Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 30 Aug '10 07:17
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100827/cm_csm/322491

    Climate change: Will Russian heat wave prompt serious action from Moscow?
    The Christian Science Monitor

    By Anthony Giddens Anthony Giddens – Fri Aug 27, 10:14 am ET

    London – Will the heat wave and drought that have created so much havoc in Russia cause the leadership in that country to take climate change more seriously? The answer is important not only for Russia itself but for the world community. Russia is the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, behind only China and the United States.

    Until recently the Russian attitude toward the threats posed by climate change was cavalier to say the least. At an international climate change conference in 2003, then-President Putin said of global warming that “We would spend less on fur coats....” Russia endorsed the Kyoto Protocol but as a somewhat cynical act of Realpolitik on the part of all concerned. The United States had refused to sign up, and world leaders were desperate to reach the target number of signatories without which the whole endeavor would have fallen apart.

    As an element of the deal, Russia was put on track to gain membership in the WTO and also allocated a large number of credits for emissions reductions made, even though these resulted wholly from the closing down of antiquated industrial enterprises that had become uncompetitive after 1989.

    Naive viewMany in the Russian leadership believed that climate change would on balance be beneficial for Russia. It would open up the mineral wealth of the Arctic as the ice melts, create new shipping routes along the country’s northern coasts, and allow an extension of agriculture into currently infertile areas. Taking concrete action to reduce emissions, on the other hand, would hamper Russia’s economic growth.

    The disasters of this summer should have brought home the naivete of these views. They are a stark warning of what lies ahead if global warming is not held in check. Russia is highly vulnerable to the rising frequency and intensity of extreme weather that uncontrolled climate change will bring in its wake. This year the country has lost some 25 percent of its grain production.

    ...
  2. 30 Aug '10 07:18
    p.s., the odd insertion of "Naive view" is Giddens thinking out his outline, not my typo.
  3. 30 Aug '10 07:19
    ...

    Flooding will be a major problem in the future for coastal cities such as St. Petersburg, as will changes in the flow of rivers, storms, melting ice, and many other hazards.

    ...
  4. 30 Aug '10 07:27
    there'll be no more cold waves in Russias ... the babushkas can thank their lucky stars ...
  5. 30 Aug '10 18:11
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100827/cm_csm/322491

    Climate change: Will Russian heat wave prompt serious action from Moscow?
    The Christian Science Monitor

    By Anthony Giddens Anthony Giddens – Fri Aug 27, 10:14 am ET

    London – Will the heat wave and drought that have created so much havoc in Russia cause the leadership in that country to take clima ...[text shortened]... ing in its wake. This year the country has lost some 25 percent of its grain production.

    ...
    Save us Al Gore!!!
  6. 30 Aug '10 18:14
    Big Al's keeping his head down. wonder what he and Bill C talk about when they get together.
  7. 30 Aug '10 18:29
    The summer was extremely hot not only in Russia, but in most of Eastern Europe as well.
    But these countries spend a large proportion (2.5%, or something like that) of their GDP just to keep warm during winter, so they are not natural campaigners for emissions reduction and other measures against climate change. Although of course, global warming will have negative impact on them as well, both directly and indirectly, which will probably outweigh the benefits.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Aug '10 18:49
    Originally posted by kes29
    The summer was extremely hot not only in Russia, but in most of Eastern Europe as well.
    But these countries spend a large proportion (2.5%, or something like that) of their GDP just to keep warm during winter, so they are not natural campaigners for emissions reduction and other measures against climate change. Although of course, global warming will have ne ...[text shortened]... impact on them as well, both directly and indirectly, which will probably outweigh the benefits.
    How did you reach the conclusion that the negative impacts on Russia of GW would outweigh its benefits?

    I would think it would take a pretty exhaustive study to make that determination regarding a country with such a cold climate.
  9. 30 Aug '10 18:52
    well, Anthony Giddens says so.
  10. 01 Sep '10 13:54
    Originally posted by sh76
    How did you reach the conclusion that the negative impacts on Russia of GW would outweigh its benefits?

    I would think it would take a pretty exhaustive study to make that determination regarding a country with such a cold climate.
    Well, it's just seems logical to me: if the GDP of other countries will suffer because of GW, then so will Russia's (indirectly), because of the decreased trade with these countries. For instance, it may be able to extract more oil, but it will be cheaper because of the reduced demand.

    http://faculty.arec.umd.edu/jhorowitz/Paper4_4.pdf
    This report claims that one percent increase in temperature will lead to a 3.49 percent decrease in GDP per capita in the former USSR.