Russia Needs Climate Action

Russia under Putin is a semi-cleptocracy. A lot like in Japan criminal gangs seem to be tolerated to a large extend, for instance usefull cybercriminals become hacking spies. It may also be a basic result of a hierarchy based on information and force, not on cooperation. Like China Russia is a dictatorship of sorts, but more free.

We don’t know enough of Russia to understand its seeming blind spot for climate change. We have never heard of any initiative there to stop it or slow it down, we only read that mammoth tusk are now found in large numbers because the permafrost is thawing, and methane is being released.

At the COP25 Russia doesn’t even pretend to help, it should not bother going if its not going to, instead like other countries with a strong fossil fuel dependend part of their economy it joins in and stifles progress. This is strange in a way because the risk that renewables will replace fossil any time soon is small. Even though the Sun does deliver enough energy in 8 minutes to replace all fossil fuels.

What is even stranger is the pretence there is something to fight for. A world warming 5 degrees (now expected in 2075) is not livable. All the methane stored in the permafrost will be released, the peet will have burned, the clathrate ice on the bottom of the oceans will also have released its methane. It is going to be very hot, and life will become very very hard.

It is impossible to understand why Russia is not taking the route of Morocco, but even better than Morocco, takes matters of production of solar panels and renewable technology in its own hands. It must be the Oligarchs (and Putin) who think they are unmanly when they do something out of fear. But of course its not fear but forsight. Stalin did’t fear the germans, he sacrificed so many because his hart was a machine, he used what he had even if it was people.

Putin must have a fear of seeming weak to not go for renewables as a tool to achieve true autonomy and pave a way to a prosperous future for all of the people of Russia. As things are now russians will have to live under domes with oxygen and greenhouses and what energy is going to be available if all the pipes have cracked because they run over melting tundra? Not so smart.

If Putin saw his true strategic opportunity in renewables instead of gas (selling it to Turkey, such a sunny country!) he would be a true patriot and nobody would need to know. He could export crappy solar panels and keep the good ones for Russia. Of course Russia has massive tree cover and converting these to burried charcoal (sequestring carbon) while planting new trees could be a major way to fight climate change. Of course the energy to run that process could come from either the trees or some combination with renewables.

If you want to catch a fish you need patience, but you have to throw out your line. The river could be teeming with fish and you’d never know!