Climate Change Not Working Out So Well For Drought- And Fire-Ravaged Russia

One superficially convincing thing you sometimes hear from the right about climate change is that we need to think about the upsides. Russia and Canada are giant, and they’re also cold. If the world got warmer, maybe good things would happen. The problem is that actual human civilization, including in Russia and Canada, is currently adapted to things being the way they are. When the climate shifts, it wreaks havok even in places that you might ordinarily consider “too cold.”


Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday banned all exports of grain after millions of acres of Russian wheat withered in a severe drought, driving up prices around the world and pushing them to their highest level in two years in the United States. The move was the latest of several abrupt interventions in the Russian economy by Mr. Putin, who called the ban necessary to curb rising food prices in the country. Russia is suffering from the worst heat wave since record-keeping began here more than 130 years ago.

In addition air travel is being disrupted because the fires have “clogged the skies with a stinging smog, snarled air travel and forced the military to transfer weapons away from a base near Moscow.”