News source: https://www.sueddeutsche.de
Report by Franziska Dürmeier
Photo by Franziska Dürmeier
It is a vicious circle that is barely perceived
"All the plastic will stay in the ground or carried away by the wind, it's impossible to remove it," says Alejandro Ortuño. Agricultural companies are digging the waters of people in southern Spain and leaving behind deserts contaminated with plastic. Now resistance is stirring.
Alejandro Ortuño brakes the car and rolls along a field at walking pace. "He is magical," he says, looking at a striking mountain, the Monte Arabí. Green low trees stand out from the ocher-colored rock, which drops steeply at the highest point. "The people here love this place, this mountain," says Ortuño, director of the environmental initiative "Salvemos el Arabí y Comarca". It dawns. Whirling dust shines in the evening light. On the field something reflects the last rays of the sun, between rich green broccoli sparkles something. They are plastic scraps that stick out of the barren farmland wherever you look.
The earth is dry
In Yecla, in the province of Murcia in southeastern Spain, the earth is dry, dust-dry and polluted. Desertification is what scientists call the process that destroys ecosystems and leaves soil infertile, and some talk of devastation. Although there was always a dry climate here, but earlier the farmers operated a resource-saving dry field of wine, olives and almonds. In recent years, however, corporations have increasingly bought up arable land to plant lettuce, peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits. Fruits that need a lot of water.
Water that does not exist here. In Spain flourishes the business of the agricultural industry, Germany is one of the main buyers of crops. But the year-round availability of cheap fruits and vegetables in this country is at the expense of the people of Spain, because the water supply there shrink dramatically. Climate change exacerbates the situation. The summer in Spain now lasts an average of five weeks longer than in the 80s, heat waves are more intense. In 33 of the 50 Spanish provinces, it was at times 44 degrees hot on Thursday. There is little rainfall. It hardly rained last winter. Not only is climate change exacerbating desertification, but desertification is also exacerbating climate change by destroying natural regeneration cycles.