Open Letter “Let’s Choose Our Future”

For an institutional collaboration between climate science and politics


     The climate crisis in Italy threatens to undermine from the foundations any idea of future development of our country. The situation was clearly described in the letter to Italian politicians drafted within the Italian Society for Climate Science, which called for this issue to be identified as a priority in electoral programs. This objective reality has also been brought to the attention of citizens, who have adhered in large numbers (to date, more than 220,000) to the climate scientists’ request, signing the relevant petition.

     The situation is dramatic, but not enough action is taken, often caught up in other emergency priorities in our personal lives and societies: precarity, pandemic, war, gas shortages. Sometimes there is also the fear that acting on the climate and environmental crisis diverts resources from other fundamental personal and political projects (to the point that we sometimes seek relief by harboring, in ourselves and in public discourse, theses that deny the climate crisis, all of which are unfortunately unfounded).

     Acting based on the scientific fact then becomes crucial: costly but not particularly effective actions can be avoided by focusing on those that are necessary; above all, we can avoid the worsening of the climate crisis, which, as emergencies multiply, would increasingly force us to devote our resources, private and public, to mere emergency management of the crisis.

     It is precisely by recognizing the diversity of our projects, personal and political, that as climate and environmental scientists gathered in the committee “Science on the Ballot” we are launching the project “Let’s Choose Our Future”: let us choose the different future that each of us would like, but let us also choose to ensure that we can have a future tout court, understood as a period that we can shape and not have to suffer and chase. We must all act together to do what is necessary to counter the climate and environmental crisis!

     We therefore appeal to citizens, businesses and politicians, proposing on the website a series of scientifically grounded behaviors (individual, collective, for businesses and for institutions) and inviting them to spread the campaign among people near and far, even as worldviews, because what unites us is much more than what divides us: we all want to have the freedom to democratically choose our future and, by fighting against the climate crisis, we will protect the complex of ecosystems on which our very lives depend.

     We address political forces in particular. In order to realize your worldview, accept the contribution of science in fighting the climate and environmental crisis. This is a fundamental field of action that is the common basis for ensuring the freedom to create the diverse futures you envision. 

     Operationally, we call on the political forces to participate at the highest level in a meeting in Rome on September 19 at the CNEL headquarters, to which we also invite the scientists at the origin of other appeals to politics in this election campaign, to define a subject of institutional collaboration between science and politics on the climate and environmental crisis, which will be put in place at the beginning of the legislative term and enable politics to implement scientifically based actions to combat the climate crisis. 

     This will be an interesting and necessary meeting. We as scientists will provide our data and scientific knowledge, which can lead to scientifically based solutions to the climate crisis. You politicians, who have the historic task of combining the development of our societies with the protection and securing of their very material foundations – a task that requires an extraordinary art of managing public policy – will be able to openly discuss your visions of the future and confront each other and us on the solution to the climate crisis. Together we will be able to begin to identify the common basic actions that must be taken in any case to ensure that we can “choose our future,” paving the way for an institutional collaboration between climate science and policy of which we will present an outline.

     We will try to rise to the occasion; we are sure you will try too. Appointment September 19.


“Science on the Ballot” scientific committee:


Antonello Pasini, climate physicist, CNR, Rome (coordinator)

Carlo Barbante, chemist and climatologist, CNR and Ca’ Foscari University, Venice

Leonardo Becchetti, economist, University of Tor Vergata, Rome

Alessandra Bònoli, environmental and transition engineer, University of Bologna

Carlo Cacciamani, Agenzia ItaliaMeteo, Bologna

Stefano Caserini, professor of climate change mitigation, Politecnico di Milano

Claudio Cassardo, meteorologist and climatologist, University of Turin

Andrea Filpa, urban planner, University of Roma Tre

Francesco Forastiere, epidemiologist, CNR, Palermo, and Imperial College, London

Fausto Guzzetti, geologist, CNR, Perugia, and Civil Defense, Rome

Vittorio Marletto, physicist and agrometeorologist, ARPAE Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, and AIAM

Cinzia Perrino, biologist and air quality expert, CNR, Rome

Mario Motta, energy engineer, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Gianluca Ruggieri, environmental engineer, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

Federico Spanna, agrometeorologist, Piedmont Region, Turin, and AIAM

Stefano Tibaldi, physicist and meteorologist, senior scientist at CMCC, Bologna

Francesca Ventura, physicist and agrometeorologist, University of Bologna and AIA