If someone who knows nothing about us, let's say an alien from a galaxy a million light years away, heard the speeches made by our leaders, they would think that this is the most ecological country with the biggest commitment to fighting climate change on Earth. Then of course, they would land here in their space ship and realise within five minutes that it's all talk, a climate show that looks good and eases (guilty) consciences. The list of examples from all levels of administration is endless, but it's the central government we're looking at this week as calls increase for the Costa's 'cercanías' trains to run through the night.
Our cousins in Madrid look very smart at world climate summits waving their lists of Spain's achievements against global warming. Then they come home and do the opposite. How can they explain having an environmentally friendly means of transport such as the train, which takes traffic off the roads, and not letting it run through the night despite a clear demand? What would the increase in costs be compared to the benefits, both financial and in the form of a reduction in emissions and the risk of road accidents?
This week we're not even asking for the line to be extended to Marbella, as it really ought to be; we just want what we have already to be used fully. One train an hour through the night would be enough, even just at weekends when more people are out at night.
The image of tourists with their cases outside a closed airport station is disgraceful, as is the fact that when the passengers on the last high speed AVE get to Malaga they find they can't continue their journey along the coast by train, even if they've paid for it in their ticket: the last train for the Costa left ten minutes earlier!