Thursday, November 20, 2014

At the Disasters' School of Dr. Unavoidable (after the recent flooding in Italy) - by Stefano Benni

Tagged with #La Repubblica 19 novembre 2014#Stefano Benni
( I am sorry for the bad English, but here it is the satyric article by Stefano Benni)

About the latest climate catastrophes of our country, we interviewed an expert little known, but which plays an important role. Is Dr. Unavoidable, responsible  of UTMA, Ufficio Tutela Mutamento Ambientale (Protection Bureau against Environmental Change). 
- Dr. Unavoidable, first let us define the role of your office. That is clearly to protect the soil and Italian citizens against climate disasters -. 
- No, I correct. Our office is responsible for protecting and maintaining the situation of environmental destruction, preventing solutions that would create costly and utopian expectations -. 
- Excuse me, but why? 
- For many reasons. First, because the environmental change requires adaptation, and as long as the Italian people do not get used to  collapses,  flooding and landslides they will always be scared and insecure. And because the climate disaster is unavoidable, it becomes necessary a new culture, which is that the inevitability -.
 -Do some examples ...

- Our office is looking for new forms of communication to help the Italians to accept that climate change with patience. For example, we coined the term "water bomb". It is obvious that against the old showers once you could do something, but against a water bomb there is nothing to do. The fault lies with clouds militarized and bellicose. They used to say: here comes the bad weather. Now they say: it comes the cyclone Charon, the anticyclone Polyphemus, hurricane Cynthia. All feel inside an epic event, or like waiting for a nosy friend. Close the door firmly, Cynthia arrives. And. please, stop with ideological speculations, be quantitative! When I say that in a place they fell 200 mm of water, that is, as it usually rains in a month in Caracas, I explain mathematically the misfortune of what happened. It is not true that we do not bustle, we have  detection systems at state-of-art and tiring ... you know how much time is lost to collect two hundred millimeters of water with a spoon?
- Climate change is known. Against flooding, illegal buildings, landslides, can't you do prevention?
- Unfortunately we do not have the money for prevention. We need to spend them to repair the damage of what we do not have prevented. If we spent the money for prevention, then we would not have the money to repair the damage -.
- But perhaps preventing there would be not damages ...
- This is a bizarre aspect of the matter, we are studying it. But we do a lot of prevention. For example, in fifty years television weather forecasts increased from three to three thousand a day, and the graphics are much improved. Another example, if homes are built in a geologically hazardous us ...
- Do not allow to build, and move people away -.
- No, we can not intervene, it would take the army. But we immediately say that they are abusive. Then we condone them. Indeed, from now on we think of condone them even before they build illegally. It's not a great idea?
- You think in a strange way. And the flooding?
- We were not ready. Once the rivers "came out of the bed," "inundated", "overflowed", "overrun". But now do a new thing "esondano". We did not expect -.
- C'mon it's the same thing. The Po river "esonda" and floods, but it has already done so many times -.
- Of course, the Po can do it, it is a great river. But now any creek or channel feels entitled to overflows. We can not check them all, it seems that they do it on purpose -.
- And the banks? The work of containment? Reforestation?
- You see, if I have to build Milan Expo or ghost palaces at La Maddalena, I have no obstacles, large contracts must be shipped quickly and, with a little of bribes, everything speeds up. But every time there is a contract for a levee, for a consolidation effort to dredge a river, firms in competition sue, they appeal to the TAR, everything is delayed. It is not our fault. We should entrust the hydrogeological hazard prevention to a pool (in English in the original), or to the mafia or to FIAT, and then things would go quick. But they do not let you do it-.
- So in the future will be even worse?
- It depends on how we see the situation. We are preparing a new approach to scientific and media. First we created the event ω, omega event -.
- What is it?
- The event ω - omega is a type of occurrence very rare and unpredictable. For example, the rain of Genoa, a clash between comets, an internet connection to work properly, a soccer arbitrage without controversy. These exceptional events we can deal with only one way -.
- What's that?
- You see the shape of the omega, what would you remember? We hope in our ass, and above all, we politicians must have a face like an ass -.
- I do not see much of a prevention in it-.
- The government does not have to make prevention. It has already has too much to worry with European banks and shopping sprees in dildos. It is the people who must assume their responsibility with regard to climate change. We have forgotten that Homo sapiens comes from water, that we are born anfibi. We must be ready to return to our natural element. In any Italian house there must be at least a raft or a boat, life jackets for everyone and a wetsuit, ("muta" in Italian, word derived from mutare, "to change") and also snorkel and fins. Stop to complain that the subway is flooded! Dive! This means to be good citizens ...
- But it is years we are waiting for a new Hydro-geological Plan -. 
- And we have many new ideas. Against the otters that eat away the banks, we will introduce into rivers dozens of crocodiles. Bed and breakfast in the craters of volcanoes will be prohibited. The committee for the earthquake's risk will be replaced by a fortune-teller. Homes where there will be only the fifth floor will be built to prevent flooding. To avoid complaints about delays of the trains, schedules in the stations will be written in Chinese. But above all, from now on, all over the country applies the fuchsia code, which means that we are always in an emergency. If you go by car, on foot, by bike, fuck you. You were warned. - So you think Italians will have to get used to the disasters? - Yes, they will have to happily live them, because they are the unavoidable future. Farewell Mediterranean climate, we have entered the climate Omega. Excuse me, but call me on the phone -. 
- Dr. Unavoidable, is your secretary. They say that the road is flooded and your car was swept away ... 
- How? But it's a scandal! What has happened? 
- Excuse me, but have fallen 132 millimeters of rain has flooded the garage as usual and culverts are clogged -. 
- That's enough with this bullshit of millimeters of rain !. Where are the firemen? The culverts clogged, what a scandal! My new Mercedes. What does the government? 
- Excuse me doctor, but the government is you, and just told us that we need to adapt to climate omega -. 
- Who gives a damn, the car is mine. Where are my fishing boots and the duck-life- jacket ? But in that shitty country we live in? And as for omega event, you know what?
 - I can imagine ... thanks for the interview, Dr. Unavoidable.

Stefano Benni

and if you want some statistics on hydrological and geological hazards in Italy, see the report from IRPI here


  1. Very nice interview! We have posted it on our blogspot... (did we have permission?)

  2. Actually I do not know if I had the permission to translate and publish either. If Benni or la Repubblica do not complain ... I think we did a service