Some of the most repetitive arguments of those dirty minds who, still today, dare to deny the dramatic existence of that phenomenon named “climate change” tend to consist in questioning its scientific grounds, as well as presenting every environmental activist as a lunatic aiming at wiping the human race off the Earth.
However, proving the forthcoming of climate change in the last few decades is something extraordinarily simple. I will take as an example the Spanish region of “La Maragatería” (situated in the north-western province of León), whose capital is the historic town of Astorga (named “Asturica Augusta” by its Roman founders). This region offers an indescribable natural paradise, with several hundreds of square kilometres of pine forests which have survived (so far) the long-term challenge entailed by human stupidity and wickedness, most often in the form of fires.
This whole area is located upon one of those typical high valleys of the Spanish northern plateau, with an average elevation of about 900 metres, and bordering at north on the “Montes de León” (“Sierra del Teleno” and “Sierra de la Cabrera”), whose peaks rise above 2000 metres. This large valley has, for the last two decades, become extremely dry. Its autochthonous pine-trees seem though to stand the lack of water thanks to their extraordinary ability to adapt to extreme weather.
The winters are cold, especially at night, when the January temperatures can drop as low as -10ºC, usually rising up to 10ºC at noon in the abundant sunny days. One typical winter phenomenon of this area, which is extensive to practically the whole of the Iberian interior, is the occasional existence of persistent fog caused by the anticyclone weather, which makes the low temperatures extensive to daytime.
On the other hand, the summers are relatively hot during the day (average maximum temperatures of about 30ºC in July) with mild nights. At any rate, what does not change all year round is the extreme scarcity of precipitation.
Was this always like that? Indeed not. And what is the proof of it? Quite simple: just go there and ask anyone over the age of 45. As you see, it is not necessary to go back too far in time to confirm the following facts: Twenty or thirty years ago, showers were about five times more abundant and quite regularly spread over the year. Moreover, the average yearly temperature was easily a couple of degrees lower.
Any of those people could thus tell us that, not too long ago, heavy and regular snowfalls used to cover with a thick layer the soil of the valleys during the long winters; that the spring and autumn seasons used to offer frequent rain; that the flow of the “Eria” river used to be significantly higher -making any risk of drying up in the summer utterly unconceivable-; that the surrounding mountains used to be covered with snow well below their peaks by the end of the springtime; that the wolf (which had not yet become an endangered species) used to be a customary and dangerous visitor of all the villages around, seeking both shelter from the cold and livestock to feed itself…
As you can see, it is dramatic how certain things can change so much in such a short time, and this is not only applicable to climate. In the end, the planet and its inhabitants coexist within a civilisation governed by greed, inhumanity and a sense of progress only leading to self-destruction.
I know, this is not very optimistic. I am just trying to tell the truth though, something that the President of the Government or the Minister of the Environment will hardly do, unless we achieve a democratic system where those positions will invariably be held by decent people. We are still on time, I hope…