Enough! I do not want to see another ugly wind mill on one Southern Italian Mountain! They are putting up more and more around Pontelandolfo, Casalduni and Morcone. What I discovered is that the local community doesn’t benefit one iota from the ugly things. I thought they could tax the landowner – who is getting rent. Or the town got a piece of the revenue generated – or even a break on the electric bill. Nada. Niente. Nothing.
Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I have been talking about the turbines for a number of years. First I thought they were wonderful. Than, I thought they we’re ruining the south’s chance to get a piece of the tourism pie. I mean would you want to sit on the terrace of a charming agriturismo and stare at the whizzing blades and hear the ongoing whoosh of the colossal metal whirligigs? Now, my anger has intensified – they are defiling mountain top grazing lands. The mega corporations are the only winners.
My ire increased last summer when Jack and I finished a mini vacation in Northern Italy. We drove on A7 through the mountains in Liguria and noticed high tension electric lines transmitting power but not one giant windmill between Milan and Genoa. Not one. Staring out the windows I realized that I also hadn’t see one gargantuan whirling edifice in the hills surrounding Lago Como, any where in the regions of Lombardia, Toscana or Lazio! Hmm, the trees were flowing in the wind. Perhaps that was an anomaly. Obviously, the wind has stopped blowing in Northern Italy. I’ll bet those ski slopes never feel the slightest breeze. The hills of Rome must cry for a breath of wind. Years ago cute Dutch looking windmills were used in Montefiesole, Tuscana for the salt production industry. But now, there obviously isn’t enough wind now to generate electricity or blow out a match.
We are tired of the disparity and don’t want to take it anymore!
The residents of Morcone are taking a lesson from the Dakota Pipeline. On February 14th, they decided to peacefully stop the building of windmills on yet another ridge. A mountain that for hundreds of years has been grazing land for large herds of white cattle and its rich soil farmed. Stalwart citizens stood in the road blocking access to the bulldozers and mammoth drills. Pleadings, negotiations and dialogue have been going on for years. The mayors have gone to Naples championing the cause but no one seems to care what happens in the Province of Benevento’s mountains.
Saturday, February 11 environmental groups and local residents organized a sit-in on the mountains outside Morcone. They wanted to draw attention to the abject devastation that occurs to a mountain by the savage and seemingly careless construction. Complaints had been submitted to Comando Stazione Carabinieri Forestale di Pontelandolfo, Comunità Montana Titerno e Alto Tammaro the Carabinieri Command of Pontelandolfo and the Prosecutor’s Office of Benevento siting irregularities and asking for urgent intervention and suspension of work in progress. These arguments apparently had no impact.
Photo by Pupo in Pontelandolfo News
So, on Valentine’s Day morning mountain farmers, ranchers and citizens stood in the way not of progress but of the degradation of the Sannio hills.
Pontelandolfo News has a great article full of interesting yet depressing data on how the south gets screwed again – this time it seems by the politicians. (How unusual, she said with great rancor.)
American newspapers have not picked up on this political travesty.