Greenpeace also urged Russian President Putin to stop listening
to a handful of oddballs and fossil-fuel industry funded hacks, and
pay attention to the consensus of the world's best climate
scientists, the 119 nations that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol,
and even the relevant ministries in his own government: climate
change is happening and we must act now. It is in Russia's
interest, and the interests of the entire world.
"Presidential Advisor A.N. Illarionov and conference Chair Yuri
Izrael are an embarrassment to the proud tradition of Russian
science," said Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace from Moscow. "If
President Putin is getting his advice on climate change from the
likes of Illarionov and Izrael, then no wonder he doesn't
understand the urgency of Kyoto ratification."
The workshop on the impacts of climate change concluded that:
"There is growing evidence of existing, current, measurable
changes." For Russia these impacts include: reduced agricultural
yields, reduced food security in southern Russia, and on-going
These conclusions concur with those of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, representing the work of three thousand of
the world's best climate scientists, which published its Third
Assessment Report detailing the extent of human misery for
millions, environmental damage and species loss expected over the
coming decades, particularly in the developing world.
In the face of these conclusions, President Putin's jokes about
climate change being 'good for Russia because people won't have to
wear their fur hats so often', sound incredibly crude. Furthermore,
his advisors' pseudo-scientific antics have shocked the scientific
'President Putin cannot know how callous his remarks sound. We
cannot stop human induced climate change completely, it's already
happening; but if we act now, we can prevent the suffering future
generations. We must believe that President Putin is misinformed.
Or is he, too, now just another puppet of the Bush administration?"
There has been no new science put forward at this conference
questioning the threat of climate change. On the contrary, on an
almost daily basis new information emerges about melting ice caps,
global drought, floods, storms, and the spread of disease from
warming temperatures which confirms and deepens the scientific
consensus on climate change.
Greenpeace urges German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to impress
a bit of reality on President Putin during his visit to Moscow next
week, and explain to him to true costs of delay on moving forward
with the Kyoto Protocol and the stronger measures that will need to
be taken to fight the global threat of climate change.