The Venice city council chambers flooded Wednesday evening after a vote on the climate crisis. (Photo: Andrea Zanoni/Facebook)
By Eion Higgins
Common Dreams (11/14/19)
It seemed like divine intervention—or at least the hand of Gaia.
Minutes after the Venetian city council voted down a resolution addressing the climate crisis Wednesday, the council chambers were filled with water for the first time in history, the result of unprecedented flooding in the city due to the highest tides in 50 years.
“Mother Nature does a mic drop,” tweeted software developer Denis Õstir.
As Common Dreams reported, Venice is currently suffering through intense flooding that observers have tied directly to the climate crisis.
“From north to south, Italy has been impacted by a series of extreme climate events,” Greenpeace Italy said Wednesday. “What’s happening in Venice is a powerful example. This is not just ‘bad weather,’ this is a climate emergency.”
Venetian Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni said in a Facebook post that the chamber in Ferro Fini Palace began flooding around 10pm local time.
“Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” said Zanoni.
Liga Veneta–Lega Nord’s Roberto Ciambetti told CNN in a statement that Zanoni’s accusations of inaction were false.
“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,” said Ciambetti.
Observers on social media noted the irony of the timing of the flooding.
“From the ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ department,” tweeted photojournalist Jordan Treece.
On Thursday, the Italian government declared a state of emergency in Venice.
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