Russian government sees harsh evidence of global warming

While the U.S. remains embroiled in a mind-boggling feud over whether climate change is real, Russia has warmed up to the scientific evidence. “Everyone is talking about climate change now,” President Dmitri A. Medvedev told the Russian Security Council this month. “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

Russia’s leaders have usually played the role of obstructionists in global talks about climate change because they thought that combatting it would harm their economic growth (where have we heard that before?) and because they believed that they would benefit from a warming planet. The vast stretch of frozen-over Siberia, they believed, would turn into a pleasant region of moderate temperature, ripe for agriculture and development.
But this summer changed their minds. The costs of climate change have been horrendous. Russia has suffered a devastating drought, and they’re still struggling to put out wildfires. From McClatchy:

Russia’s heat wave, along with its disastrous fallout, finally may have persuaded the Kremlin to combat climate change.

Russian officials, who until now have resisted dramatic action out of fears it would dampen economic growth, lately have issued strong statements linking global warming to the emergency Russia is facing. Some hope the abrupt change of tune will result in more effective environmental policies, even after the smog dies down.

“There is no question that we need to get ahead of climate change,” said Vladimir Slivyak, a co-chair of Ecodefense, a grassroots Russian environmental group. “This is a wake-up call.”

The crisis, which seems to have taken the Kremlin by surprise, features a fierce and unremitting heat wave that’s now well into its second month, a drought that’s ruined as much as a third of the vitally important grain crop and a wave of seemingly uncontrollable wildfires that have blanketed half of European Russia, including the capital Moscow, in a cloud of smoke.

Russia’s state meteorological service said smog conditions in Moscow have eased from a Saturday peak, but the Ministry of Emergency Services warned that Moscow-region fires have tripled size in the past week, spreading from 65 to 210 hectares. Meanwhile, an average of 700 people are dying per day in Moscow, double the average rate, which health officials blamed on the smog.

“Our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week in a speech published in English on the Kremlin’s website. “We need to learn our lessons from what has happened, and from the unprecedented heat wave that we have faced this summer.

Russia isn’t the only place where the extremes caused by climate change are in evidence. Yesterday, The New York Times offered a round-up:

The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.

Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.

The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.

“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”

He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”

Theory suggests that a world warming up because of those gases will feature heavier rainstorms in summer, bigger snowstorms in winter, more intense droughts in at least some places and more record-breaking heat waves. Scientists and government reports say the statistical evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen.

Here in metropolitan D.C., in addition to a searing heat wave, we’ve enduring a summer of violent, freakish thunder storms that have downed trees, caused flooding and cost lives.

Do scientists have absolute proof the freakish weather has been caused by climate change? No. Does that theory best fit the facts? Yes.

520 comments Add your comment

Bratty1

August 16th, 2010
9:23 am

I thought annonymous unprotected gay sex in a bath house was the san francisco treat?

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
9:25 am

Homey D. Clown

That’s equally as goofy.

Markie Mark

Must be new here, I’ll be a real Granny for the first time in the next two weeks…..if fact sooner if #1’s urge to clean how her kitchen cabinets means what I think it means….

Other than that, the rest of your post is a bit of a angry rant.

Perhaps this will calm you.

From MMA

Titled “O’Reilly fill-in Williams provides platform for global warming misinformation
July 02, 2009 5:57 pm ET”

Moreover, Goldberg’s evocation of 1970s media reports about global cooling falsely suggests that the scientific basis for those reports is equivalent to the current scientific consensus on global warming. A September 2008 article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (a peer-reviewed publication) investigated the “pervasive myth” that “there was a consensus among climate scientists of the 1970s that either global cooling or a full-fledged ice age was imminent.” The article found:

A review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 shows this myth to be false. The myth’s basis lies in a selective misreading of the texts both by some members of the media at the time and by some observers today. In fact, emphasis on greenhouse warming dominated the scientific literature even then.

saywhat?

August 16th, 2010
9:29 am

Bratty, you forgot one on your list:

E.Sentient

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
9:30 am

Did I miss where Homey D. Clown gave us his word before he left?

ctucker

August 16th, 2010
9:30 am

T-Town, Droughts and famine happen everywhere. But Russia has recorded the highest temperatures it has ever had

ctucker

August 16th, 2010
9:31 am

Gordon, I think the opposite is true. On this site, more people seemed to be concerned about massive debt than climate change. Which has the worst consequences? Climate change

ctucker

August 16th, 2010
9:32 am

markie mark, I remember the years between 1978 and 1981 pretty well, and I remember no “screaming” that “we were in global cooling.” I think you’re making that up.

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
9:33 am

I thought…

Don’t think, meat; it can only hurt the ball-club.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:34 am

Since I’m a refugee from Bookman’s blog, I’m going to quote Jay, since he put it so well, some months ago:

“Our children will curse us to our faces.”

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:36 am

I remember the years between 1978 and 1981 pretty well, and I remember no “screaming” that “we were in global cooling.” I think you’re making that up.

He and every other wingnut who cries about it.

We heard some talk of “nuclear winter.” it was not part of the collective consciousness; it was popular-science type chatter at the time, as I recall it.

Mr Right

August 16th, 2010
9:38 am

Checked the record highs this past week and most of them were set way back in 1954. I guess that was the other round of global warming, wait, I think maybe the phobia back then was ICE- AGE.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
9:39 am

Yes Ms. Tucker, Russia may have had the highest temperature it ever recorded, but in my home town in 1978, we had the lowest temperature ever recorded and the most snow ever measure. The next 5 years we had normal winters. My point is just who do we believe? The left may say it’s raining and the right may say it’s sunny. I know if I stick my head out the window and it is getting wet, it’s raining. If I can’t see from all the glare, it’s sunny. If there is a whistling thru my ears, it’s windy. If I can’t see my hand in front of my face, it’s foggy. If the scientists can’t tell me what the weather will be next week, why should I believe them about years to come?

Mr Right

August 16th, 2010
9:39 am

“Our children will curse us to our faces.”

Maybe for the debt we are leaving them !

Mike

August 16th, 2010
9:40 am

Hey now, don’t forget, after this past winter the United States had snow on the ground in all 48 contiguous states for the first time in North American Almanac History. “Global Warming” just doesn’t fit the agenda of the Left. We’re now supposed to call it “Climate Change”.

Russ555

August 16th, 2010
9:41 am

There are plenty of reasons to clean up our environment and stop pollution. Climate change is only on of the reason. Dirty air to breath, toxic waste, dying oceans. Time to change.

Peerless76

August 16th, 2010
9:44 am

Environmental groups throughout the world have caught onto the Cap&Trade scam, Mrs. Tucker–what (besides Obama) is holding you up?

From The Corner House–A starting point for analysis is the largely unregulated “shadow banking system” that financial entrepreneurs have created over the past 30 years, not only to make huge profits for themselves but also to circumvent regulation and to offload risk onto others throughout the financial system. The system relied on the creative use of new financial instruments, particularly derivatives, that allowed financiers to generate easy credit by taking high risk bets while dumping the risks elsewhere.

As a result, they created “a wall of money” that fuelled a boom in corporate mergers and acquisitions across the United States and Europe, concentrating economic power in the process. Easy credit provided huge sums of capital for companies involved in mining, biofuels, private health care, water supply, infrastructure and forestry to expand their activities. When the bets went wrong, however, the pyramid of deals began tumbling down — and it is the public that will continue to carry the costs for many years to come.

This briefing paper explores and summarises:

* how the shadow banking system was constructed and why;
* the history of the derivatives, ‘hedges’ and speculation that underpinned this new finance;
* how derivatives are being used to get around banking, accounting, trading and public finance rules;
* the negative impacts on the ground even before the current crisis;
* recommendations put forward in the past few months on how to fix a broken system; and
* how best to seize the moment to pursue a different system that has a genuine public interest at its centre.

Buy a clue! You’re being had.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 16th, 2010
9:45 am

“Dirty air to breath, toxic waste, dying oceans. Time to change.”

You must be an elementary school teacher.

Realist

August 16th, 2010
9:46 am

Climate change! We have 4 climate changes here a year. It’s called seasons. Global warming wouldn’t work so now climate change. We can take care of our planet but we don’t need to go overboard. It’s summer, it’s hot duh!. In the seventies all I heard was ice age coming. Please people quit believing all the bs. They just want to tax us an re-distribute. They will have it where we struggle to pay our utilities but have the formula so we don’t qualify for help.I really don’t think God would let us destroy earth . He might but not us.

RambleOn84

August 16th, 2010
9:46 am

Full disclosure: I am not a scientist. I have a basic understanding of chemistry, moderate understanding of physics, and rudimentary understanding of biology.

The issue is not necessarily whether the world is heating, or even whether this warming is caused by man.

The issue is what do we do about it?

Taxing people who use the energy won’t help, because energy does not have elastic demand. What I mean by this is that people are going to heat their homes when it is cold and cool their homes when it is hot, not because they are greedy or wasteful, but because they are trying to keep their family safe and comfortable.

Likewise, I don’t drive my car for fun. I drive it work a job I hate because I HAVE to. Living closer to my job is not an option, because I can’t afford to. The options in and around Atlanta that fit my budget would not be conducive to family life; besides, my house is worth less than what I owe on it.

Cap-and-trade is just another in a long line of scams designed to bankrupt the common man and wipe out the middle class, so we will all be dependent on the ALMIGHTY GOVERNMENT.

Gordon

August 16th, 2010
9:47 am

Cynthia,

The probability of a disaster occurring must be taken into account when determining which disaster should be given the highest priority. A meteor striking earth would be far worse than the consequences of global warming, yet we don’t spend as much time worrying about it because the likelihood of it actually happening is very small. Not only are the effects of global warming very debatable at this point, the effect man has on global warming is even more debatable. Meanwhile, the disaster that is the U.S. fiscal policy is not in doubt, because we have seen the same thing happen over and over again in history. It is simple math, and the only question is when, not if.

The sad fact is this: even if global warming is a bigger threat than I and many others (including more and more climatologists) think it is, we have much more immediate problems to attend to.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:47 am

Maybe for the debt we are leaving them !

The first dozen or so trillion or the last trillion or so?

Because it seems the first dozen didn’t seem to matter so much to you when it was being piled up to finance billionaires’ tax cuts and oil wars.

Mr Right

August 16th, 2010
9:49 am

ctucker

August 16th, 2010
9:31 am

Gordon, I think the opposite is true. On this site, more people seemed to be concerned about massive debt than climate change. Which has the worst consequences? Climate change

Come on CT get real, in our lifetime and our children and their children the debt will have far greater consequences than G W. By the way you can do everything that the libs want to do about G W it will not change the tem. enough to make a difference and will only add to the deficit !

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:49 am

Shorter wingnuts, this thread:

But, but, weather!

RambleOn84

August 16th, 2010
9:49 am

stands for decibels,
And Obama has come along and ended all those awful wars, right?

Republicans and Democrats are one and the same…don’t fall for their lies

Top Priority

August 16th, 2010
9:51 am

Won’t post my link, huh? Let me try again but you’ll have to take out the spaces.

CT – you “think” he was making things up about global cooling. Don’t think, read:

h t t p:// w w w.e a r t h f r i s k.c o m/bl og/?p=199

It was a newsweek article and the NYT picked it up as well.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
9:54 am

Peerless76

The Corner House is as you know a British website….and while they don’t like cap and trade they so say this:

“The main cause of human-induced climate change is rapidly increasing carbon dioxide emissions — primarily the result of burning fossil fuels.”

Thanks for making our argument for us.

November Suprise

August 16th, 2010
9:55 am

Global warming in Russia? It has to be America’s fault or George Bussh’s! I have an idea! Tax the American Taxpayers (the 50% paying taxes) more. Great idea hugh Cynthia?

Soda Popinski

August 16th, 2010
9:57 am

Russia is my homeland. Very Cold there in winter

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:57 am

And Obama has come along and ended all those awful wars, right?

Has he started any new ones?

And are the GOP trying like mad to start a new one? (if you doubt this, I suggest you google this thing being called the “WTC mosque.”)

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
9:58 am

My point is just who do we believe?

golly, I dunno, maybe on the issue of climate we should listen to climatologists?

TaxPayer

August 16th, 2010
10:00 am

Global warming is only part of the bigger story regarding our planet and our misuse of its finite resources. The coal industry, however, loves to hide some of their other serious issues in plain sight by focusing on “global warming” any time someone discusses the use of coal to generate power or whenever cap and trade is mentioned or basically any time anything that would rob them of their profits during their life cycle is mentioned and cons are only too quick to fall for their tricks time and time again. Mercury in our fish from burning coal and heavy metals in our ground water from coal ash dumping, coal burning and coal mining. A toxic mess, all in the name of cheap power for the masses and huge profits for the likes of Massey and Peabody, et al. Thousands of tons of coal ash was even used to build golf courses and fertilize farm fields. Perhaps the people that have wrought this mess on us in the name of the almighty dollar are out enjoying a game of golf on one of those fields and planning on following that up with some fresh-caught mercury-laden fish for lunch even as I type this. I can only hope so.

RambleOn84

August 16th, 2010
10:01 am

The highest tax bracket for 2010 starts for people earning $373,000…think about this for a moment.

While that is certainly a large amount of money (more than 10 times what I make), there are people making one thousand times that much money, who are taxed at the same rate. Although actually that’s not true, because people making millions usually set up “foundations,” where they get to keep all but a small pittance and get taxed virtually nothing.

Now I do not agree with progressive tax in the first place; but if you were gonna do it, why would you stop “progressing” with people who make a tiny fraction of what the super-rich in this country make?

Because the super-rich make the laws for their own benefit. Lobbyists and other private interests run this country.

Cap-and-trade was their idea…do you honestly think it will benefit us?

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
10:02 am

Ok SFD, now just which ones, those that say we are or those who say we aren’t. I know you must have the answer.

retired early

August 16th, 2010
10:02 am

No need to worry, God is going to take care of the earth. He would never abandon all these precious born againers!!!
That’s why they don’t put much stock in anything scientific.
Don’t ya see.

RambleOn84

August 16th, 2010
10:02 am

He has not started any new ones YET…Iran is coming soon, as well as Pakistan…

And he didn’t end any either…but why should he be expected to keep a campaign promise?

GOP doesn’t matter, Democrats don’t matter…they are all on the same side… and against you.

Peerless76

August 16th, 2010
10:04 am

granny, that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. I’m in favor of pursuing alternative fuels, just not the tax scam being put forth to accomplish them. You, like Mrs. Tucker, are eager to buy what Obama and government funded scientists are selling. Even with alternative fuels, oil will always be a much needed staple. The world is dependent on the by-products of petroleum.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
10:04 am

ctucker – absolutely not….check the ABC news Archives of the time….Frank Reynolds was the nightly newscaster, and Peter Jennings was the foreign correspondant doing the reporting…

Colorado Bob

August 16th, 2010
10:05 am

Cynthia -
Add Nashville , western Arkansas , Amarillo, and Oklahoma City to your list. all broke All time rainfall records this summer . It rained 19 inches in 24 hours west of Nashville. 8 inches in less than 12 hours west of Little Rock, and it rained 7.62 inches at Oklahoma City, and 11.04 inches east of Amarillo.
All solidly Republican districts. Remember senator Inhfoe when one of these things parks it’s self over your house.

The Thin Guy

August 16th, 2010
10:05 am

For balance (an unheard of phenomenon for this blog) in Peru people are literally freezing to death as they experience one of the coldest winters in history. Yes we are all doomed. Global Warming is going to totally destroy the Earth. Six billion years from now the Sun will have completed its transition from its current status as a yellow dwarf to a red giant (no it’s not about Chinese basketball players). It will expand in size and swallow Mercury and Venus and perhaps the Earth. After a few billion years of being cooked like a pop tart in a microwave for 3 hours it will then collapse and become a white dwarf. There is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing you can do about it. And there certainly isn’t anything CT or The Gorbot can do about it.

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
10:06 am

“Our children will curse us to our faces.”

When they’re footing the bill for our debt? I bet they will. Hell, I would too.

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
10:06 am

Gordon and CT, my last post disappeared (climate change, or maybe the Patriot Act?). as I said, I don’t think the nature of the “threat” is the issue. EVERY “threat” tp humanity (save Gordon’s meteor) is “man made”. by nature, life is just a series of never-ending threats. and yet, a couple hundred thousand years ago, Zog left the security of the cave and confronted the threats (or “fears” and by “fears” I mean the Kamchack definition, which is realities of life, which are re-packaged and presented as fears, by both the LEFT and the RIGHT). as I neo-Carlinist, I don’t see “threats” as threats, if you know what I mean. the real THREAT is when a politician or “businessman” – and really, they’re the same because ALL politicians are beholden to business – I think most folks (left and right) resent the fact that the government (or the chicken little crowd) wants to charge a “cover” for the privilege of leaving the cave (to ensure homeland security, create a Great Society, save the planet, fight Communism, etc.)

Pennsylvanian

August 16th, 2010
10:07 am

Would you prefer to believe the Russian government, or a Russian scientist who claims the heating/cooling cycles are primarily caused by variation in solar activity?

Williebkind

August 16th, 2010
10:07 am

YOu think progressive liberals are funny now just wait until they do not have control of congress. We are in for a hoot.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
10:07 am

Granny – I am not angry, just trying to determine if we are close in age so that we can relate…and I notice you did not respond to about 80% of what I said and the point that I was trying to make…dismissing someone as “angry” is a tired liberal tactic. I am conservative, therefore I must be “angry”….try debating and defending your position without deflecting. And I am new posting back to you…not new posting on blogs….normally, you “hit and run” because you cant debate you position is what I have noticed on these blogs….

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 16th, 2010
10:08 am

Perhaps if our Supreme Leader, Imam Obama, would send up a few prayers we might all be saved from this climate change.

ALLAH AKBAR DAMNIT!

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
10:09 am

Kamchack, excellent (Bull Durham) reference. step further; the climate change deniers have a “million dollar arms and ten cent brains.”

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
10:11 am

By the way, Cynthia, check out Granny’s response to me….

“Moreover, Goldberg’s evocation of 1970s media reports about global cooling falsely suggests that the scientific basis for those reports is equivalent to the current scientific consensus on global warming.”

Obviously, there were media reports regarding global cooling…..

November Suprise

August 16th, 2010
10:11 am

Maybe not because we’re born again but maybe because we’re smart enough not to believe what idiots that are only out to line their own pockets cram down our throats. See Al Gore. I’m skeptical of every singal thing this newspaper writes. I’m skeptical of everything the so-called experts write. They have an agenda. If you and your Athiest biddies aren’t smart enough to figure that out. Find some Christian and they will be glad to point it out. They are the most “hated” people in the country.

Billybob

August 16th, 2010
10:12 am

Enter your comments here

Captain Kangaroo

August 16th, 2010
10:15 am

I totally believe since the same scientists were telling us in 1974 we were entering a new ice age!