Barcelona City Council’s fight to shield flamingoes from rent-seeking flights of fancy: An excellent case study in municipalism vs corporate greed

Covid-19 forced billions of humans to re-assess the way we live, work and travel. Monstrous wildfires (from British Columbia to Greece and Croatia) and murderous floods (e.g. Germany) have confirmed that which we should have known: We, humans, have damaged the planet, possibly, beyond repair. Against this background, it is heartbreaking to observe how our governments are not losing an opportunity to add to the environmental damage in order to serve the ugliest minority who are motivated by the most hideous of urges: entrepreneurs seeking to milk public money to feather their own nests while destroying the last sanctuaries of wildlife near our cities. But, there is good news too: Municipalities are leading the fight to shield our remaining wildlife from both government and business vandals. Barcelona City Council is a case in point.

Barcelona’s airport is sitting next to one of the Iberian peninsula’s most important bird sanctuaries – and one of the few surviving ones. Covid-19 has massively shrunk the number of flights in and out of the airport. A rational person might have thought that this is the perfect time for both the Catalan and the Spanish governments to re-think the equilibrium between air travel, quality of life and the environment. But, no! Government and business are, instead, salivating over the EU Recovery Fund’s billions and, lazy as they are, came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea: Instead of finding green projects to finance (that create good quality green jobs and help with the struggle to reverse the damage we have inflicted upon the environment), they will use the monies to… expand the airport – to cement over the adjacent wildlife reserve – to eradicate the flamingoes so that more jets can fly frequent flyer humans in and out.

Against this alliance of idiotic evil (Spanish government, Catalan government and business ‘interests’), only one institution is standing tall: Barcelona’s City Council. Progressives must support them. If the City Council loses this battle, humanity loses. And if the City Council wins, municipalism will have demonstrated that it is probably humanity’s, and the environment’s, last resort.

Read also The Guardian’s relevant report here.