Civil society: orienting the electoral campaign on the major issues of the future – ANSA2030

by Donato Speroni

“People, in America, in Europe, in Italy, don’t want any doubts with breakfast. The public loves the status quo. They want to be told that everything is more or less ok. People work a lot, in America. I don’t think he has the time and desire to think about politics, the environment, the big picture. He has no time and desire to check the news. He needs simple and accessible things, his mind is tired from the harshness of everyday life. “

It is not a political scientist who speaks, but the actress Scarlett Johanssonin an interview by Beppe Severgnini that the journalist told on the ‘Corriere della Sera’ twelve years later. In those simple phrases, the germ of the polarization that has poisoned American politics and now threatens Europe is revealed. Too many people are perched on his beliefs, they receive information that confirms it in their ideas (social networks work just like that), they have little desire to confront the arguments of others. Moreover, even on television every politician appears alone, with interlocutors more or less pleasing to him (in any case with the right of veto over the most unwelcome) and without direct confrontation as was the case in the old “political tribunes”.

The current situation has also worsened compared to that described by Johansson in 2010: pandemic, uncertainties due to war, economic crisis, impoverishment of the middle class, accentuate the distrust and the desire to entrench themselves. Many do not go to vote, or if they vote they do so by looking at their immediate interest, caressed in this orientation also by the speeches of most politicians.

A drama that threatens democracies and the world. To describe the situation, the American philosopher Noam Chomsky he even uses the metaphor of the boiled frog. Like the animal that does not react if the water in the pot gradually heats up, so humanity is unable to make adequate choices to respond to the gradual deterioration of the global context.

Yet appeals follow one another, good practices are not lacking, the United Nations 2030 Agenda continues to indicate the complex of interventions to address the problems. Indeed, the UN General Assembly, on July 28, recognized that “living in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal right”, endorsing a previous declaration by the Human Rights Council. But it is clear that not enough is being done to give strength to this principle.

This myopia also affects the anomalous and torrid Italian electoral campaign. There are those who try to react by pointing out the importance of problems apparently in the background. A group of climate scientists wrote a letter to Italian politics ahead of the elections:

“We strongly ask the political parties to consider the fight against the climate crisis as the necessary basis for achieving a fair and sustainable development in the years to come. This fact is essential today, if they really want to propose their own future vision of society with chance of success.

In particular, in the current situation it appears urgent to implement adaptation actions that make us and our territories more resilient to heat waves, droughts, extreme events of violent rainfall, sea level rise and abrupt phenomena of various kinds; actions that do not follow an emergency logic but of planning and structural programming.

Due to the inertia of the climate, the phenomena we see today will also be inevitable in the future, and therefore we must manage them by making the territories and productive activities safe, investing decisively and quickly the resources available from the NRP. At the same time, we must also ensure that the situation does not worsen further and becomes virtually unmanageable, as it would be in the worst climate scenarios. For this we must push hard on the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonising and circulating our economy, accelerating the path towards the true energy and ecological transition. “

The appeal was supported by the Nobel Prize Giorgio Parisiwhich in an interview on Republic answered questions from Luca Fraioli:

“D. Do you really think that in the current political situation, Italian parties can put climate issues at the center of the debate?

R. They should do it, if only for a strategic question. For a country like Italy, which has to import fossil fuels, whether they are gas, coal or oil, switching to renewable sources would make the economy much more stable. And if the thermal efficiency of all homes were really made on a large scale, with a large investment, there would be a great return for the economy and work. For all these reasons it is important that the parties make clear in their programs what their plans are for the fight against climate change, to move towards renewable energies and a less polluted world. But it is equally important that voters then use this information to decide who to vote for. (…) Politicians more and more often have a horizon of a few years, those of their mandate do not undertake long-term actions whose results risk being useless for re-election. And the climate is one of the arguments that paid for this lack of political foresight. But it is also true that up to now the voters have not made themselves heard very much. They also voted based on their short-term interests. So the responsibility lies with both politicians and voters: if the latter do not make it convenient for parties to make a climate policy, politicians will certainly not implement it spontaneously. “

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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