from the world's big
85% of Venice underwater after worst flooding in 50 years
Venice's mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, said the city was "on its knees."
- About 85 percent of Venice was underwater on Tuesday, with water levels reaching more than 6 feet deep at some points.
- Venice's mayor said the unusually strong flooding was caused by climate change, estimating the damage to be in the hundreds of millions of Euros.
- Venice's MOSE engineering project aims to protect Venice from rising seas, but some say it won't help the city stay above water.
Severe flooding in Venice has left at least two people dead and the city in a state of emergency. On Tuesday, strong storms caused the tide to rise to its highest level in 50 years, flooding roughly 85 percent of the city in waters up to 6 feet deep at some points.
Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the city was "on its knees." In videos posted online, store windows are submerged underwater, people walk around in knee-deep water, and the flooding comes up to the turnstiles at St. Mark's Basilica, marking the sixth time it's flooded in 1,200 years.
More Venice flooding https://t.co/AYU8Hlmuun— Sylvia Poggioli (@Sylvia Poggioli)1573647831.0
Italian media reported that one man had been electrocuted while using an electric pump, and the body of a second man had been discovered.
Situazione drammatica https://t.co/gS63ZK2j3Q— Luigi Brugnaro (@Luigi Brugnaro)1573600956.0
Flooding is not a new phenomenon in the "city of water". In the past, the tides in Venice would regularly rise twice a year, in the late fall and early spring. (These periods are known locally as the "acqua alta".) But flooding has become more severe and more frequent in recent decades, posing an existential threat to Venice, which some climate experts predict will be underwater by the end of the century. (It also doesn't help that the city is sinking at a rate of one-fifth of an inch per year.)
⚠Anche oggi affrontando maree che segnano record negativi. Domani dichiareremo lo stato di calamità. Chiediamo al… https://t.co/P7S4nP9ZUX— Luigi Brugnaro (@Luigi Brugnaro)1573595230.0
Mayor Brugnaro said the flooding was caused by climate change, estimating the damage to be in the hundreds of millions of Euros. Italy's minister of culture, Dario Franceschini, said the government would provide funding to help preserve the Unesco world heritage site.
To save Venice from rising seas, the government has begun MOSE, a massive project that involves building mobile gates and barriers designed to temporarily isolate the lagoon city from the nearby Adriatic Sea during high tides. Brugnaro suggested that, if completed, the project would have softened the blow from this week's flooding, a position he also expressed after a 2018 flood.
"We need resources and clear ideas," he said. "For now, MOSE is a ghost. We want to see it finished."
But critics of the project, one of the largest civil engineering pursuits in the world, have expressed concern about corruption charges, design flaws, and environmental costs. The project is expected to be operational in 2022."Built centuries ago on tiny islands, the city has always been subject to flooding," said NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. "An ambitious project of movable undersea barriers called MOSE is yet unfinished due to cost overruns and corruption scandals. Experts say once completed, it will be insufficient to deal with rising sea levels."
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.
- The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
- Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
- The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Seriously sustainable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDIzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjM4NTMzMX0.BCEfYnn6C3z1zUHIS38xOWjXktgamNBi5iyqklSMYK8/img.png?width=980" id="ea524" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50533380eeb18eb5833b6b6aa3abec38" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂ from air using <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90356326/we-have-the-tech-to-suck-co2-from-the-air-but-can-it-suck-enough-to-make-a-difference" target="_blank">carbon-capture technology</a>, and then combines it with water, nutrients and vitamins, using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner <a href="https://www.fortum.com" target="_blank">Fortum</a> to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.</p><p>When the company claims its single-celled protein is "free from agricultural limitations," they're not kidding. Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather.</p><p>The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption. (The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.) They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.</p><p>And let's not forget all those <a href="https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper" target="_blank">beef-free burgers</a> based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity. The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein — the company could provide companies that produce animal-free "meats," such as <a href="https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/" target="_blank">Beyond Meat</a> and <a href="https://impossiblefoods.com" target="_blank">Impossible Foods</a>, a way to further reduce their environmental impact.</p>
The larger promise<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDI0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjU4MTg2OX0.7dZZYT5WEV_EupBuLVFwHynarTiz8RYR9aJtC6Ts2C4/img.jpg?width=980" id="3415d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e6eebe06d795f844752f9e9d30040d7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>The impact of the beef — and for that matter, poultry, pork, and fish — industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and antibiotic-resistant illness. From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land, to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants, to the disruption of the marine food chain, to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals, it's been disastrous.</p><p>The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have, CO₂ and sunlight, <a href="https://solarfoods.fi/environmental-impact/" target="_blank">gets us out of the planet-destruction business</a> at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable, long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.</p>
Solar Foods' timetable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MTEzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5OTU1OTMwMn0.wnXh56iO_77x2XKV2uIPf78BKw4AJLUpmiyq_JBVGvo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=172%2C146%2C62%2C135&height=700" id="0297c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="125c9a98ec818f5c241fa28ef1423e67" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Lubsan / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.</p><p>The project began in 2018, and this year, they anticipate achieving three things: Launching Solein (check), beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU, and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.</p>
The protein powder Solein. Image source: SOLAR FOODS
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