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We need to talk to others

Stories and News No. 1280

The world is on fire, Prince Harry recently told the UN General Assembly, referring not only to the effects of global warming, but also to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.
Nonetheless, we all know that by limiting ourselves to climate change and its disastrous consequences, the alarming expression becomes literal, as the world is burning for real. In Italy there are 153% more fires than last year.
Not to mention the consequential heat waves, with record temperatures everywhere from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Hence the question of questions, the most banal one that has even become boring for some, yet of an exceptional urgency: what can we do as ordinary citizens? What is the impact of the average man, limiting ourselves to these homegrown latitudes? In other words, how is every single family able to reduce its own personal contribution to a process that cannot be completely stopped now?
For years I have been asking myself these fundamental questions and tried to share them with the people I live with, my loved ones, friends or even just acquaintances.
Often we find ourselves in agreement, sometimes I end up overheating and struggling, which given the contingency doesn't help that much.
Nonetheless, in due time I wrote down my good on-board manual of the conscientious traveler on the great journey of life, trying to involve and convince my closest family members and anyone else within reach of an article, a show or a story, if not in a lively and worried voice.
Nothing special, stuff known to most of those who have taken - in my humble opinion - the necessary decision to transform their way of being in the world.
By dividing it into five steps - I repeat, well known by many -, we could simplify the change as follows:
1. Eat less or eliminate meat and dairy products altogether and, where possible, buy local food that comes from low or zero carbon production cycles.
2. Reduce or eliminate the use of private transport, with special attention to the type of fuel, and  where it is possible avoid taking the plane.
3. Drastically reduce the use of household appliances and any electrical device, moderate the dispersion of energy for heating or cooling rooms, and water consumption.
4. A complex and essential action in three further steps: reduce, reuse and recycle, paying close attention to what we really need, what we throw away and what we can keep and make it useful again.
5. Finally, an essential gesture that many of those with whom I feel I share sensitivity and intentions seem to underestimate: trying to communicate to others how much all this is indispensable, starting with one's own children and widening the circle until it is possible to do so. Internet is a precious tool for that.
Did I say something new? Far from it. This is an old story, at least for me. And like many others, after a day trying to follow the aforementioned handbook more or less to the letter, I watch the temperature rise, I am horrified in front of the sky becoming gray due to the smoke of the fires and after yet another disturbing video with the ice of the icebergs melting like a sad dying snowman, I think about my children and grieve for them.
Then, as I have always done since I was a child, I seek refuge, caresses and possibly answers in a short story. The one where we see a sinking ship because some of the passengers are puncturing the hull. And while some are damned to plug the holes and throw the water overboard, others, still too many, continue to damage the wood of the boat or remain idle doing nothing, and I don't know what is worse.
Well, I'll be wrong, but maybe it's no longer enough to give each other sustainable pats on the back, live, digitally or artistically.
Perhaps, the time has come to go and talk in person with those who create these holes, possibly at the exact moment or even a moment before...

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