The ozone layer absorbs ultraviolet radiation that can be very harmful to all forms of life. In 1974, however, scientists discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a chemical used in aerosol sprays, refrigerants, and the creation of synthetic materials, break down when they enter the stratosphere, and produce a chlorine atom, which then contributes to breaking down the ozone layer. In 1985, British Antarctic Survey scientists discovered a massive hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
During the 1860s and 1870s, workers in Sicily supported each other through mutual aid societies, which claimed the right to strike and to lobby for wage increases. This precedent of organized labor, along with a recent history of peasant uprisings against feudal aristocracy and the spread of socialist ideology, set the stage for the Fasci Siciliani movement.
One of the most prophetic activists and philosophers from the Western World was Danilo Dolci of Italy. To many he was known as the “Gandhi of Italy” and he devoted the majority of his life’s work to improve the conditions of the impoverished parts of Italy and especially the slums of Sicily. When he was 24 he renounced his middle class heritage, and moved to Western Sicily in order to begin a campaign to ease the poor conditions of southern Italy. He identified the problems that plagued Sicily as: severe unemployment, starvation, poverty, and Mafia influences.
One of the most fundamental characteristics of civilization is the rule of law. For the last few millennia, it has been recognized that as levels of human organization expand past the size of tribes and villages into more complex societies such as cities and federations it is, in principle, beneficial to justice for people to submit to commonly agreed upon rules enforced by a legal system.
In 1952, Danilo Docli, an Italian activist, moved to Trappeto, a fishermen’s slum in Western Sicily because he wanted to move to the poorest place he had ever heard of. In October, nine months after his arrival, a child died of starvation in the impoverished town. Upon hearing the news, Dolci wrote to his friend Franco Alasia, who lived in Milan, that he was planning on fasting in protest of the poor conditions in Trappeto; Alasia immediately traveled down to Sicily to assist Dolci.
“This is how every worker feels it: with varying degrees of clarity they feel themselves living at a moment that could be decisive for their class, a moment in which all can be staked, everything risked, and perhaps everything lost.
The plebeians made up the majority of the citizen population of Ancient Rome and occupied the economic range anywhere below the ruling Patrician class and above the slave class. A Senate made up of 100 men from traditional patrician families and 200 conscripti, selected from other wealthy families, ruled the Roman Republic, which began in 509 BCE. The Senate elected two Consuls with executive authority to oversee the city’s day-to-day governance for a one-year period.