Soviet propagandaConquering its vast wilderness has long been a dream of Russia’s rulers, even the not-so-capitalist ones…Freedom Toast via FlickrOK, this is really a glorified retweet, but Brad Plumer has a fascinating post at the New Republic about Russia’s apparent enthusiasm for climate change:  “Many Russia leaders are actually excited about a warmer world where Siberia’s thawed out, St. Petersburg’s more livable, and state-owned mining companies can drill like crazy in the ice-free Arctic.”

Plumer walks through a dispatch from the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National that outlines what Russia stands to gain from a warming climate, and why the country may have little interest in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. He concludes:

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So Russia is a tough case, probably even tougher than China (at least Beijing’s leaders are legitimately freaked out about pollution riots and the fact that the Gobi Desert is steadily chomping its way toward the capital). A recent report from the Center for American Progress suggested that the Obama administration could possibly entice Russia into cooperation by stressing the benefits of energy efficiency (Russia’s industrial sector is notoriously creaky and wasteful). Beyond that, though, action on global warming won’t be an easy sell.

Given our national histories, it’s easier to feel scared by Russia’s stance on climate than, say, Brazil’s. But still. Here’s hoping there are other ways to look at Russia’s position—i.e. reasons it will want to curb warming that aren’t covered by Plumer or a Gulf State newspaper.

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