A major political analyst, Stanislav Belkovsky, has sparked shockwaves through the international community by claiming that Russian president, Vladimir Putin, doesn’t believe in global warming and thinks the whole idea is a monstrous fraud designed to hold back the economic development of certain key countries, in particular Russia. This is the reason, he says, why global warming is not on the agenda in the Russian media, or indeed, Russian society in general.
Of course Putin has form in this area. He has been quoted in the past making disparaging comments about the effects of global warming and is widely believed to think that the most significant effect of global warming on everyday Russians will be reduced expenditure on fur coats.
The Global Warming Threat
Russia has done its homework to assess the level of threat from global warming, which is why Putin is so sceptical of claims by climate experts that global warming is a problem for mankind.
What they found was interesting. Climate change is a cyclical thing. Over time, it is perfectly normal for the global temperature to go up and down and the role of mankind in this process is negligible. Andrey Illarionov, former economic advisor to Putin, was quoted as saying that the climate is enormously complicated and the evidence presented by experts doesn’t really uphold the view that global warming is something we can’t afford to ignore.
Russian Media Ignores Global Warming
The Russian media continues to ignore global warming; a stance that only serves to inflame other media agencies around the world. However, the Russian media has countered criticism from the likes of Reuters by pointing out that there is little merit in reporting on stories related to global warming when the Russian public is not interested.
Konstantin Simonov, founder of an oil and gas research fund agrees. He says the subject of global warming is not a priority in Russia. He says that ordinary Russians cannot be expected to show an interest in global warming after the West has piled on economic pressure and introduced sanctions on to Russia.
Obama and Global Warming
Meanwhile, Obama is leading the rest of the world in its efforts to combat the so-called effects of global warming. He introduced America’s ‘Clean Power Plan’, which set in train carbon pollution standards for power plants. He is currently in the process of putting forth an initiative to end public financing for coal fired power stations overseas, with other nations, including the UK and Netherlands following suit. Other global warming initiatives include reducing emissions from deforestation, combatting short-lived climate pollutants and expanding the use of clean energy.
Most people don’t expect Putin will change his mind about global warming between now and the United Nations climate summit talks scheduled for December. If anything he is more likely than ever to dig his heels in and refuse to engage. Besides which, he has enough on his plate with Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict escalating on a daily basis.