Sight Navigation

Today they govern us with land policies in sight, without soul or grit

Secretary of State and Minister of Environment in the Algarve – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul informação

The Portuguese did something for the world when they knew how to navigate in the medium and long term, developing the sciences and techniques that allowed a certain control over the governance of travel and related politics.

But, as the poet said, who thought more and better than all our established politicians and intellectuals, the Portuguese were too tired after discovering the sea route to India.

Today they govern us with land-based policies, without soul or determination, the day-to-day life of hoarded cents that are promised with great fanfare, but which are then not given for use in the most demanding items, always in secret, to the accounts are surplus and we make a name for ourselves in the European Union, where someone hopes to find a little place for a glorious golden reform.

The Ministry of the Environment has already accustomed us, from the previous owner, to pretending that we have an environmental policy that is much better now than it was before, when everything was going wrong.

So good that they even exchange old and honorable cork oaks for wind towers – and this is said this way with such shamelessness because they think the people are stupid and can handle it, but... isn't it, prosaically, just another EDP business?

Finally, they decided we have a drought problem.

In order not to alarm the country, the Minister began by saying that this year, in terms of drought, we were better than last year; only there is two countries, one to the north of the Tagus and the other to the south.

Then he remembered that and blurted out that, after all, here in the South… we are worse off than last year.

And we will continue to worsen our living conditions unless the Ministry has some arrangement with the gods and knows that this autumn it will rain heavily. Because, if it doesn't rain heavily, we'll be here to see how we live.

If we weren't being governed by short-sighted (and short-sighted) navigators, not one, but several seawater desalination stations would have been under construction for more than a decade – the only guarantee that ensures drinking water. The fact is that the millions of Portuguese who live along the coast are using water obtained and stored in the interior, whose populations have no other alternative.

At the Mediterranean level – and for decades Prof. Gomes Guerreiro proclaimed that we are a Mediterranean region bathed by the Atlantic – we are the most backward country in resorting to this means of obtaining water; and even an Atlantic country with a difficult economy, but exemplarily well governed, Cape Verde, has its entire population served by this method of obtaining quality water.

Here, with great effort (and a large investment in euros) the dead flow from the dams will be used, which is an extreme measure, as we all know that it is wastewater from the bottom, highly polluted, which requires demanding treatment to be used. They're not going to release that water directly into the nets, are they?

This desalination station will come to Calendas…

Why won't they learn to do politics in the medium and long term, for now, in this field, as Spain, Morocco, Algeria, etc. did? Why won't they learn to stop governing by sight in terms of the environment (and in terms of all policies, as is obvious in the agro-forestry sector?

Are you starting to believe that the consequences of climate change are really falling on our heads or is it still just a cycle and everything will go back to normal?

And the agro-forestry sector?… It’s better to leave it at that.


Author Fernando Santos Pessoa is a landscape architect and forestry engineer…and he writes with the spelling he learned at school



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