Greta is right

Invited speech for the protest of the Fridays for Future at Udine, black friday 2019.

1) Great Thunberg and the Fridays for Future are right: over the last 20 years politicians have done nothing to stop the increase of CO2 and global warming.

2) Recetly, the italian Government has created the law “decreto clima”.
Let us remember, what the problem to be solved really is: the problem is, that we need to substitute fossil fuel, like gas, coal, petrol, with renewable energies. Otherwise we simply cannot stop the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The “decreto clima” does not substitute fossil fuels, instead it talks about nice things like putting more green into the cities. The “decreto clima” cannot possible haven any relevant effect on the climate change.
Please do not get me wrong: I am very much in favour of making cities greener, it’s a nice and good thing to do. However, it does not risolve in any way the CO2 problem.
Normally, when the Government make a mistake, the opposition raises its voice and proposes better solutions. In this case not, the opposition remains silent.

3) Presumably the politicians are not bad, they rather don’t know what
to do. And the same is true for the journals and the citizens: the public does not criticize the “decreto clima”, nobody has the courage to say the obvious, to say the the emperor is totally naked.

4) For the worst existing problem, global warming, the mechanisms of democracy do not work.

5) With the democratic mechanisms out of order, nobody knows what to do.
The willingness to do something does exist, as is shown by the “decreto clima” – but nobody know, what to do precisely. Therefore the most important protest of the Fridays for Future cannot have any effect.

6) The Fridays for Future aks politicas to listen to science.
Theoretically speaking, the Fridays for Future are right. However, for politicians “science” means the big public centers of science or technology. Let us have a look at an actual example, the Mose at Venice: after 35 yearsof work and spending very much in excess of what was predicted, Mose still does not work and is not able to protect Venice against the flood, and everybody agrees, that this is a disaster. If you now visit the website of the Mose project you will find a perfect world of beautiful photographs and very positive texts which assure, that everything is just fine, no problem anywhere (situation as of Nov. 2019). There is no responsabla, no transparency, no real information.
Mose obviously does not make part of the res publica, but rather seems to be a little banana republic.
Mose is only an actual example. One can make a list of the other big science and technology centers. Like Mose they spent about 300 Million Euro per year, but have nothing relevant to say with respect to the most important problem, global warming, and that is not even astonishing, since also on their web pages the world is perfect and a happy place of nice colours and meaningless words.

7) When we consider these things, a possible solution follows logically:
we need an alliance between Fridays for Future and real science. On the one hand, the Fridays for Future need to gain the relevant competences.
On the other hand, science needs to get back in contact with society with the help from the Fridays for Future, science has to exit from anonymity and has to take responsability. For doing that, I offer you my full collaboration. I am ready to answer your questions, to make experiments and tests together, to create projects, documentations, presentations, all it may need.
All it may need in order to get democracy going again, in order to re-insert physics into the living res publica.
Let me give a precise example: next summmer at Trieste there will be the European science fair ESOF2020. Presumably a project I proposed for that
occasion is being approved for the category “science in the city”. There you could make a first presentation of what we will have achieved together. Obviously I also have to ask my colleagues for their approval, but I am sure that also they will be glad to work with you.

8) I already know the counter argument: they will say, that only the super experts can understand science. But that is not true. The most fundamental part of science is physics. One can understand physics. What cannot be understood, is not physics.
It’s like with music: who wants to write an opera has to study music, of course. But if you just want to listen to music, to enjoy it, you do not need to study. The same is true for physics: you can understand physics also without studying it. Only when you want to create new physics, like Einstein or Fermi, only in this case you need to study it.

9) As a matter of fact, at the University of Udine over the last 10 years, we already have developed new technologies for substituting fossil fuels in a very simple and economic way, showing that this is the way to go.
However, these existing technologies are not being applied because all parts of society pretend that there is no problem, things can stay as they are.

10) My offer to collaborate is not limited to young people with a gift for physics, and who could collaborate in technical or scientific projects. Rather we do need an activity which includes all parts of our culture, also parts which seem to be far away from physics, like for example art. Creating the solutions for the future should not be left to the experts, as, for instance Mose clearly shows. Rather it needs to be lifely and beautiful activity of the res publica.
Once Venice was a superpower of high technology and of art. Today instead it contents itself to row the gondola and to make pizza for the tourists. If instead Venice still would have its old cultural level, the problem of the acqua alta would have been resolved already, I am sure about that.
This example shows, that the global heating is a cultural problem.

11) At Udine there is a particular situation: the University has been make possible by your grandparents, with the money from the earth quake. More than it is true in other cities, this University is yours, because you are the heirs of your grandparents. I am sure, that the University will help you, you just have to knock at the door of your University.

12) Mose is nothing but a tiny example for what will happen on a much larger scale, if we do not succeed to recover our lost culture, together with its technology. Mose is an example of what will happen, if we do not succeed to substitute the many little banana republics with a living res publica.
At the time being, the Fridays for Future are the only ones who can bring forward this change. You are the future.
And you are the past, since only you can carry towards the future an enormous heritage, which will disappear without you and wll be undone, as if it never had existed.
Therefore, past and future depend on you.
Continue on your way, and I am sure, that always more people will understand and will come to your relief. Because only you can save the world.

Hans Grassmann, piazza XX Sett, Udine, 29. nov. 2019