Dear Mr. Barak Obama,
President Elect of the United States of America,
we are writing you this letter because first of all we’re Italian, and secondly we find ourselves in difficulty and do not know who we can turn to for help.
Our government has decided that it is not convenient to invest in renewable energy supplies or efficient energy solutions. They say that our country is on the edge of bankruptcy and that they have no more money to invest. They declare that the only possible solution is to continue polluting and wasting energy.
According to the treaty undersigned in Kyoto, we should reduce Co2 emissions of 6,5% and instead we’ve increased them of 9,9% in the past 7 years. They say that if we should reduce emissions and save on petrol it would cost the nation too much money and many companies would be destined to close down.
Berlusconi, who is always a funny chap, affirmed that considering ecology in his program would be comparable to a person with pneumonia worrying about a hair perm.
Our governors cannot understand that one of the reasons why the current financial crisis in Italy is more violent than in past years is due to the fact that we keep on wasting energy whilst others have started to save it.
You are most certainly aware that we could do much more, many, many more things with the sun we have here in Italy. But our government doesn’t seem to want to understand. Our government doesn’t understand that it is absurd that Austria covers 200 sq.mts of solar panels for the supply of hot water for every 1000 inhabitants whereas Greece covers 240 sq.mts, and Italy only covers but 10 (ten!!!) sq.mts every 1000 inhabitants.
They do not understand that this absence of solar panels is a damage to the economy of every family besides being a damage to our lungs as well as to the environment.; money spent in fossil fuel which could instead have been used to improve the financial situation of Italian families thus giving new impulse to the country’s economy.
Just imagine; our government has recently established to complicate the bureaucratic paperwork which allows to obtain a 55% tax reduction on the purchasing of solar panels, thermal isolation, efficient boilers and other solutions destined to improve energy efficiency within private homes.
They’ve also cut on funds for fiscal detractions. Absolutely dramatic. In our country almost half of the consumption of fossil fuels is destined to heat homes and water. According to a research done by the Politecnico di Milano ( a prestigious Italian university in the north of Italy) in the past 30 years families have thrown away an amount of money of equivalent value to their houses just for the inefficient use of energy. The consumption for heating is far higher than in other European country such as Austria for example (140-210 Kcal compared to 80 kcal)
Our government cannot understand that the waste of energy is so high that they could finance investments for efficient energy with the money we’re currently throwing away. With the money the families would be saving they could be paying the mortgage rates and still have some cash in their pockets instead of spending it on wasted energy. And it would also be “healthy “for banks to loan money for the installation of energy saving systems: safe investments destined to save money in the long run cutting costs on energy supplies.
But they, our governors, really don’t seem to understand. They halt essential measures such as the project to recuperate oil used for cooking. Just imagine, our restaurants pay a special tax for the disposal of used oil instead of reselling it as in other countries. Every year we throw away 100 thousand tons of oil used for frying instead of using it for the production of bio diesel.
And we await, uselessly we await for new law decrees to be approved which will improve the development and production of wind power, biomass and water power. Italy still hasn’t acknowledged geothermal energy or Led illumination which cuts over 80% of public illumination costs. Those who invest in such “eco-technology “, that is not officially state recognized, lose the opportunity of selling stocks regarding energy efficiency on international markets. A severe damage for those citizens particularly interested in respecting the environment. This is also a way to discourage Italian municipalities from substituting old light bulbs with Led street illumination. And not only: our governors have increased the bureaucracy concerning photovoltaic installments. Just imagine, in Italy there are 150 photovoltaic installments which compel to international standards, which are functioning perfectly yet have not been “recognized” by the Italian government because the owners forwarded the written documentation concerning the installations with delay, according to due dates defined by the government ; in this case the Gestore Servizi Elettrici (Administrator of Electrical Services and Supplies). According to our government, these poor guys should throw their installations away because they can’t do anything with them, not even resell them because every single solar panel has a registration number and once the panel is officially refused by the government (an example for this refusal is the late correspondence as above) it cannot be resold or re-presented in new documentation. This always according to government regulations. We think such things can only happen in Italy.
We’re writing to you because we are truly in difficulty. Newspapers and television do not understand the matter about funding alternative energy supplies which consequently lead to saving money on energy instead of wasting it. Media does not dedicate time to explaining this to people, they do not explain that if we stop wasting money in this way our products will consequently become more competitive and we will, in the end, end up saving money. Our only hope is that this truth come out. Many Italians have respect for the environment and many would highly appreciate a stand on your behalf. We sincerely hope you can give us a hand.
What we would like you to do, what we would like to ask you to do is to spend a few words in favor of Italy. A speech of yours could make it’s way through the general confusion we find ourselves is concerning the economical crisis and the revolution regarding “eco-technology”.
The consideration that millions of Italians have for you could oblige them to listen to you as well as to reflect on your words.
We appeal to you because all the things we’ve tempted to do and say have been darkened and put to silence. We’re living a very sad period here in Italy.
In other dramatic moments in history, the United States of America came in aid and helped us by sending thousand of troops to fight and many of them died whilst helping us fight Nazi-fascist dictatorship. Fortunately today it’s not THAT bad.
We would be more than happy if an American, just one American, in particular You, could make a phone call to our TG1 (main public TV station).
Maybe they’d understand you even though you speak English.
Jacopo Fo - Libera Università di Alcatraz www.alcatraz.it
Fabio Roggiolani – Consigliere della Regione Toscana dei Verdi
Roberto Codazzi – blogge
Dario Fo – Nobel prize winner www.dariofo.it
Franca Rame – ex Senator www.francarame.it