Commentary. Our ‘irreplaceable’ prime minister does not even know what the climate and environmental crises are. He has never dealt with them and considers it a nuisance. Meanwhile he pays tribute to dictators.

Draghi, the walking deus-ex-machina, ignores the biggest crises

There’s only a short step from “He is a dictator, but we need him” to “We need him because he is a dictator”; and Draghi has already taken it.

Coming up next will be, “We need a dictator.” We in Italy are working on it. Working on it, along with NATO, and all the parties, from the majority and opposition, committed to supporting Draghi, “the irreplaceable one.”

All the media are working on it: in almost every article, the undertone is a refrain of “The sun rises, the rooster crows, Mario Draghi mounts his horse” [a paraphrase of a poem by Malaparte glorifying Mussolini –].

He is the one who, in order to repay the French and German banks that had lent too much to Greece, made himself (indirectly, clearly) responsible for the despair, and sometimes even death, of tens of thousands of human beings, condemned to hunger, cold, lack of care and medicine. The fact that he was the one called to “solve” Italy’s problems left dumbfounded millions of Italians who thought they had finally understood how the world of finance works; but it wasn’t anything surprising for the parties, who called him to service and deprived themselves and Parliament of power.

The Po River has almost dried out, the crops are dying too, the Marmolada glacier has collapsed, the temperature has already reached 40 °C; workplace deaths are unending, inflation is rampant, employment is increasingly precarious (but it is set to recover with arms production – and we can finally dismiss those who denied that giving arms to Ukraine would pave the way for increased war spending and NATO saber rattling); and the entry of nuclear and gas into the taxonomy of green energy sources is dictating the timing of the ecological non-transition. It takes 10-15 years at least (safety concerns aside) to have a nuclear power plant up and running, with energy costing multiple times the cost of renewables; and no less than 5 years for new gas pipelines or LNG facilities (assuming some competitor doesn’t beat us to the fields with which Russian gas is supposed to be replaced). That would be more than enough time to install all the renewable plants needed to meet the national need, which will have to be reduced anyway.

Meanwhile, Draghi, the walking deus ex machina, went to humble himself (in defense of Western values?) before the dictator Erdogan, no less than Berlusconi had done with Gaddhafi. But one thing is clear: Draghi doesn’t really get the climate and environmental crisis, he has never focused on it, he considers it only a nuisance. And his acolytes as well.

The climate crisis should be put at the center of attention and efforts at every level, for every program, for every possible alliance, for our daily actions. Time is running out. All “the rest” – jobs, income, housing, health, education, security, but also family, friendships, solidarity, culture, happiness – does not “come later,” but must be considered “within” a general reaction to the climate and environmental crisis. Either that or it won’t be taken into account at all.

Climate and the environment are not “opportunities” to create new jobs. They are inescapable realities in the context of which it’s possible, and necessary, to create new jobs, which can be less burdensome and more satisfying than the current ones; and as many as are sufficient for a radical ecological conversion. But for each of the “new jobs” created by the ecological conversion, there are at least as many to be eliminated because they have a negative effect: harmful production that produces harmful things, bad things, which no longer have any reason to exist.

But who decides what is good and what is not? It can only be the stakeholders, in the most varied venues and forums for debate, which all must be created. This is the real challenge. But everyone should be guaranteed equal conditions, those who may lose their jobs and those who will go on to find new ones: (guaranteed) income, but also contributions to the joint effort, through a redistribution of the burdens of “good” work.

Are we talking about utopia? Yes – and not a moment too soon! Because jobs, especially good jobs – in hospitals, health care, schools, renewables, etc. – are already being lost, and will be lost more and more, while those in power are doing everything to keep the bad ones– just think of the arms, luxury yachts or auto industries.

Let us not delude ourselves about the +1.5 °C target: it will not be met. Contributions to global emissions reductions by Italy (which emits a grand total of 1 percent) or the EU (10 percent), if they even happen – and it doesn’t look likely – will be a drop in the ocean. Nor can we expect better choices from other global players. So programs must be put in place now to adapt to the increasingly hostile conditions in which we will live, and are living already.

It is necessary to make sure each territory will be able to face the crisis with the greatest possible level of self-sufficiency: in energy, agribusiness, production. We need to de-globalize: not in terms of the circulation of information, ideas and people, but in terms of goods. This is the challenge which all programs must confront: how to involve workers, men and women, and all the people on whom the ecological conversion must depend. We’re saying it now: “TINA” (There is No Alternative).

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