Saturday, 19 November 2022

Cleaning the bottom of the Sea

Since last Sunday many volunteers have been cleaning the bottom of part of Mediterranean sea off the Western coast of Italy (Santa Marinella, 50 km North from Rome). Various kind of wastes,  that had been accumulated on the bottom of the sea, such as metal scrap, plastic bottles, and waste glass, have been eliminated. Obviously, volunteers have also been cleaning beaches.

Glad to see that some boys and girls have been involved in the cleaning operation along the beaches. 

That's a great combination between volunteers organizations and the local Administration.

I do hope other local administrations will do the same.

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Starting to doubt the warmongers


If Western governments were to continue to fund Ukraine and supply it with weapons and missiles, EU people would grow tired of the economic cost of war in East Europe. 

According to Washington Post, the USA government is privately pushing Ukraine to show openness to negotiate with  Russia, due to the fact that war takes a toll on world economy. As mentioned by the USA State Department spokeperson, "if Russia is ready for negotiation, it should stop its bombs and missiles and withdraw its forces from Ukraine".

But I don't understand why the USA didn't say that six months ago. That's an outright turnaround in the USA's policy, as American government had been claiming for months that it would support Ukraine for as long as the war goes on. This is the real and live example why USA's political friendship is sometimes fatal. Poor Ukrainian people have fallen in the same trap as we already saw with regards to Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc.  

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland)


A dear friend of mine, Luigi (that's his name), has just sent me this picture, which he made with his drone. The aerial image shows the "Altare della Patria" (Altar of the Fatherland) and its majesty. It's one of the main Rome's landmarks.  
This large national monument, which was built about 100 years ago to honour the first  king of a unified Italy,  can be reached easily in few minutes on foot or using public transport.

The picture above also shows another important Rome's monument, the Coliseum, with its yellow lights.  

Nice Sunday to all the blogging community!

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Middle class and working class have nothing to gain from wars

Since the Ukraine-Russia war began early this year, most politicians in USA, UK, and EU have been calling for weapons and missiles to Ukraine. But they haven't sent any weapon in other countries that have been invaded. As mentioned by Clare Daly, Irish member of the EU Parliament, Western powers have never called for weapons and missiles for people of Palestine or for people of Yemen. 

Meanwhile, this morning four Palestinians have been killed and nearly 20 others injured by Israeli forces operating in an occupied  sovereign country (Palestine's West Bank). At least 164 Palestinians (civilians) have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied territories since January 2022. 

If USA, UK, and EU's policy-makers were interested in negotiation, we would see peace agreements in Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, etc.

Friday, 21 October 2022

Burqa ban initiative

In early October Switzerland approved a new bill to ban women from wearing the burqa or niqab in public spaces. Other European countries had already introduced the same bill as we see now in Switzerland. 

The members of the Swiss lower Parliament approved the bill, which prohibits people from concealing their face, by a vote of 88 to 87.  This means that women may wear a hijab covering ther hair, but cannot wear clothes which only show the eyes (burqa or niqab) in restaurants, streets, buses, etc. Although the bill specifies that the eyes, nose and mouth must be visible, there are some exceptions to the law, such as wearing a mask to protect against viruses.

France is the first European country to introduce a ban on full face coverings. There are currently other European countries that have banned the burqa or niqab: Switzerland, as just mentioned, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark, and Austria. But there are also countries in Africa and Asia that have already banned clothes which only show the eyes. They are: Morocco, Tunisia, Congo, Gabon, Chad, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

We wait and see if other EU countries will approve the same bill. 

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Energy crisis


The fact that the ongoing war in Ukraine will not soon go to an end is well known, unfortunately. And this indicates that EU countries can't continue to be reliant on Russian gas. With more than 22% of the world electricity generation coming from gas, many depeloped and developing countries are still reliant on such fossil resource.  In addition to power plants, another huge quantity of world gas production is used for other purposes, such as urban utilities, service sector, and industrial use.  In this perspective, the demand for LNG has grown exponentially in many countries, such as China and India. On the other hand, gas consuption has been decreasing sharply in some countries, like Japan and South Korea, due to the reopening of nuclear power plants. Actually, such countries have been implementing a policy of energy conservation. 

In the late 1960s, after the discovery of the Yamburg gas-fields in West Siberia, which is the world third largest one, Austria became the first European country to sign a long-term gas supply deal with Russians. We have to consider the fact that Austria was, and still is, both landlocked and neutral from a geopolitical point of view. Since then, Russian gas has been attractive to Europe because of its availability. Moreover, it was cheaper and easy to transport from West Siberia to Central Europe. That's way its importance have been growing in the last three decades, as some EU countries moved to end coal and nuclear power plant production.

Now EU countries are going to increase purchases of liquefied natural gas from other producers, as they are compelled to replace Europe's import of Russian gas. Moreover, as we have already seen since early this year, the wars have been fought differently: on 18 February 2022 and on 27 September 2022 three Russian gas pipelines were damaged by explosions. The military operations just mentioned interrupted the gas delivery to many EU countries.

But, as it is known, the EU isn't yet equiped to replace Russian gas entirely. And in this perspective, Southern Europe's territory is so important for supply of gas to EU countries, because of its geographical location. In addition to the Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline, which already delivers Algerian gas to mainland Italy and Slovenia (through Tunisia and the island of Sicily), a shelved gas pipeline is under construction. It would link gas from Algeria to Italy via the island of Sardinia. Not to mention of the Trans Saharian gas pipeline that will be then connected to the existing pipelines that already run to Europe. The Southern Gas Corridor also delivers gas to Europe from the Caspian area (Azerbaijan). It connects the Trans Anatolian pipeline at the Turkish-Greek border, crosses Greece, Albania and the Adriatic sea, before coming ashore in South Italy.

This mean that we have to switch to renewable energy as soon as we can: experts of the Snam SpA, an Italian energy infrasctucture company, say that the amount of energy that hit our planet in an hour is enough to meet global energy needs for an entire year. But while world population has reached 7 billion, current technologies don't allow for huge harnessing of this potential yet. 


Monday, 3 October 2022

New military targets

With regards to my previous post, concerning the military attack on the two gas pipelines in the Baltic sea, I think that a fifth grade boy would understand that Russia and the EU couldn't be interested in hitting their own underwater infrastructure. And the same boy would also understand that other world powers may be interested in a neverending war in East Europe, from East Ukraine to the Baltic sea. 

As it is known, the Russian company Gazprom owns 51% of the Nord Stream pipelines, with EU countries holding the remaining 49%. So we can easily make the first step of an investigation, which means that the two owners, Russia and the EU, couldn't be interested in destroying their own underwater infrastructure.

Since the world noticed the attack on the two gas pipelines, journalists, bloggers and normal people haven't been talking about the author of the sabotage, although everybody knows that there were military ships close to the point of the explosions. They have mentioned the damage from an environmental point of view and the rising price of gas. But they are all afraid of saying or writing something about the government that planned the attack. Silence! Although journalists and bloggers understand exactly who planned the attack. That's typical of authoritarianism! 

Unfortunately, hitting underwater infrastructures may become a new way of fighting a war. And in this perspective, the problem is that there are many undersea fiber optic cables and electrical grid pipes, which stretch across the world from one country to another through oceans and seas. I hope that these underwater infrastructures do not become new military targets.