I STRONGLY ADVOCATE A SINGULAR WELCOME/ADVICE VIDEO FREE TO ALL HOSTS, AS WELL AS PUBLIC BROADCASTING MESSAGING ON TELEVISION AND RADIO
For years now we have been acutely aware, says he, stating the glaringly obvious, of Catalonia’s water crisis and the climate emergency. Yet how well informed are you? What power do you have?
Many people are figuring for themselves how to be responsible. Villages, towns, cities and the Generalitat talk earnestly on how to change hearts and minds and are invoking good policy.
But what about the millions of visitors from northern Europe? Tourism is essential to Catalonia’s economy – more than twelve per cent of gross domestic product, and numbers are now back to pre-pandemic levels and rising. That is twenty million more people a year using finite resources and for whom there may be no second thought when luxuriating in a half hour shower or leaving the tap running while cleaning their teeth.
Individual hotels and assorted other accommodations can and must advise, but there needs to be a collective initiative, Catalonia-wide support to do this. I strongly advocate a singular welcome/advice video free to all hosts, as well as public broadcasting messaging on television and radio to make residents’ water wisdom as comprehensive as possible.
Simple, accessible advice on small things brings incremental, fast and significant results, if people get clear, inspiring and achievable advice and ownership of our collective responsibility and power. The same is true of fire risk, litter, etc. Use the tools people access every day in their lives to drive key messages home. We need to get ahead of the curve.
The farm is deceptively lush. Some October rain and record warmth well into November has stirred nature when it should be slipping into a deep winter sleep. Vibrant grasses and wild rocket, the white flower heads adorned with butterflies, crowd the stumps of recently deceased or dying fruit trees. The gentle warm and stillness, the carpet of green, is a trap. Pollinators have emerged thinking it is spring.
I will fell the old walnut tree in front of the farmhouse with a heavy heart. It is not just fire that is killing trees and forests but thirst of course.
Look to stories from the tourist hotspot Garraf comarca south of Barcelona where there is clear evidence of important forest masses dying because of the prolonged drought. It is indicative of a fundamental, frightening environmental degradation. We will see more, going to the roots of village communities, cooperatives and businesses.
Cop28 will come and go this month. More suits, more hot air, more short-termism and protectionism by the world’s wealthiest. That is as certain as the onset of the climate dystopia. At last year’s COP27 summit, more than 80 countries wanted the final statement to include a call to phase-out fossil fuels. Yet developed nations responsible for the emergency continue developing fossil fuels. Madness.
So lobby like there is no tomorrow. Take to the streets. Lead. Be strong (something else Catalans excel at).