Ecocide : a Soviet legacy
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Person InterviewedFeshbach, Murray
Mathews, Jessica Tuchman
Examines ecocide and environmental degradation in the former U.S.S.R., as well as the role of environmental resources in international security.
One of the most harmful and potentially long-lasting legacies of communism in the former Soviet block is that of ecocide -- widespread pollution, over-consumption of resources, and general destruction of the environment. In a system where the state was the manufacturer and production quotas were paramount, environmental concerns were consistently subordinated to industrial goals. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union did the true scale of this environmental crisis become apparent. In St. Petersburg, waste from more than 500 factories contaminated the harbor and rendered the city's water supply undrinkable. The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest body of freshwater in the world, was shrunk to one-third of its original size and permanently polluted as the result of years of over-draining to irrigate crops. Perhaps most menacingly, the former U.S.S.R. suffered widespread radiation pollution caused by Chernobyl and other nuclear accidents. In this episode, host Peter Krogh sits down with Dr. Murray Feshbach, professor of demography at Georgetown University, and Dr. Jessica Tuchman Mathews, former Deputy to the Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, to discuss the legacy of communist environmental policy in the former Soviet Union and the need for a broader definition of international security that includes environmental resource and demographic concerns.
Russia; Former Soviet Union;
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