Mezzogiorno , 22 May 2020 – 09: 19
by Matteo Cosenza
The primary needs, the adjective says so, come first. Their order is a little cheating in these days: first the health or first the bread, or, as Titti Marrone writes on Mattino , first the bag or before the life? For a couple of months there were no doubts and everyone, really everyone, we worried, we feared, we were terrified of the danger of getting infected, of getting infected, of suffering, of dying, even of being buried without a caress and a funeral. Now we begin to believe that if everything goes wrong, as we fear it will happen, it is necessary to find an order, a new balance, even at the cost of some risk, however lethal. It is what is being discussed in days that were previously suspended and are now also confused. After all, what could we expect given the slope towards which our way of life tended? Even the meritorious appeal to safeguard the intangible asset of culture and art, in the end what can be translated into, if not in the vital need to safeguard thousands of jobs?
Imagine if in such a scenario we can think of something else. Yet there are those who have spoken and are still talking and sending messages, have shouted and are still screaming with all their strength. The sea, the rivers, the air are calling for our help, almost a sos before acting accordingly. They, if and when they want, know how to retaliate. We only think of the erosion of the coasts: if year after year you steal for a little of your concrete even a little beach and then you compromise the natural course of rivers and rivers, because you wonder if a beach is no longer there or that Did that house you built on the water actually end up in it?
We were pleasantly amazed when our sea, the Dohrn Station told us, came back a hundred years ago, when rivers transformed into cloaches finally appeared clear and full of new life, when a new perfume was felt in the air that with pollution, he underlined the Arpac, reduced by 80 per cent, finally breathed deeply.
When silence, even in a city with a joyously rowdy vocation, had the sound of a melody, which in some ears turned out to be funereal and to others soft.
The virus was a warning. To remind us of the limit. And when we ask ourselves if we will be better or worse afterwards I don't know how we do it rhetorically. Instead there must be a border. Many decades ago, when on the wave of the so-called “boom” the rush to do anyway and wherever it was unstoppable, Pierluigi Cervellati's urban plan for Bologna taught. The basic idea, largely applied there, was that there should be a limit to urban expansion, construction, housing, urban planning. Even in Naples this philosophy of the beautiful city has been the subject of administrative decisions. At the time of the Bassolino junta, the commissioner Vezio De Lucia proposed and had approved the general urban variant that fixed precise stakes for building growth: an important choice although made when the oxen had run away. In any case, the theme, paradigm of a more general problem, is that, then and even more today.
There must be a limit. We still regret Giuseppe Galasso who with his law which prohibited building up to half a kilometer from the sea has saved what in decades of devastating havoc and wild robbery of the area had miraculously remained intact. Rest in peace with our blessings.
I was born in Castellammare. Almost half a century ago I was a city councilor and I worked for the short time that was possible for me to speed up the practice for the construction of the Sarno purifier. A work, this, fundamental to clean up the river waters but not sufficient if along the course (it crosses three provinces and thirty-nine municipalities along the Solofrana and Cavaiola streams) all industries and citizens spill their fetours there. In the past few weeks I rejoiced when I saw its waters finally returned clean and its flora and fauna visibly thank you. For a few weeks the “most polluted river in Europe” has not contributed to dirtying the splendid sea of our wonderful Gulf.
A dream soon vanished. And, with a sure rhythm, the old disease has come back and the sores are visible. The mayor of Castellammare, Gaetano Cimmino, manifesting his powerlessness, and honestly I cannot blame him, even invested the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg with a letter to President Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos to “protect the health of citizens” . He hopes for non-bureaucratic listening since recently there is a fellow citizen in that court. As the generals are not served, any donut is invoked to save a precious asset like the water of a river and the sea it feeds. A climate, it is appropriate to say, from the last beach.
To conclude, an exploration rather than a prayer: let's listen to what Mother Earth is saying to us. We do not do as the knight of the Bergmanian “Seventh seal” also playing a game of chess with Death. We will lose it, we and our children and grandchildren because, as much as we do everything to prove otherwise, we are not and will never be omnipotent, we are always a “crooked wood” that nature knows how to straighten.
22 May 2020 | 09: 19
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