Environmental Impact

  • The adjective resilient means (among other things) “tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. That’s an excellent capability to have in though times like these, isn’t it? You may think that resiliency means roughing it like Rambo or the Amish, or that it is a lifestyle that only very rich people who can buy their own ranch can afford. That’s not true. Resilience, especially in the current economical situation, may be both a smarter way to live and a necessity for everybody, especially people with very, very normal lifes and jobs (or lack thereof…).
  • In many parts of Italy there simply is no more room to use cars decently, regardless of their cost or emissions. For this reason, a few days ago I translated into Italian a beautiful post on the Frugal Urban blog about the benefits of car sharing in Ottawa. A few days later, the announcement of those translations on a mailing list prompted Damiano C. to write on that same list about his car sharing experience in Rome.
  • _(this is the translation, with some links updated, of an article I wrote in June 2007 for Rivista Italiana della Decrescita (Italian Degrowth Magazine). Since then, I’ve written and spoken more on the same topic, here and elsewhere._ According to François Schneider (1) “some technologies, by definition, can not be limited or restricted and must therefore be (completely) refused”. The theme of this article is to see if computers and the Internet are indeed limited, if and how they are compatible with degrowth or whether they should instead be abandoned in the interest of degrowth itself.
  • Shortly after its release, I explained why the .WWF file format isn’t a really green and smart idea. Here I answer, with an invite to all environmentalists and green activists, to a critique from Marghe, a reader who got upset because (synthesizing): the message that WWF wants to send is just "don't print without a real reason!" The format is just an excuse, it's the message that counts. However, I find your critique isn't constructive, it seems you're just advertising free (as in freedom) software, but while WWF created a file format to try to do something, you wrote an article that is just useless (and it's bad that it appears as one of the first hits in Italian Google searches).
  • (this is the second part of the translation, with some links updated, of an article I wrote in June 2007 on this topic. The first part is here) Are computers limitable? The concept that you should use a tool only if you can “limit” it, that is if you can foresee and limit its potential damage by defining and regulating in advance how it can or should be used, creates more problems.
  • The World Widlife Fund recently launched a “new file format” called .WWF, which is green because it cannot be printed, so it saves trees by stimulating people to reduce their consumption of paper. In reality, the “green” .WWF format, which is essentially, just a PDF file with printing disabled. is a dumb idea for two reasons. First, too many file formats are bad in general. Second, .WWF only announced support for the two… most polluting operating systems.
  • Update Dec 7th, 2010: after reading this page, please also read Don’t Save As WWF. This is the really green format! for alternatives to .WWF Update Jan 14th, 2011: No peace for the SaveAsWWF campagin On November 30, 2010, the German section of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in order to raise awareness about a real, serious threat to the environment, has proposed a really dumb solution that I urge everybody to avoid, for at least two reasons.
  • Some days ago I heard a radio interview to workers and Union representatives of the FIAT car manufacturing plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily. FIAT management announced this year that they plan to stop car production in that plant by the end of 2011, because it is not convenient anymore. The thing that impressed me the most in the interviews were people declaring that “in Italy we produce too few cars!
  • The week from Nov. 22 to Nov. 29 is the European Waste Reduction Week. The reason for such an initiative is obvious from the 2008 images from Naples: many other cities worldwide risk similar crisis and it’s pointless to discuss whether one should recycle or burn waste if you don’t minimize the amount of waste in the first place.Today, instead, every individual in industrialized countries produces some hundred kilograms of waste every years (imagine a phone booth per person, full of garbage!