The conservative government in Spain is breaking records in its politics against renewable energy. The time where Obama mentioned Spain as example seems far away. After Rajoy took office one of the first energy politics by Industry minister caller Soria was to stop feed-in-tarif. Later, it went even further planning a new tax for some energy sources, for example renewables. The great driving force in Sorias speeches was “tarif-deficit“, a concept deserving a post by itself but roughly defined as the difference of accepted official prizes for energy producers and final lower retail prizes for customers. The op-ed in the local reference in the sector energias renovables considering the previous Industry minister as the worse for renewables is simply outdated.
Is this the same as could happen in USA if republicans reach the white house? I do not think iso, t is more complicated. In spanish energy policy conservatives and socialists have not been so far in last years. In fact, some progressive press has criticized solar industry, considering them conected to conservative local governments. So, in this complex but worsening history it is refreshing to find p recently divergences between governmet ministers and see them became public. It is not the first time these divergences are made public. But this time it is stronger and somehow hopeful. Just two short comments for outside observers:
1.- It would be very important to obtain a widespread support for renewables, because this gives more security to the investment. For this, it is a key factor to explain how they are more expensive now but an investment for the future (as research, which by the way is suffering the same problems due to the crisis)
2.- It is important to design renewables growth not only expecting more power demand, also and preferably expecting power demand reduction, as it is happening now in Spain. This is the only way to avoid more than 450 ppm of CO2 in our beloved atmosphere.
This summer I was lucky to enjoy some vacation days in the very nice Canary Islands, concretely in Tenerife and La Palma. It was just holidays but Climate Change appeared, subtly in certain occasions I want to share with you again in this post as did in the previous one and second
The image is from the wildfire La Palma island, concretely in Mazo town. The wildfire burned more or less 2000 Ha in the island out of 73000. It was close to several houses for moments as seen in the image taken from the main road of the island. In any case it was much better than the wildfire in nearby island La Gomera which lasted for two weeks and burned more than 10% of the land.There were two more in Tenerife. Most of them were human caused, but climate change played a role with an extremely dry year, making very difficult fire extinction work. Some places in La Palma were really dry without rain in almost a year. To help even more a heat wave came to La Gomera adding more fuel to the flames.
Those fires did not come from the climate but it helped to make them greater and more dangerous. In the future it can be even worse. Who will pay for the firefighters bills in the future and the increment of their need? Will fossil fuels contribute is some amount to this bill, or will be just for everybody?
A photograph of the wildfire in La Palma during August 2012, image taken from the road
This summer I was lucky to enjoy some vacation days in the very nice Canary Islands, concretely in Tenerife and La Palma. It was just holidays but Climate Change appeared, subtly in certain occasions I want to share with you again in this post as did in the previous one.
The images are from the Poris de La Candelaria a site with strange but striking beauty in La Palma island, concretely in Tijarafe town. Of course, my images are too poor to show the real beauty of this place that it is not a mayor turist attraction maybe due to the difficulties to arrive there. Nevertheless it is important for the locals for spare time use (fishing, sleeping near the sea, festivals,…) and also for the connection to their ancestors, as this places use is documented from the middle ages but is likely older.
And, where is the link to climate change? The link is in my thoughts. They told me that in spite of its peaceful aspect in winter the storms can be strong there causing some damages in the amateur houses. In consequence I thought that in the future they will have to work harder to repair the damages in the stronger storms or even one day leave this place to the fishes due to sea level rise. I know it will not be the worse consequence of climate change but it will be a pity for them and for the eventual visitors.
Photograph from the entrance to Poris de la Candelaria
Photograph from inside Poris de la Candelaria towards the sea
This summer I was lucky to enjoy some vacation days in the very nice Canary Islands, concretely in Tenerife and La Palma. It was just holidays but Climate Change appeared, subtly, as many other times in certain occasions I want to share with you.
The image is from the Loro Parque a “must” for any child visiting Tenerife. This site is a mixture of zoo- animal care and life shows, one even with orcas, that started as a Parrot conservation centre. My son loves it and the environmental message is widespread in the whole installations, although there has been some discussion in the media related with their last orca acquisition: Morgan. In contrast to the general environmental care advises climate change is not too present in the shows or readings. The only mention I found is in the snapshot below, in the penguins zone. It was good to find it but, in may opinion, it is not enough as climate change is one of the main risks of many species shown in the Loro Parque. And this kind of places are a great opportunity as they are visited by many people and several families and children not usually involved in climate change news circuit.
Snapshot from a explaining wall in the Loro Parque, the only one I found mentioning climate change
Yesterday a new temperature record was established in Basque Country, a very unusual 44.8ª for a mild temperature region. This summer extreme weather events are one of the hot issues in climate blogosphere, Climate Progress describes the hot summer and widespread drought in USA, skeptical science displays the last research results connecting extreme events and climate change, … At the same time, in the other side of the ocean the temperatures are getting extreme too as yesterda here or the three summer heat waves in the very mild Canary Islands where I was in hollydays. I am not very fond of talking too much of weather as skeptics usually do because our weather memories are weak and it is very easy to play a tennis match: today I believe, tomorrow not at all. Climate is not just weather, it is more global and in more time length. However, extreme events are important, for these reasons in my opinion:
1 If they are frequent enough, they show that temperature distribution is changing as explained in mentioned skeptical science post and many others. Many researchers are working in this link as that post shows.
2 More important than that is that they affect our everyday life, they are one of the first effects we are going to suffer from climate change.
3 They help increase most people awareness about climate change and could convince us to start making the difficult decisions we must make. Although this can be a dangerous weapon following the tennis match model and getting many people tired. For this reason it has to be explained well.