Russian president Putin does not believe that industrial development has resulted in global warming.
While speaking to New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his views on global warming, stating it was a hoax, and just another attempt by the West to restrain Moscow from economic development.
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He further states that “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia”. Given that 57% of Russian economy is dependent on hydrocarbons exports, if the country moves towards alternative resources, the economy will be severely impacted.
On the other hand, a recent wildfire incident which blazed through the Siberia region is said to be the result of climate change and global warming. Scientists believe that these events would make the situation worse, as carbon released from such incidents is only adding to man-induced carbon emissions. Siberia’s wildfire of 2015 is considered to be the worst wildfire incident in history and if the current climate change situation persists, global warming is inevitable.
Vladimir Putin: Global warming a man-made phenomena
Putin has labeled global warming as made up and it is only being used as a tool to harm Russia’s economic growth. The ex-KGB chief also asked why if global warming is really endangering the ecological system, then why is the largest emitter of hydrocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons — the U.S. — so against environmentalists.
Furthermore, at the 2003 International Climate Change conference, Putin stated that his people would enjoy warm weather because then they have to spend less on fur coats and can focus on agriculture for a greater yield. He further added that “this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia”.
Putin says that it is totally against Russia’s national interest, as already the global economic conditions are unstable. In fact, the world economy is already in crisis and in such circumstances the Kremlin cannot afford to pursue measures that can slow down global warming.
Indeed, most of the policymakers within Moscow are of the view that Russia cannot simply shun its economic policies despite the thousands of research papers that have proven human influence behind global warming. Moreover, with the country’s economy already on the brink of recession due to oil glut in the market, Russia to diverge from its efforts to maintain economic growth.
Talking about the U.S. role towards a sustainable path for global development, Putin noted the American withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol which has been in effect since 2001. Despite being a signatory to the agreement, Congress refused to ratify it, pointing out the technical flaws in the resolutions that were made in the convention.
Various analysts have described Moscow’s policy as a matter of national interest. Due to global warming, polar icecaps have started melting rapidly, making the ice sheet thin enough to run exploring expeditions in regions around the Arctic that fall under Russian jurisdiction. Recent surveys have shown abundance of hydrocarbon reserves under the arctic sheet, worth billions of dollars.
Moscow to benefit from global warming
To take advantage of the aforementioned opportunity, it can be argued that that Moscow welcomes global warming as it will give it access to the treasure buried under the thick sheet of ice. That is the reason why Kremlin is singing a different song now to the one it lulled to in 2010 when Putin visited the Arctic where he stated that “the climate is changing,” but restated his doubt that human activity was the cause. It is clear that Moscow has prepared its machinery, waiting for right time to start drilling around the coldest untapped regions in the world.
Even educational institutions in Russia back the findings of Moscow’s government. According to their school and college level text books, the cause of global warming is solar activity and not the commonly accepted theory that the major cause is human activity.
Biology student Asya Korolkova in Moscow expressed her view about global warming in which she explained that Russia is not really feeling the effects of global warming.”I see what they have abroad on the problem of climate change, people there talk about it a lot; you can feel it’s a serious problem. We don’t have that here.”
However, despite the propaganda that Russia is not really feeling the heat, the impact of global warming is hitting other parts of Russia such as Siberia. Over the long run, Russia will be equally affected by global warming just as much as any other corner of the globe.