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Popular radio commentator follows former Russian President adviser in declaring climate change «a fraud»

Rashiud Alimov

In a recent popular radio show, Yulia Latynina criticized Russia's official Climate doctrine adopted in the end of 2009, and the official “Assessment Report on Climate Change and Its impact for the territory of Russia”, prepared by Roshydromet in 2008.

The radio host claimed to feel “true minded” with Andrei Illarinonov, former adviser to Russia's president , who declared as the “fraud of the year 2009” what he described “the Big Climategate”, which according to Illarionov, includes adoption of the Russia's Climate doctrine.

Latynina bases her elaborations on the assumption that due to climate change, Russia can only benefit: «a) heating season, which is a nightmare for any director, decreases, and b) vegetative period grows, ie agricultural productivity increases. "

Russian Socio-Ecological Union believes that this approach underestimates the seriousness of the consequences of climate change for Russia, including melting of ice in the Arctic zone and permafrost melting which leads to malfunctions of infrastructure and communications. As for agricultural productivity, positive effects of global climate change at the beginning might later be destroyed by drought, shortage of fresh water, a wider spread of pests, and unpredicted natural disasters. These effects of climate change are described, in particular, in the Roshydromet report, criticized by Latynina.
The famous Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, prepared under the guidance of former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern for the British government in 2006, finds that while global climate change can lead at first to positive consequences in some countries, these results will be followed by negative consequences for all countries when average global temperature increases more than for 2 degrees Celsius.

«Also the [Roshydromet] report stated that at present there is a steady increase in material losses and vulnerability because of increasing impact of natural phenomena. Again, I declare the above-mentioned statement is a lie», says Yulia Latynina.

«The number of typhoons, tornadoes, floods, droughts and other things for the XX century has not increased, and damage caused by them has decreased, the insured losses have decreased in the countries with rational economy. The best protection against floods and typhoons is economy development», she adds.

Russian Socio-Ecological Union notes that economy itself can not protect from natural hazards. The increase in rainfall due to climate change will result primarily in increase of floods - the most frequent of the natural weather disasters. Official Russian data, including the Roshydromet report, show a growing number of severe disasters in Russia in recent years (see illustration to this article).

The official position of Russia, stated at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, is to recognize the danger of climate change for the country. Russia expressed its commitment to share global responsibility in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Russian Socio-Ecological Union notes that unsubstantiated criticism of climate change scientific data can not contribute to fullfillment of Russia's commitments and modernization of national industry.

 Illustration: Number of dangerous hydrometerological phenomena in Russia, 1991-2005,  from the official “Assessment Report on Climate Change and Its impact for the territory of Russia”, prepared by Roshydromet in 2008. Illustration: Number of dangerous hydrometerological phenomena in Russia, 1991-2005, from the official “Assessment Report on Climate Change and Its impact for the territory of Russia”, prepared by Roshydromet in 2008.

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