Energy changes against climate change!

Yesterday we participated to a meeting organized by iMille, a group of PD party members – the majority of which lives and works abroad – trying to get things moving in Italy.

It was a mix of corporate-style discussion (a powerpoint presentation, a handout) and of party-style debate “time-is-not-a-finite-resource-let’s-endlessly-embroider”, but overall  the meeting was a glimpse of hope in the usual sticky Italian mood.

Energy efficiency, smart grid, renewables were points of easy convergence, whereas on nuclear power the positions were more articulated.

Overall the point which I found more appealing was the need for the party to become once more a “feasibility study incubator”. Studying, analyzing and proposing solutions, not just discussing the status quo.

I was impressed to hear that in the 70s the railway workers’ PCI group in Rome produced a very thorough study on how the public transport system in Rome would have had to change in the coming decades, and that these chaps had forecasted exactly all the challenges that the city later had to face: link between underground and railway networks, car circulation limitations etc.

iMille’s catch phrase is “le cose cambiano” (things change).

It will take time before we can match in Rome our Berlin habits:

– living in an energy-efficient building,

– with an effective garbage collection,

– return plastic and glass bottles to the supermarket and get cash back, while leaving packaging at the till,

– biking safely in town even by night and boarding on all trains,

– enjoying an ongoing improvement of the quality of air in the urban areas,

– and ubiquitous and efficient public transport (yes, even in spite of S-bahn lingering problems), with safe commuting in the underground also for 7 years old kids

– with all-night-long friday and saturday night public transport service,

– policies to encourage the presence of local small-scale stores,

– and no carbon-intensive families around, pretending to drive 3/4 cars every day to work, pick up kids at school or shop for a can of milk.

But it’s a start. At last I hear someone talking about investments and LONG TERM STRATEGIES in Italy: the ephemeral Scratch-and-Win short-sighted society par excellence…

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