But San Sebastián is far from being an isolated case in risking economic depletion from mass tourism. Along with Venice, Barcelona, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca and many other southern European cities, San Sebastián is now part of a network fighting for a more sustainable model of tourism and ultimately working for a perhaps surprising common goal: the opposite of growth.
But it will be a tricky job convincing the public that modern nuclear plants are the answer to Britain’s energy worries, given that there are buildings in Sellafield filled with “appalling radioactive crap”, as one senior nuclear physicist put it, and which will cost tens of billions of pounds to clean up.
The site has become the biggest, and mostly easily waved, stick in the armoury of the green movement. As one senior employee admitted: “If you want to object to anything nuclear, you just have to point to Sellafield.”
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Punkt MP01: peculiar and appealing. Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose/The Observerpunkt.ch, £229
The phone that ignited this debate is something of an absurdity. Its unique selling point is that it does nothing but ring people, text people and wake you up, yet it costs a small fortune. One of the foremost attributes of a dumbphone is that it doesn’t matter much if you drop it in a puddle or render it up to a thug at knifepoint, whereas the Punkt is a design accessory. I was expecting to dislike it on these grounds, but strangely I didn’t, because despite its paucity of features it is both peculiar and appealing. The trigger-happy predictive text, for example, is efficient, while the ringtones are cheerful and accurate simulacra of birdsong. More than that, it feels wonderful in the hand, only to be imperceptible in the pocket. Just how a phone should be.
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Among the downsides of using a pulse oximeter at home, says Ungerleider, is the potential for increased anxiety as a result of frequent checking. Worse, though, is the possibility that you’ll ignore physical symptoms that are accompanied by a normal-appearing oxygen level. Regardless of what your pulse oximeter shows, she says, “you should still call your healthcare professional if you have severe shortness of breath, chest pain, unrelenting cough or high fever”.
4.34pm “If Paul Walsh is such a great judge of a stinker (4.20pm),” begins Mac Millings, “how could he have grown this hairy abomination?” Hoo hoo that’s a gem, a full-on Chewbacca. Actually, looking at it again, that’s Killer Bob from Twin Peaks, isn’t it.
Do I need to get one?If you haven’t been diagnosed with Covid-19, or aren’t suspected to have it, home pulse oximeters “aren’t necessary”, says Shoshana Ungerleider, an internist at Crossover Health in San Francisco. This is particularly true if you’re not experiencing coronavirus symptoms, such as trouble breathing, severe cough or chest pain, and haven’t established a baseline.
Tourism already musters the biggest share of local GDP and the tourist monoculture is prioritised under the guise of creating jobs and wealth; the red carpet rolled out to welcome any business connected to it. Yet, as the philosopher Marina Garcés points out, tourism is an extractive industry, commodifying common resources – neighbourhoods, squares and streets – and nuevo teclado tfue turning them into assets for private exploitation, while often dispossessing the people who give these spaces meaning by living in them. Entire neighbourhoods gentrify in order to host either the tourists or wealthier inhabitants.
How tourism is killing Barcelona – a photo essay Read moreProtests against mass tourism first erupted during the summer of 2017 and the movement keeps growing. These spontaneous demonstrations by people claiming the right to inhabit the city have helped broaden social awareness of the issue. This has in turn spurred the authorities to take action, with, for example, a tourist tax proposal, implicitly accepting that overtourism is a real problem for the city.
They do, fortunately, have a plan. In a few years, vast metal-cutting machines will be brought into Sellafield and used to slice into the sides of the B41 silo before mechanical grabs pull out and sort through its contents. Then this radioactive debris will be mixed with liquid glass and allowed to solidify, a process known as vitrification, before it is kept for subsequent storage in underground vaults. Isolating this material will be immensely difficult, however: B41 will have to be covered and sealed to ensure no leakage of radioactive material. At the same time, the giant cutting machines employed to slice open the silo will have to negotiate the treacherous, tight concourses that separate Sellafield’s different buildings. These are lined with cabling, ducts and, most worrying of all, elevated pipes, called pipe-bridges, that carry radioactive liquid waste around the site. Damaging or opening up one of these could have disastrous consequences.