The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Putin Now Denies Humans Cause Climate Change
By Andy Rowell
These are dangerous days for the climate. Not only do we have a climate denier in the White House, we have one in the Kremlin, too.
At the end of last week, while visiting the Arctic, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that global warming was not caused by humans: "The warming, it had already started by the 1930s," he said. "That's when there were no such anthropological factors such as emissions, and the warming had already started."
In comments that will alarm many, Putin said that trying to curtail climate change was not a priority, but rather adaption was the key: "The issue is not stopping it … because that's impossible, since it could be tied to some global cycles on Earth or even of planetary significance. The issue is to somehow adapt to it."
Commentators have pointed out that this seems to be a dangerous U-turn by Putin and in direct contrast to his speech made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015, when he said: "The quality of life of all people on the planet depends on solving the climate problem."
Environmentalists will also be alarmed that Putin seemed to endorse Scott Pruitt. The Russian president commented that "Positions and suggestions of those who don't agree with their opponents are not so stupid. God grant [Pruitt] health and success, everybody should listen to one another and only then you can find an optimal solution to the problem."
Pruitt, under pressure from a Fox News host on Sunday, acknowledged that humans are contributing to climate change. "There's a warming trend, the climate is changing and human activity contributes to that change in some measure," Pruitt was forced to concede, before adding: "The real issue is how much we contribute to it and measuring that with precision."
There is a crude self-interest for Putin with climate change. The more the Arctic region melts, the more he believes it could be exploited for oil. While other leaders at the Arctic meeting warned of the dangers of climate change, for example the Finnish Prime Minister Sauli Niinisto labeling it a "serious threat," Putin argued that global warming brings "more propitious conditions for using this region for economic ends."
He added that the melting of the Arctic was beneficial to Russia's GDP and "improves the economic potential of this region."
And you can see why Putin thinks climate change is good. As an article in the New Scientist pointed out last month, "Russia's economy is a basket case. Apart from oil and gas, it produces little anyone wants to buy … Without restructuring, a global clean energy revolution will likely put the Russian economy in a death spiral."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.