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Sochi 2014: An ecological disaster?
Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister of Russia and a leader of an opposition group, is warning that the next Winter Olympics could be an environmental disaster.
Wed, Mar 03, 2010 at 12:46 AM
Sochi, Russia, is a kind of an odd choice to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. To start, it rarely falls below freezing in the winter; the average low in January is only 38, the daily mean temperature is 42. The nearest skiable terrain is 37 miles away in the mountains and, according to former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, locals "prefer football, and volleyball and swimming."
Nemtsov recently gave an interview to Foreign Policy
in which he criticized the Sochi games as "an economic and ecological catastrophe" and said that a road being built to connect Sochi with the ski hills will cut through ecologically sensitive lands and will cost $130 million per kilometer (it's hard to see how this can be true given that it's 60 kilometers between Sochi and the ski hills; that'd be over $7 billion just spent on the road alone). The roads WILL be cutting through lands designated as national parks and protected by UNESCO.
We'll see how it all turns out. In general the Olympics are an incredible wasteful event,
and Putin pledged at least $14 billion for the Games — in Russia they might need that much to squeeze through all the corruption and graft.
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