Global climate change means “we’ll spend less on fur coats,” Russian President Vladimir Putin quipped in 2003.
But increasingly, Russia’s official stand on global warming seems to be: Why worry?
While global concerns about climate change conjure images of melting ice caps, submerged cities and massive droughts, some Russian experts are hailing global warming as the answer to Russia’s prayers.
As the long and dreary Russian winters become balmier, billions of dollars will be saved on heating and there will be fewer cases of depression, says Vladimir Klimenko, a professor at the Moscow Energy Institute, whose lab is funded by the state-run oil and gas company.
Agriculture ravaged by the cold and 70 years of Soviet collectivization will blossom, and watermelons could grow in Moscow, he said.
If you think our EPA is corrupt, check out what the Russian version thinks…
“For our great northern country, I don’t today see any imminent problems for the next 100 years at least,” said Konstantin Pulikovsky, who heads of Russia’s environmental regulatory agency.
Because you, know… nothing happens after 100 years. At least for us, let our great grand kids worry about that, bring on the longer growing season!
Dramatic Climate Change is going to screw us all up. Some areas will ride things out for the better for a while, I have no doubt people in Siberia will enjoy the warmer temperatures- at least until their homes fall into the melting permafrost and their are overrun with mutant mosquitoes- but over all things would get chaotic and messy. Our money, transportation, food, energy, and political networks are all based on access to cheap fossil fuels and they would breakdown in the event of the constant din of disruption that would come from a big swing (in either direction) in the temperature of the planet.
There are a few Russians who know what’s going on…
“Because of drought, we’ll lose a major part of the most productive soil of Russia,” said Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy department at Greenpeace Russia. “As a result, Russia will receive millions of climate migrants — farmers that can’t work anymore.”
Melting permafrost could destroy Russian cities above the Arctic Circle. Icebergs that break off from arctic ice sheets because of higher temperatures will make it difficult to exploit oil and gas reserves. And any money saved on winter heaters could be needed for air conditioners if summers heat up.
“We think Russia will lose more than it gains, like the whole planet,” Chuprov said.
Meanwhile, the Russian parliament is debating whether global warming exists.
At least on that front, the Russian parliament is on par with the U.S. Congress. It’s good to know that we have such capable leaders in these troubled times.