no longer use solar power but energy from petroleum, hundreds of millions of tons a year, that become thousands of millions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and that produce economic damage in the form of the greenhouse effect, typhoons, hurricanes, and droughts.


Economic historians estimate that for centuries the rates of economic growth have been in the region of a few points per thousand each year. Now the rates of economic growth are a few points per hundred each year and the monetary exchanges of the economy double every 10-30 years. As well as that, material commerce increases even faster than the monetary economy. It thus seems clear to me that the current rhythm of growth in transport is a monster that has never been seen before and that can never exist in the future. We are living through a few decades of madness.


If the prices of a bottle of Australian wine transported as far as Piedmont or of San Pellegrino water transported as far as Sidney, burning at each journey a bottle of petroleum, were also to cover the costs of the environmental damage generated, that wine and that water would cost double, triple or quadruple.


Why do sausages sold in Nuremberg have to be made with pigs from Bavaria transported for slaughter at Mola near to Naples? And the pyjamas made and sold in Switzerland have to go as far as Portugal to have the buttons sewn on? And the shrimps from the North Sea sold in Germany have to go to Morocco to be washed? And in the supermarkets of Stuttgart Irish mineral water has to arrive at prices lower than German prices? And our local “speck” from altoatesino has to be made from Belgian pigs? And the dried meat of the Grigioni with Brazilian beef? And corn flakes in Geneva with corn from Argentina? And the pizza in Naples with Chinese tomatos? And the Genovese pesto with basil from Vietnam?

Every year Great Britain imports 200,000 tons of foreign pork every year. But it also exports 200,000 tons of British pork. And if we all ate our own pork?


In a planet that is ever more populated, where thousands of millions of people want a better standard of material well-being, we can only satisfy everyone if we return to producing and consuming locally as far as possible leaving long distance commerce for the rest.


A tomato produced in China, should be costing 50 Euro in Italy, 10 cents for the product and 49.90 for the environmental damage.

Then those that want the exotic tomato can still buy it.


In this mad back and forth across the planet of planes, ships, ferries, lorries and trains still more TAV, what gains is commerce not production.

On the contrary, the farmer and the craftsperson, are expelled from the production system by the hypermarkets, points of loading and unloading of goods on the planet.

Gatekeepers of the multinationals who tell us what to eat by means of information and publicity.

And then if the meat, the honey, the milk produced locally is more wholesome and costs less, who cares?

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:30 AM in Ecology | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 19, 2005

Let’s Tax Polluters

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When we buy a magazine we need to discard the plastic covering, the advertising inserts, the postcards, the discount vouchers.

At the first rubbish bin we throw them all away.

The newsagents have become refuse distribution points.

In fact if you notice, the rubbish bins are placed by the local authorities just by the newsagents.

A real waste. Why don’t we throw all this rubbish away while we’re still in the shop, and with delicacy, leave it all on the counter?

It’s quicker and it’s also fairer, we haven’t bought rubbish, so they should keep it.

And the rubbish collectors, the refuse disposal units, all the office workers of the urban cleaning department of the local authorities are paid by us, not by l’Espresso, or by Panorama (popular magazines).

I suggest that the quota relating to the recycling of the plastic and the publicity inserts of the magazines, should be paid by the publishers.

Maybe directly at the source, with an ecology tax, speedily done.

But the periodicals are only an example.

Every time that we go shopping, we need to think about pollution and about the effects we are producing.

A toothpaste can be bought in a box or not. In the latter case we don’t need to throw the box away, in the former case the producer should be taxed.

Whoever pollutes should pay. Today who pollutes is supported.

We support mines, petrol, transport.

We must support instead energy saving, renewable energy sources, production for local consumption.

Taxes in the world amount to about 7,500,000,000,000 dollars. 95% of this is from income, profits, companies and commerce.

Pollution is not taxed.

Ecological damage today is paid by the consumer. It must be paid by the producer.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:32 PM in Ecology | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 11, 2005

Global hell

islanda.jpg
source: la Repubblica delle Donne

I’ve received an email from Iceland, from the environmental campaign group www.savingiceland.org. They explain how even this most beautiful island is becoming subject to planetary madness.
A part of the biggest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull, will disappear to make way for the construction of the Karahnjukar dam. This will bury one of the few remaining paradises on this planet once 150 metres of water flow into place on top of it.

The dam will be used to produce electricity. The electricity will produce aluminium .

For the following 50 years the Icelandic Government will sell the electricity to Alcoa, a multinational aluminium producer.

Alcoa closes 2 production units in the United States and moves to Iceland. This reduces their costs. Iceland is allowed to increase its pollution by 10% under the Kyoto Agreement.

Aluminium production is massively polluting and also one of the causes of the greenhouse effect.

Summing up:
- a terrestrial paradise will be destroyed
- global pollution will be continued
- the people of Iceland will be punished for not having polluted up to now (the virtuous are allowed to import pollution from elsewhere)
- Alcoa is the winner

But who else would Alcoa want as its best ally if not an Italian company?
In fact Impregilo is participating in this tomfoolery by constructing the dam and according to the association Savingiceland it is using intimidation against the ecologists and it is oppressing its own employees.

According to la Repubblica delle Donne Impregilo is also involved in scandals involving kick-backs in Lesotho.

Long live Italy, the Italy that works, the Italy that exports!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:19 PM in Ecology | Comments (16) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 07, 2005

Environmental Disaster: thank goodness for insurance

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Source: www.kyotoclub.org/ita/01.php

For the last 30 years we’ve seen nothing like last year which saw a record number of deaths due to natural disasters: about 300 thousand people died from tsunami, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms and earthquakes for a total of 116 calamities in 2004.

The countries that are hardest hit are those that lose the most because they have no means of being reimbursed by insurance companies: 96% of the victims of the catastrophes live in Asia, but Asia will receive only a quarter of the money paid out by the insurance companies for natural disasters. North America will receive 68% of the money even though it had only 2% of the victims.

So it’s all obvious. Why should great poisoners like the United States of America, Japan and China sign up to the Kyoto agreement? Economic growth at home and catastrophe victims elsewhere. If it were to happen at home anyway there’s insurance. 128 countries signed up to the agreement for the reduction of greenhouse gases and yet they represent only 55% of the emissions.

Italy? We signed up. From February of this year the Treaty is active, but rather than thinking about how to reduce our emissions we are already getting ready to pay for clean air quotas from other European countries so that we can achieve our objective to have –6.5 % of emissions by 2012.

This will cost us between 0.5 and 5 thousand million Euro (500,000,000 - 5,000,000,000 Euro) so that we are OK on paper but breathing unbreathable air in real life.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:56 PM in Ecology | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

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