Venice Flooded By the Highest Tides in 50 Years Right After the Veneto Council Rejected Climate Change Measures



Venice flooded

On Tuesday night, the lagoon city of Venice in Italy was struck by a tide so high that most parts of the city are currently flooded [1]. So far, an elderly man has lost his life in the disaster. This will be the first time since 1966 that Venice has been hit by a flood this serious. According to statements by the Italian government, the flood has peaked at 187 cm (73.6 inches). Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has made known his plans to declare a state of emergency in the city. 

Hundreds of homes, businesses, and public places have been ravaged by the catastrophic flood. The amazing Gritti Palace, a luxurious hotel in Venice that has received royals and dignitaries from all around the world has been hit desperately hard. St Mark’s Square was especially affected because the Basilica is situated at a low point in the city. The Veneto regional council located in the Grand Canal was not spared from the destruction either – and the chambers began to take in water while the council still sat in session, right after rejecting a climate change policy bill.

On his Twitter status, Mayor Brugnaro attributed the unusually high tides to climate change, stating that the recent flooding is “a wound that will leave a permanent mark.”

The repercussion came too quickly

According to the Democratic Party councilor of the Veneto Council, Andrea Zanoni, the council had been debating the 2020 regional budget at the Ferro Finni palace when the flood began. 

“Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” Zanoni wrote on Facebook. 

Zanoni faulted the regional president’s poorly-equipped budget, stating that it included no concrete actions to fight climate change. The budget had mentioned imminent needs to fund renewable (clean) sources of energy, ban the use of air-polluting stoves and diesel buses, and of course, reduce plastic waste in the city.

The council is scheduled to sit again on Thursday and Friday at the Province of Treviso, a city within the region of Veneto. 

Clap back at Zanoni

The council’s president, Roberto Clambetti spoke in defense of Veneto’s council leader, discrediting Zanoni’s accusations in a statement to CNN. Clambetti insists the region works hard to combat climate-related problems, stating that they expended €468 million last year to tackle the Vaia storm.

“Beyond propaganda and deceptive reading, we are voting (for) a regional budget that spent €965 million over the past three years in the fight against air pollution, smog, which is a determining factor in climate change,” Clambetti said. “To say that we do nothing is a lie. We are a region that after the 2010 flood launched a plan to safeguard hydrogeological safety for a total cost of €2.6 billion, an exorbitant amount for regional finances.”

A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in his home as the flood-ravaged his building. The city is still assessing the extent of damage done by the flood and working hard to keep its citizens safe from water tragedies. Our prayers are with Venice in these trying times.

We must unite to fight it

Climate change is rapidly becoming the greatest threat facing humanity and modern civilization in recent times. It has bought about severe and possibly irreversible impacts on the environment and hundreds of the earth’s functional ecosystems. 

This November, in a report that left millions of people around the world terrified for the future, 11,000 scientists from 153 countries united to declare the world in a state of climate emergency [2]. Unless major transformations are made to global society, the world faces a close period of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis.”

Glacial ice loss and flooding are some of the most extreme impacts of global warming on the world. The global average temperature was recorded to have increased from 0.65oC to 1.06oC in the period from 1880 – 2012 [3]. In Switzerland, Greenland, Iceland, Croatia, Chile, Australia, and Alaska in the United States, flooding has become a regular disaster as monster glaciers are rapidly melting and becoming extinct in some of these regions. Aquatic life is heavily threatened as some of the species that thrive in the cold climates are migrating to locations not suitable for their survival.

Economic breakdown

Climate change has increasingly left its negatives impact on various world economies. As the demand for energy increases, power generation is becoming less reliable and stable. Although many countries are moving toward an era of clean, renewable solar energy and biofuel, we’re still a long way off. With human health endangered and productivity lowered, infertility and aridity of land for cultivation, loss of livestock due to diseases, drowning and unsuitable climates, several sectors of world economies could be badly affected and crippled under countless scenarios [4].

According to the paper by the 11,000 scientists, some of the most feasible and immediately-required policies for global transformation include replacement of fossil fuels and with renewable, clean sources of energy; reduction in the use of short-lived pollutants; encouraging the consumption of plant-based foods; revitalization of natural ecosystems and preserving wildlife; controlled exploitation of exhaustible natural resources and finally, the regulation of human reproduction rates.

  1. Gianluca Mezzofiore. Italian council is flooded immediately after rejecting measures on climate change. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/europe/veneto-council-climate-change-floods-trnd-intl-scli/index.html. Retrieved 15-11-19
  2. Ripple et al. World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency. Bioscience. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806?searchresult=1.
  3. Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers. The International Panel on Climate Change. https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf. Retrieved 15-11-19
  4. Renee Cho. How Climate Change Impacts the Economy. Columbia University. https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/06/20/climate-change-economy-impacts/. Retrieved 15-11-19

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