Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Let's Play While The Sun Shines

Africa here we come! Well, in reality it's more a case of Africa coming to Spain according to the latest worst case predictions of the effects of climate change on the country. Spain has been told off last week for not even coming close to its targets on reduction of emissions, and up to a third of the country is said to be at risk of desertification on current trends. Those in the north will get the Mediterranean climate, whilst the rest of the country will experience African weather conditions. After a December day in the mountains on Sunday where I was able to spend a good part of the day in short sleeves I'm prepared to believe it; even if some people prefer the opinions of Mariano Rajoy and his now famous cousin.

Of course, not everyone is upset by the prospect of climate change. I'm sure that those who are proposing to construct a huge "Las Vegas" style complex in the desert like landscape of Los Monegros in Aragon are not in the slightest bit concerned about the issue. The project would include 32 hotels, 5 theme parks, and the now compulsory golf courses. The area is poor and has little to keep its existing population from drifting away to the cities. This is because it is very dry and not particularly suitable for agriculture. It also lacks good communications. I'm sure that the price of land here is very cheap compared to much of the rest of the country, and the local inhabitants are reported to be quite excited about the opportunities it will bring. Where will they get the water from? Maybe they can put that question to the organisers of next year's Expo in Aragon's capital, Zaragoza. The theme of the Expo is going to be err....water.

Somewhere else that could use some water is the city of Madrid, it has hardly rained this autumn and the city is suffering from what they call inversión termica, which means that we get a big static pollution cloud hanging over us. What would really sort this out is some rain, and given that I am about to disappear for two weeks the best time for it to start raining would be Thursday evening. A nice prolonged steady downpour, like something from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez story, so that the air gets cleaned, the lakes fill up and there is a good layer of snow on the mountains.

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