“…also because you die! (2)” continues from Environmental issues are not boring… (1)
In recent years, even skeptics are starting to see the effects of global warming. Desertification, floods and hurricanes, diseases, melting ice… Even if, in such a context, denial is still present. In 2015 ¼ of Americans did not believe in climate change. But we could speak of indoctrinated people. They partecipate in conferences organized by the directly “interested in the ‘pollution’, or rather the oil and coal industries. As shown by a Vice investigation into ‘The rising oceans‘. Among this minority of “deniers of the obvious”, we also had to resist the former President Trump. In one fell swoop, has made all the efforts by Obama useless. At least ,”most Americans today (62%) say that climate change is affecting their local community either a great deal or some”, but we think that the discussion here is deeper: we are talking about to die or survive…
“Today climate change is the most relevant topic in everyday life”
argues Jacopo Monzini from Ifad (United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development). At least, until the pandemic and this dangerous war with Russia broke out. In any case, “it is still little or occasionally discussed. Maybe newspapers report, but not always inform. Giving more the concept of catastrophe than what can I do to improve?” An Ifad study reveals that “most of the migrants are farmers fleeding their lands. They are simply surviving while many die. 80% of African production comes from small producers and land offers. People still don’t understand enormous implications. Climate change means no longer go skiing. But also no more coffee, expensive bread, disappearing food etc. Until we could… not the planet! 1 in 3 Tunisians today is ready to migrate regardless. In Cairo there are open-air dumps” as nothing happened. “We must not make climate change a justification, but a reality in all respects”.
Everything is connected
Grammenos Mastrojeni, Diplomat – Senior Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean and author of the book Now or Never, said we have 10 years to save ourselves (or avoid to die!). Fortunately we overcome the date (2018), but what he meant is still true. Alterations to the environment cause alterations to the conditions of usability of eco-systemic services. Productivity, purification, bio-health balance, climate, cultural identities, empowerment. In short, we should not to underestimate a strong environment-stability nexus: either we are able to create peaceful competitions or it is the end. Only few years ago, in 2016, “we got already 78 ongoing conflicts in the world that have climate change as a contributing factor. Unfortunately, environmental degradation is stronger in “developing countries”. Without them, we won’t reach the global warming mitigation goal. Stipulated with many UN Agreements from Paris (2015) to Glasgow (2021), reaching today 197 countries.
The priority is to think about preventing the collapse
Lake Chad has shrunk 18 times in 50 years. We pass quickly to Daesh: in Syria the connection was clear. 4 years of drought from the countryside to the city where the first riots occurred. The crisis in Darfur perhaps has only climatic causes: few water reserves that lead to fights between shepherds and farmers. Also the extremist group Boko Haram can be an escape from drought: no harvest this year, maybe I’ll join the cause, not to die! From colonization to farming, desertification, instability, wars. The environment has always seen as a limit to human development, but the opposite is true. Degradation quickly becomes disintegration if we lose the vitality of 12 million hectares a year (an area as large as Bulgaria). So, the idea of slow food in Italy, working in the field of land, climate, seas recovery, is perhaps the best to do also in developing countries”.
Take advantage of the epochal turning point
from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (Cop21). It is “the beginning of implementations” that is the provision of instruments. Such as global taxation on coal which would be the strongest and most desirable action, together with a system of funding and technological exchanges …. “There were 50 thousand people in Paris, at a scientific level and from high institutions for the first time the topic is really followed”, said Francesco La Camera from the Ministry of the Environment. “What need to be overcome now is the gap between intentions, information and operations”. Considering every other aspect, such as the “just transition” required by the trade unions for the reconversion of work. From coal to renewable, for example.
And we go on, hoping not to be too slow! Or generic?
From 30 November 2015 we arrived at 7 November 2016 and the COP22 climate conference in Marrakech reopened, focusing on how to apply the Paris Agreement. Our country must comply with the objectives set by the EU: an overall cut in greenhouse gases of 40% by 2030, with objectives for each nation that must be negotiated with individual governments. But Italy considers them too penalizing and asked to change them. So then we got Bonn (2017), Katowice (2018) and Madrid (2019) until the last one in Glasgow. Where “Nations re-affirmed their duty to fulfill the pledge of providing 100 billion dollars annually from developed to developing countries”. “Agreed”, again?, “to work to reduce the gap between existing emission reduction plans and what is required to reduce emissions. So that the rise in the global average temperature can be limited to 1.5 degrees.
For the first time, nations are called upon to phase down unabated coal power
and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels. As a part of the package of decisions, nations also completed the Paris Agreement’s rulebook as it relates to market mechanisms and non-market approaches. The transparent reporting of climate actions and support provided or received, including for loss and damage”. “Italy will not reach its greenhouse gas reduction target with current policies and measures“, said a study by Italian Enea, Ispra (Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) and the Ministry of the Environment. “It is necessary to intervene in three key sectors: renewable energy and energy saving, non-polluting mobility, and re-development of buildings, to make them less energy-intensive”. Five-year checks of the commitments made are foreseen, starting from 2023, and from 2050 it will no longer be possible to burn fossil fuel. In theory…
So what can we do not to die?
Essentially try to favour “electricity from renewable sources“. Because this “is needed. Transport must also go along with alternative fuels, such as concentrated solar power (direct commitment of Enea) which provides for thermal storage to be used when solar energy is not present. As well as Ccus (Carbon Capture Usage and Storage), a sustainable use of fossil fuels”, says Giampiero Celata of Enea. “Already the 2014-94 EU directive, which dealt with alternative fuels for transport, underlined the need to reduce altering and fossil gases to have natural ones. Like LPG, hydromethane, hydrogen, biofuels, synthetic methane… What is important now is increase distribution. Regarding public lighting, in Italy alone there are 10 million light points! But Enea is working on the Lumiere project which intends to save energy up to 35% only with the use of LEDs, sodium lamps and/or metal halogens. Efficient power supply systems. Also for the household lighting”.
The idea that is taking shape today of smart cities
“intends to do just that: to propose an efficient model for lighting, mobility, buildings, environment, infrastructures and participation“. “Europe is the first world market for export and import of goods” (Italy is in 6th and 7th place, respectively)”. So it has much more weight than one might think, and it is an opportunity. According to the climate change Agreements “the richest countries will have to financially help the others. So Italy is working on establish bilateral relations with Africa“.
“If we think that for a cup of coffee the entire supply chain requires 140 liters of water…”
it is a bit long this coffee! These are dramatic numbers for water resources“, says Marcello Peronaci of Enea. This is why the Authority is already engaged in cooperation in various areas, especially in the island-states. Such as Vanuatu, where it deals with irrigation (230 thousand euros of funding for 280 tons of CO2 reduction per year). Then Solomon Islands, Maldives, Grenada, Dominica… where we also deal with the exploitation of the energy of the sea (wave motion). Who decides on these projects is a committee composed of Italy, Austria and Spain. Enea is also present in the seismic operational committee. Finally it collaborates with Tehran through Matrix TT, a digital platform for technological transformation.
In short, the resources are there, the time is here and for the first time also the intentions and the laws…
Of course today pandemic and this new war in the middle of Europe is not helping, even weakening every effort made until now. But the secret is always the same: we ALL just need to do our best, everyone, what he/she can. Always remembering the words of the artist Alejandro Jodorowsky when he says he is fed up with pessimism. ” When the human race is in danger of death, it always changes. When people start to die on the streets, we will do away with pollution and other atrocities. We will react by necessity. It’s never too late. The discovery of nuclear energy led to inventions beneficial for medicine and science. As in nature, the more we progress in evil, the more we do it in good“. Anyone who wants can, the problem is that so far no one had ever wanted…
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