• An example of how Russian climate news is reported by English speaking Russian media
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I have just returned from a planning session around some sustainability learning and read the article today in The Moscow Times: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/07/10/wind-turbines-ignore-birds-interests-putin-says-a66347

Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned on Tuesday the use of wind power, saying wind turbines were harmful to birds and worms.  Russia, a world-leading producer of fossil fuel, is lagging other countries in its development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind-powered energy.

Wind power is rarely used in the country to generate electricity. Enel Russia pledged 90 million euros to build a power generation facility by 2024 with a capacity of 71 megawatts. “Wind-powered generation is good, but are birds being taken into account in this case? How many birds are dying?” Putin said at a televised conference on industry in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

“They (wind turbines) shake, causing worms to come out of the soil. This is not a joke,” he said. Putin added that people would not like to live on a planet dotted with “rows of wind-powered generators and covered by several layers of solar panels.”

Taking into account that I have recently studied an environmental module at undergraduate level.I am not going to discuss the legitimacy of the comments or whether evidence informed just to explain a potential thinking process from reading the article.

  1. Is that all he said about wind turbines or because worms, birds and wind turbines sound more interesting to the public than wind turbine function versus fossil fuel extraction which may also cause interaction with soil and air inhabitants (or marine when they are water based extraction)?
  2. Did he say anything else- how could we know if we weren’t there? And not understanding enough Russian?
  3. So do we then assume that he is more concerned about the wildlife immediate impact than the longer term effect on a wider range of wildlife
  4. Do we also assume that he personally is ambivalent or even opposed to renewable energy because of the comment?
  5. Or do we assume that he is not personally ambivalent but feels that as part of Russian presidential role this is a useful contribution to a discussion on renewable energy?
  6. Do we also assume that he shares this view because Donald Trump doesn’t believe in climate change science or the benefits of renewable energy and whether their intimate circle all share this opinion.
  7. Or do we assume that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump but that the recognised fossil fuel industry lobby in Russia and the impact on economic development of Russia is of greater importance.
  8. Or do we also assume that this is part of a joint US/Russian and others’ anti renewable energy propaganda to satisfy wealthy owners or stakeholders in non-renewable energy orgnanisations and extractors whererver they are in the world and this is just a trend in synchronising a joint opinion?
  9. Or do we assume that there is a growing interest in renewable energy in Russia and that is part of an attempt to inform a debate?
  10. Can any of us have any influence or do we need to beyond reading snippets of things that he or others say, so does it matter in terms of our own actions to make the world more sustainable?

This exercise could be repeated for the very relevant far-right/neo-nazi topics, anti-vaccination topics and every other topic that is attributed to the Russian government or the Russian president or someone else considered by some people to be of importance in Russia including the ever-present Trump administration.

Russia doesn’t have a David Attenborough as far as I know, but if Sir David would have a public discussion with the Russian president or Russian prime minister or speak to the Russian Duma or anywhere else that would reach a lot of Russians but also get reported by English language media in/outside Russia, that might provide a different set of assumptions or inform the above ones.

And as final note – this is a paper from Surrey University by Professor Subhamoy Bhattacharya about Soil-Structure Interaction in Wind Turbines in 2017.