Ormai la questione della geotermia sull’Amiata sta iniziando, finalmente, a superare i ristretti anfratti della nostra terra, per arrivare non solo nelle aule del parlamento (sono iniziate le audizioni con i sindaci, i tecnici e le associazioni territoriali), ma anche sulla stampa internazionale.
Il celebre quotidiano inglese Times ha pubblicato un articolo relativo alla richiesta di costruzione di una centrale geotermica tra i paesi di Seggiano e Montegiovi, nel cuore del Monte Amiata, in mezzo ai celebri olivi dop di Seggiano e alle bellezze naturali, culturali ed artistiche di questo fantastico territorio.
Eccolo qui di seguito:
Tuesday, December 23
Power plants threaten Tuscan idyll of Graham Greene’s relatives
Relatives of Graham Greene, Charlotte Horton and Alexander Greene refurbish ancient monuments, and produce olive oil and wine in Monte Amiata
Tom Kington Rome
Relatives of the writer Graham Greene, who believed that they had found paradise restoring castles in Tuscany, are battling what they claim is a hellish plague of polluting power stations.
Charlotte Horton, 52, and Alexander Greene, 36, refurbish ancient monuments, and produce olive oil and wine in one of the last undiscovered parts of the region — Monte Amiata.
The 1,000-year-old Potentino castle, which Ms Horton reopened as a guest house after buying it in 2000, sits amid olive groves on the slopes of an extinct volcano, close to vineyards growing the prized Brunello di Montalcino wine.
Volcanic activity has blessed the area with fertile crops and hot springs, but has also prompted the construction of geothermal energy plants that suck up hot vapour to drive turbines and are blamed for high emissions, poisoning springs and even raising the local death rate. Now, the regional government is planning to build more.
Ms Horton said: “We have restored castles which are national monuments and we promote the area abroad. What is happening is shocking.” She claimed government grants were providing “easy money for unscrupulous firms”.
Ms Horton’s stepfather was the nephew of Greene, who died in 1991. Alexander Greene’s grandfather, Sir Hugh Greene, was the writer’s brother and BBC director-general of the BBC .
Ms Horton’s concerns were backed by Andrea Borgia, who teaches geothermal energy at the University of Milan. He described the power stations as the most polluting in the world in terms of the energy produced.
Water vapour pumped up contained methane, carbon dioxide, mercury, arsenic, ammonia and boric acid, which was emitted into the atmosphere, he said.
“As springs dry up you are forced to use water polluted by geothermal fluids,” he said, adding that mortality rates were higher than in surrounding areas.
The local authorities denied claims that the water table had dropped. “A rise in mortality rates concerns men only, predates the power stations and could be due to diet, smoking or alcohol,” Francesco Cipriani, director of the regional health agency, said.