I'm writing in English, which is strange in itself since I really love my own language, Finnish, and since I detest the power position that the English language has in global communucation... but I'd get way too many complaints from American friends if I didn't write in a language comprehensible to them.

Mar 15, 2011

I don't want to rant....

... when people are sad and lost.

Night before yesterday baby woke up several times for a cold and between them I lay awake for a strange itching rash. These couple of days have been strange. However, we're far better off than friends in Japan. Or Libya (I don't know anyone from there but somehow the world is such a small place these days that war always feels close.) Was crying reading the news about all the missing people in Japan. Friends here, because of similar heart ache I'm sure, made quilts to send there - I couldn't make them but could, at least, help with child care.

Looking at news like this I just can't understand why we should first help our own people and then, in the possible situation where no-one in our country needs help and there is no budget deficit, we could consider helping others. No says I! My neighbour is the one that needs my help, no matter what language, culture or religion.

Hoping for a better future. Finns, go vote.

Mar 6, 2011

Children and the environment

"I'm going to be a park ranger a--nd a violinist a--nd an artist!"
"How are you going to run 3 jobs all together?"
"First, in the morning, I'm going to look for people who're trying to kill animals and trees. Then, I'm going to play the violin to the animals in the forest. Last, I'm going to draw pictures of them."

Discussion by K and his mother S made me once again think about how children perceive the environment. I think all children are born environmentalists (no, there is no research done and I can't prove it since we don't grow in a vacuum and the influences of the parents and the rest of the world come into play really quickly.) Children, trees and animals belong together, and what more, environmental conservation tries to conserve the nature to future generations, that is, our children.

I could be like Kotaro too. Unfortunately I've been sort of passive in my environmental endeavors lately, reduced to shaking my head and complaining about things.

The part I don't get is who doesn't want to conserve the wild places and save wild animals (at least cool mammal-type animals)? I just heard the new House leadership (to those who don't know, the House of Representatives, being part of the US Congress that consists of the Senate and the House - why there are two I don't know, since it seems to make them just slower... some kind of leftover from the English system) decided to get styrofoam cups and plastic forks back into the cafeterias. (They did have valid-sounding reasons but I'm not buying.) Who would like to do such a thing? Or mountaintop removal mining, now renamed to make it sound better - who on earth would go and destroy a whole mountain to give us coal? You'd imagine people would try any other things first. Or, in Finland, the devastating clear cutting of forests? We noted that you cna hardly find a view between Kokemäki and Koli (the trip we took) that didn't have one area of clear cut forest sticking out like a sore thumb.

If Kotaro and his age group were in charge these things wouldn't happen.

As a philosopher (and not being Kotaro's age group) I have to be a realist and see things from different angles - I can see why many forest owners would cut their forests clear, or why the plastic forks came back, why coal is mined in a number of dirty ways and why bears and wolves are hated where ever they come in close proximity to humans. However, I'm saying none of these reasons (and I won't even start writing them here) are good enough. We need to save wild nature and bears and wolves for Kotaro. We need to keep the Appalachians intact (those we still can save at least). We need to try our best that humans don't influence the global temperatures so that the ice in the poles melts and polar bears have no more places to go. If we have to sacrifice to do this, so be it. Otherwise the children are left with just those parts of nature that manage in the environment humans have created even better than humans themselves: cockroaches and rats and those animals and birds that can survive on our refuse.

(I guess I need to be more active than just writing one blog a year about the subject.)