At the upcoming international climate conference in Cancun the Europeans won’t be the ones calling the shots. But the environmental debate that has been taking place over the past few years has had some results.
For example, the Spanish government has stepped in to save an important nature reserve from drying out. Five years of extreme drought had completely dried out the marshlands of Tablas de Daimiel. The reeds were dessicated, the birds silent. The national park, a unique stopping-off point for migratory birds between Africa and northern Europe, was at death's door. Then at the eleventh hour, help came from Madrid. The Environment Ministry installed water pipes in record time -- a complicated step that was sorely needed. The underground peat deposits had already begun catching fire.