Today, with the help of Google Maps, we’ll look at the city of El Ejido in Spain.
See those white rectangles? Those are, technically, green houses, though they’re not much like the greenhouses you’d see at a garden nursery. Google Street View reveals they look like this:
They’re little more than plastic and metal piping. In 2000, an article in The Economist called them “plastic awnings to intensify the sun's rays.”
Here’s one zoom level higher. Notice the scale of those structures.
There are so many of them.
Zoom another layer out, there are still more.
And still more…
And they don’t just cover that little nub of land, either. Zoom out further, and you’ll see they branch into the surrounding countryside.
And switching to NASA’s Blue Marble imagery, here are El Ejido’s greenhouses against the tip of Spain and the northern coasts of Morocco and Algeria.
And here’s the entire Iberian peninsula, back in Google Earth. You can still see El Ejido’s greenhouses.
And here’s the entire continent:
Look down and find that tiny nub on the southern coast of Spain: That patch, as white as the Alps, is a set of manmade structures. Those structures are made of plastic and metal piping, the kind of materials you could find at a local Home Depot. It’s just thousands of these:
Which, from the ground, look like this:
And—accumulated by capital and climate change—come together into something which can easily be seen in an image thousands of miles tall by thousands of miles wide.
Via Charlie Loyd.