The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Green Snow Raises Pollution Concerns in Russian City
Pollution is turning the snow green in the Russian city of Pervouralsk, the latest in a series of incidents fueling growing concerns about the environmental health of the country that could threaten President Vladimir Putin's popularity, The Independent reported Monday.
One video shared by ND News Feb. 15 shows a patch of green snow outside a pre-school close to a local chrome plant that residents blame for the phenomenon.
Зеленые сосульки и снег напугали жителей Первоуральска www.youtube.com
Pictures have also shown acid green icicles hanging from buildings, according to The Independent.
The chrome factory denied that their activities posed any risk to residents, according to a statement from spokesman Vsevolod Oreshkin shared by The Independent:
"It's a routine situation for residents that should not cause alarm. Does not threaten lives or health of adults and children. It's Pervouralsk. There are a whole variety of industrial enterprises here. If we take samples of snow in any place we will see a multitude of dangerous substances."
However, a number of incidents outlined in The Independent indicate that Russian citizens are getting tired of accepting pollution as a fact of life.
1. Black Snow: Residents in the coal-mining region of Siberia have been posting videos on social media this month of mountains of black snow. The Kuzbass region, where some of the videos were filmed, has higher than national rates of cancer, tuberculosis and childhood cerebral palsy, and a life expectancy three to four years below the national average, The Guardian reported.
"It's harder to find white snow than black snow during the winter," Ecodefense member Vladimir Slivyak said, as The Guardian reported. "There is a lot of coal dust in the air all the time. When snow falls, it just becomes visible. You can't see it the rest of the year, but it is still there."
Toxic black snow covers streets in Siberia www.youtube.com
2. Sibai Smog: The town of Sibai in the Urals has been choking on smog since November, and residents have decided to sue a local copper mine, The Moscow Times reported Feb. 20.
"Some Sibai residents have begun to directly appeal to the courts with demands that the Uchalinsky ore processing plant compensate the damage done to their health," Governor of the Republic of Bashkortostan Rady Khabirov told the state-run RIA Novosti agency, as reported by The Moscow Times.
3. Nationwide Protests: In early February, thousands took to the streets across Russia to protest plans by Moscow to dump overflowing trash in surrounding regions, The Moscow Times reported. The protest, called "Russia is Not a Dump," attracted the participation of 26 regions, according to organizers.
"The authorities have excluded us from the entire process and haven't answered any of our questions," protest organizer and local deputy Ilya Sviridov told The Moscow Times. "We are simply demanding dialogue."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jake Johnson
Just over a month after proclaiming that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon "be down to close to zero," President Donald Trump said during a press briefing on the White House lawn Sunday that limiting U.S. deaths from the pandemic to between 100,000 and 200,000 people would mean his administration and the country as a whole did "a very good job."
Documents unearthed in a lawsuit brought by a Missouri farmer who claimed that Monsanto and German chemical maker BASF's dicamba herbicide ruined his peach orchard revealed that the two companies knew their new agricultural seed and chemical system would likely damage many U.S. farms, according to documents seen by The Guardian.
By Albert Van Dijk, Luigi Renzullo, Marta Yebra and Shoshana Rapley
2019 was the year Australians confronted the fact that a healthy environment is more than just a pretty waterfall in a national park; a nice extra we can do without. We do not survive without air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow food and weather we can cope with.
By Fino Menezes
Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.