BAD START AND GREAT END
We are almost finishing this tour to Andalusia in electric motorcycle, but attention is still required. As in great adventures, and just as in all the minimally complex things in life, you should never relax because then is when problems arrive.
We had planned a simple stage because we had to be in Cordoba soon to be able to meet with representatives of the city council, who expressed their interest in receiving and supporting this project institutionally. But when leaving the hotel in Jaen, we discovered that Manu’s bike was punctured and that meant a precious time that in our conditions would not be so easy to recover. Fortunately, if we had to choose a moment and place to have a tire puncture, perhaps it would have been this: being in a city, on a working day, and before a stage without not too many miles to go. But it is clear that we had started the day badly.
But this bad start, had prepared some surprise for us, because it allowed us to experience once again to the extreme the generosity and good vibes of the Andalusian people.
We arrived at the tire shop with a huge queue of customers for being early on Monday and having had problems during the weekend. The mechanic said that we would probably have to leave the motorcycle to pick it up at noon, which is not feasible for our travel plan. We went to talk to the manager, and explaining him the purpose of our project, we got the first into the waiting list and in less than an hour we had the bike ready. In addition they made a quick checking of our bike… somehow they wanted to be part of the project and the objectives we pursue.
On the way to Cordoba we made the most of our autonomy to try to arrive with a single stop for charging, and we reached a small town that did not even appear on the map: “Cañete de las Torres”, finding the only bar in town called, of course, “BAR LAS TORRES”. We spent two and a half spectacular hours there. The bar was a parade of people from the town who were interested in seeing the electric motorcycles, and that everyone wanted to consult, to make jokes, and to have a discussion about the subject. It was fun, interesting and very special. It is one of those magic villages/bars that one would always want to find on a trip to find authentic people. We left the place very happy… and the surprise was that not only they had invited us to plug, but they did not want to charge us anything of our consumption. From here we thank you both for inviting us and for the gift of good vibes and human warmth that the Bar Torres from Cañete de las Torres gave us… we will be back, friends!
Without time to make any photos or videos along the way, we arrived in Cordoba in time for our appointment at the city hall. Again, another curious situation. Our meeting was at 7:30 p.m. and there was hardly anyone in town hall. The local policeman who opened us did not know anything about our meeting and told us that the person we were asking was no longer there and had no notice of our visit. He looked and called some people, and no one had a clue. We began to think that we had run all day to get to a meeting and that they had forgotten us or there would be some misunderstanding, but we asked the local police to let us wait a little while and see if the right person appeared. And indeed, at 7:40 p.m., the environmental delegate from the City of Córdoba arrived.
We had a magnificent debate about the great challenge of managing a city of 320,000 inhabitants that receives one million tourists a year. Amparo Penichi was passionate about sustainability and the improvement of people’s life. It was not a career policy with ambition to thrive in it, but a person with sincere desires for public service. We learned a lot from municipal management, from constraints, from political and regulatory power capacity, and from the need to plan long-term energy policies to achieve minimum good results. And we were also able to contribute our knowledge and advice on electric mobility, renewable energies and global sustainability policies.
We thought that we would find a politician to use that only wanted to be photographed with two strange guys who were going around Andalusia, and that meeting became one of the most quality moments of the whole trip. The complicity between the delegate of the environment was such that, when she finished, she took her bicycle, with which she always moves through Cordoba, and accompanied us to know the authentic city guided by her. And as it could not be otherwise (we are in Andalusia), we ended up in a tavern taking wine and dinner all three.
INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND COMMON INTEREST
One of the points of debate that we had with the delegate of the environment was the balance between the private and the public, and the freedom of each person to move or use energy as he wanted, and the need to make a policy of common interest for the common interest. Both water and energy are or should be factors that everybody should have access to, and at the same time regulated there should be a commitment of all so that the individual activity does not harm the common interest
It is not an easy debate, and at the same time it is key to make the reflection both ethical and political to decide starting points that allow to establish a strategy.
To get good answers to the energy challenges (both in energy use and production), it is necessary to ask good questions. If we are only advancing by the needs of the moment, we will not question the essential and we will end up arriving at a place that will be a disaster and that will be very difficult to modify. Some questions just as an example:
- What is first, my freedom to transport myself as I want, or the freedom of all to breathe clean air?
- Should we invest (and subsidize) clean energy when economic resources are scarce and there are other cheaper options?
- What is a priority, economic growth or the health of people and the environment?
- Why in an educated population in a developed country all have clear that it is necessary to be sustainable, but nobody gives importance to it when making important decisions in his life, in his vote or in his habits of consumption?
- To move to a more sustainable society, do we have to step up or take a radical leap?
- Do the citizens of today or of this particular moment have more right to live well than the citizens of the future or the other species of the planet?
- Why is the human species, which theoretically is the most intelligent on the planet, destroying it?
We just wanted to point out some questions that we are getting both inside our helmets while we debate through the intercoms during the long driving hours. We live in a hurry, and when you get in hurry, what is urgent does not give space to what is important. But the world is going very fast, and it seems that asking big questions to philosophize, is not cool. But only by doing that process and getting to think deeply (philosophizing) about the big issues, we end up impacting on the morality of society, and that is where regulations, habits and votes come out to be able to make a society prosperous and sustainable. Because if we do not, we will not be sustainable, and if we are not sustainable, there is only one other option: to be UNSUSTAINABLE. And that seems to us a bad end to the film of the civilization that we have built, and to the planet that welcomes us.
We are here, driving electric, to do our small part of fight against this possible unsustainable future.