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Speech of Guido Ferretti at the General Council of Transnational Radical Party (07-09 December 2006)


I would like to attract your attention on two possible fields of action which could be of interest for the Radical Party and could create a synergy with the other objectives under consideration, and so enhance their effectiveness. I wish to address the following issues, which could seem different, but, in fact, are deeply interconnected:

-          the world overpopulation and its impact on the environment, development and peace at a planetary level.
This problem is strictly interconnected with the enforcement of women rights and the eradication or poverty. Not only, but also with the preservation of the whole biosphere we get our life from and, therefore, the possibility for the human gender to keep existing on this planet. 
-          the expected gradual depletion of all the minerals and first of all oil and natural gas, with its consequences in terms of need for a transition from a fuel based economy to a renewable energies one. This is to be a tough issue by itself, with un-numerable consequences on our way of life, but, in turn, it is strictly interconnected with the global warming and, once again, with the preservation of the natural environment. Once again the whole biosphere is at risk of collapse and the consequences involve the whole human gender.

While these planetary problems are silently unfolding in the background, although more and more surfacing to the awareness of many political and public opinion leaders, a conscious analysis can reveal  how much they are interconnected with peace and how much, already at present, they are at the roots, along with the Israeli situation,  of the risks for a third world war, as Mr Pannella warns us about.

Overpopulation means that all the aids granted by the developed countries to the third world ones are non even enough to create the infrastructures needed to host the 80 million more people each year are added to the surface of the Earth. To make it worst, peak oil production means it is physically impossible to allow them to enjoy the benefits of low cost energy, on which the first world has built his welfare. These two factors conspire to generate crowds of young and poor people, disappointed by the failure of the promises for a better future and so an easy pray for those who want to use them for riots, wars and terrorism, as we heard this morning by the Iraqi representative.  Some governments promote the increase of population, because number means power; sometimes they suffer it and try to avert the dissatisfaction of their turbulent youth, by addressing their violence to an external enemy, and, most often, by putting the blame on the richest countries and USA first.

Indeed these countries somehow do deserve some blame for having used so inconsiderately the not-renewable resources of the Earth, and even more when they refuse to realize that this is not possible any more and they put forward the free market rights, when not threats and violence, to go on “business as usual”.

As compared with fossil fuels based economy, a resolute switch to renewable energies would bring benefits both to the producing countries and to the consumer ones and also to those countries who are excluded from the banquet. Renewable energy is available in every part of the planet, to the poor and to the rich. Fossil fuels are precious and their extended availability will benefit present and future producers and consumers. Solar and wind power mean no need for strong political and military power, in control of energy resources. Therefore democracy and human rights can have an easier way to go and also the natural environment and the rest of life on the planet can experience some relief.

At present, to the opposite, I would say that a new cold war is already in action and the risks that it worsens, if left alone, are quite high, but the matter is already at the attention of this council under many different viewpoints, and it’s not my purpose, and definitely I’m not in a condition, to sketch world scenarios. I just wanted to show how overpopulation, fossil fuels supply, third world’s development, terrorism and threats to peace are interconnected and how it is possible and convenient to change direction, while still the oil production can meet the demand.

In order to promote and to accompany this overturn I recommend  that the Radical Party joins the many other individuals and organizations concerned about overpopulation and fossil fuels addiction and assume as their objectives for the next few decades the following:

-          the  pursuit of the reduction of the world population, in a frame of an enforcement of women rights and sustainable development, that is based on renewable resources. A first concrete and feasable objective could be to reach a fertility rate of 2 children per woman by the year 2020
-          the  promotion world wide of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies, in a frame of an enhanced respect for the natural environment and its limits. A concrete first objective could be to summon a world conference which, as an extension of the objectives of the Kyoto protocol, could agree the pace for an exit strategy from the fossil fuels, and, first of all, out of oil.

One of these organisations, that could be side by side to us in these political battles is the Population Media Center, whose President, Bill Ryerson, has sent a paper to this council, I expect Mr Marco Cappato will possibly introduce to this assembly.
I cannot go into details, but I can assure you that all this is possible and feasible: it’s just a matter of political will.

Brussels nov 7th 2006                                                                                        Guido FERRETTI

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