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Environmental issues in former Soviet bloc - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Environment in Russia. Environment in Central Asia. USSR was worse than West. 2.5 X air pollution of U.S. (per GNP) 20% water unsafe 1/3 of arable land affected by acid rain Etc., etc. Why USSR was worse. Heavy industry Expand agriculture “Inexhaustible” resources

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Presentation Transcript
ussr was worse than west
USSR was worse than West
  • 2.5 X air pollution of U.S. (per GNP)
  • 20% water unsafe
  • 1/3 of arable land affected by acid rain
  • Etc., etc.
why ussr was worse
Why USSR was worse
  • Heavy industry
  • Expand agriculture
  • “Inexhaustible” resources
  • Legitimacy, self-sufficiency

through technology

  • Sacrifice for defense
why ussr was worse5
Why USSR was worse
  • Leadership technicians;

questioning prevented

  • Little free opposition
  • Secrecy; lack of enforcement
  • Central planning insensitive
  • Only capitalism harms nature
aral sea
Aral Sea
  • Once the 4th largest inland body of water in the world. A series of dams was built to irrigate cotton.
  • Aral Sea reduced to about 25% of its 1960 volume, 4x salinity wiped out the fishery.
  • Pollutants became airborne as dust, causing significant local health problems.
aral sea8

Interbasin water transfers

(river diversions)

Aral Sea

Kara

Kum

Canal

Amu Darya

Size of

Aral Sea

Environmental damage estimated

at $1.25 -$2.5 billion a year.

caspian sea
Caspian Sea

Western,

Russian

oil and gas

Companies

in Caspian

Basin

slide10

Caspian Sea

Caspian

Seal in

Kazakstan

Caspian sturgeon

and its caviar

Oil spill off

Baku, Azerbaijan

black sea

Dnieper R.

Don R.

BLACK SEA

Ukraine

Sea ofAzov

Russia

Dniester R.

Moldova

Crimea

Georgia

Danube R.

Romania

Bulg.

Bosporus

Turkey

sea of azov
Sea of Azov

Eutrophication (Algae growth)

Metals plant on

Dnieper River

slide13

Lake

Baikal

Environmental

objections to

paper mills

as early

as 1960s

cyanide disaster australian owned gold mine in romania 2000
Cyanide disasterAustralian-owned goldmine in Romania, 2000

80% of fish in Tisza River /

wetlands died, spill to Danube

gabcikovo dams slovakia
Gabcikovo Dams,Slovakia

Conflict, protests between

Slovakia and Hungary

over diversion of

Danube River

air land
AIR & LAND

Kola Peninsula, NW Russia

black triangle
BlackTriangle

GDR

POLAND

Devastation from

acid rain, SO2, toxics

CZECHOSLOVAKIA

donbass kuzbass
Donbass & Kuzbass

Donbass coal

fields, E. Ukraine

Kuzbass coal

fields, W. Siberia

kalmykia
Kalmykia

European

Buddhist

Mongols

Desertification

Chemicals/

Salinization

Oil development

sakha yakutia
Sakha(Yakutia)
  • Siberian indigenous
  • Coal, metals

mining

  • Logging
clear cutting in siberia
Clear-cutting in Siberia

Japanese and South Korean

companies take

advantage of “fire sale”

International campaign to

protect Amur Tiger

along Chinese border

kola peninsula

WAR

Kola Peninsula

Acid rain,

Mining,

Nuclear subs

scuttled

toxic military bases
Toxic military bases

Abandoned Soviet

military bases in Eastern

Europe have toxic

wastes (like U.S.

bases elsewhere.)

sverdlovsk anthrax 1979
Sverdlovsk anthrax, 1979

Bioweapons disaster,

79 cases (66 dead)

in Yeltsin’s district

slide27

Bombing civilian

chemical plants

Toxic cloud after NATO bombing of

Pancevo plant in Yugoslavia, 1999

uranium mining
Uranium mining

Roma (Gypsy) kids

playing on radioactive

mill tailings from

Soviet uranium mine

in Pécs, Hungary

soviet nuclear tests in kazakstan
Soviet nuclear testsin Kazakstan

Genetic defects

near Semey

(Semipalatinsk)

Kazaks protest

kyshtym waste disaster 1957
Kyshtym waste disaster, 1957
  • Explosion at Soviet weapons factory forces evacuation of over 10,000 people in Ural Mts.
  • Area size of Rhode Island still uninhabited; thousands of cancers reported

Orphans

slide31

Novaya

Zemlya

slide32

NUCLEARPOWER

Chernobyl

disaster,

April 1986

it can t happen here
“It Can’t Happen Here”
  • U.S. reaction to Chernobyl, 1986
    • Blamed on Communism, graphite reactor
  • Also Soviet reaction to Three-Mile Island, 1979
    • Blamed on Capitalism, pressurized-water reactor
  • No technology 100% safe
    • Three-Mile Island bubble almost burst
3 5 million sick one third of them children

8,000 deaths in 14 years

3.5 million sick,

one/third of them children

chernobyl s political fallout
Chernobyl’s political fallout
  • Secrecy stimulated glasnost, environmental opposition
  • Stimulated nationalism in Ukraine, Belarus,

other republics that lost clean-up workers.

  • Questioning of the heart of technocratic power
  • USSR collapsed within 5 years.
positives since end of ussr
Positives since end of USSR
  • Democratization: NGOs, data
  • Decentralization: local sensitivity
  • Deindustrialization of old areas
  • Expanded national parks
  • Protection laws stronger by 1993
negatives since end of ussr
Negatives since end of USSR
  • Financial difficulties; jobs stressed
  • Reduced monitoring, enforcement
  • Increased affluence, cars, waste
  • Profit motive; foreign firms
  • Putin dismantled agency, 2002
other positives in eastern europe
Other positives in Eastern Europe
  • Ecological dissidents in transition
  • Increased spending
  • Pollution control technology
  • Loss of markets
  • Entry into E.U. standards
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