Monday, April 20, 2009
Remember a Day Before Today (Pt. 1)
In a room with glassed walls you can see the ocean throws itself as waves against the rocky beach. One of the participants, born in Serbia and a student in the United States of America says to me that we have a beautiful country: “A million dollar view”, says about what she’s seeing through the glass. This happens during lunch at Hotel Flor de Sal, Viana do Castelo.
The self-service lunch went well. Some words were spoken by the enormous Bernardo Sotto-Mayor, followed by the Administrator of Enercom factory, which we were going to visit next. The beauty of the place seemed to tell us that we were in some piece of heaven, forgotten by all, except by the man who build the Hotel. However, at a clean glimpse of the eye, we can see that we are in a strongly industrialized area. We walk to the industrial facility, and something occupies our sight. Those enormous blades laying on the ground. These are sleeping giants anxious to retrieve from nature the Energy that feeds civilization.
Cameras are flashing. Walking through the exterior of the plant, I introduce an American Student to a very particular kind of Portuguese music, the Fado. For now, she knows it as a word. When she listens to the cries of the Portuguese Guitar, she’ll know it as a feeling.
The plant! Brave women work there! Some of them have passed through hell, as they lost their jobs in a previous economic crisis of textile manufacturing. A Portuguese expression explains what they have lived: “They have eaten the bread backed by the devil!” Now they work with their own hands for this new life, layering fiber glass over fiber glass over pine wood. The same pine wood that once led our Country to through the glorious epopee that still echoes in the world’s ears. Like in those days, wind still guides our fate. Portugal paved the way to new worlds! Now, we do it not by throwing our sails to the wind, but by mounting these giants on windy mountains! And an army of giants is fighting to give us a new world of clean energy!
CABELTE! Power cables! Don’t let them fool you by its simple appearance. The simple manufacturing process! The obvious assignment! They are like roads! They are like rivers! They are like veins, feeding energy for each home, each cell of this amazing organism. Circulatory system revealed! The heart is pumping on the top of steep hills, in the waters of a dam, above a rectangular shadow in Alentejo’s plains.
Changing the paradigm from fuel to renewable energy doesn’t have to be a clash. It is like that past week! People from all over the world mingle into one coherent body! India, USA, Brazil, Venezuela, Angola, Mozambique, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, UK, Poland; Checz Republic, Russia, China, Japan! A vast strip of land and ocean keeps us apart. A strong renewable will will keep us together!