blog.iass-potsdam.de, Vilena Valeeva
During my last visit to Russia I was watching Russian TV – an awful source of propaganda and misinformation, according to many. To my surprise, one of the federal (i.e. government-controlled) channels was reporting about climate change in a primetime slot. To my further surprise, the program didn’t rehash the usual conspiracy theories about what a fraud global warming is, invented by western politicians with the goal of harming Russia. No, it was a rather good report, which explained the correlation between climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. I even noticed climate charts and the familiar faces of credible Russian climate scientists.
The main purpose of report was to explain the deadly storms and the general absence of a summer in Moscow this year. Indeed, the weather in many Russian regions is going nuts these days and it has become impossible – even for Russian television producers – to ignore climate issues. In recent years, forest fires in Siberia, floods in the south of Russia, and methane explosions in the Arctic tundra have all been pushing the climate topic into the headlines of Russian print and visual media.