Environmental Policy in the USSR

Environmental Policy in the USSR

Environmental Policy in the USSR

Environmental Policy in the USSR

Excerpt

American interest in Soviet environmental issues peaked in the early 1970s. At that time, newspapers frequently carried accounts of the tragic pollution of Lake Baikal and of similar ecological problems. The United States and the USSR, in the halcyon days of détente, signed an agreement to cooperate in environmental protection. Several academic studies were published detailing Soviet use and abuse of the natural environment.

Within a few years, however, interest in the subject waned. Perhaps that is because détente's demise shifted our attention from the "humanizing" aspect of our common ecological problems and toward issues that separate our two countries--the battle for influence in the Third World, human rights, and the arms race. One should also remember the preoccupation with material affluence so characteristic of American society in the 1980s. Those who are only minimally aware of, or concerned about, ecological problems in their own country can scarcely be expected to show interest in the difficulties facing other nations.

Could it be that the Soviets themselves have lost interest in the environment? On the contrary. As this study demonstrates, there is more being written about the environment, and more being done to protect it, than at any time in Soviet history. The volume of material on environmental topics published in the USSR is so great that one researcher cannot examine all or even most of it. I have of necessity selected those writings that best illuminate the political workings of the Soviet system. Environmental questions are of course interdisciplinary, and those readers who are not political scientists may deplore my seeming inattention to geographical, economic, or biological aspects of Soviet environmental protection. There is much that cannot be covered in a work of this length. A great deal remains . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.