The waters are finally receding in Venice and the cleanup begins.
A series of record-high flood tides in recent days inundated 70 percent of the city.
St. Mark’s Basilica has been flooded six times in 1,200 years.
Four of those have happened in the last 20 years.
The local mayor is unequivocal.
The floods, he says, are caused by climate change.
“We need scientists here.
They need to come here and create a permanent place where they can study
and then recount what is happening here because of climate change with all its effects.
Venice is a frontier.
We are in the trenches.
We are the frontline trench of the world.”
Not all Venetians agree.
Regional lawmakers rejected a plan to tackle climate change last week.
Just after the debate ended, the room they were meeting in flooded.
The government hopes to complete a flood barrier by 2021.
Venice could suffer more catastrophic floods before then.
Most scientists say the increasing frequency and intensity of floods is part of man-made climate change.
“It’s difficult to attribute individual events to climate change.
But I think we can see a really strong signal of the effects of climate change.
So, with Venice, for example, we know that sea level is rising because of increasing temperatures.
Warm water, ocean water is expanding.
Sea levels are going up.
So, we know that the risk of coastal flooding and coastal areas,
particularly around Venice as at the moment. And it’s increasing.”
16,000 kilometers away, the skyscrapers of Sydney were shrouded in smoke Tuesday
as nearby bush fires raged out of control in Australia’s state of New South Wales.
Over five hundred homes have been destroyed and four people have been killed.
“The sort of conditions that enable wildfire faster to really get going are increasing with climate change.
Temperature is increasing, then when it’s dry, the air becomes even drier as temperatures increase because the humidity goes down.
So, the conditions that are ripe for wildfire are becoming more and more common.”
Australia’s Conservative government has criticized those linking the fires to climate change
as the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies, prompting anger from opponents.
“This government has had every opportunity to minimize the risk of these catastrophic fires and instead it has chosen to pour fuel on the fire.”
As with preceding years, 2019 has seen climate records broken with startling results.
Scientists warn the world is moving far too slowly to tackle climate change,
so disasters like this are becoming more common across the globe.