August 11, 2022

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Giorgio Baresi: “Why is it necessary to put the fight against the climate crisis on the political agenda?”

“I totally agree withappeal From fellow climate scientists: It is important that Parties make clear in their programs what their plans are to combat climate change. But it is equally important that voters then decide who they will also vote on on the basis of which of these projects they find most persuasive.” Giorgio BaresiAnd the The Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 Standing with scholars who, through Republic And the green and bluethe content hub of the Gedi group dedicated to environmental issues, ask to be Global warming is at the heart of the election campaign.

Professor Parisi, why is it necessary to talk about it now, in this election?

“Because the next few years will be critical. The longer we wait to take action, the more warming continues and it will be difficult to turn back. This could lead to a situation capable of starting huge fires, for example in the arctic forests of Canada or Siberia, or in the waters of Rain in the Amazon, and at that point carbon dioxide emissions2 It would be enormous, with consequences that current mathematical models cannot even predict. It’s like a dam that begins to lose water: if you clog the holes when they are small, you are fine, but if you wait to plug the holes when they are large, you put in an enormous effort and you also risk that the dam will do it. fall upon you.”

Do you really think that in the current political situation Italian parties can put climate issues at the center of the debate?
“They should do it, even if only for a strategic question. For a country like Italy, which has to import fossil fuels, be it gas, coal or oil, switching to renewable sources will make the economy more stable. The thermal efficiency of all The houses are really big, in the face of a large investment, there will be a huge return for the Italian economy and work. For all these reasons it is important that the parties make clear in their programs what their plans are to combat climate change, to move towards renewable energy and a less polluted world. But it is equally important that voters use This information is then used to determine who to vote for.”

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Do you mean that in addition to parties, voter education must be done?
“Politicians have a growing horizon spanning a few years, and those from their state do not take long-term actions whose results may be counterproductive to their re-election. Climate is one of the arguments for this lack of political insight. But it is also true that so far there has been no Voters have a lot of communication. They also voted on their short-term interests. Parties make climate policy, and politicians certainly won’t spontaneously implement it.”

the call

An open letter from climate scientists to Italian politics

Could the summer 2022 registration shake up parties and voters? Or will rain before September 25, voting day, suffice to shut down the state of emergency?
“This is beyond my competencies, I don’t know much about collective psychology. It will depend on how well the parties bring climate emergency into the election campaign. And they will find themselves deciding who to vote for. The call of climate scientists is particularly important to get the parties to talk about global warming and to urge voters to Use this argument to judge different programmes. If citizens show, for example, that the fight against climate change is far more important to them than the issue of immigrants, the parties will orient themselves accordingly. Certain topics are torn apart to attract votes. He will remain out of the political debate.”

Why is global warming, despite all the warnings of science, less terrifying than other emergencies?
“Since the most catastrophic effects are seen as far-reaching. Comparing with what happened only a few years ago is difficult, we tend to forget. But this also applies to the positive things, those that have improved over time: 25 years ago the murders in Italy has more than doubled compared to today, and in forty years the number of road deaths has also been halved. These comparisons must be made with the past, because they show how long-term policies actually pay off for society as a whole and this is what needs to be done for the climate.”

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Is there a problem of lack of communication between science and politics?
“Scientists should devote more time to communication, to explain what they know about what is happening in the world. However, science can guide our choices to a certain extent. I said this in my speech in the room. Science is like car headlights: they allow you to see farther A little. But it’s the politicians who have to drive at night, knowing that those headlights have a limited range. Scientists are trying to illuminate what they can, but not using their information is like trying to drive through the night with the headlights off.”

Will the parties turn on the climate lights this time around?
“Hope is the last to die.”

How are you, professor, in the face of the hot summer of 2022?
“I reduced the number of commitments and moved to Scanno, in the Abruzzo National Park, Lazio and Molise. But even here, at a thousand meters above sea level, last Sunday it was very hot.”