«Un uomo è ricco in proporzione del numero di cose delle quali può fare a meno»
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, ovvero vita nei boschi

venerdì 11 maggio 2012

Armaroli e Balzani per la decrescita

«Many economists seem to believe that well-being correlates with Energy consumption, that energy prices reflect all significant costs and that any societal problems can be solved by enhanced economic growth. Is it true? Several scientists are convinced that technology will solve the energy problem as well as the problems that technology itself is creating. Can we trust them?» 

«Whereas it used to be axiomatic that civilization would always progress over time, because science and technology would have solved any problem, now we are no longer sure about that. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. We have to take urgent and responsible decisions right now: tomorrow might be too late. The quest for ecological and social sustainability requires every single citizen to become aware that consuming resources above a threshold of his/her real needs does not help to create a better world. Earth is in our hands: are we wise enough to develop, with the help of science and technology, an ecological sustainable civilization capable of reducing disparity and creating a more peaceful world?» 

«An old Italian proverb says that the only difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the latter is better informed. A short-sighted optimism based on unawareness will not allow mankind to move toward a real progress. Pessimism, which arises from the consciousness of the gravity of the situation, is the right starting point: to propose solutions, we must acknowledge that there are problems and we must know them in any possible detail. There is a great need for spreading information about the unsafe conditions of our planet.
«Finding a solution to the energy problem is a challenge of utmost difficulty, but also an extraordinary opportunity. Perhaps we are still in time to change and create an Anthropocene epoch based on resource conservation, waste reduction, human relationships, and global solidarity. To achieve this epochal result, we need to educate public opinion and to find visionary leaders capable of looking far, over the planet and into the future. Our generation will ultimately be defined by how we live up to the energy challenge.» 

«In spite of these alarm bells, growth remains the magic word of narrow-minded economists and politicians. They believe that the economic growth must continue indefinitely, and therefore they incessantly press for increasing production and consumption. In affluent countries, we live in societies where the concepts of “enough” and “too much” have been removed. We do not take into account that the larger the rates of resources consumption and waste disposal, the more difficult it will be to reach sustainability and guarantee the survival of human civilization» 

«Domestic disparity is a difficult problem to solve in a society where the way of life is based on consumerism, and international disparity is a problem set aside by politicians of affluent countries to please their supporters. In the long run, however, both problems have to be tackled because disparities destabilize human society. If things so not improve, sooner or later the poor will rise up against the rich. The boost “illegal” immigration in affluent countries that lie at he boundary between the North and the South of the world (e.g., USA, Italy, Spain) is indeed a forewarning of what will happen in the international scene. Any action to restore equity should likely pass through lowering resource consumption (in particular, energy) by the rich while attempting to raise that of the poor. Our time is characterized by an unsustainable growth in an unequal world. We should try to decrease disparity, while being aware that growth based on consumption of nonrenewable resources is poised to be an ephemeral illusion.» 

«As members of mankind, we have the moral duty of contributing to solving the energy problem as a decisive step towards creating a more peaceful world. And if we are scientists, we have a great responsibility that comes from our knowledge and educational duty» 

«There are hard questions. History teaches that the pressures of the great, hard questions can bend and even break well-established principles, thereby transforming difficult challenge into unexpected, astonishing opportunities. But we should not forget that the challenge of saving spaceship Earth and its passengers needs the engagement of all of us. And we have to start right now»

 estratti da  “Energy for a sustainable world” Nicola Armaroli, Vincenzo Balzani, 2010

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