It’s always the same old story. Initiatives dedicated to the common good and underpinned by common sense are still few and far between. What about using that spark of intelligence we’re supposed to have? No, looks like we’ve decided not to. The day we look to the future with a smidgen of foresight will come as a big surprise, I can tell you that. The only idea buzzing around in the heads of those ruling Europe (and not only, unfortunately) is that of satisfying their desire for power, money, control in the most indecent way possible. How can we not look with terror upon that despicable treaty which hides behind an arrogant and conceited acronym: TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)? This treaty, which will add to the infamous Sbloccaitalia treaty in Italy, should theoretically favour free trade between the EU and the USA. Truth is, the treaty is meant for the rich and powerful, as it would align European standards to American ones. This would de facto establish regulations to legalise US laws in the EU. Hormone-free tradetreated meat, drilling techniques to extract as much hydrocarbon as possible from the depths of the earth, GMO would all be allowed in Europe. Intensive farming would also become a possibility and, therefore, the use of pesticides and other fuel-based products would increase, neglecting organic farming. After all, land is not used in the States to produce food which end on our tables, but to grow and harvest sweetcorn and soy for the cattle, which we then eat. It’s anguishing to see how our MEP, Herbert Dorfmann, who clearly follows the same principles as Durnwalder and lacks any notion of what environmental sustainability and democracy are, agrees with opening all doors to thoughtless privatisation, homologations and standardisations. Such opening only feeds into a sick system which parades under the guise of ‘business for our territory’, whose only effect is to establish regulations on the environment, health system and labour market. Need more reasons? I’ve got plenty. How can one of our politicians believe and support such a treaty, which would help industries make a profit on the back of water and education, which should be a common good, accessible to all? Joseph Stiglitz, an American awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, says that such a treaty will reduce our overall rights, specifically consumer rights. As if that weren’t enough, thanks to a reckless and subtle mechanism, private large-size companies can take a State to court if it reduces their profit: not actual profit, but predicted profit! What is also worrying about this treaty is that we won’t be able to reverse it. For every proposed change, every party involved will have to agree to it. Furthermore, a single state cannot leave the treaty signed on its behalf by the EU. The TTIP is a trap, a senseless and inacceptable pact against European and Italian democracy. Some people believe that the next step in human evolution is the development of ‘environmental intelligence’. I haven’t seen any traces of it yet. This doesn’t mean we should give up! That’s why I believe in men and women who contribute to this evolution process. I believe in our future generations, in the people who had the will and found the means of building a school, for example. It was inaugurated recently and dedicated to Alexander Langer. We could all learn a lot from what Alex has done. Italy, and Europe, really need someone like him.

Michil Costa