Young voices, Italy: “We must prepare for the worst. The truth must be told”

Filed by Susanna Pagiotti. “With the current policies we are going to 3,1 – 3,7 degrees. We should rather hope to remain within the two degrees increase.” Giovanni Mori says he is basically a pessimist. “But the fact that I saw with my own eyes that if you manage to involve people correctly and functionally on such an important issue, people will move. This makes me hope for the best.”

Giovanni Mori was 13 years old when he produced a short movie focusing on acid rain and related issues. He is now an academic, but at 26, he enthusiastically joined the Fridays for Future movement when it emerged “I was trapped in an academic world too far from the real world, while many young people take to the streets to protest.”

«Sometimes they portray us as those who want to put a brake on development but do not understand how we are those in favour of science, while they are against science and development. We talk about technology and renewable energy”

So, he joined and observed “A sea of people”. He saw that the same “sea” was there in many cities in Italy “It was great, and that enthusiasm gave us a crazy energy, and not only to us, but also to the journalists, who did not think that this would happen. There I realized that it was something very important, something that would change things.”

Panic attacks

Not all were happy with this surge of protests, especially among older people. There was a time when he had to argue with old men who “always had something to criticize. They emphasized that during our demonstrations we left litter on the ground, obviously exaggerating the thing […] it was all rather stupid. “ He complains that the level of climate literacy is rather low in his country: “In Italy, unfortunately, scientific ignorance is widespread, much more than in other countries.” He adds that “if people understood what we are risking, there would be panic in the streets.” On the other hand, the streets are already “full of guys who are active in the movement and have panic attacks because they really realize what we’re going towards”.

Ecological energy is an opportunity!

The movement faces severe obstacles, though: “A news a few days ago was that some lobbies in the European Union have spent 250 million Euros in the last five years to curb climate mitigation actions. The problem is that there are still too many economic interests of those who do not want to curb the environmental crisis”, says Giovanni. He recommends that “we must stop thinking that the ecological energy transition is a cost! It is rather an investment, an opportunity. And if it is true that a state must guarantee protection to its citizens, as is the case for a war, then the state must defend us also from this climate crisis. Politicians have the responsibility and duty to take action, to get us out of this crisis!