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)
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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)
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December 06, 2008

Lester Brown and the irresponsible economy

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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)
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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 (6)
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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."

...

Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia Foundation

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:21 AM in Ecology | Comments (2)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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 (13)
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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)
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February 29, 2008

Cut and sew

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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)
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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)
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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 (14)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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 (25)
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January 07, 2008

Rubbish Tour

Rubbish Tour – a tourist trip to see the rubbish

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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)
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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)
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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)
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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.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:10 PM in Ecology | Comments (5)
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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)
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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.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:21 AM in Ecology | Comments (7)
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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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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:47 AM in Ecology | Comments (4)
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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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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:31 PM in Ecology | Comments (2)
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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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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:23 PM in Ecology | Comments (1)
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May 11, 2007

De Longhi Dioxin

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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.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:05 PM in Ecology | Comments (8)
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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)
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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

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:01 PM in Ecology | Comments (19)
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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

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:56 AM in Ecology | Comments (41)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:51 PM in Ecology | Comments (5)
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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)
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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

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:49 PM in Ecology | Comments (14)
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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 (11)
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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 (24)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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October 07, 2005

Environmental Disaster: thank goodness for insurance

kyoto.jpg
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)
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