"In the end, it may be that thirty councillors are individually making a decision that is the exact opposite of the one they all just voted for" (page 39).
Nominated for the Nordic Council's Environmental Prize recently, Pentti Linkola, this ageing fisherman from the woods of Finland, is well-known in his native country and not so much in the rest of the North, or the World, for that matter. He is one of those radical environmentalists out there that attempt to practice what they preach, hence he's living in a cabin in the woods, where he has made his living as a fisherman in a rowing boat for years and years. He uses only horse and carriage, bicycle, his legs and his own body for getting around, unless absolutely necessary that he travels by bus. Further, he seeks to be as self-sufficient as possible in every sense, and trading the few extraneous items he can't manufacture himself via his self-caught fish. In addition to all this, which would be impressive by itself, he has for going on 70 years now been a fearless spokesman on behalf of nature and animals, and even though he is usually interpreted as hostile to humans, his struggle is a struggle for a better world for humans as well, according to his own views. His range of publications is long in Finland, and this was his first work to appear in a non-Finnish language, and therefore deserves a wide readership simply as it being the sole introduction to the man and his works. The book consists of a number of articles written during the course of about twenty years, arranged by subject into five chapters: "Finland", "Forests", "Animals", "The World and Us" and finally "The Prerequisites for Life". These various articles have been printed in various Finnish newspapers and publications, and are here collected for a more cohesive message. As it says in the foreword, Linkola isn't radical for the sake of being radical, on the contrary his ideas will have crossed the mind of many a reader at some point in their lives, but unlike most people, Linkola never backs down, even when it comes to uncomfortable truths such as the state of the world and the direction we as a species are heading on on this sole home of ours. For, as the pun goes: "There is no planet B". Now, even with a hardened stomach such as mine, I found quite a lot to disagree with here, his undeniably extremely positive views on abortion, for example, are thankfully a hard sell, at least I hope so. That being said, one gets the impression that Linkola doesn't necessarily mean everything he writes literally, but it is rather an attempt to provoke a debate into taking place. Which he is to be commended for, in this age of dull conformity.
A theme he returns to several times is the role of some persons as "Guardians of Life", a phrase that means thinking seriously about the future of humans. Can life such as it is today being led continue indefinitely? From the dark clouds looming over the economy of the world, it would appear reality agrees with Linkola. As pointed out in the excellent reads in combination with Linkola: Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age and Convergence of Catastrophes, by Guillaume Faye, another iconoclast on behalf of nature, culture and humans, the coming decade will most likely be a very tumultuous one, judging by the future that looms ahead. Also, I found it refreshing that Linkola isn't just some loony "Leftist" environmentalist that thinks everything would be better if only every human died, no, Linkola writes about the necessity of politeness, kindness, culture, music, literature, history and all these other creations that we until recently were so fond of in our native Europe and beyond. Also, Linkola has no qualms about pointing out that immigration to Europe is a death-sentence to the environment, for if some Europeans seem to disregard the environment, just look at the non-native immigrants, their offspring and not to mention their native countries. What is the use of attempting to implement environmental consciousness and responsibility in the area of family planning in Europe, if Europeans are disappearing and being replaced by peoples that have a much higher reproduction rate and a much lower cultural and environmental consciousness? Kudos to Linkola, for daring to point this obvious fact out. Also, Linkola points out that the reason why non-European countries often don't put such a burden on the environment is no thanks to any loony idea of the "Left" that it is because they "love nature" or some such nonsense, no, it is solely that they haven't yet developed the means to destroy nature to the same degree, yet they are quickly catching up. I can't exactly say I think that environmental ideas are widespread in countries such as Thailand, Venezuela or Mexico, for example, yet I could be wrong. Therefore, the love of nature must begin in Europe, as it does in a meagre way, and hopefully we can turn the world around to ensure that there actually *is* a future for any humans, regardless of ethnicity or nationality. I found the first part of the book a bit tedious seeing as it is very centred on Finnish society, but don't give up, the good bits are later on in the book. His from time-to-time excessive misanthropy is, although understandable, a bit much for my positive view of life, but as mentioned, I think Linkola does it more for the shock effect rather than a desire to provoke.
The fact is, in order to ensure the future of any humans at all, and avoid a situation as described in that most magnificent of books/films: The Road (Oprah's Book Club), we need to drastically reduce the number of humans on Earth (which can be done rapidly without a single killing, but by mere responsibility by governments of the Third World, mainly, and family planning throughout the world), and also ensure zero migration and a wide-spread love of life and nature, which are tightly bound. You owe it to yourself and our posterity to read Linkola and Faye, it is time to man (and woman) up, my dear fellow humans, for this can't last much longer. God didn't create the World and the Universe and put humans here for us to destroy it all by our egoism and shallow democracies. Four stars for this timely message.