Shirtless climate activists in Rome smear themselves in mud to protest fossil fuel use, causing flooding

  • Half-naked climate activists covered themselves in mud to protest fossil fuel use and remind people of the dangers of flooding in Rome, Italy.
  • Severe flooding in northern Italy last week caused the deaths of 14 people and severe damage to property.
  • A series of high-profile public protests were staged by activists across Italy, including protesters who taped themselves to the glass cover of a Botticelli masterpiece.

Two shirtless protesters smeared mud on themselves outside the Senate building in Rome on Tuesday to protest fossil fuel consumption and remind people of the dangers of flooding linked to climate change.

Police quickly removed the two. Since last year, an activist group called “Last Generation” has staged numerous attention-grabbing events in Italy, including pouring black liquid into Rome’s Trevi Fountain and gluing it to the glass containing Botticelli’s masterpiece “Spring” in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery protects. to highlight the damage fossil fuels cause to the environment and their role in global warming.

Using mud, activists reminded people of last week’s severe flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, where 21 rivers burst their banks and hundreds of mudslides were triggered by a heavy concentration of downpours on parched land.

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Climate activists in the mud

Climate activists cover themselves in mud in front of the Senate building May 23, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)


The floods killed at least 14 people, destroyed farms and businesses, inundated homes and isolated hamlets, and resulted in the evacuation of 36,000 people.

Meteorologists and other experts said the flooding is part of a climate change phenomenon, which includes long periods of drought with extremely heavy and concentrated rainfall that parched terrain can’t absorb.

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