September 6, 1991
Air Date: September 6, 1991
Who's Minding the Soviet Environment?
As the Soviet Union re-forms itself and republics loosen or cut ties to Moscow, few are talking about environmental problems which cut across political borders. A lone voice of concern is Nikolai Vorontsov, the Soviet environmental minister, who has called for a cut in the national defense budget to fund environmental cleanups. Vorontsov says as much as 35% of the territory of the former Soviet Union is environmentally compromised. (01:40)
Lifting the Veil
Steve talks with Alexei Guilarov, professor of biology at Moscow State University, about some of the problems confronting the Soviet environment. Guilarov says that scant official information and poor popular understanding of environmental issues are chief among these, but that's changing. (03:37)
The Environmental Risks of Going their Own Way
Steve talks with D.J. Peterson of the Rand/U-C-L-A Center for Soviet Studies about the possible environmental consequences of the Soviet breakup. Peterson says many of the republics face problems they didn't create but don't have the means to solve. (06:40)
Economics: The Bottom Line
Christopher Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute in Washington talks with Steve about the economic backdrop to the current Soviet upheaval and its consequences for the environment. Flavin says the economic crisis may have a long-term benefit for the environment, as old, inefficient and heavily-polluting industries are replaced by cleaner and more efficient plants. (06:44)
The Environmental Ties That Bind/ Alexander Pumpianski
Commentator Alexander Pumpianski, editor of the Moscow Times, says that environmental concerns could be the threads that help hold the former Soviet Union together. (01:57)
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