I thought it important to accept the invitation of students to come and discuss issues that affect us all so deeply, not only as students and teachers, but as human beings and citizens. It seems to me that the university, in fact, should be like the round river, to use the image of an Indian farming technique, which builds knowledge drawing on external stimuli, elaborating it and returning it to all of society. The round river carries water to the crops but they give back what is not consumed by the field so it can be carried elsewhere.
With regard to the war that is unfolding now and which is planning further scenarios, I will leave it to others to discuss oil and gas and the new configuration and partitioning of political control over various geographical areas, seeing as these topics are widely
discussed in magazines and mainstream press. I want to say a few things about an aspect that may seem irrelevant but in my opinion is central and which accompanies, more or less visibly, all the wars that have occurred in recent decades and that is the aspect of massive destruction of land and with it, resources for subsistence be they grazing lands or lands for sustainable and diversified agriculture primarily intended for domestic consumption. From Angola to Kosovo to Afghanistan, more and more tracts of land are excluded from the chance to be farmed because they are contaminated by war material such as land mines or long-term toxic substances such as depleted uranium. Unlike the plundering and burning of ancient wars we are dealing with weapons of war that cause infinite damage.
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