Ninety-plus per cent of climate scientists point to the easy to comprehend Keeling Curve (or Kirby Curve) that, from the year of my birth in 1958, plots the ongoing change in concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
A vortex of house martins, hundreds of birds, funnels down to the mirror surface of our circular bassa. Dragonflies, fish, frogs and water skaters scatter. The surface ripples with splashes as the fatigued, stale summer air is suddenly a blur of frantic life. Swifts and swallows ride the cloudless blue, watching, awaiting their turn to drink.
It is both dazzling and all too dangerous.
Our bassa is vast, the largest in this Priorat village, but it is perilously depleted. The top two metres of the round wall are dry as a bone for the first time in my memory, so the birds' swoop must be sheer, the timing critical. I wait with my rescue net, apologetically.
The mighty flock comes daily now, queuing on the phone line before quenching of thirsts in one of the few places it is still possible. We are deep into September and the unrelenting heat refuses to yield. The birds scoop up tiny drops while the dry summer has sucked out nearly half of our water reserve. We are fortunate. Our spring still dribbles and our well pump works, while neighbours have seen their sources run dry.
Rippling out from the bassa are scorched grasses and gasping trees. Sitting on the bassa wall, trying not to meet my eye in the reflection, only the head-high fennel flowers (just about all there is for the pollinators) and the disease-free garnatxa vineyard offer positives. For the first time we will harvest the grapes before the National Day of Catalonia.
Something, of course, is terribly wrong.
The world is a tiny room and there is an effing, enormous elephant in there too, if we could but acknowledge it.
The day fades to black and I stare up at the infinite stars.
We, the one dominant Earth species (among the millions), are so transfixed by our own image, increasingly disconnected from what is real and our immense impact upon it, that we probably appear to far more intelligent life from other planets to be insanely selfish, staggeringly dim, disastrously violent and, hence, so primitive and destructive to be avoided at all costs.
The only cloud when I wrote the above was my deep anxiety. I fear it will never lift.
Why? Because I can see so simply, on one single sheet of paper, on one computer screen without scrolling, how, in my 58-year lifespan, we have done so much to unbalance everything.
The US and China have finally ratified the Paris climate change agreement – hurrah - but deeds not words please. The wheels continue to turn far too slowly if at all, the damage already done so deep that we all now need to brace for impact.
Ninety-plus per cent of climate scientists point to the easy to comprehend Keeling Curve (or Kirby Curve) that, from the year of my birth in 1958, plots the ongoing change in concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Read about it. It is an essential piece of science, of evidence of the man-made increases in greenhouse gases and global warming. The science is abundantly clear on the topic, even if majority of humans are manifestly not: our greed, weaknesses, wastefulness ignorance and hedonistic, unsustainable and failing ideas of what makes life fulfilling are responsible for unstoppable consequences.
We are complicit and are about to be woken from our slumber. Or, like me, maybe you already have been, during those uneasy, airless nights .