Bridge over the Strait of Messina, the Scientific Committee restarts. But there is controversy over Prestininzi, “climate denier”


By John

It is the word itself that has a magnetic power, like the magnet. Just talk or write about Bridge over the Strait and it’s like stirring up a hornet’s nest, attracting all the opposition, the controversies, the protests. It’s been like this for decades. Then, by rereading the old yellowed chronicles of the fifties and sixties, we discover that in Italy only one other great work became the target of very strong opposition and protests: the Autostrada del Sole. Could Italians today ever do without it?
But let’s go back to the Bridge and the controversies. What has been taking center stage in recent days concerns the appointment of Prof. as coordinator of the Scientific Committee, which will support the Stretto di Messina company in the executive planning phase of the stable connection. Alberto Prestininzi. There was no national media outlet that did not headline: “Salvini appoints climate change denier”. The positions taken by the (retired) geologist of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, in fact, were very controversial. Prestininzi was among the first signatories of the document, signed by other Italian technicians and scientists, which argued that the climate has not changed at all compared to the past and he himself declared that “planet Earth has never been better than now”. Questionable positions, repeated several times during participation in talk shows and television broadcasts, which made the prof. Prestininzi the symbol of “denialism” (climate, in this case).
Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini did not officially reply on the subject but the Ministry of Transport defined all 9 members of the Scientific Committee – which will meet at the beginning of next week – as “illustrious professionals, among the most prestigious on the national scene” and the Prestininzi himself’s CV is impeccable, at least as regards the role he was asked to cover. He taught at “La Sapienza” and received numerous international awards for his research in the geological field. He is Calabrian, originally from Caulonia, he knows the territories and has already worked, as a consultant, with the “Strait of Messina”. He must not talk about climate, but about geology, within the Committee.
A scientific committee where other very important people will sit, at least according to what they have done in their careers. This is the case of Francesco Karrer, also a retired teacher, considered one of the most important Italian and European urban planners, former president of the Superior Council of Public Works. Karrer is another in-depth expert on the project of the stable connection between the Island and the Continent and was a member of the International Commission for the awarding of the definitive and executive design of the works of the Bridge, entrusted to the General Contractor Eurolink, as well as being part of the Commission that awarded the services for the preparation of the environmental impact study.