sabato 2 aprile 2011


Piano prof. Michele – Donnici prof. Rocco

A careful, not superficial, analysis of some disasters should let us wonder about it:
- 1960. Earthquake in Chile, with a magnitude of 9.5. It hit a sparsely populated area. About 3000 dead and over 2 million displaced; a poor area, where the rural and improvised constructions could not ensure security to face natural disasters of this magnitude.

- 2010. Earthquake of magnitude 7 and Tsunami in Haiti. More than 222 000 people died. Again, the weakness of building structures and the lack of technology required to alert the population are the causes of this massacre.

- 2002. San Giuliano, Campobasso (I), a shock of magnitude 5.9 causes 30 deaths, 27 of them were children. The collapse of a school, built in 2001, is the cause of the massacre of those innocent children.
- 2009. L'Aquila is struck by an earthquake of magnitude 5.9.Dead are 308, historical buildings collapsed, but also facilities recently built or renovated. The social costs, also from an economic point of view, are enormous, but they create benefits for someone.

It would seem the report of an ongoing war between man and the forces of nature. Stating this would be a serious error of superficiality.
The current war is not between man and nature, but between man and the lack of social solidarity between man and his selfish individualism, between man and the insane desire for speculation among man and ... ....

In Japan, an earthquake of magnitude 8.9, which moved the Earth's axis with 10 cm, has generated limited damage (at the time of writing the article the analysis of damage and the count of victims is still in progress) in relation to a destructive force 30,000 times higher than the earthquake occurred in L’Aquila.
Buildings realized with appropriate technology and quality, in full compliance with rules designed for the safety of people (human beings and not just customers), speculation is not placed on the first priority, allowed to face the forces of nature.
Unfortunately, the defence against a tsunami, more than technologies already present in Japan, requires an often unavailable resource: time. The detection and alarm systems installed in the area have proved their efficiency by reducing the inevitable damages on the coasts close to the epicenter hit by the wave after a few minutes.
A population density as high as the Japanese one does not allow the selection of building areas which can take into account the Tsunami event, whose damage could be contained by a careful identification of building sites. Consider that if the tsunami can be considered an exceptional event, floods or rains cannot. Indeed we have in many cases helpless witnessed tragedies generated by predictable and recurring events, such as, in fact, flooding of a streams and landslides; in those cases the tragedy was evidently caused by the wild edification in critical areas and not by a natural event.
Returning to the actuality of the disaster that struck Japan, the attention given to the creation of buildings able to consider, in their importance, human life and personal safety, helped to limit the damage. Instead, the Tsunami, whose disastrous effects could have been limited by a more careful urban planning and building stroke over the environment with all its tremendous strength; this must be added to the still unforgivable damage generated by energy policies, which again, consider the economic dimension but only marginally human security and, I would say, completely disregard those of future generations.

At the basis of all these aspects there is speculation, as absolute priority. Speculation is the real enemy of humanity. Speculation as the deadly disease of the investment. In this sense, geopolitical crises, hunger, wars, environmental disasters are only the effect of speculative activity that, sometimes, not even hesitate to predict and damage them.
Man is able to deal with nature, through technologies availability, social sustainability and respect for human beings, regardless of ethnicity, gender and religion, if and only if speculative individualistic selfishness is limited. A sustainable world in which characters are rooted in a strong culture and awareness of social responsibility is possible and necessary.
The political boundaries are no longer sufficient to be containment barriers of natural, social, viral events and even less for those caused by man. Environment management must have a real global coordination absolutely not limited to speculation. You have to invest and not to speculate, you have to produce values and profits and not frauds.
Returning to technical topics, I suggest some stimuli for reflection.

Technologies that can be applied to the environment frequented by human beings can ensure an high degree of safety. The technological systems applied to Japanese buildings are a good example. Today it is possible to reduce the impact on the environment, reducing energy consumption, improving comfort, monitoring users for health purposes, but, first of all, increasing the level of security. Obviously, these technologies have costs that can be cleared only if they are criminally disregarded from the social, environmental and human (including life) costs. We must always carefully consider all of this and expect economic impacts in terms of correct and honest results of the investment and work carried out. Only this is the logical "virtuous", this is the only way of the healthy economy: from the big energy project to the small house, every temptation of easy money comes from, how shall we say, "devil" - and God saves us from all temptation!
A further opportunity for reflection is provided by mobility based on costly systems for human lives and for the environment. There are viable technologies that can address the problem: trains, whose electricity could be supplied by renewable resources integrated to rail systems; in cities, to pedal, assisted by motors powered by renewable resources, whose costs and incentives, would be less only than maintenance costs of roads. But perhaps it may not interest speculators.
A country which does not privilege speculation could create an efficient rail network and build a network of suspended monorails by investing in energy production from renewable sources and in the zeronet energy building, this one combined with the reduction of consumption and with the integration of technologies for safety and security of its users.

Let us ask ourselves. How much is human life valued in a business plan? How much the environment? Would many projects be economical feasible if you consider all the current and future costs, foreseen or not considered?
I would be glad to conduct a cost / benefit analysis of some of the major energy sources (fossil fuels, wind, solar, biomass, nuclear, geothermal, hydroelectric) based on the information I will receive to be published on the blog. Therefore, I ask you to send me costs and benefits for each of the sources listed.
Let me conclude by thanking those who, regardless of their own life and of the temptations of speculation, try to save lives upon which speculation gives no value.