venerdì 11 luglio 2008

A Burning Summer

We are in summer and my thoughts go directly to the next fire emergency: I’m sure that as usual criminals are preparing a burning summer. Even in this case, Italy will show its worst characters materializing remarkable levels of degradation and squalor towards a lot of rural areas in many regions. Someone may wonder how can I be so sure about this? Just because the deeper reasons which cause fires not only have not been removed, but rather they have been highly enforced. These devastations are not the effect of a lack of an environmental culture but they must be referred to pathological expressions of hyper-utilitarism and hyper-materialism, which deeply characterize our present society. The same mentality at the base of the widespread illegality which hits for example public health, organized crime, waste (mis)management or the systematic destruction of our historical and cultural heritage is at the base of the forests’ devastations. In Italy one can speculate on anything by now and it seems particularly lucrative the speculation on those factors influencing the future of all (environment, security, health, education, etc.). From this the degradation business finds its sources through the possibility to make easy money from fire extinguishing, forest re-plantation, construction speculations, agricultural land widening, illegal gaming, job creation in emergency squads, use of air and land equipments, etc. It has been calculated that the fire business in Italy is 500 millions Euros worth which the State (it means all of us) has to pay every year. The problem is thus the ethic degradation preceding the environmental degradation to which no replies have been prepared yet; it seems rather that in these more recent times the opportunist and cheating culture is even politically very appealing and attractive. In the meantime everyone has to do his job locally to break the mentality which makes positive the possibility to make money from catastrophes and perpetual emergences making also clear to local communities that they are the real owner of the place they live in not belonging to an intangible and generic “State”. All of us should feel a sense of shame (which should precede legal sanctions) and reacquire a sense of personal direct responsibility: the issue doesn’t fall from above and it is not an affaire only of those criminals who plans, organizes and implements because this kind of crimes have not only an environmental valence but express also a well defined land ethic and culture in every community’s member.

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