Venice-Area Council Votes Down Climate Action, Gets Flooded. Not With Angry Calls, Just Flooded
The Veneto regional council, the parliament for the region of Italy where Venice is located, voted against a number of measures intended to take action against climate change Tuesday evening. Literally within minutes, the council's offices, right on the Grand Canal, were partly submerged by the worst flooding to hit the city in 50 years. Around 10 p.m. local time, the council chamber in the Ferro Fini Palace started looking like a set from Titanic, but to the relief of all, without that damn song. Council member Andrea Zanoni documented the flooded chamber and meeting rooms on the Facebook:
Zanoni, a member of Italy's social-democratic Democratic Party, is deputy chairman of the environment committee, and wrote,
"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 went on to accuse Veneto regional president Luca Zaia, who is a member of Matteo Salvini's far-right League Party, of presenting a budget "with no concrete actions to combat climate change."
The rejected measures included funding of electric vehicle charging points, swapping diesel buses for cleaner, more efficient ones, and reducing plastic waste.
The president of the council, Roberto Ciambetti, a member of the League Party, complained in an email to CNN that Zanoni was totes unfair:
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 the statement.
"To say that we do nothing is a lie," Ciambetti said. "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."
Yes, yes, and Donald Trump says he wants "clean air."
The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, tweeted yesterday that the record high tides and flooding would "leave a permanent mark" on the city, adding, "Now the government must listen. These are the effects of climate change... the costs will be high." The BBC reports
St Mark's Basilica was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years, according to church records. Pierpaolo Campostrini, a member of St Mark's council, said four of those floods had now occurred within the past 20 years.
The mayor said the famous landmark had suffered "grave damage". The crypt was completely flooded and there are fears of structural damage to the basilica's columns.
Venice is behind schedule and over budget on a massive flood-control system, which started in 2003 and should have been finished in 2011. Also, there was bigtime corruption! It's possible that even when the system is finished, it won't be adequate to cope with accelerating sea level rise.
At least the entire country isn't run by idiots: Earlier this year, Italy became the first country to mandate climate education in all its public schools.
The Veneto Council isn't the only body that doesn't seem all that concerned about climate change, even in the middle of disaster. In eastern Australia, which is being devastated by wildfires, New South Wales government officials attending a conference on adapting to climate change were instructed by the state government to not mention links between climate and the fires.
Bureaucrats from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment were sent an email soon after the AdaptNSW 2019 Forum began, causing consternation among some attendees who saw it as tantamount to gagging them.
The email said: "For those attending AdaptNSW today, public affairs has issued advice not to discuss the link between climate change and bushfires.
NSW deputy prime minister John Barilaro, a member of the righty National Party, sputtered that it's just plain unseemly to talk about climate change in the middle of a deadly disaster made worse by climate change:
It is an absolute disgrace to be talking about climate change while we have lost lives and assets.
For any bloody greenie or lefty out there who wants to talk about climate change ... when communities in the next 48 hours might lose more lives, if this is the time people want to talk about climate change, they are a bloody disgrace.
Looks like the time-honored tactic of US gun humpers has made it across the Pacific: After a deadly shooting, you're a monster if you suggest guns are a problem. We thought Australia was immune to that kind of flummery. Sadly, we guess we were wrong.
As of yet, Australian rightwingers have yet to adopt the wisdom of American rightwing buffoon Dinesh D'Souza, who in August explained there's no such thing as global warming because just look at all the snow Down Under. Southern Hemisphere? What's that, another Deep State lie?
In conclusion, idiots are trying to be the death of us, but the kids aren't standing for it, so ... hope?
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