Friday, May 20, 2022

Could Siberia become Another Sahara Desert? El Murid Says Putin’s Policies Carry that Risk

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 6 – Under Vladimir Putin who has promoted unrestrained logging and cut back forest management and fire protection systems, forest fires in Siberia have become worse every year. 2022 is already no exception, and the situation has reached the point where his past policy mistakes make it ever more difficult to change the situation, El Murid says.

            Indeed, the blogger Anatoly Nesmiyan who uses the pen name El Murid argues that the situation is now so dire that there is a very real risk that Siberia is on its way to becoming another Sahara with the same natural processes that produced that desert thousands of years ago now present in Siberia (

              The merciless and extremely barbaric logging in the taiga” that the Putin regime has promoted in order to maximize its profit has “an unambiguous result: the drying up of the taiga and the swamps in the forests” and consequently, fires of ever larger size which exacerbate these trends, he writes.

            Ever larger rivers in the region are drying out, and as a result, evaporation is declining and with it rainfall and snowfall, trends that also reinforce each other and are gradually “acquiring a self-sustaining and dynamically growing form,” El Murid says. As a result, “every year the situation in Russian forest lands is getting worse.”

            When the underlying foliage and water flows are left undisturbed or carefully protected, forest fires play a positive role and do not destroy the environment. But when forests are cut down as they have been in Russia the last two decades to sell off to China or others, then the fires themselves make the situation worse as well.

            This interconnected loop leads to the destruction of major rivers and climate change, something that happened thousands of years ago by natural causes and led to the formation of the Sahara. Now, as a result of Putin’s greedy intervention, the same thing is happening in Siberia and happening far more quickly.

            There is still time to reverse this man-made natural disaster; but for it to be reversed, Russians must first recognize that it is a disaster and also clearly identify who and what is to blame as well as the costs of not doing anything about it.

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