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Latest News

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World Climate March - Aljezur demonstrations against oil, intensive agriculture, mining and the destruction of the seabed

worldPortugal's part in the World Climate March ensured the streets were filled in Lisbon, Oporto and Aljezur on Saturday with citizens showing the government that the fight against climate change is not at all compatible with the State's current lust for a home-grown fossil fuel exloration programme.

Demonstrators and environmental NGOs are critical of the Government for the consistently making "wrong decisions" over its energy policy wuth João Camargo of the Climáximo movement stating that the environment is an area in which the government is performing badly.

"Allowing Almaraz is another sign of total subservience to the Spanish, the government is totally blind to the problems at this nuclear lower plant," said Camargo, joined by around 1,000 people in Lisbon and hundreds more in Oporto.

Heloísa Apolónia, Green Party MP, said the Climate March should trigger the end of "unsustainable solutions" and demanded the closure of the Almaraz nuclear power plant in Spain, which "constitutes a threat" to Portugal. (See: http://algarvedailynews.com/news/11554-almaraz-nuclear-report-whitewash-will-keep-eu-happy)

The World Climate March originated in the US to counter Donald Trump’s lack of policy on climate change and events ascross the world added local issues to the main theme of climate change denial.

In the Algarve, the chosen theme was the halting of exploration licences for oil and gas off the coast of Aljezur and the end of other contracts for the exploitation of hydrocarbons across the country.

In Aljezur, organiser ASMAA was joined by A Nossa Terra, Preservar Aljezur, and ALA Nucleo Milfontes and many of their supporters alongside members of the public.

The Aljezur event focused on the off-shore oil drilling licence already awarded to Galp-ENI, the problems caused by intensive fruit farming under plastic that now is covering swathes of the western Algarve, mining licenses for the south-facing slopes of the Monchique mountains and the planned extension of Portugal’s sea area to enable the widespread licensing of hugely destructive seabed mining.

If Portugal's government continues to encourage these highly damaging developments, the industrialisation of the country will not sit happily with the current industry that is supporting so many others - tourism.

The government continues its dream of swinging big with the corporate sector in the hope of large rewards for zero effort, but the hydrocarbon and mineral contracts signed to date have demonstrated that the executive has no idea how to negotiate a good deal for the taxpayer and instead,is being taken advantage of by a skilled corporate sector which is exposing the country to an unlimited environmental downside.

 

 

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Comments  

0 #4 Christian G 2017-05-01 19:42
I believe liveaboard forgot to call me "sexist" for describing the workers as "men".
0 #3 liveaboard 2017-05-01 17:56
Quoting Christian G:


The opposition against intensive farming is not primarily about aesthetics. The way food is produced in those polytunnels ("estufas") is industrialised to such an extent that it can hardly be called farming anymore. The soil is removed and replaced with synthetic feed; the plants need far more irrigation than in conventicle or organic agriculture, so it affects the water resources; the plants are further treated extensively with chemicals, polluting the air and ground water; once all the resources are exhausted, the structures including square miles of plastic are left behind. There is nothing in it for the local economy, least of all 'jobs for the local youth'. The labour is done by (mostly) Asian men .



Water use is not an issue in these areas; there is excess irrigation water capacity from the santa Clara dam, which is falling continuously into the Atlantic at the end of the canal.
Chemical use is not of concern to the rural Portuguese voters in Aljezur; Foreign voters are a tiny minority.
So why has this astute politician invested valuable political capital into this issue?

Asian workers.
Xenophobia.
0 #2 Christian G 2017-05-01 11:43
Quoting liveaboard:

I don't understand the opposition to "intensive farming" at all; is this just more Monsanto bashing, a bow to the "organic" food believers to get them to join up?
The main argument seems to be that the unsightly polytunnels will deter tourists, and that "foreigners" are being brought in to work there. Is it simple xenophobia, or environmental worry?
The tourist industry is great, but we can't base the economy on a single business excluding all others.
We old retired foreigners must remember that local youth need work; all sorts of work, not just seasonal tourist service jobs. Industry creates a lot of secondary business, irrigation, transport, construction, etc.


The opposition against intensive farming is not primarily about aesthetics. The way food is produced in those polytunnels ("estufas") is industrialised to such an extent that it can hardly be called farming anymore. The soil is removed and replaced with synthetic feed; the plants need far more irrigation than in conventicle or organic agriculture, so it affects the water resources; the plants are further treated extensively with chemicals, polluting the air and ground water; once all the resources are exhausted, the structures including square miles of plastic are left behind. There is nothing in it for the local economy, least of all 'jobs for the local youth'. The labour is done by (mostly) Asian men who are desperate enough to work at very low wages and in horrendous conditions.
0 #1 liveaboard 2017-05-01 09:07
So the various environmental protest movements have joined together, creating a far louder voice.
Now we're not just protesting oil, we're protesting all development.
Feldspar is inert; the opposition to mining is about local noise and dust.
That is a legitimate objection by itself, but it's a local issue.
I don't understand the opposition to "intensive farming" at all; is this just more Monsanto bashing, a bow to the "organic" food believers to get them to join up?
The main argument seems to be that the unsightly polytunnels will deter tourists, and that "foreigners" are being brought in to work there. Is it simple xenophobia, or environmental worry?
The tourist industry is great, but we can't base the economy on a single business excluding all others.
We old retired foreigners must remember that local youth need work; all sorts of work, not just seasonal tourist service jobs. Industry creates a lot of secondary business, irrigation, transport, construction, etc.
And here on the southwest, the entire coastal area has been declared a national park [whatever that means]. New construction is not permitted, so how can we grow the tourist industry anyway?

The oil drilling contracts are utterly corrupt madness, the contracts completely biased with a lack of checks and balances. These fly-by-night exploitation companies have no need of caution, as they'll simply disappear if there is any spill, leaving the cost to us.

But binding this serious issue with every other popular cause dilutes the importance of it.

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