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

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
12:55 pm

and by the way, “stands” and kamchak….she didnt even remember the argument, so how in !!@##!@ could she know if people were “loud and passionate” or not?

jconservative

August 16th, 2010
12:58 pm

neo-Carlinist – You convinced me – fire ants it is!

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
1:00 pm

Rafe,

feel free to state your opinion, but in my opinion, one does not “refute” a post via speculation, what if’s? and hypothetical scenarios.

The government has no right to stop them based on the 1st Amendment, that I will grant you. The Constition should always be followed, –

then there is no need for your “however”.

the State and Federal Government always find “legal” ways to get their wishes. I give you the “Kelo Decision” where the Supreme Court dispossed those poor people with the ocean front property. IMO, the Government does not have that right under Eminent domain, the right to take from one citizen and give to another, but the courts have made that legal now.

again, your opinion of the “authority” of the Constitution vis a vis your suggestion that the government (ANY business interest) can circumvent the Constitution via legal card tricks confuses me.

So, the State of New York could take that property and say it is not making enough Tax revenue as is and a mosque is tax exempt, so we are taking it and letting McDonalds have that piece of property. – “however” you previously wrote that you believe it “illegal” to do so? Are you suggesting you want punish some American Muslims by denying them their Fist Amendment rights, because other non-American Muslims attacked the USA on 9/11?

If the KKK was planning a big corporate HQ’s there, you can bet your bippy that NYC or the State of NY would take some action.

I’m not a NYer, but I was there a coupla three weeks ago. It’s as expected a very passionate issue for (some) 9/11 familes; some Muslims, and as MANY politicians. that said, the origins of said “passions” are not rooted in the same place. and this goes for the smarmy (Muslim) real estate developer who brokered the deal. he is keeping this story in the news because it helps his cause (personal enrichment). as for the “what if the KKK wanted to build a museum in NYC?” rhetoric, I say; “let them build it, and I’ll answer the question.” this “cultural center” is far from a “done deal”. either way, the Mormons have “cultural centers” in Manhattan, as does the Church of Scientology. If you’re suggesting we “inbreed” eminent domain with religious (or political) intolerance, well then let’s just praise the Lord and pass the ammo ’cause it’s gonna get messy.

Reggie

August 16th, 2010
1:01 pm

Eric Pearson- do tell if you were the one trick pony writer for the Slate. I dropped my AJC subscription when it was carrying almost daily write ins from an Eric Pearson at the Slate and the dearly departed Molly Ivins. The so called editorials were a third grade “Bush is bad, he is evil, republicans are bad, they are evil”

Victor

August 16th, 2010
1:03 pm

For deniers, accepting climate science would mean admitting that unrestrained capitalism has jeopardized humanity’s future. But this painful admission would mean more than that environmentalists were right all along, it would initiate a demand for comprehensive and urgent government intervention. This would be intolerable. It’s easier to reject climate science and conduct business as usual even though it means humanity’s future will be harsh, brutish and short.

Taylor

August 16th, 2010
1:03 pm

Okay everyone. We could sit here all day and talk about how the science on one side is biased or fraudulent. The fact of the matter is that there have been scandals on both ends (as well as interst in profits at both ends) of the debate and the science remains divided. Senator Isakson told me himself that it is unclear whether the changes are due to human activity, natural forces, or perhaps a combination of the two.

Climate change put aside, there are plenty of other benefits to using more clean energy. Look at how much Atlanta’s air quality has improved ever since we changed all our buses to natural gas from diesel. If you want to see just how devastating coal pollution can be just take a visit to China.

Now lets examine some realistic possibilities for cleaner energy. More dams could play a huge help. The China 3 gorges dam produces enough clean electricity to light up Washington DC, Boston, and New York City combined. The environmental extremists fail to see that. I consider myself an environmentalist but not an extremist one. Imagine how much coal you would have to mine and burn to power those three cities.

More nuclear power plants. People it has been a long time since the 3 Mile Island incident and the technology to make nuke power safer and more economical has come a long way. Nuclear power has worked out well for Tennessee, just the other day I met a man who worked at a nuke facility in Tennessee and he told me that all his physical exams checked out well. Don’t believe everything you see on the Simpsons folks. They are also now finding ways to recycle Nuclear Waste.

Geothermal Energy: Unlike solar and wind, geothermal does not depend on the weather. Whether it’s day or night, windy or calm, sunny or cloudy, that energy is always turned on. For Chevron Corporation Geothermal energy is a profitable industry and they are the world’s largest producer and they are expanding. Many Texas oilmen are seeking to harness the geothermal energy at the bottom of the dried up oil and gas wells in Texas. Like nuclear, the plants are expensive but the price of the electricity itself is cheap.

I think solar and wind can certainly play a part but I do not think that their potential is nearly as big as taht of hydro, nuclear, and geothermal.

Tropical reforestation: Yes, believe it or not there is good news concerning the rainforest. Brazil’s deforestation rates are down and I have read of new trends of sustainable farming that actually make more money than the traditional slash and burn methods. Even if you do not believe in Global Warming you still cannot argue that the rainforest is a treasure worth protecting. It helps provide us with oxygen, food, and medicine. There are efforts underway to promote an Amazon reforestation project and there are big corporate sponsors taking an interest in protecting the Amazon including BP, The Walt Disney Company, UPS, and others.

The United States Government has historically taken a great interest in protecting tropical forests. Senator Chambliss voted for the Tropical Forest Conservation Act in 1998 as did the vast majority of congressional republicans. We should continue to support susbainable development and protection of forests.

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
1:05 pm

jcon, and just so we’re clean, I’m not endorsing or opposing the fire ant agenda, but simply evaluating the contest and placing a friendly bet (which, if you follow my screeds, is basically what politicos and pundits do). in fact, I HATE fire ants, but if betting on fire ants helps my bottom line; excuse me, I have to call my guy in Vegas!

jconservative

August 16th, 2010
1:07 pm

Here is the court’s ruling in the Orly Taitz case.

(ORDER LIST: 561 U.S.)
MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010
ORDERS IN PENDING CASES

10A56
TAITZ, ORLY V. MACDONALD, THOMAS D., ET AL.
The application for stay addressed to Justice Alito and
referred to the Court is denied.

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:09 pm

“Senator Isakson told me himself that it is unclear whether the changes are due to human activity, natural forces, or perhaps a combination of the two.”

Well DAMN! THAT settles EVERYTHING!!! :roll:

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
1:14 pm

Bosch

Hi there!

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:15 pm

Hey Mrs. G.! Give Joe a scratch behind the ear for me! So…..big day not too far away!

Taylor

August 16th, 2010
1:21 pm

Bosch. I never said it settled everything. My point was that I am keeping an open mind, much like former Interior Secretary Norton said. My point is that there are economically sound approaches to take. Tell me one reason why we shouldn’t promote sustainable development in the Amazon. Almost every politician in Congress including Saxby Chambliss agrees that we should.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

Rancourt?

The anarchist fired professor? Recently switched…..ah nope. He’s been a denier for years.

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

Taylor,

I was joking with you. I agree with your post.

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:24 pm

Taylor,

But I have to take a shower every time I type “Chambliss” — there, well, I’ll be right back.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
1:30 pm

Bosch

# 1 got the urge to clean closets and cabinets yesterday…..so i figure any day now…

Joe says “thanks for the scratch got any pork chops?”

Don't forget

August 16th, 2010
1:30 pm

This is a science issue. We should be listening to scientists debate it, not politicians.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
1:35 pm

Taylor

August 16th, 2010
1:39 pm

Bosch. How was your shower? And what makes it so that you have to do so everytime you type Chambliss? Why not just type Saxby?

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

Mrs. G.

I like Fareed. He can make people look like idiots so calmly and they don’t even realize he’s done it.

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

Taylor,

Well, there IS that other part of “his” name, but I just can’t do it. I have to open up veins when I do that.

JohnnyReb

August 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

Of more immediate concern than man’s feeble attempt to control the weather, is the Obama administration meeting to discuss what to do with Fannie and Freddie. All who have paid their mortgage and taxes, and are not on the government dole, get ready to take another one. Gotta love that CRA and government social engineering! Yep, it fails every time, but that won’t stop Barry. Get ready for another Robin Hood solution that spreads the wealth.

Willx

August 16th, 2010
1:47 pm

I don’t look forward to the day my Grandkids call me Rich for making 50k per year. They will never see the equivalent income in their future work-life, thanks to the dumbocrats who voted for oblamey. No wonder so many income tax paying legal Americans are deciding not to have kids. They will have no future worth living. The dream is over. unless you are a blood thirsty muslim.

Abrazos

August 16th, 2010
1:48 pm

@1:21 PM “I am keeping an open mind, much like former Interior Secretary Norton said”

This former Secretary Norton who quit so she could take a job with Shell Oil? Not what I’d call an impartial observer.

“In January 2006, Norton’s Interior Department awarded three oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado — potentially worth hundreds of billions — to a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. Two months later, Norton resigned, saying she had no job lined up. But later that year, she was hired by Shell as in-house counsel.”

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
1:53 pm

“They will never see the equivalent income in their future work-life, thanks to the dumbocrats who voted for oblamey.”

Oh, another one of THOSE who thinks history started in January ‘09. :roll:

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
1:54 pm

Bosch

and ….he’s hot.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:03 pm

So glad Obama is getting us out of IRAQ, since the violence and al-Qaida are gone?

In Muqdadiyah on Aug. 14, Iraqi forces killed a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq associate and arrested another while searching for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member who allegedly is responsible for building and planting bombs that attach to vehicles magnetically. While approaching the targeted building, members of the combined security force composed of Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors saw a man carrying an assault rifle in a palm grove. As Iraqi forces surrounded the grove, the man was shot and killed when he engaged the security force.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

More “Change”?

New record set for metro Atlanta foreclosures
The number of foreclosure notices in the 13-county region skyrocketed 59 percent in August from July, shattering the previous monthly record, according to Equity Depot

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:03 pm

Recruiting offices are all over the place and with your skills…
well you’d just straighten out that mess quick as a wink!

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

Well isn’t that foreclosure list good for the GOP?

They do have a history of using them to challenge voters who have lost their homes.

Reggie

August 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

Taylor- much too logical. It appears to be more fun to light our hair on fire and fling ourselves off of balconies.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
2:16 pm

Fang1944 says: “Savants of the Middle Ages knew perfectly well that the world is round. Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference in the third century BC and was only off by about 1%. Not bad considering that his only instrument was a stick stuck in the ground. They also understood that “down” is toward the center of the Earth as you can see from reading Dante’s Inferno.”

Wikipedia says: “In ancient China the prevailing belief was that the earth was flat and square, while the heavens were round, an assumption virtually unquestioned until the introduction of European astronomy in the 17th century. The English sinologist Cullen emphasizes the point that there was no concept of a round earth in ancient Chinese astronomy.” Apparently, there were some who just couldn’t get thru their head that the world was round.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

So glad Obama has a timetable for withdrawal. It’s going to be a vacation paradise when we leave. Opium heaven!!!

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2010 – Growing pockets of security progress in Afghanistan must be extended and linked to fully root out the Taliban and other extremist organizations, and that will take time, the top U.S. and NATO commander there said in a prerecorded interview aired today.

“We’re making progress, and progress is winning, if you will,” Army Gen. David H. Petraeus told NBC’s David Gregory in the “Meet the Press” interview. “But it takes the accumulation of a lot of progress ultimately … to win overall, and that’s going to be a long-term proposition, without question.”

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

….or are you too damn lazy to use google and do some damn research if you dont believe the various links posted here in the last hour…

I don’t need to look at any links, as I was in my mid 20’s during the years 1978-1981, sport.

What you describe as “all the screaming from the left,” was barely a blip on the radar.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:26 pm

Honor

Lindsay Lohan 24, gets her name and face all over the news because she went to jail.

THE 12 MEN BELOW ALL GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR YOU THIS WEEK IN THE MILITARY.

Justin Allen 23,
Brett Linley 29,
Matthew Weikert 29,
Justus Bartett 27,
Dave Santos 21,
Chase Stanley 21,
Jesse Reed 26,
Matthew Johnson 21,
Zachary Fisher 24,
Brandon King 23,
Christopher Goeke 23,
and
Sheldon Tate 27,

HONOR THEM BY REPOSTING THIS MESSAGE!

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:28 pm

MNGL,

Excuses will not help you or your party. Join the “change” or deal with it like an adult.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
2:32 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:28 pm

I have been reading your posts for years, you’re really not the best spokesperson for adult behavior.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:39 pm

Do we need to bring Nixon back from the dead to HELP Obama deal with the Chinese? Seems Obama is in over his head.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2010 – China has made some progress, but not enough, in military transparency, and the Chinese decision to suspend military-to-military contacts with the United States is acting against the interests of both countries, according to the latest annual report in a congressionally mandated series.

Defense Department officials released “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” today.

China is developing into an economic superpower, and that growth is allowing the Chinese government to invest more in its military. China has embarked on a massive effort to modernize its military and transform its structure, doctrine and strategy, according to the report.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
2:44 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:39 pm

Considering we still spend 7 times more than China I’ll sit out on the front porch and have a julep while you hide in the basement.

Jack

August 16th, 2010
2:47 pm

Global warming is probably the cause for all the problems at the Dekalb County school system.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:50 pm

MNGL,

Sometimes you have to use fire to put out the flames of “hope and change”!

aztec dreaming

August 16th, 2010
2:50 pm

2012, nothing matters, the end is near…

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:51 pm

MNGL,

Please post when you see the mushroom cloud. I’m sure you will have time? I prefer to cut the head of the snake off.

Peter

August 16th, 2010
2:53 pm

Being Republican I only care about ripping off society, and getting rich, no matter who I screw.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
2:54 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
2:51 pm

You are one of those snake handlers?

Williebkind

August 16th, 2010
2:54 pm

Well I think I going to spit if I hear another report about Islam being a peaceful religion. The taliban stoned a man and a woman for adultry. Man that makes me want a culture center right away.

Peter

August 16th, 2010
2:55 pm

Hey…..I’m here from the government and I’m here to help …….

I am so glad Bush got us into the Iraq mess, he really knew how to rip off America !

We should be proud of how badly he and Cheney screwed America…Hats off to Republican’s !

Taylor

August 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

Jack I do happen to have an idea as to how local school boards can help get more money. Care to hear it?

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
2:57 pm

granny,

I belong to a “snake handling” denomination of pentacostalism and I don’t appreciate your bigotry or name calling

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:03 pm

Snake Handler
Who’s here from
the government and
who’s here to help

2:57

well in many states you are now breaking the law.

but if this is what you wish to do may I suggest
you slip the snake a pepcid before he bites you