This content is part of the new digital section of the museum called VIRIDITAS, created to offer the public a tool to enrich their gaze towards the climate change.
Since moving in, I have left this house where I am now writing these lines only for two substantial periods of time. The first was for a research trip to Guangzhou, China. In the wet season it rains so much that the water rises and floods out of the manholes. The second absence was for an internship in Edinburgh, Scotland, where for four months it hardly rained at all. Today I no longer feel any need to separate myself from this house, and I intend to remain here as long as I live. In spite of the sacrifices it has required, and those still to come, my companion and I are happy to be here. These four walls represent our ideal of a simple, secluded life, but we are also aware of the risks we are running. With global warming, the melting of the glaciers and rising waters, in the decades to come the Adriatic Sea will gobble up a portion of the Po Valley. Already in the second half of this century, right here in this house, we might find ourselves facing the sea, or sinking into a swamp. As I write this I glance at the garden, and I am reminded of an aphorism of Conrad that often recurs in my thoughts: “How do I explain to my wife that when I look out the window I’m working?”. That’s a good question, old Joseph. I too look outside, and wonder how I will tell my family that in the worst of all possible scenarios we may have to abandon this oasis of peace one day.
Alessio Giacometti is working on a PhD in Sociology of Science and the Environment, and is also a freelance journalist. His writings have been published in Il Tascabile, the MEDUSA newsletter, Zanichelli – Aula di Scienze, Le Macchine Volanti, Singola and other magazines.