The following note appeared last week in the comment thread of a Facebook photo album posted by Davide de Lentinis. He’s an online retailer of farming and gardening products who lives in Salento, Puglia, where olive trees are dying in a seemingly uncontainable Pierce’s Disease (Xylella fastidiosa) epidemic. In the introduction to the album, he notes that the government claims there are only roughly 600 trees that have been affected. But according to news reports, thousands of trees have been afflicted — some of them more than 1,000 years old. His aunt Daniela comments that she has seen countless diseased trees near her home. Davide responds…
Aunt Daniela, if you could take a few photos early tomorrow morning, we’d all appreciate it.
There are still a few idiots who continue to claim that there are just a few dried up trees here in Salento. There are others who try to confuse the issues. And there are others yet who want to play the part of the environmental knight in shining armor: They brag that they are conducting experiments in regenerative agriculture. And there are even those who have used this tragedy for political gain.
Many others are circling in the skies above Salento like hungry vultures. They are waiting like chicks in the nest to gobble down funds intended to “prove” that it’s a problem with the soil!
Thousands of people are at risk of losing everything. Not just the olive growers but other members of the community, as well, like plumbers, electricians, and house painters.
But beyond the economics of this crisis, just think of the environment and the carbon dioxide that these trees are no longer assimilating in order to give us oxygen.
Right now, a crime against humanity is being committed in Salento.
Davide de Lentinis
(translation by Cantele USA)