In an ironic twist of events, a council palace was flooded right after failing to take measures in the climate crisis.
It was a fairly normal Tuesday night at Ferro Fini Palace in Venice, Italy, when Italy’s right-wing party rejected action on the climate crisis. The council voted against all proposed measured: funding renewable energy, replacing diesel buses with less polluting ones, and scrapping pollution stoves. There was no room in the regional budget for any of these things, the council decided, and then adjourned.
But around 10 PM, the floods that would bring Venice to its knees also invaded the Ferro Fini Palace. Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni detailed the events in a Facebook post, also publishing photos of the flooded rooms.
“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, who is deputy chairman of the environment committee, said in the post, which also has photographs of the room under water.
“There is no more meaningful image than a chamber being flooded, causing the representatives of the Venetian people to flee, to illustrate all the inconsistency and political nullity of a current miserable administrative led by the League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia,” he added.
The blamed council members rejected Zanoni’s accusations, saying that they are doing a lot of work to limit flooding.
After a couple of devastating days which killed two people and flooded numerous historical landmarks, Venice has been hit by a new high tide of 154cm (5ft) — putting about 70% of the city underwater.
‘This is result of climate change,’ the Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said in a statement. “Now the government must listen,” he added. “These are the effects of climate change… the costs will be high.”
Brugnaro may very well be right. While linking climate to individual events is rarely possible, rising temperatures are causing sea level rise, and they are shifting flooding patterns.