Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Italy is one of the countries most affected by climate change and Sicily is one of the areas most at risk of drying out and eventually becoming a desert, I read in La Sicilia yesterday [article not available online]. The island was, it is thought, at one time joined to Africa and at the Museo Archeologico di Siracusa you can see evidence that there were once dwarf elephants here.

The whole of Italy is now deemed to be an earthquake zone and southeastern Sicily is particularly at risk [information which cheers me up no end, as you can imagine]. I experienced an earthquake tremor here not long after Christmas and it was the oddest sensation: first of all the bookshelves attached to the wall creaked and I thought, "Oh, no, I've overloaded them and they're going to fall down". Then the room went sort of wavy - just like the opening to a dream sequence in a film used to be - and the walls seemed to shift and yet not shift. I immediately knew what it was, and kind Irma rang to ask if I'd been frightened. I hadn't had time to be, really, as it was over in seconds. The epicentre had been Athens, apparently. Linda says such tremors are common here and that you feel them more when you are inside than out and about.
Today we are officially allowed to switch the heating on, until mid-March. [In northern Italy the "switch-on date" was a month or so earlier. ] Every town has its own regulations about this and I wrote about them in my first article about climate. These limitations, we are told, form part of Italy's effort to combat global warming.


Anonymous said...

I'm from California originally and am familiar with earthquakes. When I was stationed there, my wife experienced her first earthquake. It was a big shock.

Anonymous said...

So is Italy taking climate change seriously? Is it worried about carbon emissions etc?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I'd say it is being taken very seriously here. They are discussing raising car tax, too.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Another controversial topic in the US! But where people used to complain that it doesn't really exist, now they only complain that we don't know for sure that HUMANS are causing it.

I say let's do what we can to reduce it anyway.

About earthquakes... we have lots of them down here!

Anonymous said...

The main problem here in Sicily is there are too many cars, on average two per household ! It does me good to get back to England once in a while to get my legs working again, ie using public transport, walking etc. Here in Catania my neighbough takes her car40 mtrs down the road to dump her rubish.......


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