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|VENICE: A maritime power destroyed by maritime power - maritime power destroyed by maritime power|
|di James Maitland-Smith - inviato il 15/04/2004|
I have had the great good fortune to live in Venice for the past six years and, as I have married a Venetian, expect to be here for a long time.
For how many years depends on changes to the city’s economy and its interactivity with the lagoon.
If the position remains as it is today, just a few decades are left to the Venice the world recognises. I am not talking of the threat of ‘aqua alta’ or similar, but a phenomenon of a far greater dimension; environmental pollution.
This pollution affecting Venice is not that from the world at large, but specifically local. It can be seen in the increasing damage to the stonework and brickwork of Venice caused by sulphation. The principal culprit of sulphation and the sulphur fumes that cause it is the diesel engine.
Marghera, the industrial conurbanation on the mainland immediately opposite La Serenissima, contributes a relatively minor portion of this problem.
Vaporettos, water taxis and general diesel-based transport also contribute.
But the primary cause of these fumes are the enormous passenger and tourist liners which pass through the historic centre of Venice, tie up on the waterfront at the Maritime Station, and run their engines all the while they are there to generate power. Their sheer size looms incongruously over the city, but it is the damage caused by the fumes they emit, which flood the city in sulphur, damaging its fabric and reducing its historic stonework and brickwork to the consistency of chalk, which is much more threatening.
The videos and documentary evidence available on this site -http://OurVenice.org – show the damage effected so far on Venice.
This environmental mutilation is continuing and increasing. Please review the evidence, and perhaps question why these liners are allowed to enter the lagoon and to continue to burn bunker oil, the most unregulated and least environmentally friendly of any fuel used for transport. Should they be banned? Perhaps this site provides the answer. Venice needs an answer.
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