Surprise: Sochi Olympic Games Were An Environmental Disaster
While a bunch of whiny athletes (who took long fossil fueled trips to Sochi) whined about “climate change” and so many made a big deal about the 2014 Games being “carbon neutral” (they gave it a shot considering how often the water, toilets, electricity, and heating failed to work), here’s the real legacy
(Fox News) But the tarnished international sporting event also underscores Sochi’s dubious outcome as a debacle for the public relations efforts of the United Nations Environmental Program, in partnership with the International Olympic Committee, to add a green patina to the increasingly elaborate games, and claim more luster on themselves.
UNEP has long piggy-backed its green credentials atop the Olympic Games and its Paralympic counterparts as an emblem of its self-styled role as “the world’s leading institution environmental agency and the environmental conscience of the U.N. system.”
The Nairobi-based U.N. organization has claimed that its role in advising athletic organizers “has gone from strength to strength” since it first signed an agreement with the IOC in 1994 to raise Olympic environmental standards and awareness.
In the case of Sochi 2014, however, the green legacy of the games, according to Russian and international critics, looks more like permanent devastation in one of Russia’s most sensitive environmental zones, greatly increased threats to the survival of rare and endangered wildlife species, and the accumulation of new manmade sources of pollution and destruction that will never be removed.
Today’s “environmentalists tend to worry more about “climate change”, until the reality of real environmental damage pops up
Among other things, the Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has declared that the damage includes the virtually complete destruction of the fishery value of the Mzymta River, which runs through the area, and was a spawning site for an estimated 20 percent of endangered Black Sea salmon. Among other things destroyed were about 7,400 acres of rare forests, which hosted a wide variety of rare trees and vegetation, along with the hibernation sites and migration paths of bears, deer and other species of endangered wildlife, as well as a series of valuable natural wetlands closer to the Black Sea.
So much of the pre-Sochi focus was on “climate change” and “sustainability”, which the Russian government promised, yet you have the above, you have unneeded roads through the Sochi National Park, the trains, the sites for the games themselves being a mess. Both WWF of Russia and the local chapter of Greenpeace quit the advisory board over issues with the weakening of environmental regulations and the real environmental issues. Kudos to them.