Building a world of
resilient communities.

The "Syrian Sickness": What Crude Oil Gives, Crude Oil will Take Away

Crude oil had created modern Syria, crude oil has destroyed it.

What were the Real Origins of the Great Oil Crisis of the 1970s? Politics or depletion?

The interest in the great oil crisis of the 1970s-1980s is not just a game for academic historians; it is something that has deeply affected the world's history and it is still affecting our perception of the factors affecting the supply of crude oil that, today, we need as much, and even more than we needed it at that time.

Tertullian was a Conspiracy Theorist: Propaganda and Irrationalism in Roman Times and in Ours

The Romans knew well the dark art that we call "propaganda" today.

Stewards of the Earth: a Role for Humankind

Pure reason doesn't tell us that we should do something to keep alive the other species sharing the earth with us.

Why Johnny can't understand climate: functional illiteracy and the rise of "unpropaganda"

Unpropaganda aims at stopping a message from propagating by presenting a lot of contrasting information to a public unable to fully evaluate it.

Happy August 15th (and a little rant about politics)

Italy continues to operate in "political Alzheimer." The patient continues to repeat the same things over and over, without reacting to external stimuli. We vaguely remember that, in the past, there was a good time in which the economy was growing and there follows that there is nothing else and nothing more than pursuing growth to fix all the problems.

Cecil the lion: understanding the secret of a supermeme (and its relevance to climate change communication)

"Cecil the lion" is having so much success because it has the three basic characteristics that make a meme a supermeme. These are 1) Be simple, 2) Have a villain, 3) Be reassuring. From these considerations, we can probably understand why it is so difficult to create effective climate memes that carry the right message: climate science is not simple, the villain is us, and the …

Gleaning: an Ancient Custom that May Return in the Future

Gleaning is an ancient tradition, deeply embedded in the agricultural world.

Wicked problems and wicked solutions: the case of the world's food supply

I am back from two days of full immersion in a meeting on something rather new for me: the world's food supply. I am still reeling from the impact. Whenever you go in some depth into anything; you see how immensely more complex things are in comparison to the pale shadow of the world that you perceive in the glittering screen of your TV. Everything is complex, and everything complex becomes …

Long live Italy! Can the "sun country" reach one million photovoltaic plants?

Despite the unabated economic disaster, despite unemployment, bureaucracy, overtaxation, bad government, corruption, mafia, and all the rest, Italians are reacting at least in one field: in renewable energy, especially photovoltaic energy.