Environmentalists ask, how can we build wavepools when there are people starving in Africa?
This story might be a little cold given the violence is a few weeks old, but the community of a farming town in north-west France remains torn apart by violent protests over plans to build an American Wave Machines pool that would be bigger than BSR’s in Waco.
Saint-Pere-en-Retz, home to four-and-a-half-thousand, was gonna get itself a seventeen-million American dollar tank, and charge fifty bucks an hour, but has been stymied by environmentalists who weep about the “destruction of the natural heritage and agricultural space, Co2 emissions and the water consumption.”
There have been street riots, cops with batons, pro-pool surfers rolling around in a gang of three tractors and fighting with farmers, old friends turning against each other (one man says he’s scared to leave his house), all sorts of thrills.
It’s been so visually pleasing for news organisations that for a brief moment it even knocked the gilets jaunes protests from French television screens.
A group calling itself Zap la Vague (Zap the Wave) says the joint is an “aberration”, “useless”, that one hour of artificial wave-making uses the equivalent of three weeks water consumption and three weeks electricity for a regular household and, anyway, surfers won’t go near the place.
“This project is absurd. Surfers love the contact with the elements. They will never go to a wave pool which is located only ten minutes away from the ocean,” said a spokesperson. “To its core, surfing is a prayer.”
While the future of the development remains in limbo, do you agree with the central premise of Zap the Wave?
That surfing is a prayer?
And that if you lived on a part of the coast where the waves, mostly, suck, you wouldn’t go near it?
While you ponder, here’s a song for any French speakers that asks another pointed question: how can we build wavepools when there are people starving in Africa and so on?