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Paper fans against climate change

Paper fans against climate change

These past few days have created controversy the statements of the Health Minister of the Community of Madrid who recommended making paper fans to school children to withstand the suffocating temperatures of this hot and unusual month of June. Social networks made fun of the counselor's clumsiness, while unions and opposition clamored for the urgent installation of air conditioning systems in schools. However, with the myopia that characterizes our politics and our society, neither one nor the other have wanted to dig much into the matter or see all the serious underlying problems that this anecdote highlights.

At least the spokesperson for Podemos in the Madrid Assembly, Lorena Ruiz-Huerta, has timidly linked the unusual heat wave to climate change. But afterwards he limited himself to demanding air conditioning in schools as well, without realizing something very obvious: this means increasing energy consumption and GHG emissions (greenhouse gases); in other words, accelerating climate change even more.

Installing air conditioning to withstand the heat of climate change is to fight against global warming by causing more global warming, that is: trying to put out the fire with gasoline. Systems scientists have a precise name for these dynamics: positive feedbacks that further accelerate ongoing destructive phenomena.

For decades the environmental movement has been saying that we need to radically change the way we live. For decades now, practical solutions have been proposed for this that involve changing our habits and practices: building homes, heating, cooling, moving and feeding ourselves with a multitude of techniques, technologies and ways of life with low environmental impact. But hardly anyone pays attention to all those tried and tested solutions, even though some of them have proven to be very effective.

Decades ago we should have started to condition our buildings with bioclimatic criteria in order to protect them from both the summer heat and the winter cold. Decades ago we should have started saving energy and materials on all fronts: from bicycles in cities to industry, water and waste management. Decades ago we should have understood that we are in one of the most fragile countries in the world in the face of climate change and that, if we do not undertake an ambitious program of greening our territory, Spain is going to be swallowed up by the Sahara.

It cries out to heaven that we do not realize that we desperately need to incorporate organic matter into our soils because it is the only thing that manages to protect them from increasing aridity, and that this can only be done by changing this chemicalized agro-industrial model that is poisoning, salinizing and sterilizing the soil by an agroecological model.

We keep talking and talking, distracting ourselves with paper fans or putting patches that put gasoline on the fire. We continue trying to solve the heat with air conditioning and the lack of rain with transfers. We continue to try to "save" the profitability of the agricultural sector by destroying the fertility of the land and "saving" the fishermen by collapsing the fisheries. We don't want to pay attention to people who have been repeating and repeating the same thing for decades with an overwhelming reason: we must change the model since the current one does not work because it is unsustainable and the unsustainable, sooner or later, ends up falling.

It is time to abandon that famous tagline that accompanies all political speeches on climate change and refers to “future generations”. Climate change is our problem and it is a problem of today. We are beginning to suffer and we are going to suffer more. This is what triggers temperatures in May, which makes our agriculture much more exposed to droughts and floods and our rivers have less water than just ten years ago. Our territory is being swallowed up by the Sahara and that should provoke an immense social mobilization that is neither seen nor expected, and yet it is a problem of enormously greater historical relevance than all the Madrid-Barcelona controversies that occupy pages and pages. in the newspapers.

In little more than five years, the photographer Sebastiao Salgado and his wife Lélia planted more than two million native trees of almost three hundred different species - and with this they converted the deforested wasteland that the family's lands had become (in Aimorés, state of Minas Gerais) in a large piece of Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. When they learned that the ocelot (feline that is at the top of the food chain in those ecosystems) had returned to the new forest, they knew that their almost miraculous task of ecosystem restoration was complete.

That would be the way ... if we were able to do what should be done. A path of salvation, the construction of many Noah's Arks: defeat the power of megacorporations in record time, get out of capitalism and patriarchy in record time, minimize social violence in record time, develop a culture of symbiosis with nature in record time, reforest the earth with millions of trees in record time. If we were able ...

Unlikely, right? But next, you have to ask yourself: and if not, what is the alternative? And it will not take much thought to lead us to the response of comrade Daniel Tanuro: infernal alternatives.

We should already be working hard on that energy transition that is talked about so much in the stands but never starts. The energy transition and adaptation to climate change are made with concrete, material, technological measures that have been known for decades and work very well, but are not applied.

Perhaps we have to begin to realize why they do not apply, because we also know: they are ecological and very economical ways of living, which can even create jobs, but they do not produce quick benefits or juicy dividends ... nor succulent bites . They contradict the logic of capital, both that of "crony capitalism" and the deep dynamics of accumulation. Ecoportal.net

By Marga Mediavilla / Jorge Riechmann
The newspaper


Video: One climate change scientist takes on a roomful of sceptics. (July 2021).