Right to landscape, by Julio Llamazares


“Oh, if we Spaniards were up to the task! our landscapes!”

The exclamation is Francisco Giner de los Rios, the founder of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, that model of education that tried to modernize Spain but that was laminated by the Franco regime, and is still in force, if it is not even more relevant than when Giner pronounced it. A century and a bit later, the way the Spaniards treat the landscape has not only not improved, but has gotten worse. To verify this, a walk through our geography is enough, in which all kinds of attacks on nature take place (scars from the old open-cast mines, fields of solar panels and gigantic windmillsaberrant constructions in unexpected places, domesticated beaches based on cement and bad taste, the ugliness of so many new houses…), although it can also be verified by taking a look at the book that the journalist Andres Fernandez Rubio He has just published about the barbarities that have been caused to the landscape in this country of unrepentant barbarians. ‘Ugly Spain. The greatest failure of democracy’ portrays many of them, from the construction of the El Algarrobico hotel in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata in Almería to the destruction of the Fisac ​​Pagoda in Madrid, a landmark of our modern architecture, while reflecting on the responsibility of all in the lack of respect for nature and our landscape heritage, both urban and natural. For Fernandez Rubio, the disaster began in the 1950s with runaway developmentalism of an autarkic regime that wanted to get out of poverty, for which it did not notice the methods, and continues to this day, without anyone putting a stop to the increasing destruction of our landscapes, the great wealth of this country despite the abuse they endure.

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Andrés Fernández Rubio says that the great disappointment in this area was the passage through power of Felipe Gonzálezwhich in three legislatures was unable to legislate in favor of the protection of the landscape in contrast to what was being done in Europe, which led the artist from Lanzarote Cesar Manrique, promoter of the conservation of his native island, to say: “What an inheritance for future generations with this bunch of donkeys & rdquor ;. The Spanish social democracy, so fond of looking at its European co-religionists, in the protection of the landscape not only did not imitate them but also boasted of its “miracle & rdquor; economic, the one that was popularly called the pitch and that ended up destroying what little remained of virgin Spain.

Now comes a new threat to Spanish landscapes, especially to those that have remained purer due to the backwardness of the societies that live in them, and that is that of a new energy invasion, this time in the form of solar panels and windmills. With the argument of the need for energy and with the consent of all governments, whether central or regional and regardless of their ideology, the champions of liberalism are destroying the Spanish landscape again without noticing that it is everyone’s heritage and one of the basic needs for our social welfare, such as health and education, security or justice. Although as these are not mentioned in the Spanish Constitution, the right to landscape should be a constitutional right also, because our harmonic development and the happiness to which we aspire depends on its enjoyment and that depends not only on the economy, but also on the mirror in which we look at ourselves.


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