From the edge of climate change: Vice (mag) in Venice

A profile of Vice magazine (and its CEO Shane Smith) in The New Yorker concludes with this memorable scene. And yes, this was a report on climate change, from a believer in "environmentalism" — Smith.

We took a water taxi through the canals, past crumbling buildings and
water-stained walls, and arrived at San Marco just as the floodwaters
were rising. The area was swarming with tourists, and a narrow pathway
of raised wooden planks was threaded precariously through the square. As
the water rose, the tourists crossed the square on the planks,
shuffling in a long, two-person-wide line, like animals boarding Noah’s

“It’s fantastic,” Smith said, watching the tourists. He
began to talk about global warming. “Humans won’t do anything unless we
have a gun pointed to our heads. But I think this is it. I think we have
a gun pointed to our heads. It’s like, ’K, chaps, it’s time to fucking
fix it!”

Lombardi had bought Smith and his crew some plastic
waders from a souvenir stand. He and his cameraman put them on and
strode into the knee-deep water. Smith kept his hands in his pockets as
Fairman filmed. I waded a few feet behind. The water was filthy, and
occasionally a dead pigeon floated past. Someone was playing the piano
in a café at the edge of the square, and its tinkling sounds filled the
air. Smith began doing a little waltz in the water. He marvelled, “It’s
all eerily surreal.”

About halfway into the square, Smith stopped.
A few hundred yards away, he spotted the Bar Americano, which had a
foot of water inside but appeared to be open for business. Smith had an
idea. “You know what’ll make this a Vice story?” he called over his
shoulder. “We’re going to walk into a bar and have a drink!” The idea
had all the elements of a Vice feature—a collision of tragedy, hedonism,
and world-shaping events. Smith mused, with evident pleasure, “The
world is sinking, and we’re having a drink.”

He waded in the direction of the bar, and the cameraman followed. A tourist pointed and shouted, “CNN!”

Does make climate change sound kind of…fun. 
Milan and Venice 098
A pic from a traveler of Venice at high tide. Believe it or don't. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “From the edge of climate change: Vice (mag) in Venice

  1. Venice has sunk more than the sea has risen. Failing to report that makes this pure hype. A simple google search of “venice is sinking” would show that Venice sunk 120mm in the 20th century alone, compared to a sea rise of 110mm which is completely within normal rates of change on a planet with a mean temperature that is unstable by nature, with or without humans. Half the city is actually rising, while the other half is sinking due to groundwater being pumped out for use and plate tectonics.

    Report the whole story, or don’t be surprised when people start calling a one-sided one propaganda. Then again, wouldn’t want science to get in the way of typical Shane Smith hype.


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