Technological and industrial development in energy consumption have followed a parallel and rapid growth over the past two hundred years. Average per capita energy consumption is estimated to have approximately quadrupled over this period in industrialized countries. The growth in energy consumption has been supported by the use of fossil resources (coal and hydrocarbons) which represent a natural heritage bound to run out. The concern for the environmental effects of the fossil energy era goes together with the study and development of new energy models, based this time on renewable energy sources. The Earth is once again able to provide a solution to the problem, through geothermal heat. The technologies that have allowed the identification and use of fossil resources are the same as those that can foster the transition to the new model, exploiting an energy source internal to the planet but, this time, renewable.
The narratives of Grossman and Levi are used as applications of the method of the participatory observa-tion, introduced in sociology and anthropology by Malinowski. This method consists in placing the research-er in a social situation, making him interact with the other actors, in order to extract data for analysis. Grossman’s and Levi’s masterpieces may help to describe the concentration universe, which is – according to Hannah Arendt – a central characteristics of totalitarianism. Our two “social researchers” (Grossman and Levi) descend (unwillingly) into the abyss, the concentration camp, ending up being part of the social group that lived in that situation. Manipulation, violence and alienation are the key factors which determined the chance of survival or death in the concentration camp.
This paper investigates the effects of political polarisation on cabinet stability in Italy. The research, which extends, looking at a Mediterranean country, the relevant literature that has so far focused on Anglo-Saxon countries, introduces a new estimator of polarisation based on machine learning methods of text analysis. Using the unsupervised algorithm Wordfish (Slapin and Proksch 2008), political actors are scaled along the ideological spectrum, through the analysis of speeches held during parliamentary debates. The relative dis-tances between them are computed, to construct an index of political polarisation meant to capture the level of political conflict between the Government and the Parliament. The paper employs data on the Italian govern-ments that took office between 1994 and 2019, to estimate the correlation between polarisation, as measured by this index, and the duration of a government’s mandate. The paper finds evidence of a negative correlation between polarisation and government survival, statistically significant at the 10% significance level.
The paper presents a discussion on the role of transport in climate change. Unlike other sectors of economic activity in Europe, we witnessed an increase in the amount of CO2 emissions released in the atmosphere in the last three decades due to transport, pushing European leaders to take actions to counteract this trend. We argue that the decarbonisation of transport can take place by the public decision maker through carbon pricing policies, defining emission standards and stimulating technological innovations, such as the use of biofuels, hydrogen and electromobility. We focus on the case of the European Union which outlined the need to embark on a new economic, social and political paradigm in December 2019 through the European Green Deal, with the ultimate goal of reaching the complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The paper highlights the progress of member states towards decarbonisation in the period between 2015 and 2018 and explains how they plan to achieve the emissions and energy efficiency targets set by the European Commission for 2030. The examination of the National Energy and Climate Plan highlights that the two main paths member states took to achieve carbon neutrality are the use of biofuels and the uptake of electric vehicles. The work underlines how difficult it is to undertake an analysis of possible scenarios towards decar-bonisation because there are factors tightly connected with the possibility to achieve often radical techno-logical innovations. We emphasize how important it is to devote public resources to information campaigns on the evolution of clean technologies and on the need to spread the of environmental sustainability to the broadest share of the population.