Tenerife with 100% renewable energy (Room 1: Tom)
Situation in 2015: Spain reached an impressive 43% in renewable energy production. Meanwhile the Canary Islands are at 8%. A principal reason for this is that since 2007, windfarm projects have been totally abandoned by the ruling party — the project get lost in bureaucratic tangles until it eventually dies. The last windfarm that got built in the Canaries is 15 years old, especially surprising given that a windfarm in the Canaries is almost twice as profitable as a windfarm in the rest of Spain (the cost of producing energy in the Canaries is currently 4 times as much). In effect the people in the rest of Spain are subsidizing energy use in the Canaries. If the windfarms that were approved in the government contest in 2007 were up and running, the Canarian government would have saved 130MM euros each year. Meanwhile at the national level, the Partido Popular’s first law on gaining power in 2011 was to end incentives for renewable energy, and to do so retroactively, with the effect of exterminating the competition of the 60,000 families in Spain who had invested in solar panels, etc. We don’t know what Endesa gave to the PP in return. In Tenerife, it simply makes no sense to ship in oil barges to make our electricity.
Dream: The Canary Islands is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. We just need to tap into it. As an island, it makes perfect sense for Tenerife to become 100% energy-independent, like El Hierro has done. In El Hierro, when the wind is moving and there is surplus energy, turbines push water to an upper reservoir. When the wind is slow, energy is produced by letting water flow to the lower reservoir.
Dream to reality: Kick out the current party. Contact Ben Magec (www.benmagec.org) or Plataforma por un Nuevo Modelo Energético (www.nuevomodeloenergetico.org) to find out which parties support renewable energy. Vote for them!
Everyone working in Tenerife (Room 2: Pura)
Situation in 2015: Tenerife has an unemployment rate of 30% (5% more than the rest of Spain).
Dream: That we all have a good job. Don’t wait for help or initiatives from the government. A government can’t create a “Silicon Valley”. Only people can create employment, with their ideas and efforts.
Dream to reality: We need to create a culture of entrepreneurs in Spain. Using technology, the web, working hard, brainstorming. We can’t look for work when there’s no work to be found, but we can create work, and with luck, you’ll soon need to join with others, or hire someone. No need to limit your ideas to opening a cafe or something in the tourist sector. With internet, Tenerife is no longer an island: you can sell something to anybody in the world now. You don’t know how to begin? Find a mentoring program, so you don’t make it alone. And please: leave the working class vs. owner/exploiter talk in the 20th century. Whether you prefer to start a business or work for a paycheck, it’s up to you to make your workplace a class-free zone.
Tenerife, the Island of Tailors (Room 3: Roberto)
Situation in 2015: For each carnaval, the people of Tenerife create a huge number of fancy outfits.
Dream: Since we were young, the sewing taught in our schools forms a part of our evolution. We’re taught to understand the textiles and how to make a costume for carnaval or the traditional Tenerife outfit for the romerías or baile del mago. In these cultural events, sewing is the creative outlet, as well as providing a source of employment for many. In creating the clothes rather than buying them, we learn to consume textiles in a more responsible manner, rather than treating clothes as a disposable item, yet another potential source of contamination resulting from uncontrolled consumption. In this dream, the visitors to Tenerife can purchase original clothing made by locals and produced from organic textiles — textiles produced in a sustainable fashion, clothing to take back home with its memories and sensations, clothing that invites you to return to our island.
Dream to reality: Recover the sewing workshops, with their ability to create art. Ask the master tailors and seamstresses on the island to teach the craft to the young people ask them to teach the youth via sewing courses and sewing exhibitions. Recreate and explore the beauty of our traditional clothes and make them modern again. Create a website so that visitors to Carnaval can request a tailor-made outfit. The visitor arrives a few days before for the final adjustments, and voilá, instead of an outfit from China and bought at the last minute, they have a outfit to remember Carnaval forever.
A hiking trail around the whole coast of Tenerife (Room 4: Tom)
Situation in 2015: There are some trails and some good city boardwalks, but the government has not expressed interest in such a project.
Dream: A coastal trail encircling the island, as close to the water as possible. The coast of Tenerife is beautiful and incredibly varied. A coastal trail
An easy-to-envision trail captures the imagination and enters people’s consciousness.
In the USA, the most famous trail is the “Appalachian Trail” (3500 km), which hikers tackle in stages, until they get listed as “2000 milers”. Besides being good for tourism, the coastal trail will be good for land preservation: there are a lot of houses where one cannot pass (and the trail would have to go inland). This concept could help to protect this crucial strip of land for public use.
Dream to reality: Form a group, and create a platform to pressure the government. You can contact FB: Arte Okupa.
The End of the Refinery in Santa Cruz (Room 5: Tom)
Situation in 2015: The refinery was created in 1930 and currently covers an area of 500,000 m2 within the city limits of Santa Cruz. Large sections of refinery land have been reclaimed in the last few decades, including Oil Tank #69. Some day perhaps, Tank #69 (now the one-of-a-kind Espacio Cultural El Tanque) will be all that remains of the refinery. The end is finally in sight. Until recently, the refinery produced 4.5 million tons of refined fuel per year according to its owner, Cepsa). During times of calima when the wind was slow, the whole city stunk (as much as this room), a fact that no publicity campaign by Cepsa could overcome. (Cepsa got certain newspapers to erase the smoke coming out of the smokestacks in newspaper photos.) In 2012, Ciudadanos por Santa Cruz reported that the refinery exceeded the allowable emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 25 times, making it a serious health hazard for the nearby neighborhoods. This report reached the hands of the prosecutor for environmental offenses, and helped pressure City Hall to pass a new Air Quality Act. Meanwhile, Cepsa began to intermittently stop production in July 2013 due to economic reasons. Since June 2014, refining has stopped. For good? We shall see. It has been a long battle.
Dream: Clean air in our city, in our lungs
Dream to reality: Unless Cepsa’s lawyers convince the justice department to overturn the Air Quality Act, the dream just may be fulfilled.
Overconsumption (Room 6: Maruxa)
Situation in 2015: People continue to consume without a conscience. We refuse to recognize the roots, the origin, of the products we buy, and what it means to give money to these multinationals. In Tenerife, we import 80% of what we eat and a lot of merchandise comes way overpackaged. Poisons abound in the preservatives and dyes of non-organic products.
Also in construction, we import so many materials, when we could other methods of sustainable construction. As an island, it is so easy to look into our history and discover how we ate 100 years ago or how we built houses 100 years ago. Recovering our past combined with our current knowledge is the key to restoring our consumption to sustainable levels.
Dream: Whales, plants and people talk in a dream about our consumption, and the script is the same. We are part of our environment: we are trash, we are vegetable, we are construction materials.
Dream to reality: That each person consumes in a more sustainable way.
Urine – the Olfactory Delight (room 7: the designated bathroom)
Situation in 2015: Urine still smells bad (and worse after eating asparagus).
Dream: That a genetic scientist discovers the urine gene so that, with a simple non-invasive operation, your urine can smell like sandalwood, lavender, patchouli, or any of 125 odors to choose from. In the expensive version of the operation, a microchip is inserted that guides the production so that with a cell phone app, you can choose an odor-du-jour, or you can link the odor to, say, April in Seville or winter in Minsk. The app is free with the cost of the operation.
Dream to reality: Scientists are working day and night on this thorny problem. In the meantime, just shoot for the hole, or better yet, just pee off the cliff. If you have other matters to release, pick it up with a bag, like you do for your dog. Remember, in a desert climate like Tenerife, toilet paper takes 17 years to decompose.
What’s your dream for Tenerife? (Room 8: two pencils hanging, where people can write their own dreams on the walls.)
Write it on the wall.
History of these ruins: The road to Igueste was built around 40 years ago. The stone to build the road was taken from the mountain on the other side of the road. These ruins are from a factory that was built to break up the stone (picón). The locals call this spot La Piconera, though the City Hall calls it el mirador de la Punta de los Órganos. This land is private property, which means it will probably stay in this form for many years. If you like this idea of an outdoor museum, say so! Just write it on the wall.