If we continue, the quotation on our collective tombstone will be: This species did not understand exponential growth. - Daniel Christian Wahl
Happy Earth Day. Since I have been on the island for almost 40 years, Mallorca's weather has been in an unpredictable pattern. We've had increasing mild winters dotted with beautiful snowfalls in the Serra de Tramuntanas and hotter summers with extreme drought conditions accentuated by torrential rains that flood the sewer and water system due to massive overflows of water runoff. A changing jet stream is causing the heat effects of a warming planet due to carbon emissions and deforestation. And if you are a yachtie, tradewinds have changed and you can beat into headwinds you didn't expect.
Why this is important to landed people on the island? I'll give you two reasons.
- When the water reservoirs dry up, the municipal sewer systems can not deliver clean water or process waste as we've seen in Sineu - The Geographical Centre of Mallorca and contamination spills including places like Palma beach.
- Torrential rains bring water runoff that flood entire areas causing loss of life and property as we saw a few years ago in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar where they film Love Island.
A warmer island incubates tick borne and infectious diseases like Leishmaniasis Prevention and Protection. Watching a dog suffer with this disease is heartbreaking and treatment is expensive and not always lifesaving. With our interconnectedness as species, through migrations – documented and undocumented, we currently have a global pandemic of a virulent coronavirus, COVID-19.
People are now speaking “before Coronavirus” and “after Coronavirus” because we all sense the marker than times are now different. We are now compelled to make more rational decisions based on our common welfare. Long gone are the days of lone wolfs, mavericks and independent thinkers acting selfishly.
Recent History #
Many of us remember when the weather on Mallorca was predictably 300+ days of sun and warmth with a rainy season that was manageable. Now, residents and tourists alike are struggling to make social plans, modify housing and sort out costs of living on an island with uncertainties.
Historically, Mallorca has been in these periods of weather instability before. In the late 1800s, the drought destroyed so much vegetation in the southwest of the island, including fish, that the men left the island to be sponge divers for a growing industry in the Caribbean.
Whether we are talking to friends, reading comments on social media or watching the TV news, a growing concern is loudly reverberating all around us. What will become of our island, Spain and Our Planet Earth as the human race fails to incorporate drastic changes to dramatically reduce our use of natural resources.
Industry leaders are now on board to help support these efforts but much will need to be done to get the second largest emitter – The United States – back to the table. Currently, resolutions are being passed by country governments to support reductions in carbon emissions, the largest contributor to our climate.
Enter COVID-19. This is the new normal.
Mallorca Now #
On the Balearic Islands, we experience the consequences of man's impact on the environment first hand - - extreme heat and droughts in summer, torrential downpours followed by devastating earth slides like the one we've seen in Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, tornadoes of unheard-of dimensions, oceans swamped with plastic and a real plague of jellyfish along the southeast shores.
We also watched the devastating effects of uncontrolled tourism to the Islands with more than 20+ million people annually visiting Mallorca. Now, with a massive reduction in tourism and no cruise ships, we have dolphins entertaining us in the ports and clearer waters than we've had in decades. The resident population hovers around 900,000 people with estimates for an additional 250,000 full-time residents within 10 years. While the island’s villages to the East are not populated year-round, the overcrowding in Palma and the Southwest of the island pushes resources beyond the scope of healthy regeneration.
We at Affordable Mallorca care about our wonderful Planet Earth and love these islands. In our ULTIMATE GUIDE Sustainable Living, we introduce you to environmental projects, show you how and where you can volunteer to make a difference, how you can take action for more sustainable living and how we can all work together to reduce our carbon footprint and alter our lifestyle to reduce our environmental impact. Let's all join efforts and make this world a cleaner, safer place.
The Balearic Government understands that we need a collective plan for survival. Below, you'll find a few articles on trends, policies and actions that support a more sustainable lifestyle. Change agents live among us. Get to know them, their work and join us as we forge a path toward the future for us all.
Ongoing Work #
Due to overwhelming and devastating effects by COVID-19, both physically and economically. If you are interested in details of economic planning by the Balearic Government, check out this article >> When Will The Spanish Economy Return. While this lull in activity will certainly not last, the long-term economic consequences for the world and Mallorca will be present for a generation. Our times call for extreme actions. Wonky economists like me use terms like “Strategic Implementation” vs “incrementalism.”
Mallorca has a strong and growing renewable energy grid that supports not only our homes but our cars. Check out this article about Car Charging Stations on Mallorca. Fortunately, many on the island are changemakers. Take a look at our articles linked below. Find alliances where you feel called to contribute to support the greater good in villages and island-wide. Use this time to build the life of your dreams.
Christer Söderberg: Meet the social entrepreneur and climate change activist – “by necessity," he says, "not by choice.” Read more >>
Mallorca Goes Deep Green: A closer look at what the Balearic Government has proposed, what’s being done and how it will impact us all. Read more >>
Stefan Hearst and Mission Blue Hope Spot: Hearst is one of the island's change agents. Mallorca is home to a growing network of marine protected areas. Watch the video and see the impacts of this work. Read more >>
Water Management on Mallorca: Making scarce resources last. You'll read what the government is doing to support our limited clean water resources and we included a video that supports these efforts. Read more >>
Bring On The Sun shows how Spain is working toward a Solar Revolution. While contentious, this is part of the solution. Read more >>
Drinking Water on Mallorca: How to reduce the use of plastic bottles. Explains how to deal with depletion of our most valuable natural resource with limited supplies due to overpopulation, contamination and plastics, natural water sources and public refill stations, filtration systems and the status of public tap water. Read more >>
Wet Wipes Face a Wipe-Out: Calvia's mission to prevent synthetic wipes from being flushed down the toilet. With 'fatbergs' clogging municipal water pipes, critical to reducing plastic and chemical contaminations, fines are imposed in Calvia for flushing wet wipes. Read more >>
Second Hand Kids' Clothes: With all the financial, environmental and social gains to be made from buying and selling second-hand let's take a look at how to go about it on Mallorca for kids' clothes. Read more >>
Anne Anthony of Halo Preloved: This woman does the trick - offering first-rate kids' clothes at affordable prices, and doing it all in an eco-friendly way. Read more >>
Your Guide to Preloved Fashion in Palma: Prolong the lifespan of clothes! It's fun and helps leaving less of an environmental footprint. Read more >>
Vintage Furniture is IN! Upcycling is in vogue. The impact on the environment alone puts you in the near-saint like category, plus it gives your home a personality and charm you’d not get from buying bulk at a big retail outlet or chasing the newest trend. Read more >>
ULTIMATE GUIDE Pets has a few articles related to a changing climate: How to Protect Your Dogs in a Heatwave, Leishmaniasis, An Invasion of Ticks and Mallorca's Most Dangerous Animal. Read more >>
Because we are all in this together, please take a look at our ULTIMATE GUIDE: Volunteering and find an organization that supports your ethos. Read more >>
We recommend watching this video with Daniel Christian Wahl, a resident on Mallorca who co-founded 'Biomimicry Iberia' and in 2015 co-organized the first practitioners camp of the 'European Biomimicry Alliance' (EBA) on Majorca. Go to Mr. Wahl's website for more on his work.
The Good News is that many on the island have a strong desire to work for the Common Welfare of All. While the island faces catastrophic threats, people here generally have a mindset for a collective good. Living in such a community provides comfort during these uncertain times.
Our ULTIMATE GUIDES are ongoing projects: It's worth coming back and checking out what's new!
#SustainableLiving #Sustainability #EarthDay
By Memphis Holland
22 April, 2021