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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is Not Adaptation (Or is It)?

Venice, a city well known for periodic flooding, has outdone even itself, with the most recent acqua alta ranking as the fourth highest tide since 1872. The inevitable prospect of more frequent and more extreme flooding in a changing climate does not necessarily bode well for the city (unless it goes the way of Seattle and simply abandons its ground floors). On the other hand, by now the city appears to be prepared to cope with such events by simply taking it on the chin. There's a flood warning system not to mention the now infamous raised wooden platforms that allow people to remain high and dry (although in this situation the flood water were apparently too high for even this management technique). It seems that getting one's feet wet may soon become an unavoidable aspect of a romantic trip to Venice, but not if the £3.7 billion Moses Flood Barrier currently under construction has anything to say about it. Should that project be completed (rumour has it that it's short of funds) and proves successful, it will certainly rank as an impressive technical solution to a problem centuries in the making.

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