I was going to start by saying this was a sort of non sequitur post – but, I guess they really all are. The subject probably seems to come out of nowhere and doesn’t relate to whatever you were thinking about.
In this case I, at least, have been thinking about Venice … and what constitutes science fiction. No, really!
The city is known for its beauty and art and for water. The iconic image of a gondolier navigating the liquid streets is both romantic and a hint of a very serious problem. Water levels are rising. A century ago the “dry” streets and squares would flood 10 times a year. By 2004 that had increased to 60↑.
Salt water is not good for the health of the infrastructure of this old and valued landmark.
I can still remember watching a tv programme, back in the 70s or 80s, discussing both the size of the problem and possible solutions. These proposals for addressing the issue seemed outrageous to me. Both the scale of what was required and the imaginative science that were suggested exemplified what we now refer to as “out of the box”.
One plan was so seemingly bizarre that I never forgot it.
When news reports were discussing some recent floods in the city they mentioned the solution that has been under construction since 2003. It is, of course, that one project I never forgot. If you’re curious about what they’re doing you can read the wikipedia description↑ or watch this video↑. The latter is much easier to understand and contains some images very similar to those that I remember in the documentary. What I considered science fiction is supposed to be a completed reality in 2014.
If you’re not interested in giant engineering projects, you could just go visit Venice↑ on the grid. Tier may be high, but it’s nothing like the billions being spent to protect the real world version. :)