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In defense of Rome’s Christmas tree

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In defense of Rome’s Christmas tree

It’s a different Christmas. The gas crisis has caused energy costs to skyrocket and in many European cities it has been decided to reduce the hours in which the lights will be switched on. In this context, Rome has decided that the large Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia, which opens on December 8, will be powered by two solar panels.

It is not an isolated choice: New York has also made it, with the huge fir tree of Rockefeller Center illuminated by solar panels placed on top of the skyscraper; and Bangkok, with a very high-tech tree. There are no skyscrapers in Piazza Venezia and the two solar panels are on the square, under the tree, in full view, not for show-off but in order to get as much sun as possible.

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A different choice could have been made: the energy used to light up the tree could have been made renewable and come from who knows where; you have chosen to make a choice of truth. Really produce the necessary energy and show it to everyone. A choice consistent with that of the city to start fifteen energy communities, one for each municipality, placing solar panels on the roofs of as many schools in order to produce energy for the school but also to combat the energy poverty of those who are unable to pay bills.

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And more generally, a choice consistent with Rome’s commitment to be part of a global network of cities that have chosen to eliminate polluting emissions in the coming years to counter the climate change that threatens us. It will not be easy: to reach that goal it will be necessary to change deep-rooted habits and therefore the consent of the citizens will be needed. It will take widespread environmental awareness, the collective desire to move forward. The Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia illuminated by solar panels goes in that direction. The future. Some protest because it would be bad, indeed solar panels would be bad (instead the car traffic is beautiful…). They look like those French nobles who at the beginning of the 1900s insistently asked that the Eiffel Tower be demolished because it disfigured the landscape of Paris. They are dinosaurs.

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