Beautiful music, exquisite views, but this gorgeous Venice travel video makes me nervous. The water is too high.

I wager, hundreds of years ago, Venetians needed to descend a short ladder to hop into the gondola moored at their house. In modern times, you hear that Venice is “sinking.” Is it really sinking, or is the sea level rising? Or both?

I turn to Duck Duck Go (search engine).

The bad news is that Venice is, indeed, sinking. Water used to be pumped from the ground, which was compacted by the many heavy stone buildings. The pumping has stopped but the sinking continues, if more slowly, due to subducting plate tectonics beneath the city. Finally, Venice is tilting as she sinks.

The other bad news is a sea level rise of five and a half inches since 1900. Venice is taking action with the flood prevention MOSE Project, which is a series of 78 inflatable gates at the bottom of the Venetian Lagoon. It should be operational by 2019. Unfortunately, when the gates need to be activated more frequently some decades in the future, it will cause the lagoon to stagnate and kill marine life (and most likely end tourism).

As the climate crisis descends upon us, the cost of disaster management will drain municipal coffers. At what point will Venetians give up trying to save their iconic city?

If Venice is on your bucket list, don’t postpone your trip for too long.

Climate Crisis Descending