A Bear Hiding in the Oaks of Khimki Forest


I recently wrote about the efforts to cut down remnants of the remaining oak forests within view of Moscow. A second article in the WashingtonPost (Oct 17): Trying to Save a Forest and Change Russia– provides a chronology of events that highlight the challenges of protest in modern Russia.

It was Tip O’Neill, Congressman from Massachusetts and 55th Speaker of the House of Representatives who spoke that

All politics is local.” This issue in Russia is as local and as political as any issue can be. The difference is that while the issue is very much local to Moscow, it has become international in scale because it brings the “thickness of the 200 year old oaks” in direct contact with the “clatter of modern iPhone” technology.

The forest

is a Klondike for [the people of Russia]. How the story ends may leave Russia on the path toward developing a civil society – or not.

Khimki also represents the fate of the arboreal forests of the world. Endangered, not by the need for quick access to an airport, but by the demands demonstrating how consumption of resources is as much an addiction as a compulsive addiction to food. The former results in too little. The latter results in too much.

As global forests become extinct, so will the bear that lives in its shadows.


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