Venice is Sinking

Allegedly founded in 421 AD by a Celtic tribe known as the Veneti, Venice was the main trading hub (especially of slaves) of the known world for centuries until its long slow but sure decline after the centre of gravity shifted from the eastern to the western section of the Mediterranean in the early 15th century. When large amounts of gold entered the Iberian penisula from the newly discovered American continent, Venice found itself at the fringes of the Medival world[1].
The city was built on top of wooden pylons, called the 'upside down forrest', driven into the silt of a tidal swamp at the mouth of the Po River, subsidence (a gradual downward settling of the bottom) was inevitable. Large heavy stone buildings were built on mud, what could go wrong?

The slow-motion sinking of the city was exasperated further in the nineteenth century by many of the early industrial projects that occurred at the time, such as offshore piers and the railroad bridge to the mainland, which all disturbed the sea floor and tidal cycles in ways that made the city more vulnerable to flooding.

Then in the Twentieth-century, local industry made things even more dire by extracting massive amounts of groundwater from the aquifer beneath the lagoon, a situation that lasted for nearly 50 years before the government stopped the practice in the 1970s, but not before the city had sunk by roughly nine inches.
So, Venice has been battling rising water levels since the fifth century. But today, the water seems to be winning. Several factors, both natural and man-made, cause Venice to flood about 100 times a year (usually from early October until late February), a phenomenon called the Acqua Alta ('High Water').

Although tides are minuscule in the Mediterranean (the narrow, shallow Adriatic Sea has about a three-foot tidal range), when a storm approaches the city, the wind pulls the surface of the water up into a dome, causing a surging storm tide, which in turn causes flooding in the city.

Therefore, nothing has changed: the city keeps sinking (at a rate of one to three millimeters per year), while the height of the tides remains the same.

Yet politicians,  scientists and media all try to convince us that we are to blame, because 'we' are causing global warming and thus the rise in sea levels. That's the reason Italians must have to pay more and more for their failed and doomed project MOSE ('Moses') to rescue Venice.

[1] Peter Frankopan: The Silk Roads - 2015

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