Political indecision propagates garbage crisis in Naples

31May07

Political indecision precipitates garbage crisis in NaplesNeapolitans are knee-deep in refuse this week./AP photo

Naples is buried in garbage. Never mind that this ancient city has survived war, conquest, disease and natural disasters for millenium. Nowadays, Italy’s most populous city is overcome by an increasingly familiar phenomena: political indecision. Today, a New York Times article describes the situation:

As trash dumps filled over the years, it proved impossible to find new places or ways to get rid of garbage, largely because of local protests or protection by one politician or another. But years of postponing the problem finally caught up with Naples (and by bad luck just as the temperature rose).

“This is a situation that is tied to the incapability of the political structure,” said Ermete Realacci, an environmental expert and member of Parliament for the center-left Daisy Party. Namely, he said, politicians of all stripes have been unwilling “to make strong choices” to build new dumps or incinerators.

Naples may lie across the Atlantic, but it doesn’t have the corner on political ineffectiveness. The same handwringing that’s behind Naples’ littered streets is likewise at the root of America’s most pressing problems: illegal immigration, climate change, social security, to name a few. If our nation’s political indecisiveness goes unabated, we’ll soon be wading through the Yankee version of dirty diaper heaps.

However, all is not lost. There’s at least one political leader who refuses to be handicapped: John McCain. Right now, as a Senator, he’s got solutions on the Congressional table. As President, he’ll lead the way out of the tanglewood into the light.

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