The biggest question that came to my mind after the lecture was: what do we do now?
People are mature enough to understand the gravity of the situation. The smartest way to face the responsibilities that come from our reckless life-style on Planet Earth is, I think, to increase people’s awareness about our impact on the environment. Prevalent and persistent information, communication, education and engagement with the public are crucially important. We should begin with culture and communication. That’s why Public Institutions should play a key role in conveying knowledge properly and in shaping our ideas. They should work on two different levels, depending on their target audience.
On the one hand there are Institutions such as Public Schools, High schools, Colleges that should raise awareness among the youngest population, encouraging a better understanding not only of Ecology and Earth System, but also of History, cultures and ourselves.
But, on the other hand, there’s a vast portion of the population left, the adult ones. The challenge is to persuade them to change their habits or, at least, to convince them that caring for the environment is necessary for their well-being in the long term. For those people, a pragmatic approach is required. Institutions should focus their message on practical advices rather than abstract considerations, through tv campaigns and global scale events. Even though an excessive optimism could be dangerous, I think people are ready to change. We have only to help them open their eyes.