Rational Wiki Page

    Specific views

    Influence (or lack thereof)

      Comparison to Unabomber

    See also

    External links

  Can life Prevail by Linkola

    [Front Matter]

      [Title Page]

      [Publisher Details]

      Publisher’s Foreword



      Preface by the Author

    Chapter 1: Finland


      The Finnish Body

      Sales Season

      What is the Majority and What is the Minority?

      Life Protection, Utopias, and Agriculture

      Against Highway Crime

    Chapter 2: Forests

      The Old Forest of Talaskangas

      The Green Lie

      It is Dark in the Woods

      The Forest Covering in Finland Must Be Restored

      A Logging Story

      Is the WWF Favouring Crime?

    Chapter 3: Animals

      An Animal History of the New Age

      The Ethics of Environmentalism

      The Suppressed Nightmare of Conservation

      The Cat Disaster

      Joyful Chickens and Sad

      The Animal Protector As an Apostle of Doom

      Aspects of Animal Protection

      Animal Rights in the Bible

      A Look at Vegetarianism

      The Value of Humans and That of Animals

    Chapter 4: The World and Us

      A Refresher Course in the State of the World

        Man: an Irresponsible Thief

        Will the Population Explosion be Averted — or Will Awareness of It?

        The Reality of the Population Explosion

        The Value-Basis of Protecting Life

        The Doctors’ Burden of Sin

        Tabula Rasa: a Clean Slate

        The Protection of Life and Humanism

        Unless Man Grows Humble...

        A Protector of Life is Forced to Compromise

      The Intolerable Misfortune of Technology

      Women As the Protectors of Life

      Human Nature and History

      The Decline of the World Knows No Mercy

      The World at the Turn of the Millennium

        What Do We Mean by “End of the World”?

      Bull’s Eye

      A Perspective on the State of the World, or
The ABC of the Deep Ecologist — Part One

        Philosophy for the Everyman

        The Useless Strategy of Man

      A Perspective on the State of the World, or
The ABC of the Deep Ecologist — Part Two

        The Insight of the Deep Ecologist

    Chapter 5: The Prerequisites for Life

      The Sum of Life

      On the Reversal of Finnish Society

      Can We Survive? A Model for a Controlled Future

        A Demographic Plan


        The Collection of Carbon Dioxide



        Foreign Relations

        Industry and Wares



        Subsistence Economy


        Information Technology


    [Back Matter]

      Other books published by Arktos:

  Pentti Linkola Biography by Riitta Kylänpää

    [Front Matter]

      [Title Page]

      [Publisher Details]


    I. CHILDHOOD (1932–1946)








      SAD NEWS





    II. YOUTH (1947–1959)



















    III. MANNESS (1960–1975)















    IV. DISAPPOINTMENT (1970–1975)












    V. LOST (1975–1978)




    VI. RETURN (1978–1985)














    VII. RELATIONSHIPS (1986–1995)





















    VIII. TOWARD OLD AGE (1996–2016)








      30-100 YEARS REMAINING

















Rational Wiki Page

If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating, if it meant millions of people would die.

—Pentti Linkola. No, he didn't accidentally leave out a word in that sentence.[1]

Pentti Linkola (1932–2020)[2] was a writer, ornithologist, fisherman, and radical environmentalist from Finland. The hardest of the hard greens, he believed that human population should drop to a small fraction of its current numbers to curb consumerism.

Specific views

Linkola advocated eugenics and praised the idea of World War III as a depopulation measure, and in the same vein he defended the Holocaust:

We even have to be able to re-evaluate Fascism{1} and recognize the service that philosophy made 30 years ago when it freed the Earth from the weight of tens of millions of overeating Europeans, six million of them by an almost ideally environment-preserving means.{2}

And the 2004 Madrid bombings:

Every act which disrupts the progress of Earth's life destroying Western culture is positive.[3]

Asked why he wasn't a terrorist himself, he simply admitted that he lacked the bravery and skill.[4]

Linkola opposed democracy, comparing it to a free-for-all in a huge supermarket, and said that he preferred dictatorships, as they are reigned by other values than consumption.[5] He strictly opposed not only immigration,[6] as it tends to increase consumption, but also education of women in developing countries, again for the same reason.[7]{3}

He did not refer to himself as "hard green", but instead he described himself as a "deep ecologist" in Can Life Prevail?, the first of his books to be published in English.[8]

Linkola was an atheist and opposed Lutheran Laestadianism in particular. Laestadianism forbids contraception and its followers usually have large families, which Linkola thought should be criminalized.[9] He was also supportive of conscientious objectors.[10]

Linkola's fansite includes a link to an alt-right website called amerika.org, which displays radical environmentalist views of the "blut und boden" type,[11] although it seems rather dissimilar with the ideas of a man who cheered on Europeans dying in Islamist terrorist attacks and liked fascism specifically because of all the First World people who died as a result of it.

Influence (or lack thereof)

Pekka-Eric Auvinen, the perpetrator of the Jokela school shooting in which a total of nine people perished, was a fan of Linkola's texts and quoted him several times on his website he left behind. Linkola claimed Auvinen to not have been particularly motivated by him:

In all likelihood there was no philosophical angle to [the shooting]. If it had been more planned out and more efficient, then possibly.[12]

Linkola's international reach has been limited by the fact that he didn't know English, so his thoughts have been mainly promoted by followers and through translations instead.

Comparison to Unabomber

Linkola is often compared to Unabomber (Theodore J. Kaczynski), an American terrorist, who attempted to contact Linkola by letter in 2014.[13] (Linkola never read or replied to any correspondence sent in English and he made no exception in this case.) While the similarities in their views are obvious, they are by no means equivalent:

  • Both "retired to nature" from academia, which is an obvious commonality. Kaczynski was a hermit and a recluse, who rejected society, had no family, and lived alone doing odd jobs. Although such claims are often mistakenly attached to Linkola, Linkola was gainfully employed all the time, had a wife and kids, was very sociable and fun company to be with, and even had affairs with multiple women.[14]

  • Kaczynski got his manifesto published only by coercion, while Linkola was an accomplished author and speaker.

  • Kaczynski framed his quest as a quintessentially American "struggle for freedom and individual liberties". Linkola had absolutely no problem with restricting personal freedoms and openly supported a fascist dictatorship that would enforce his Green policies.

  • While both are known for their radical anti-technology stance, Kaczynski is mostly concerned with the social impact of technology, while Linkola was concerned about the environmental impact.

See also

  • Kai Murros – another Finn with a penchant for exterminating humans, although not indiscriminately like Linkola

External links

Can life Prevail by Linkola

A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis

[Front Matter]

[Title Page]

Can Life Prevail?

A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis


Pentti Linkola



[Publisher Details]

Originally published in Finnish as Voisiko Elämä Voittaa by Tammi Publishers in 2004.

Pentti Linkola 2004 (www.penttilinkola.com)

Published by arrangement with Tammi Publishers, Helsinki, Finland. Sections of the original discussing issues limited to Finland have been omitted in this English version. Translation created by Corrupt, Inc.

Translation 2008 to original translation Corrupt, Inc.
Translation 2009 to current text jointly Corrupt, Inc. and Arktos.

First English edition published by Integral Tradition Publishing 2009.

Second English edition published by Arktos 2011.

Printed in the United Kingdom

isbn 978-1-907166-63-1

BIC classification:

The environment (RN)

Environmentalist thought and ideology (RNA)

Translator: Eetu Rautio

Translator: Olli S.

Translation Copy Edit: Neil Lund

Translation Copy Edit: Angharad Stapleton

Editor: Sergio Knipe

Assistant Editor: Michael J. Brooks

Layout: Jacob Christiansen & Daniel Friberg

Cover Design: Mattias Lövbrand

Back cover photo © Jaanis Kerkis, courtesy of Tammi Publishers, Finland.



Publisher’s Foreword

We live in a world increasingly under threat of collapse due to its gradual destruction of the environment. Everyone knows about the dangers of climate change, endless production of garbage, the unspeakably horrific mistreatment and exploitation of animals, and so forth. Everyone knows that if things do not change drastically soon it will mean the end of modern civilisation, and possibly even life. Yet, no one wants radical change. People are too comfortable to give up their high-octane cars, wide-screen television sets and exotic holidays. Pentti Linkola has no time for polite tips on slightly reducing one’s personal carbon emissions or eating more eco-friendly food. He goes directly to the core of the matter and presents radical solutions to the world’s environmental problems. Although these have at times shocked some people due to their controversy, Linkola’s writings are not based on a desire for controversy, but on a lifetime of meticulous observation of his surroundings, study and deep thought. Linkola’s solutions – such as dismantling modern cities and moving back to the countryside – may not be popular, but they are nevertheless worthy of careful consideration by thinking people. For this reason it is our great honour to present one of his books – the most recent – to the English-speaking world for the first time.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Eetu Rautio of Corrupt, Inc for providing us with this translation, and Terhi Isomäki and Sirkka Kurki-Suonio of Tammi Publishers for helping us resolve ambiguities in the text.

The Publisher,

March 2009.


A short personal recollection might help to introduce this collection of essays by Finnish ecologist Pentti Linkola.

I am currently working as a part-time librarian. The head librarian is a square middle-aged lady. A week ago, the two of us were in the office when our conversation switched to the present state of the world. The greatest of all threats, the lady explained, comes from overpopulation: the Earth is simply far too crowded at present. What is needed, she argued, is a stringent policy of population control, and a world government to effectively implement it.

The point of the story is that the lady concerned had never read Pentti Linkola: in point of fact, she had never even heard his name. Had she, I wonder what she would have made of the opinions voiced in this book?

For sure, Linkola is not your average Green. Unlike most Greens, he is not afraid to speak unpleasant truths. Many of the thoughts Linkola dares to publish will often have crossed the minds of ordinary citizens (like my head librarian); yet, similar opinions would hardly be featured in the media of Western countries.

Linkola, in a way, is an ordinary citizen himself: not a puffed-up intellectual, but someone who has spent most of his life working as a fisherman, earning a living by the Finnish shores, while fighting for the preservation of the Finnish wilderness:

“Fighting for forests means fighting for Finland. Three-quarters of Finland consists of woodland. What the forest looks like is what Finland looks like. Finland equals forest. If the forest is flayed, Finland is flayed.”

Linkola is clearly a patriot of sorts; not the flag-waving sort, though: like Edward Abbey, he is someone who cherishes a breathing motherland teeming with life.

Linkola and Abbey share much in common: a love for the wild, a hatred of mechanical chaos and a disdain for the conceited ways of modern leaders. Both are men of the land; both are revolutionaries. Linkola, like Abbey, talks of the wilderness from first hand experience; but while the present book includes a number of personal remembrances, it is not the autobiography of a retired Finnish fisherman.

As the train of industrial civilisation rattles on at ever increasing speed headed towards the abyss, crushing entire ecosystems in its wake, the heterogeneous essays contained in this book issue a dire warning.

Radical problems call for radical solutions. While the solutions advocated by Linkola might not seem palatable to many people, they are nevertheless founded on a disillusioned assessment of environmental factors, on a profound ecological sensibility and a holistic approach to human existence. The disparate articles collected in this volume, and the many areas of enquiry they cover, should thus be envisaged as part of a coherent attempt to define under what conditions the preservation of life and biodiversity on Earth might be secured.

Can Life Prevail? is the latest book of Linkola’s to have been published in Finland. It is also the first to have been translated into English. In presenting this work to an English-speaking public, efforts have been made to remove those passages that would prove too obscure for readers unfamiliar with Finnish geography, ecology, and culture. In no way do these editorial choices detract from the overall feel of Linkola’s writing, which is both global in its appeal and profoundly rooted in the living reality of Finnish nature. Finland will be seen to emerge in these pages as a useful case study for assessing the damage wrought by “Suicidal Society” and for outlining what societal alternatives might still be available in an overcrowded world on the brink of collapse.


As the many symptoms of environmental decline appear, ‘green’ thinking rises in our collective consciousness as the latest trend. Like all fads, its insincerity separates it from being able to achieve a goal. Our pop culture ecology will not avert ecocide but it will provide a fashion in the meantime.

While we sell each other neutered ‘green’ products and magazine articles about recycling condoms and turning off appliances, the crisis continues unabated. Fish stocks plummet, industrial chemicals stain water supplies, the air turns acrid with smoke, and land development excludes more species from their native habitats. Even as we see effects on our climate, half of our population is fanatically engaged in neurotic but ineffective ‘green’ activity, and the rest are defensively oblivious.

On the cusp of this imminent ecological holocaust, human beings seem unsatisfied with the still relatively new modern lifestyles they have adopted. Suicide rates rise; people bemoan the hollowness of life; doubt creeps into our minds even when we believe we are safe. Representatives of all sides of political, religious and cultural divides agree we, as a species, are heading down a bad path with no brakes. But no one can tell us what this path is, or how to stop it.

History shows us that others have faced similar mental blocks to other problems. When a society ages enough to forget its founding goals, it can only repeat the methods that worked to achieve those goals in the past. As a result, such societies become trapped in a “methodological ghetto,” limiting themselves to methods used in the past and considered safe. They forget that goals, with the passage of time, often require new methods in order to attain them. Today, this could certainly be seen to be the case.

In less than 200 years, the entire architecture of our communities in the West has transformed from local villages to large-scale industrial empires. In that process, our goals have become methods. Against this overwhelming trend, which can be seen to manifest itself as a pathological state which empowers certain agencies who squash dissenters, history throws a few great minds who adhere to clear thinking even when it contravenes convention, and look past method to the underlying goals.

Pentti Linkola is such a mind. Where other environmentalists argue over method, Linkola targets our goals through a critique of the design of our modern industrial empire. He sees how our methods — which sound good on paper — produce what Garrett Hardin called “the tragedy of the commons,” where people doing what seems sensible individually become as a crowd a destructive force.

* * *

Kaarlo Pentti Linkola was born on December 7, 1932 in Helsinki, Finland to an affluent family well-established in academia. We know little of his early life because he avoids talking about himself. At college he studied zoology and botany at first, but then changed his studies to become a naturalist in the older school of Audubon, Muir and others. He published his first book in 1955, The Great Bird Book, with co-author Olavi Hilden.

Of interest to those who want to plot the curve of both his learnings and beliefs, he started writing peaceful, nature-oriented material like the pamphlet “For the Fatherland and Human” (1960), which encouraged pacifism and conscientious objection, presaging much of the thought to come about during the tumultuous counter-culture years ahead. The transition into this time and a perceived absence of effect in the natural world shaped Linkola’s future thought.

As the years passed, Linkola steadily progressed toward his current ideology. In a collection of essays entitled Dreams of a Better World (1971), he spoke against the modern Western way of life and its over-consumption. The next decades brought Introduction to the Thinking of the 1990s (1989) and Can Life Prevail? (2004, English edition 2009) which expanded upon his previous ecological ideas with a stance that many consider eco-fascist or eco-traditionalist. In Finland, he is a popular author and recipient of the coveted Eino Leino prize for excellence in non-fiction writing.

Linkola is famous for living as he advocates others live. Supporting himself for many years until his retirement by fishing from a rowboat and selling the fish from a horse cart, he lived simply in a cabin in the woods near Lake Vanajavesi. He lacks a car, running water, computer or other electronics. He travels mostly by bicycle, longer distances by bus. His biggest departure has been to get himself a cell phone “for emergencies.”

His most tangible activism has been to create the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation (Finnish bank code 549409-522493), into which he thrust almost all of his monetary property. This foundation buys up Finnish forest land, one acre at a time, to conserve it from utilization by others. “It’s the only system in Finland through which you can save a piece of old forest with even a small contribution,” he says.

While his self-consistency gained him guru status despite the political unpopularity of his ideas, Linkola remains controversial but active as an agent provocateur, giving interviews and writing the occasional short article. Although his work remains relatively unknown outside Finland, as environmental decline accelerates, his work is increasingly finding a wider audience as people worldwide actively seek for plausible ways in which humanity can prevail.

* * *

The French writer Michel Houllebecq, in his book Atomized, used a metaphor from quantum physics in which he described people as either belonging to waves, or movements outside of themselves, or particles, in which in the same isolation that makes them ‘free’ makes them lonely, apathetic, unable to form connections.

In our time, it is not only unfashionable but inconceivable to think outside the method of preserving individual autonomy. We worship ‘freedom’, itself a negative definition focused not on what we can do but what we cannot be obligated to do. Our civilisation understands itself not as a product of history and maker of future history, but as a facilitation — like a big shopping mall with a legal system — of individuals doing what pleases them, so long as they do not interrupt others doing the same and disrupt the peace.

This condition has not made us happy. While we agree that liberty, equality, fraternity and open economies are noble methods, the goal of these — having a better civilisation and individual lives — has not manifested itself through those methods. By basing our ideal on freedom, we have closed ourselves off to obligations outside of ourselves, which coincidentally are the things that make us feel most alive. We are prisoners of the self, and it is no surprise we act selfishly as a result.

Linkola most clearly distinguishes himself from other environmental spokesmen by thinking practically about the effect of individuals “as a group”: “The consciousness of ecology has grown, but still the Average Joe only increases the load. The bustle is controlled by three words: as long as. As long as we can still travel to the other side of the globe four times a year, we will do it. As long as we can still buy a SUV, we will buy it. This is the reality.”

In doing so, he has escaped the methodological ghetto. The safe methods we have been using do not achieve our goals, so we must change. Linkola saw that while every well-meaning “education” program has vanished without making change, the occasional governmental fascism like the Endangered Species Act in the USA has produced results. Either we enforce an unpopular truth on ourselves, or we wait paralyzed by our inability to transcend our methods, and let nature enforce it on us through environmental cataclysm.

To avoid the selfishness of individuals, Linkola advocates an end to Third World aid and immigration, mandatory population control, and the creation of a ruthless “green police” to clean up the planet. His theories tie together deep ecology with a recognition that democratic, liberal societies cannot control themselves. He believes that the individual who connects himself to reality through struggle — and not the individual withdrawing into him- or herself — brings the greatest meaning to life.

As a result, Linkola’s ultimate contribution may be more spiritual than political. Humanity makes mistakes, but is not irredeemable in itself. All we must do is change our behavior, and that starts with changing our expectations. We can do better, even if it means facing our fears. “Every example throughout the history of humanity shows that only deprivation and struggle create a human life worthy of the name and that material welfare leads only to despair,” Linkola explains.

* * *

A few of his more controversial points:

Progress — consisting of technological, economic and moral/social growth — is an illusion. “Its priests fervently cling to the idea that material prosperity brings enjoyment and happiness — even though history has shown that only material want and a life of struggle lead to a meaningful existence. In other words material prosperity doesn’t bring about anything apart from misery.”

Democracy empowers selfishness. “Any political system based on desire is fundamentally flawed. Society and life have been organized upon the basis of individual desires, not on what is good for nature.”

An elite is needed to rule. “Just as only one out of 100,000 has the talent to be an engineer or an acrobat, only a few are truly capable of managing the matters of a nation or mankind.”

We need strong leadership to keep individuals from being selfish. “Our only hope lies in strong central government and uncompromising control of the individual citizen.”

Population control can be done with passive means. Births must be licensed, immigration and international trade must end, and growth must be reduced.

We can find a more balanced life. People can travel with bicycles, rowboats and horse carts. Private cars are confiscated. Long-distance travel is done with sparse mass transport. Trees will be planted on most roads.

Business, which empowers selfishness, must be reduced. Manufacture is allowed only for proven needs. All major manufacturing capacity is state owned. Products will be durable and last for generations.

We can re-invent a culture where science, spirituality and politics are united around realism. “Education will concentrate on practical skills. All competition is rooted out. Technological research is reduced to the extreme minimum. But every child will learn how to clean a fish in a way that only the big shiny bones are left over.”

Among naturalists, or those who study nature as a whole as a system of patterns, Linkola’s views are neither anathema nor unusual, although they are rarely articulated because it is political and commercial suicide. Jacques Cousteau, another well-known naturalist, once said: “This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.”

* * *

Unlike those who are stranded in the morals and methods of environmentalism, Linkola recognizes, in his own words, that “the biggest threat to life is too much life.”

Our expansion is the cancer consuming our planet; we can be pro-human but realize that, like humans individually feel a need to diet, we must suppress our urge to fill our inner voids with the reckless consumption of external things. Underneath this fearsome proclamation is a compassionate voice speaking to each individual: all is not lost; we can change.

At the end of our investigation into his beliefs, it seems the heart of Linkola is love. A love for humanity, encompassing not only what it is and what it has been, but what it could be. A love so great that it can destroy in order to protect, or create, much as our universe does not shy away from destruction in order to make new and better things.

Pentti Linkola may be a trickster who is using radical ideas as metaphors, or he may be speaking literally — it’s hard to tell. What is certain is that he restarted the debate on how to fix the environment by getting us out of the confinement of ourselves, and looking at the big picture, which gives hope for realistic solutions for the first time in human history.

Brett Stevens

Austin, Texas, 2008

Preface by the Author

When I write or speak about the important questions in life, when I persistently attempt to erect dams in the way of a devastating flood, most of my friends and many strangers regard me as a naïve optimist. They think that the game is already over: that the life of our planet is declining; that it is heading at a rapidly accelerating pace toward final suffocation, and there is no longer much we can do about it.

Yet, I will still argue against these people. I know the same things they do: I know that the end of history is nigh. Still, I am talking about very high probabilities, not about absolute certainties. It is almost the same thing.

Besides, I am also interested in less than what those thinkers and observers who stand for a “total solution” are interested in: what matters for me is the preservation of life on Earth until a distant future. In an emergency, I am satisfied with a delay, a postponement (even a slight one): some “extra time for nature”, as the late zoologist and friend of nature Olli Järvinen entitled his collection of articles. It is not irrelevant for a human individual whether he will live to eighty or eighty-one years of age: a person, like any animal, will usually hang onto his extra year or extra days.

I find some worth even in mere speculation, in hypothetically considering under what conditions and after what changes the continuation or lengthening of life could be assured.

Ultimately, I am resigned to simply searching for an explanation for the world, with no reformist aim in mind – at least for the time being. I am working on a report and strive, in a way, to be a contemporary historian, one more insightful and accurate than most. I was forced to struggle in an attempt to split chaos into fractions, to divide the wide front of human insanity into cross-sections to examine, in the attempt to formulate a difficult analysis after an easy synthesis.

Although my view is a worldwide view and my area of observation the whole of Europe, the nation closest to my heart is, understandably, my homeland. And it is a fortunate coincidence – fortunate for my explanation of the world – that this country provides the clearest example of destructive development in the whole world. Even the ethnologist and explorer Kai Donner, a long time ago, stated that of all peoples the Finno-Ugric have been the most willing to absorb the influence of Western culture and abandon their own. Faster and more radically than any other nation, Finland is switching to the most horrid forms of market economy, to an uncritical worship of technology, to automation and media vapidity; with information technology pervading all human exchanges, (American) English has now been adopted as a second language in Finland – and as the first in an increasing number of professional sectors.

Amidst all of this chaos, I am quick in noting – and cataloguing – the good, joyful things in life. Good and joyful are many things found in this collection of writings: things that share the one common feature of being still in existence. I have found nothing good that was ever brought about by progress.

These articles contain many repetitions, as they were written in heterogeneous circumstances. Much overlap will be found with texts written by other thinkers, with my earlier works and even between different pieces of this collection. This is the least of my worries, as repetition is, to some extent, the mother of all learning. A thousand more echoes are to be found in the liturgy that is constantly hummed around us: the liturgy of the prophets of economic growth, of competition, efficiency and ‘competence’.

Pentti Linkola

Sääksmäki, April 25, 2004

Chapter 1: Finland


In the thirty-five years I have worked as a fisherman, I have had to deal first hand with the phenomenon of food hygiene. Personal experience is always a clear indicator of the development of certain phenomena: in this case, the degeneration of our cultural history.

As a small boy, I spent my summers on my grandfather’s estate by Lake Vanajanselkä, which was surrounded by dozens of fishermen’s red cabins. Many family members used to spend the summer there as well, and naturally had to be fed. From time to time, Hilma Silvo would come to sell his fish, and would sit on the long bench of the main room with a basket at her feet. I thought this was a magnificent basket: it was covered by black alder branches, and when you opened it slightly, you were immediately struck by the glimmer of large pikeperch, their eyes glaring. Most of these fish were taken to the nearby town of Hämeenlinna, where long rows of fish salesmen awaited in the market hall. The fish were carried to town in the basket, beneath the black alder branches. The fishermen would row up to a liner at the centre of the lake, which slowed down to take the basket on board. The ship stopped at quays along every cape, coming and going at irregular hours. Hygiene was never discussed: the fish was bought in hot weather as well as cold, and the buyer was the one to top and tail it. In the evening the fishermen rowed up to the ship again: a basket was then lowered over the bulwark with an envelope containing the day’s wage.

Those memories, which my senior fishing brethren helped me recall, stretch back to the prosperous days of the 1930s. War followed and years of distress: at least back then, the concept of hygiene was not at all connected to the business of eating. We ate what we had, and particularly the most expensive delicacies — wares from the black market — may have gone through a long process of hauling and ripening. No one had heard of vegetarianism, although it had been an old folly in Europe; certainly, I cannot see how it might have survived those rough days: I suppose it disappeared and was later resurrected. In any case, Finns were statistically healthier during the war than at any other time in their history — unless, of course, we also include bullet holes in the statistic.

When I followed the role models of my childhood and became a fisherman, I was ten years late: I missed the golden age of those troubled years. At that time it was common practice for most women from Valkeakoski and Hämeenlinna to wait in a queue by the shore for the Vanaja fishermen. And no fish was wasted either: roach, blue bream, white bream, anything was good enough. But of course, fish was valued even in the late 1950s when I started fishing: it is shocking today to discover what high prices a catch could fetch back then. The fish were transported by bus in cardboard boxes and crates to the market salesmen of Äänekoski and Jyväskylä. At this stage, I had yet to hear of the expression “food hygiene”.

I caught whitefish, the easiest Finnish fish to spoil, in Lake Päijänne, and an ice cellar was an absolute requirement in the hot weather of July and August. If you threw the whitefish from the net straight onto the ice and then poured some new ice into the crate in the evening, the fish would last well through the journey from the city, and sometimes through long business cycles to your customers’ kitchens. Back then, even city-dwellers were rooted in nature: they wanted fine, undamaged fish to scale and gut themselves (only in the case of the roe you might have removed the liver and possibly heart and kidneys). Had you tried to offer a gutted fish in the market, people would have thought you were up to something fishy.

As welfare Finland progressed, however, many regulations began to be issued from wiseacres’ desks. As the road network had expanded, roads had been made straighter, deliveries faster, and fish was being transported even more quickly from the mesh to store counters, government officials came to believe that the fish too, perhaps, was going to spoil sooner. According to the new regulations, all fish was to be iced during transportation up to mid-October, when experience had already shown that using any ice was unnecessary even in September. This, of course, meant additional expenses and more working hours for the arrangement of packs and crates.

Soon it was found that cod and flatfish had to be slaughtered and gutted immediately after the catch and sent already scaled to wholesale. At that time, unfortunately, I had just been dispatched as a sea fisher to the Finnish Gulf, where I struggled to make a living with flatfish in July and August, when there was no other fish to catch at all. Swift like the Light Brigade, in the half-darkness of the night, with my phenomenally deft fishing buddy Jokke Turunen I would gut and rinse the meshes, machine-like, at the rear of the boat. We would then head back, rushing on our bicycles to carry the flatfish crates to where the morning bus would be leaving, at 7 am sharp. That summer we were making four Marks per kilo; in autumn, the price had already dropped to three Marks, and we too dropped out.

That new regulation made even less sense in the case of trawl fishers ordered to gut Baltic herring on board: a kilo of Baltic herring has as much guts as a kilo of flatfish and cod, but the herring spoils much faster. I cannot make sense of this letting of blood: blood — whether that of warm- or cold-blooded animals — provides valuable nourishment for humans. I used much flatfish and cod in my own household. At home, the fish would lie in all stillness in a corner of my hallway even for a couple of days before being gutted. He who knows fish like the back of his hand has a lot to cry and a lot to laugh about. How many times have I heard my guests thank me for my burbot soup: “Why, this fisherman’s soup is wonderful! And fresh too, for once!” Yes, burbot soup is a heavenly dish. My soup is really delicious, although to make it I only use the burbots which have lost their colour (a sure sign that the fish has been kept a while too long and is no longer good enough to sell). The burbots found in markets and shops will be fresher than mine.

I can remember a young fish researcher who took food hygiene one step further. This person discovered that fish did not cool enough when covered in natural ice chips: he had found so many bacteria in them, that he figured we needed to produce ice chips mechanically. Full of enthusiasm, he cheerfully brought this news to fishermen: the number of fish stored in manufactured ice chips would soar, he claimed, and so would the fishermen’s profit. Too bad that the price of an ice chip maker is equivalent to the income a part-time fisherman might make in two years (and the majority of our fishermen work part-time). Even a full-time fisherman would have to spend a full year’s income in order to afford this machine.

Freshness hysteria means nonsensically increasing the frequency of transportation, by transporting increasingly smaller quantities with increasingly expensive equipment — and this applies to all food products. When I see one of those refrigerating vans that cost a million or two, I shiver. A friend of mine, a potato farmer, takes his newly unearthed potatoes to the shops three times a day. It is all quite charming: the potatoes shine like emeralds and are almost alive: but just how much does this cost? The most moronic buyers won’t even take bread that isn’t hot from the oven. Those shops all have refrigerated shelves and freezers and toilets and tiles and sinks. Most of the shops in my youth had nothing; but of course none of them are left now: they were all closed down in the first assault of the hygiene inspectors. Any shopkeeper or farmer in Finland could confirm what I am writing. Whenever I hear someone moaning about food prices, I think to myself, “No wonder food is expensive, after all the fuss made about hygiene!”

Sometimes I make the mistake of riding my bicycle in the warm south, in Hungary or France. There I always notice the simple joy of men and flies in market squares and shops where there is no hygiene fuss. Fuss over hygiene only seems to flourish in my own country, which is frozen half of the year and almost frozen the other half; but Arctic bacteria in Finland is given a hard time anyway. A long life has taught me that the vast majority of all man’s actions are rubbish: nothing but humbug!

My problem is that I continuously strive to make sense, so to speak — in vain. Through laboratory analysis we can find countless bacteria, poisons, heavy metals and botulin in almost anything. But this is only of academic interest. In everyday life, it is a matter of resistance. Hygiene won’t stop a salmonella epidemic: rather, it might cause it. A child is given a good start in life if he is allowed freely to sweep and taste the floor, the street and the compost hill. In the course of my own lifetime, all foods have been declared poisonous at some stage. I myself tend to dismiss all nutritional controversies — surrounding meat, vegetables, salt, butter, sugar — with one simple statement: if you don’t eat, you die, and if you eat, you survive. It is enough to clarify that objects that harm teeth and internal organs, such as iron nails and glass fragments, should best be avoided.

Juice and jam always get covered in a layer of mould in my humid old cellar and porch: I simply mix it into the jam and eat it with gusto. Sometimes, after a long trip, I will find half a loaf of bread that has turned green at the back of the shelf: well, I won’t waste God’s grain. There is no lake or stream in Finland from which I would not drink: thirst is a terrible torment and the vast range of tastes a real delight. I will press the fen down with my boot until enough water trickles out for me to catch in a cup or my cap. Downstream, I will keep a precautionary distance of a few kilometres from pulp mills: the lye-induced chapping of the lips is a greater deterrent than thirst. To this day, I haven’t peeled a single apple — and yet my stomach has never been bothering me. Now, of course, they would say that I was born with an iron stomach. Actually, I’m sure there isn’t much variation in human anatomy and physiology: even bodily proportions don’t vary that much. The only great difference between people is their brain capacity: they either have the room for a vast number of thoughts, beliefs and delusions, or they don’t.

Will the hygiene scare continue? Talk is being made of an incipient economic depression in the country, which will supposedly encourage us to cut costs. A week ago I got a call from a fisherman friend of mine, one of the few who still struggle in this profession stifled by fish farms, cheap imports and rising costs. He and our remaining colleagues were forced to give up their customary deliveries to the wholesale store, as it couldn’t afford to pay a decent price due to increasing expenditures. My friend had been forced to mobilize the last resources of his family to meet the cost of processing, smoke-curing, filleting, as well as that of running his own market store, which travelled across different regions. All this is pretty tough, when you are supposed to be fishing as well. Somehow, my friend had managed to keep things going. Now, however, it seems that the final barrier has been erected: according to the new regulations, the temperature of market fish must not exceed three degrees (it used to be eight). This is practically impossible, so practically every man already has a fine waiting for him.

If only I had power to match my will, I would deport all the hygiene inspectors to the landfills where they have disposed of so much good food that was produced with the nation’s hard work.


The Finnish Body

Last spring I took part in the Sporttipäivät, our national sports celebration. Physical fitness is a matter very dear to me, and an early jog across Vaasa with a young manager from the city leading the way was a real treat. And yet... Some five hundred people from all around the country had enrolled on the programme to exercise and practise some sport, but only thirty of them showed up at the start, and half of these opted for the shortest walking marathon. Perhaps the example I have chosen is not a particularly good one: the marathon was on the second evening of the festival, and the programme of the previous day must have been taxing. Nevertheless, narrow-minded as I am, I noticed too many typical Finnish men with reddish faces, plump cheeks, suspiciously bulging jackets and windcheaters. Sure, there were some vigorous bodies as well: I was delighted at the sight of my fellow lecturer Harri Holkeri, with his jogging and Baltic herring diet.

Professor Vuolle from Jyväskylä University showed us some excellent statistics regarding the sporting habits of Finns. As a student of nature, however, I am always suspicious of sociologists’ surveys. In this instance, I felt that the results simply revealed positive attitudes to exercise. Sure, this is a good thing in itself, although I believe there is somewhat of a temptation to cheat in these surveys: some may confuse their love for watching sport with the practising of it. What if Vuolle’s study had been made by concretely examining the daily schedule of a group of people? My fragmentary and inaccurate data, gathered according to this principle, suggests that the Finnish body is degrading at a fast rate due to lack of usage; that females are — again — in better shape than men; that the upper social strata have better postures and that people living in the town centre walk more than those who live in the country.

The real problem is posed by those countrymen who are complete slaves to machines from a shockingly young age. All exceptions aside, it is impossible to make the average Finnish country dweller of over fifteen years of age ride a bicycle, ski or row — or even exercise in the fields. The spell of the car and its antecedent — the scooter — is unbelievable. A young man will travel a hundred metres to the sauna by car; as this involves backing the car, reversing and manoeuvring, opening and shutting garage doors, it is not a matter of saving time. In the case of farmers, moreover, the more technology advances — every sack of fertiliser now being lifted by a tractor, the spread and removal of manure being a mechanical feat — the more will their physical activities be limited to taking a few steps in the garden and climbing onto the benches of saunas. Lumberjacks have already been replaced by multi-tasking machines, while fishermen lever their trawl sacks with a winch, haul their nets with a lever, and gather their Baltic herrings with an aspirator from open fish traps.

The biologist, who sees man as a balanced whole, and for whom muscles, bones, sinews and veins are as important as brains, can only look on, upset, as the destruction of all physical work and fitness continues. When Martti Ahtisaari entered the arena of Finnish politics, my biologist friend Olavi Hildén — a university professor over sixty yet still in great shape — became furious: “How could people even consider to choose him as our president? He can’t even walk properly: he just ambles along!”

If one has the patience to cool down, he will admit that charming personalities exist even among chubby people: many great things have been achieved from behind thick layers of fat. But still, it is frightening to see the presidential chair filled by someone who has completely allowed his willpower and discipline to slacken in one sphere of life. This is all the more unpleasant if we follow sociologists in believing that presidential victories are no longer determined by candidates’ ideals, but rather by the images of themselves that they project. Is the popularity of Ahtisaari due to the fact that he is perceived as a buddy by the typical Finnish male, feasting on beer and sausages in his sauna, and that he reminds the typical Finnish female of her own pot-bellied companion?

When was the Finnish body forced to retire? Well, it happened quickly, in the same decades when all other structural changes in our society took place, paving the way to (eco)catastrophe: it all began in the 1960s — and the process is not over yet. In my days as a schoolboy, in the 1940s, in Helsinki, I remember all spare time was spent on the move — despite the fact that we all hated gymnastics and sports at school. A daylong skiing trip on winter Sundays was an absolute must. During the week at least half of my class, girls and boys together, would spend evenings skating or sledging in Kaivopuisto. While we waited for the evening to come, we would have huge snowball fights on the cliffs of Töölö (two hits and you were out of the game!). I can still remember as a statistical miracle the time when alone I succeeded in vanquishing the whole rival team with eight hits.

Sure, we spent evenings indoors. Each in turn we would host a social occasion that was officially known as a “fight night”, when we would wrestle or fight like knights at a tournament. Luckily, the old houses in the city had large rooms that were also fairly soundproof. The only quiet time I recall spending among my peers are the few nights when we sat and played Monopoly. But the number of those evenings is insignificantly small compared to the hours pale schoolboys nowadays spend staring at screens.

Recollections like these, with their talk about how things were better in the olden days, are hardly original: admittedly, they are pretty much common to every elderly person. And yet, to dismiss these recollections as the trivial “blathering of old men” would be a stupid mistake, for they can be seen to furnish historical portrayals of objective, sizable differences in human conditions and ways of living. To what extent and according to what perspective these changes might be positive, negative or irrelevant is a separate — and serious — issue. The same goes for the question of which of these changes might be irreversible and which only a passing development.

I sense a dark foreboding in man’s separation from his body, as if it heralded the severing of man’s direct link to nature’s laws. This is not a minor issue: it’s about whether man is a human being or a machine. This question is related to even more profound matters — in fact, the most serious matters of all. The most crucial question regarding every human action in this era is how much strain it exercises on nature: the choice is between growth and preservation. This increasing lack of physical exercise does not bode well. The replacement of muscle power with industrial energy means, of course, a great increase of burden, the fiasco of all fiascos. But let us consider the issue of ecological balance separately and get back to my days as a schoolboy.

When it comes to the cost of objects, the “old ways” were not always that great. I remember once buying a new pair of wooden skis: after twenty minutes one of them had already snapped on smooth ice. This, however, was an exception: sports and outdoor equipment (skates, sleighs, footballs, trampolines) were cheap in those days and mostly handed down from generation to generation and from one sibling to another. Modern sports equipment, by contrast, whether that used in downhill skiing, ice hockey or fishing, is a terrible squander. The whole concept of a sports hobby has changed. In my youth, hobbies should not and could not cost much: often they cost nothing more than a few patches to mend your trousers with. Schools and clubs have long had gyms and sport halls, but in the new era of madness the size of these places has become absurd. Winter sports are now played in ice stadiums in summer, and football is played in winter: Finns have beaten their own country’s climate. All this leads to the waste of natural resources: production, transportation, energy, emissions, shrinking green areas, climate change, ozone depletion — the usual “environmentalist” talk, the persistent harping one must never tire of, if only for the sake of life. One must have the strength to remind people again and again that motor sports are environmental crimes of the worst sort — until they will finally be banned altogether or stifled through heavy taxation.

Every individual who walks, runs, rides bikes, swims, rows, paddles, skis, shovels or hoes is setting up a line of defence against the mad onslaught of machines; if he is a parent, grandparent, teacher, youth mentor or exercise instructor who also manages to win a few other people over to his side, he is doing an even better job.


Sales Season

In August 1962, after a busy season for bird-ringers, I had earned myself a decent vacation. So I cycled with my wife through Sweden and Denmark, although the furious wind blowing from the North Sea never allowed us to reach our intended destination: the beaches of Jylland. Still, we adored the huge beech forests — spending our nights there, too — and the vast green fields dotted with cows, lapwings and flocks of gulls. We ate countless cherries and apples, which were sold in carton boxes. We also visited towns and city centres. I remember the masses of old black bicycles and how different the traffic situation was from the one back home. I also remember how I once made the mistake of ordering some non-alcoholic wine at a restaurant: when the bill came we realised we had just lost half of our travel funds. To this day, that wine is the most expensive food item I have ever purchased.

The most amazing thing for us in Denmark, though, were the shop windows of cities, which had these large signs advertising ordinary food at reduced prices. We found this shocking, appalling, pitiful: were the Danes — non-alcoholic wine aside — so poor that they couldn’t afford to pay normal prices for bread, butter and sugar? We had never seen any food items being advertised in Finland, except for new products. A pack of butter, Finnish sausage, a litre of milk and a kilo of oatmeal would cost the same — whatever the price — anywhere in Finland. We were also horrified by the ugliness of the shop windows: we knew that all decent shops in Finland hired people to make their windows look artsy and stylish.

Yeah, right. We now know better: Finland has followed the lead of bigger countries and European civilisation. It has been a while since sun or moon have shone their rays in any grocery store: shop windows have now been plastered full of moronic price announcements all ending in 95. (We should consider ourselves lucky, I guess: last summer I noticed that prices in Germany all ended in 99...).

Why should this be so bad? Well, first of all, the cityscape is becoming gross and shabby. Beauty is always a central and inalienable value, a value far more important than economy.

The other sad consequence of having all these signs up is that people’s thoughts are burdened: their thinking is constantly being drawn towards trivial nonsense. Every day people are forced to wade through hundreds or thousands of price tags just to figure out where to buy the cheapest tomatoes or mackerel. And where does all our pious talk about the saving of paper and energy go when new posters are affixed everyday, myriads of supermarket catalogues are shoved into every mailbox, magazines devote dozens of pages to food advertising and hundreds of thousands of cars travel from one discount store to another seeking discounts? Oh Finland, oh Europe! Oh Man, thou crown of Creation! At times it is not easy to love humanity...

These ever-present giant-letter signs displaying sums of money are no small concern, no simple subject for a merry causerie: they are a matter of dire cultural history, the prelude to and expression of the extremely material Zeitgeist we are living in. For as long as human culture has existed, we have bemoaned and disapproved of materialism, always attempting to get rid of it for the sake of “higher goals” (let us simply say in the name of ideology, philosophy, science and art). Now, we have entered the time of the most manifest and absolute materialism ever known to the world: the reign of money.
In my youth, even this country had a so-called educated class. I knew people who had completely embraced the values of culture, beauty, style, social responsibility and charity (charity not as the bleak social security of state power but as a personal gift). Consideration and good manners were of utmost importance to these people, who followed one basic rule: never to discuss money, even if occasionally one might have pondered upon his own financial situation.

Nowadays, the educated class and its values are almost dead: they have been completely stamped out. Some old geezer or grandma may still be living in their own minority culture, greeting all neighbours, stopping to talk to the janitor, radiating a puzzling smile of friendship to a nation of windbreakers.

When was the last time these people published any poems in newspapers? When did financial news, account statements from corporations and factory orders become the main items of news? When did Helsingin Sanomat with such flaring honesty start heading its main section “MONEY”? If I were to answer that it was a year ago, or five or ten years ago, I would not be too far off the mark.

How was this new Zeitgeist born? What or who creates society’s values? There is no simple answer: I would need a book, not an article, to explain it. For the sake of clarity, however, we might point here to one main culprit: journalists, those mediators of information — an unbelievably irresponsible, vile, and harmful category of men. Journalists are not only monkeys running after the latest trends, emulating each other like sheep; journalists also dictate fashion and values. It is journalists who turn the 0.1 % increase in the interest rate of Luxembourg’s central bank into the main headline of the day.

Journalists effectively have the same function as the sales signs in shop windows or the advertising leaflets in our letterboxes. These mediators of information have an incomprehensible desire and capacity to fill people’s consciousness with rubbish that is both trivial and false, while erecting huge walls around serious questions. Journalists make sure that vital issues like population explosion, depletion, pollution and extinction are only followed by the readers of specialist publications — as was previously the case with financial news.

Journalists peddle gambling; people buy it and invest their lousy pennies. The students I knew, even those not enrolled in the School of Economics, have all joined investment companies or the stock market. A double moral has prevailed: we are crucifying a few bank managers who are as guilty as half of the nation, while letting off the hook the greatest inciters of financial gambling: journalists.

But now that financial trafficking has been exposed, it is not that easy to get rich by moving money around. Will the old heroes be replaced by better ones? I think things will only get worse. The new national hero in Finland is a genuine lout who with his company (Masa Yards) is making money by furiously pounding steel: can there be a more worthless and criminal act than to waste the remaining natural resources to build luxury cruisers so that the rotting carcasses of humanity might sail around the Caribbean in their whiskey haze?

But I apologise for the rant: I guess my writing too is a sign of how all sense of civility has long been lost...

Civility is dead, long live civility! Where is the national movement we need in this country, with a new Jesus to drive the merchants out of the temple? I would immediately join as a disciple, and then possibly give up writing.

Is all this filth here to stay? After all the fantastic inventions and scientific accomplishments of man, after all the purgatory we have been through, has it really come to this? Is this the true condition of man and our real contribution to life on this planet? Is this, to quote Fukuyama, truly the end of history? Or might something decent still be salvaged?


What is the Majority and What is the Minority?

Reality, the facts of everyday life and the news do their best to depress the caretaker, “guardian of life” and “environmentalist”. The concern about Creation and mankind’s drift towards destruction and extinction is a heavy burden to take upon one’s shoulders. It is also tiring to fight back again certain trends, and the temptation to give up is strong.

Yet, occasionally there is some glimmer of hope: a small improvement in a natural area, some successful attempt at preservation, a moderate decrease in emissions, a legislative step towards conservation, a new area being protected, some conference at Rio... We immediately try not to remind ourselves that in the meanwhile annihilation is marching on elsewhere; we do our best not to notice that in the end some of these “environmentalist” actions are only a sanctimonious masquerade and scam.
Some real solace is provided by knowledge of the fact that there aren’t so few of us “environmentalists” out there after all. Environmentalist voices come from unexpected quarters: letters in newspapers, articles, chatter in the street, even random encounters with strangers. Besides, life is often mysterious: it might be the case that neither we “environmentalists” nor anyone else actually know what worldview, what outlook, is held by the majority of people and what by the minority.

Is society being led in a direction that the majority does not actually approve of? How many actually wish for and support things like strenuous competition, efficiency, rationalisation and renovation? Like trying for the sake of trying, always rushing to invent new things and abandon the old? Like bartering for the sake of bartering, travelling back and forth to the far reaches of the Earth, the shipping of goods to and fro for its own sake? Or schooling, courses, adult schooling, re-education, always hurrying about as if one’s heels were on fire?

How many believe that human well-being, pleasure and happiness diminish the more we follow this path? And that even if this path were not to lead to ecocatastrophe and extinction, it would still be a gloomy and dreadful one?

It is often the case that after a municipal assembly or a similar event, when a bad decision has been taken, a member of the assembly will privately admit that he was personally against the decision, but voted in favour all the same because he knew it was the position held by the majority and did not wish to shatter the consensus, disturb the easy flow of things, and give rise to unnecessary confusion. Then the same matter is often brought up with another assembly member in private, and again the same words are heard. 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.

It is entirely possible that the “opinion of the majority”, “the general view” according to which decisions are taken — the opinion of town councils, the parliament and media — in fact only reflects the position of a small but powerful minority. This minority fosters rivalry between individuals, companies and societies in the name of performance, automatisation, production, consumption, exports, imports, the stock market, motorways and fast trains. This minority possesses the power and cogency of a shaman, the drive of a fanatic, the mysterious, irrational and persuasive strength of an idiot. Perhaps only a few people set the rules.

Formally, even Finland is a democracy: we all have the same right to vote and one’s word weighs as much as anyone else’s in decision-making. Election after election, the major parties, which are all the same — all going on about development, progress and money — receive a vast majority of votes, and are legitimised to form governments.

In the end, force of habit prevails. People would like to vote for small, alternative parties, “but it just isn’t worth it: they’ll get so few votes, they will never make an impact.” It is both shocking and absurd, for instance, that while most Finns would ultimately like to vote for the Green Party, they don’t. Is Finnish society a tragicomedy, where one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry?


Life Protection, Utopias, and Agriculture

When the environmentalist enquires about possibilities for survival, his attention is inevitably drawn to the issue of farming. Mikko Hovila’s broad survey “Agriculture and the Environmentalist Movement”, featured in issue four of Elonkehä [The Biosphere], was a highly significant piece, not least because it offered an opportunity to clarify some rather miserable delusions.

I do not know how the dictionary defines the word utopia. Anyhow, Hovila uses it to indicate “a model differing from the dominating one” or — in more elaborate terms — “a model that differs from the one that happens to prevail at the time of observation”. This concept, I would argue, is both fruitless and misleading.
The words utopia and utopian are useful when used to describe reveries that are only dreamt of: things impossible, deceptive, unrealistic or which lead to ruin. For a long time it has been clear that of all known societies and economies, the most genuinely utopian are those that have been adopted at present, as they are founded on the logical impossibility of continuous economic growth.

When, in an article entitled “Utopian Politics are Dangerous”, Hovila describes the model societies suggested by Pentti Linkola and Eero Paloheimo as “unrealistic”, “dangerous utopias”, his line of reasoning makes no sense whatsoever. What could be more “dangerous” than the present unwavering and relentless descent into a mass grave: this society of economic growth and technology that every second is destroying the life around us? If nothing else, the programmes of Linkola, Paloheimo and Schumacher (who was also mentioned by Hovila) are examples of extreme realism, anti-idealism and anti-utopianism. Each in their own way, these programmes have specifically been devised to secure the survival of society, mankind and life: they are as far away from being “dangerous” as could possibly be.

What Hovila writes is often unbelievable: “The use of violent methods poses a concrete risk. The recent raids carried out by animal-rights extremists are an example of how ‘utopians’ may collaborate with dissenters.” In his expression of this matter Hovila even manages to lump together two completely opposite things: the subtle and altogether limited violence of animal rights activists on the one hand; the massive violence openly practiced by fur farmers and the vast, hidden violence perpetrated by economic growth on the other.

Hovila deftly writes: “These models present the same problem as all utopias: unless fully implemented, they will not be implemented at all. Without a connection to the present, these programmes are simply meaningless.”
It is rather grotesque that Hovila’s words should be completely disproved by his own suggestions (in this case, in favour of greener farming). For neither have his own compromising suggestions been “realized to any degree”: the complete end of agriculture and absolute triumph of industrial farming are shaping market economy. Small adjustments toward a softer direction have not been accepted any more than radical environmentalist alternatives: integrated farming or IP [Integrated Production] plays no part whatsoever in the contemporary economy.

Hovila’s point about being “connected to the present” is significant. The worst mistake that anyone thinking about society can make is to envisage the prevailing system as the starting point: to begin from a tabula rasa, a clean slate, is an absolute must in order to develop any sort of programme. Human history across the world offers a wide range of societal models: the model that happens to be the prevailing one in our own society does not represent any intrinsically superior point of reference. Any binding to a given societal model paralyses the whole thinking process, as is shown by the conventionalities that Hovila — like many others — writes.

In voicing his disapproval of the Green movement because of its opposition to farming, Hovila actually echoes the feelings of many people, including myself, with regard to a past when family farming still meant “living off the land” and agriculture was a way of life. Yet, at the same time, Hovila fails to mention the disgusting aspects of Finnish farming which were also prevalent back then: the senseless love of machines, which soon led to over-mechanisation, and the brutish treatment of forests. It is because of these reasons that environmentalists, whether from the countryside or city, are suspicious of farmers.

But what is the state of agriculture nowadays? How did the farmer mange to get snuffed out like that? I have lived in a farming community for the last fifty years and am increasingly terrified at how farmers surrender, apathetically yielding to what is dealt from above.

There are tens of thousands of farmers (dozens in my own circle of friends) who, as humbly as they slaughter cattle, are handing over their estates and houses, closing their business and retiring even if only middle-aged, to become forty or fifty year-old idlers. The saddest thing is that the reason why these farmers are leaving is that they are scared by all the talk about the decline of the farming business, even if the money they are making from milk, meat and grain is still enough to support them.

Then there are the tough guys of the agricultural world, mostly young men berserk about performance. They’ll invest, mechanise, increase, buy half of the village’s lands with no concern for the debts and charges they are incurring in trying to satisfy the EU wishes by acquiring tremendous numbers of cattle, pigs or chickens and hectares upon hectares of crops. These walking environmental catastrophes, with their agribusiness farming, do not deserve the slightest sympathy.

What of course will never change is the fact that we will always derive our sustenance from agriculture. The truth, however, is hard to swallow.


Against Highway Crime

There is news in the papers about attempts to disrupt and sabotage highway construction sites. The Finnish Road Administration is asking for help from the police.

It should be emphasised that, given the current state of the world, building a motorway is undoubtedly a criminal activity, classifiable among major crimes. All actions that encourage, increase, ease or speed up traffic are criminal activities. The smothering with asphalt of every green, productive are [a Finnish unit of measurement, equivalent to 10 square metres or 120 square yards] is a criminal act in a situation where humanity is on the verge of destruction and ecocatastrophes are looming large.

Among ecocatastrophes is climate change, which — as we witness with our own eyes — is advancing at an even faster rate than expected. In the coming decades it will blight a large share of the globe’s harvests through drought and make northern regions (like Finland) unsuitable for farming, as the inevitable increase in rainfall will make harvesting, both mechanical and manual, impossible. The upsetting of the gaseous balance of the atmosphere, to which traffic crucially contributes, is one of the major causes of climate change.

An increase in road traffic does not contribute to human well-being. Ninety percent of cargo traffic transports unnecessary and harmful material. Ninety percent of passenger car traffic is either wasteful driving or the kind of travelling that could easily be replaced by public transport (with 50 to 500 people per vehicle).

Trillions or quintillions of animals and plants are being wiped out on motorways. The road across Lake Vanajavesi in Konho, for instance, has wiped out a large colony of birds, spoiling the river’s habitat forever. Hardly a greater sin could have been committed on the face of the Earth: no war has ever led to such wastelands.

All those responsible, at various levels, for the construction of motorways, should be sent to the Court of Impeachment. In the case of MPs, their inviolability should be revoked.

As long as these steps will not be taken, responsible young activists deserve all of our support in their efforts to halt the motorway monsters.

The role of the police should also be re-evaluated: is it to protect criminals, or could it be to protect life instead?


Chapter 2: Forests

The Old Forest of Talaskangas

The second editorial of the Helsingin Sanomat published on the 27th of February argues that a primeval forest with its plants, mushrooms and animals is no more valuable to nature than a forest that has been coppiced or clearcut and subsequently re-planted: a field of trees, so to speak, with its own plants, mushrooms and animals. The editorial also states, “lumberjacks do not destroy nature, even though they chop down trees.” Yeah, right. Let me tell three short stories about three primeval forests in Finland.
The first forest was felled and later cleared of all stumps; wheat was sown in its place. No significant change took place: wheat is as green and natural as both three-hundred year-old pines and roughly shaped, two metre thick aspens.

A second forest was also chopped down and an industrial plant was built in its place; around it, thirty hectares of paved terrain occupied by warehouses and parking lots. No doubt, this new natural forest was not green, but living humans inhabited it; and humans are as valuable as the rest of living nature.
A third primeval forest was cut down when a piece of rock, moved by a tractor, drew someone’s attention. Soon a hundred metre deep quarry could be found in its place. Nature did not substantially change: the new level, a hundred meters below the previous one was, of course, equally natural. Aeons ago, a mountain of five thousand meters had stood there.

For the sake of comparison, I will tell one last story, one set entirely in the human world. There was once a city in which there stood a large, ancient cathedral. Masses and other services were held inside the cathedral. The building, however, was found to be old, excessively tall and expensive to maintain. So it was demolished, and a hall made of reinforced plastic, with a metal roof, was built in its place. This was cheap to heat and maintain. Services continued to take place inside the new building, but expenses still seemed too high. The hall was then torn down and the site was flattened into a field. Here masses were held each Sunday morning, markets at other times, as well as football matches, ice hockey games, etc. On cold winter Sundays the service had to be shortened; it was noted, however, that the benefit derived from the liturgy did not depend on its length: what matters is to have a devout and receptive mind.


The Green Lie

If I had the power to read people’s minds, I would disguise myself as an interviewer from the Centre of Statistics; I would take a sample of five hundred forestry professionals and ask them: “Do you really believe that Finland’s forests are being used to create surplus timber through logging and that lumber reserves have increased in the last few decades?” I will never be able to solve this mystery. People only answer regular questionnaires, which they enjoy. While I know that forestry professionals are stupid, I will never know just how stupid they are, or how cunning and opportunistic.

Countless naturalists cruising the country, countless eagle-eyed laymen, harass me with their visits, phone calls and approaches, on the road, in city streets or even on trains, asking me the same questions: “Where are the areas protected from logging, where are the dying forests, where are the dense woods?” These people cruise the roads from Hanko to Utsjoki, from Vaasa to Ilomantsi, roaming across dirt tracks in the woods, observing every coast and island from their boats. They also rove forests while picking berries and mushrooms or hunting — or for no particular reason. Yet, in their travels, they encounter nothing but fields of stumps, nurseries with trees as thick as an arm at most, or middle-aged forests thinned out to the point that they almost consist only of seedling trees. These people say that genuine, fully-grown trees — of the kind that can only be embraced with arms outstretched — are only found in construction sites and villas. Statistically, what is it that increases the number of cubic meters of lumber?

My own position on this matter, as in many other matters, is rather unfortunate. In conversations or in the papers, either to argue or to console, many people have claimed that I am imagining things or that, for whatever reason, I wish to paint an exaggerated picture of reality. At times, I am described as a member of “Helsinki’s high society”; at other times, I am portrayed as someone “weird and beardy” or as a “fuss-maker” who has no clue about the life of “the people”, “ordinary working folk”, the “countryside” and the “economy.” Appalled, I then have to point out that I have lived that life and witnessed it with my own eyes. After the War, I have witnessed the spoliation of the countryside, the mother of all Finnish landscapes and forests, and have seen the gentle contours of our motherland being trodden upon and deformed. No doubt, I have made many mistakes, but none of the kind my opponents would suppose. I have kept my eyes wide open and listened too keenly; I have sniffed around for too long and have seen and travelled too much — besides, I also remember too much. My soul has been wounded, yet I persist. I will find a cure for my “clinical depression” and, banging my head again against the wall, I will try to save what remains to be saved.

I already noticed that in some ways my memory is getting rusty. I cannot recall all of the regions whose forests I have travelled through with rubber boots or skis, a compass and tattered map hanging from my belt. So I browsed through my notes the other day and discovered that while I did not make my way through all of the Finnish counties, I journeyed across 250 of them, roughly half of the total. This sample is enough for me to realise that not many other people possess such first-hand knowledge of Finnish forests. I have also drawn a survey of around ten central Tavastian villages I travelled through, exploring almost every portion of privately owned forestland.

I have never personally sat atop a satellite, so I must trust the satellite pictures of wintry Finland, Sweden and Russian Karelia provided by Mikko Puntari. Actually, I had little need for those pictures myself, as I had seen the same places from the ground: the same bushy steppe, the same snowy desert, and, beyond the border, the dark forests of Sweden and Russia.

What has life in the forest taught me? Could I recall the main points and express them in writing? “Condense”, asks the editor. “Let memories flow”, “tell the young”, “remind your peers”, my own veteran-self demands, yearning for a golden past. I think I will follow the middle road.

I had time to spot many virgin forests untouched by the axe, starting from the islands of Åland, at the heart of the great trackless forests of southern Tavastia, in Ostrobothnia, Karelia, Kainuu and southern Lapland. Some of these areas were so wild that one could even encounter an ancient giant stump — maybe one every hectare. In the villages a couple of giant trees would occasionally be employed for the construction of ships along the coast: their trunks were then dragged by five horses. One could walk for miles and miles across the Vienan wilderness of Mujejärvi and Jonkeri, Nurmes and Kuhmo without finding a single human trace: no woodchips there or campfires. It is in these places that I have first learned the meaning of the word “rapture”: what it is like to be seized by an otherworldly force, to purposely lose oneself in the woods, choosing to follow only the rough guidelines stored in the mind; and then walk straight into an ancient pine inhabited by a golden eagle and its fledglings — and all this without realizing what province you are in, whether Oulu or North Karelia.

Oh, the mighty wild lands of Ranua and Pudasjärvi! I wandered there too, in search of golden eagles. And Palovaara with its herd of exuberant, wild summer horses, roaming free, following the jingle of the bell around their leader’s neck! Oh, Vilmivaara and Soidinkangas, greater than the grace of all gods! It was there that I achieved my personal walking record: 36 hours at a steady pace, searching for a friend that had got lost in the wilderness without a compass. And what to say of the enormous worksites of Pudasjärvi, where wide marshlands were turned into populated areas? Or of the rancour of those governmental landlords, technicians and foremen, when they saw their finest pine ridge, surrounding the necks of open bogs, being shared among veteran farmers...

I also remember the innumerable forest cabins in the backwoods, where lumberjacks or forest workers — the word “logger” was not used back then — would carry food gathered miles away, across paths and causeways. I remember their bustling and snoring in winter, and the silence in summer, when they were gone; I also remember the two old cottage guards who used to live in the cabins year-round. I recall log being transported, silently appearing like a ghost: the lower branches of great spruces would suddenly open like a curtain, although the creak of the sleigh was only heard when nine steaming horses glided past carrying their huge burdens to the stockpiles on the coasts. In spring no trace was left of the road other than bundles of straw laid out on the steep hills by the loggers to slow down their loads. Ospreys would carry off the straw to use as padding for the nests they made at the top of the highest pines. Back then, forests would be utterly quiet for half of the year: from March men would be by the shore or the roadside with their shaving-knives, or laying shirtless on sunny banks; by the first of May they were working in the fields.

I vividly recall the first paths crossed by bicycles or mopeds in the state parks of Perho, Halsua and Lesti. These were followed by rugged roads made of frozen snow, which lasted no longer than the previous paths. Now a network of gravel roads extends for hundreds of thousands of kilometres, dividing the woods into small sections and slaughtering the Finnish forest. This road network has had a further devastating impact on woodland ponds, which are now filled with an array of fibreglass boats, and surrounded by booths and buses — all the glistening colours of the rainbow.

The rolling and rumbling of clearcutting all began in the 1950s. I recall the first cutting of a hundred hectares in the forests of Yhtyneet Paperitehtaat, in Luopioiset: the forest lay bare, black and vast. My travel companion, the late Pekka Putkonen, who later became a doctor, named it “Kullervo’s Curse”: it is under this name that it is still found in my observation notes. That clearing in the forest was made with two-man saws. Much labour was available back then, as it still is today, even if it were to cut down trees with knives. Machines, however, were already looming upon us and were soon destined to strike at the heart of the wilderness — and elsewhere as well — depriving man of all he deserved: mighty labour, effort and struggle. The first chainsaw I heard was on a snowshoe journey across the hinterland of Ruokola. It signalled an horrendous break in my life. In August of the same year, the first large-scale logging with chainsaws took place in the virgin pine forests of Ilomantsi, in Naarva.

What I remember most distinctly is what happened to the trees: they vanished before my eyes, melting away like snow. Ancient pinewoods disappeared along with dense spruce forests; bushes of nurseries replaced them — when, that is, they were replaced at all. Every birch thicker than a leg disappeared. Aspen groves were methodically driven to extinction: those old hole-ridden aspens I had climbed during the summers of the 1950s to tag almost three hundred jackdaw fledglings, owls and stock doves. Clearcutting began in the interior and not until the 1980s did it reach the woods near inhabited shores. The number of trees decreased at an inconceivable pace. I estimated that around the villages of Tavastian at the beginning of the 1980s perhaps one-third of trees were still standing that had been there in the late 1940s: a loss of about two-thirds in just thirty years. Elsewhere — particularly in the far north — the loss was even greater.

Given these facts, the propaganda devised by the forest industry has proven amazingly effective. What I have just described was witnessed by eyes and satellites all across the country. And yet, the words spoken by the forest industry about the logging, preservation and growth of state timber reserves was swallowed whole by the majority — the majority, that is, of those people who do not explore the woods or even gaze at them from their car windows: the majority of those people who believe any green area that is not a field to be a forest. All the media have swallowed the official lies. To my bewilderment, I recently even found the same statistics about forest growth cited in an otherwise detailed and insightful book: The State of the Environment in Finland. Like Goebbels used to say, any claim will be taken to be true if repeated often enough.


It is Dark in the Woods

How have the statistics that suggest an increase in timber reserves and conservation through logging been gathered? Well, they were compiled by the Department of Forest Research, whose main duty is to collect data on behalf of the forest industry. The Department has nothing to do with unbiased academia, although the masses — and the chief editors of some newspapers — often believe it does. The scientific-sounding name of the Department and the appointment of its officials to professorships are nothing but an ingenious bluff. The same holds true for the official title given to forest fellers: “foresters”.
The Department of Forest Research is a tool in the hands of the forest industry: in other words, one of its offshoots. The industry, like any major corporation, is only interested in business. Things could not be any different from the way they are now, particularly with regard to morals, as the industry’s only gods are the bank and the market: the industry would readily sell its own grandmother. The industry, as it were, will increase its reserves, selling more and more merchandise until it has none left. Most things in the world the industry does not understand, and the future is one of them. A merchant’s plans for profit do not extend beyond the horizon.

To produce an advantageous forest statistic is the most profitable of businesses. It is worth investing in, budgeting great sums of money for, preparing with care and cleverly disguising. It is hard for me to believe that forest survey groups — which, to the best of my knowledge, travel across the routes marked on the maps — would be dishonest in their work and allow their results to be rigged. But how many persons work out the total figures? Through an intermediary, I have heard that the publisher of the satellite pictures, wishing to examine the original material of the surveys, discovered that these are not public files. The archives of Metla [the Department of Forest Research] were closed. I do not know whether this is true; however, such things usually are.

Can anyone picture the forest industry publishing a statistic that points to a decrease in timber reserves or, worse still, a catastrophic decline? Besides selling forest products, the industry also purchases raw wood. What would its stance be, then, in a price negotiation with a forest owner? The industry knows how to trade, and its aim is to have the seller believe that there is a surplus of the product in question so that the he might accept the buyer’s offer. Furthermore, the industry must convince the seller that the surplus is still increasing: that the amount of timber is not only vast but growing larger. Only then will the forest owner be willing both to sell cheaply and to sell more of his trees, as opposed to withholding them in the hope of a better offer. My own guess is that the Department of Forest Research will state that timber reserves are increasing even when the last currant bushes are being torn from peoples’ yards and sent to the pulp mills.

A less significant but nevertheless bothersome point is worth stressing: when the people are assured that timber reserves are increasing, the sharpest edge of conservationist rhetoric is dulled. When the forest industry churns out slogans verging on insanity such as: “The forests are just rotting there”, “the forests are turning into inaccessible thickets” or “the axe is the best remedy for the forest”; when it speaks of “sparse usage”, “dilapidation” and “bogging down” or of “suicidal spruce forests”, it treads the dangerous ground of reckless management. Nevertheless, the industry is “playing it safe”, as all its claims are true, provided they are repeated often enough. The industry also knows that it can repeat statements and slogans frequently enough, for it possesses a fair amount of money and — like its colleagues in Naples and Sicily — a vast army: foresters, who do just what they are ordered.

Biologists of course occasionally dare to correct the absurdities delivered by the industry. They remind us that the forests of Finland have been growing since the last ice age without the help of man and that the trees of old forests naturally renew themselves, like all vegetation, when the previous generation of trees has died. Man, on the other hand, always roams in the forest like a bull in a china shop. Researchers and friends of nature, however, soon grow weary: they simply do not possess the resources to wage a constant battle of information. They are but a small minority in Finland and their chirping is easily quelled. My writing, too, will be drowned in the beating of drums.

Critics who have infiltrated the ranks of the forest industry — Trojan horses — are a trickier problem: experts like Lähde, Vaara or Norokorpi are grilled with such intensity that the snarls directed at outside protectors of the environment feel like a pat on the head by comparison. There is no envying the opposition within the forest industry!

I once asked a forester how the obedient consensus within the male-dominated forestry trade, which only a few stubborn critics dare to defy, might be explained: how does this mafia really work? How can it be that while so many institutes and universities provide courses in forestry, no one has even begun to rectify the most disgusting and twisted policies implemented in the field? Why is almost all criticism coming from outside the profession, from the basic research of scientists and nature conservationists? Why don’t we form a pressure group to support Lauri Vaara, for instance? This man does not question the rationale behind forest economy, does not speak like a conservator, does not even criticise the methods of forestry, but at least convincingly and mathematically emphasises how terribly unprofitable heavily mechanised forest harvesting is in terms of national economy, country trade and employment.

The answer forestry professionals give to these questions are clear enough: all posts in the trade are either directly created by logging companies or connected to them. Were any educational institute to start teaching forestry in a different manner from that approved by the forest industry, the first class of students to graduate would be left unemployed. Furthermore, word would soon spread: in the following academic year, the institute or faculty in question would be left without students. It is really that simple.

For decades I have occasionally observed how prey struggles in the web spun by forestry officials and companies. He who journeys a lot also sees many things; he who sits at many desks hears a lot of talk. I have heard many stories about the unscrupulous business of forestry professionals. Here’s one example. The Silvicultural Association, which is in a position of authority, prohibits further logging in a forest of small holdings after a few trees have already been felled. After a while, a forest ranger shows up, concerned, like the owner of the property, or his widow, by the fact that no more profit is being made, while taxes keep rising. So the owner and the forester think things over. Perhaps the ranger could renovate the forest so that in twenty years it could produce timber once more; in the meanwhile, the owner would have to struggle to pay the taxes. Some kinsman may warn the owners that this is wrong, but what use would that be? Money is a priority. The transaction then takes place: the ban on logging immediately ceases and the forest ranger sells timber in the first winter for two or three times its purchasing price.

Larger transactions are arranged with the forest authority and private companies. I followed one episode closely in the 1970s. A young man had inherited two hundred hectares of sturdy pine forest from his cheapskate of a father. Trees were marked for felling and the owner consecutively bought six “Mercedes Benz” cars — white ones, too — which were all crashed by him, one after the other. The man was lucky: only after the sixth accident did he lose his licence. Anyhow, a seventh Mercedes was ordered. I remember that the man had to wait for quite a while because the dealer had no white models at the time. The house of the young man (who was now without a licence) was located five hundred metres away from the local bar. To reach the bar, the man would drive five hundred metres in the opposite direction until he reached the shore; here he would jump in a motorboat and drive seven hundred metres to the bay: all this to spare himself a five hundred metre walk down to the bar.

There is another story related to this one. The young man’s pine forests were located in two areas: one was on the mainland, the other on an island. The forest on the mainland was worse off and quite used up, while the one on the island had many trees left, although it had been fenced off by the Silvicultural Association. The man began spending all his money and eventually ran out of funds. Of course, he panicked and chose to sell his land and woods on the island. The wealthy farmers of the village coveted the area, but would not engage in such a risky transaction: with a logging ban in effect, the land’s capital was all tied up, while taxes were steadily increasing. The Kymi Corporation (now known as Kymmene) bargained on and off for three years, until it managed to purchase the land at an insignificant price. As might be expected, no sooner than the transaction had taken place, the logging ban was revoked. Kymi’s own men gave me all the exact figures: the profit made in the first year from the sale of the forest’s timber was five times what Kymi had paid for the purchase of the whole land. And I am not even talking about clearcutting here.

But let us return to the data about forests in our country. I was in the heart of Savo this spring, on a business trip for once, looking to buy a patch of forest for the upcoming nature preservation trust. I made sure to familiarise myself with Finnish forest economy in advance and discovered that in the last few years something quite unique had occurred: all privately owned forests had been examined and a logging plan had been drawn up for every hectare. The patch I was interested in was divided into sections of one or two hectares; detailed information had been provided for each section regarding the main types of trees to be found there, their average age and cubic volume. Judging from these data, the forest seemed rather interesting.

When we began exploring the forest, however, we grew increasingly disappointed. Not a single tree had been felled after the drawing of the plan, and yet the information provided was not at all accurate. Certainly, the data regarding the age of the trees and particularly their volume were all wrong: one-third of the forest, we discovered, was empty. I am always confident in providing estimates regarding the density of forests, and this time I was even accompanied by a ranger (an acquaintance of mine who was going to conclude the transaction on behalf of the trust). The ranger shook his head the same moment I did. Quietly, we made our way back: it was rather depressing to discover that even this humble forest was surrounded by hundreds of hectares of clearcutting.

The above experience is so recent that I have only got to tell one of my neighbours about it. My neighbour had a similar story to share: he had felled one of his spruce patches according to the forest economy guidelines, and had obtained only two-thirds of the amount of timber the plan promised. I then decided to talk to a representative of the provincial environmental office, and was told that they were accustomed to deduct ten to twenty percent from the tree estimates provided by forest economy plans. Judging from the aforementioned ‘private’ experiences, the actual percentage is likely to be much higher, as for the sake of appearances the government seeks to pay a high price for the purchase of conservation areas.

What should we conclude from all this? That man is a gullible creature. Despite all I had previously witnessed, I now gained the impression that the tentacles of the forestry mob do not extend to every nook and cranny. I had already surmised that the inventory of the country’s forests is drawn up quite honestly and that the data is not rigged until it reaches the department offices. Now, old fox that I am, I finally discovered something new. What kind of instructions have the people behind the forest economy plans been given? Has the national balance sheet on forests been thoroughly manipulated?


The Forest Covering in Finland Must Be Restored

Many speeches have been delivered about forests this year. The subject, however, should always be a popular one, because Finland equals forest.

When people are confused about what they have heard and ask for a final verdict about the condition and use of Finnish forests, they are quite mistaken. People resemble each other in terms of physical qualities or emotional life, yet, they are light years apart in their opinions. When it comes to woodlands, some people believe the highest value to be the economic growth of Finland; others the preservation of life on Earth. No serious exchange of opinions can take place between those holding these two opposite stances: they simply have to settle in delivering separate speeches. Some of these speeches may even serve some purpose.

One’s outlook on forests is thus linked to the most basic of questions: one’s perception of life, humanity and its place in the biocoenosis (i.e. biosphere). For a protector of life, who is moved by the diversity of life (biodiversity), it is unthinkable that the whole Earth should belong only to one animal species, humanity. Look at man, this person will say: look at him in Bosnia, Palestine, Rwanda, Kurdistan; or look at him in Finland, engaging in inheritance disputes or phone sex or the trade union movement: is man above all other forms of life? Does man have the right to rule the destiny of millions of basically similar species? Is man the living image of God?

For a preserver of life, the forest is the last piece of land that is left for nature. This person may accept the use of lumber in the construction of modest buildings, a sparing use of firewood, or the harvesting of mushrooms and berries. The forest industry, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the livelihood of man. Livelihood is derived from agriculture, fishing and harvesting throughout the land. The forest industry serves the sole purpose of achieving luxury, of “economic growth”.
The protector of life bases his arguments on sound reasoning. Scientists across the world are unanimous in their verdict: if economic growth continues at the current pace, human civilisation will collapse within a few decades. Those who consider things in the long run envisage the extinction of humanity as a consequence of ecological catastrophes. Other species are already growing extinct at an astounding rate: half a million animal, plant and fungus species are meeting this fate every year according to the Finnish science centre Heureka.

To consider a less significant issue, the quality of human life, it is easy to see in what ways the forest industry is guilty. The industry has brought Finland surplus luxury, a misfortune culminating in the gamble of present economics. The timber torn from woodlands has led to high levels of technology, automation and education, and to a huge decline in our standard of living through massive unemployment (including meaningless welfare jobs and study courses), frustration, emptiness and an increasing divide between generations and genders. The lack of physical work, in turn, has led to widespread physical deficiencies.

Finnish woods have virtually been stripped bare and sold. It is difficult even to describe how far these woods are now from embodying genuine, diverse and natural forests. Finnish forest policy has been compared to the ravaging of the rain forests. One important point should be emphasised, however: while half or two-thirds of rain forests are still standing, Finland — with the exception of arctic Lapland — has only preserved 0.6% of its original woodland.

If we think in terms of timber reserves rather than forests, we know from the forest industry that there are 94 solid cubic metres of timber per hectare in Finnish ‘forests’. Many factors suggest that the total figure has been widely inflated. But even if the figure were true, it would spell disaster: on average, a full forest covering should measure around 300-400 cubic metres per hectare. If nothing else, the rectification of the global carbon balance — the most serious of all serious problems — would require the forest industry to be shut down for decades.

My 1,450-kilometre trip across the woodlands of eastern Häme and Savo has only deepened my despair. Logging here was more ferocious than ever: woodpiles extended for several kilometres, and the logs looked younger than ever before, consisting of twenty to thirty year-old wretched little trees. The clearcutting continued, leaving one distinct impression: that soft programmes are just bogus, designed to trick European paper buyers.

In the magazine Suomen Luonto [The Nature of Finland], forest researcher Risto Seppälä, pleading in favour of the new forest platform, demands that “environmentalists” abandon any further aims “for the sake of honesty”. What I have been saying so far should make even Seppälä realise the insanity of his claim. A meagre compromise would be to fully protect half of the woodlands, as the Brundtland Commission itself suggests. But it is absurd to believe that a compromise is possible with the champions of economic growth, whose arguments spell utter doom.


A Logging Story

Last winter the only remaining forest along the road to my home village was felled. It was an old fir forest with a few large birches here and there. At the same time, tall seeding pines were taken from a wide clearing on the opposite side of the road: a clearing made fifteen years ago, where seedlings one thumb in width were planted. Currently, I am living on a hectare of spacious land that is almost an island surrounded by logging sites.

This forest by the road was cleared in winter, not at the beginning of summer, when animals mate and flowers bloom, as was the case with half of the clearings in the area. This is one positive thing I noticed (positive aspects should be found in all matters). A creek flows through the clearing and a sparse row of single trees was left along its banks — to “protect the key biotope”, I assume. These trees, however, fail to preserve the microclimate of the creek or its ferns. It would have been better for the landscape if this wretched line of trees, mutilated by the logs felled next to them, hadn’t been left there to haunt the place. All in all, a few other trees were left in the clearing, at a distance of twenty or fifty metres from one another.

The logging itself was impressive, as it always is nowadays. There is no greater lie than that about the countryside becoming desolate: only now is it truly alive, with all the booming and crashing, screeching, crunching, squeaking, howling and clanking of steel shovels.

The bulk of the work was carried out by two multi-tasking machines painted in eco-friendly green. After opening this gap, the machines moved on to the ‘large forests’ beyond the state road. The virgin forests of my youth or even middle age had now turned into wind-swept little woods. Still, there was enough work for the machines to do: each week, they moved further and further; gradually, the crashing changed into banging, and banging into a distant booming, until it faded completely with the arrival of spring.
Equally heavy trucks carried the logs away. I still have no idea where they were taken: previously, dead trees were transported to Kaskinen, 300 km away, where there are several processing plants.

One day a new, gigantic red tractor arrived. It hoarded branches and treetops, forming great stacks by the roadside. This was done to ensure that humans would not have to venture into the clearing, cleaning up the debris left by the machines. After that, it was the turn of a yellow excavator that dug ditches into the ground. In the last few years all logging sites in the area have been ploughed, sometimes just two years after the logging, so that the green sprouting raspberry bushes might be ripped out to render the scenery monotonously black once again. This time, the ploughing was carried out immediately (hooray! a second positive aspect!).

All these machines made their way around a little patch of preserved trees (a third good aspect!). Amidst the mighty fir woods there was a small damp concentration of trees where no trees of any value grew. A pretty little tuft of alders was left there. In summer, a local inhabitant felled the alders at the request of the owner of either the forest or the clearing (so much for the third positive aspect...).

In March I was making my way to a village on horseback, and happened to be in a hurry. Suddenly, I found two trucks blocking the road: one was carrying a wood-chipping machine, the other a chip container. The trucks awkwardly reversed to let me pass, rumbling back onto the state road. I was still in a hurry. An enormous covering of snow left from the previous winter had formed a mattress half a meter in thickness atop the woodchip piles. Half of the contents of the chip load consisted in snow. With a little common sense, I concluded that the energy released from burning the chips was used to dry the chips themselves. A few days later I happened to read some calculations in a newspaper, stating that the efficiency ratio of soaking wet wood chips is almost nil.

Near the beginning of the summer, the Taimi-Tapio company planted spruce seedlings in the clearing (seedlings so small that all I could see from the road with my old eyes were tiny green dots). Cardboard boxes were not left scattered around the clearing (a fourth positive aspect), but were rather piled in three tall stacks by the side of the road. Here they were left, growing increasingly faded and cracked, in the sunshine and rain. Luckily, it hardly ever rained last summer (a fifth...). It looked as if three truckloads of household waste had been dumped by the roadside.

The issue of whose responsibility it was to remove the piles — whether that of the owner of the clearing or of the planting company — was discussed with the president of road management. The company was ultimately deemed responsible. The president then caught up with the forester in question, yet nothing was made of it. After all, we are talking about forestry professionals (not a single positive aspect here). In August, after some twenty trips to the village during which I had the chance to admire the junkyard scenery, I complained to the inspector for environmental preservation of Valkeakoski, who got in touch with Taimi-Tapio. The stacks, however, were not removed.

In September, I visited Valkeakoski to open a negotiation with the inspector. I appealed to the fact that the road is officially the city’s street, and even has some street signs to prove it (although the nearest shop or bus stop is seven kilometres away). I also mentioned that twenty houses are found along the road, including some summer cottages. Couldn’t the town’s park or development officers get rid of the waste with their equipment and subsequently bill the company? The inspector, a heavy burden of experience on his shoulders, thought that this was likely to lead to complaints for years to come and that the town would probably not risk it. Nevertheless, we devised a plan that took account of the notoriously limited mental capacities of foresters. Presumably, we thought, foresters would not be able to imagine the whole plan. While a stern threat was unlikely to turn the town into an intermediary, a slim chance remained that the plan could indeed work. By mid-September, the piles had disappeared: this seasonal decoration was removed after three and a half months.

But I have got ahead of myself. At the beginning of June, during a weekend, the first storm arrived, felling many lone trees in the clearing (as well as the row of trees by the creek). One of these trees snapped a telephone wire. My three-month long search for aquatic birds was interrupted by the storm. I then planned on visiting home. I needed a phone, but had to walk two kilometres to a neighbouring village, as the line was down for three days, until electricians showed up on Monday.

The storm that arrived in midsummer was harsher. It hit the whole province and felled some of the few trees that were still standing in the clearing. At many intervals, the telephone wire was severed. A world without phones would undoubtedly be a much better place — but then human lives would have to be arranged very differently. Now that we take the phone for granted, its absence causes great difficulties. When I had to call the hospital concerning my ninety-two year-old mother’s endoscopic surgery, I resorted to fellow hikers and a taxi to return to my boat in the far-away village. I visited home two additional times, leaving several days between each visit; still the village was without its phone line, and I was forced to cycle to acquaintances in nearby villages whose phones worked.

After many attempts, the phone failure was finally reported. On the second week, from acquaintances’ homes I phoned the call centre to enquire about maintenance schedules. The phone-lines had also been down in the past, but then electricians had showed up immediately. Now only the national call centre was working: “Welcome to Sonera’s free service. We are busy at the moment. Our operators...” Five minutes of music followed. “Welcome to Sonera’s free...” Five minutes of music. “Welcome to Sonera’s...” The same indescribably sweet voice, awakening a lust for murder.

A connection was never established, but after exactly ten days the electricians arrived. Sonera had fired half of their electricians and the situation had gotten out of control after the stronger storm. A close neighbour of mine only just survived this incident: an eighty-five year-old woman who lived by herself but was contacted daily by her daughter in Tampere, who phoned to make sure she was fine. Thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, this lady’s grandchild happened to be spending a short holiday at her cottage by the beach when the lines were cut off: the grandchild managed take care of her grandmother while simultaneously keeping in touch with Tampere through expensive calls from her mobile phone.

The piles of waste are now gone and the phone is working again (like the old lady). The merciful snow, however, is late. Now that forest economy knows no restraints in its brutal methods, now that the ploughed clearings of former woodland merge with one another and with fields for kilometres and kilometres, things could not be worse. Only fifteen years ago all villages had some cattle and half of the fields were green with grass. Now, not a single calf or green patch of grass is to be seen. A great portion of the village area has been ploughed and fields and forests have turned into black soil.

This is my motherland, and every motherland deserves love. So I love all this. I assure myself over and over again that I love it: what else could I love if not this? Alas, it must be loved.


Is the WWF Favouring Crime?

In early February the media gave an exceptional shock to all Finnish friends of nature. As the blow was delivered from an unexpected direction, it proved particularly unsettling. The International WWF (World Wildlife Fund) had announced that Finland was the second best EU country in terms of forestry. Switzerland came first, Estonia and Latvia last.

We know that the forest policy of Finland is the greatest environmental catastrophe of the new Europe — the result of massive clearing made centuries ago. Our woodlands, which extend for 200,000 square kilometres, have been utterly razed following the World Wars; our timber reserves now amount to 50-70 solid cubic metres per hectare: in other words, to just over ten percent of the full, natural amount (400-500 metres per hectare).

The bulk of so-called forests in Finland consist of either new, bare clearings that in winter cannot be told apart from a field, or in nurseries consisting of trees as thick as a wrist at most. Forested patches stand out in our landscape like tiny islands and tufts. They too are disappearing at an inconceivable speed, as harvesters open hundreds of new sites every day.

Nothing comparable is taking place in any other European country (praise all gods for that!). Between 1986 and 1998, I have personally made forest inventories covering thousands of kilometres across most European countries, so I am more than familiar with the situation in Europe. (In Finland, between 1948 and 1999, I have made inventories covering tens of thousands of kilometres of woodlands in nearly 250 counties). In most European countries — particularly Germany — the forest covering is almost untouched, although it partly originates from ancient plantings that have been manipulated for some time. Estonia and Latvia (as well as Lithuania) have the most overwhelmingly inviolate, fabulous virgin forests.

I have asked Timo Tanninen, the head secretary of the WWF in Finland, about this public statement — as the WWF information about Finland comes from Finnish sources — but I received no clear answer. To explain things, Tanninen sent me 135 pages in English, which ended up straight in the bin (how could it occur to anyone that a friend of nature and a protector of forests born in Häme would know even a word of English?!); he also included a one-page Finnish leaflet that makes no sense whatsoever. The leaflet blabbers on about excellent forestry, and the small area of preserved forests in Finland.

The WWF and its Finnish chapter must be aware that ‘forestry’ is a human action that is exactly the opposite of protection. Regardless of any euphemistic terminology, it means cutting down forests: hence, forestry is clearly an (arch)enemy of conservationism. Issuing statements about different methods of logging — that is, of ravaging the forest — should be none of the WWF’s business.

The WWF cannot possibly ignore the fact that the forest industry is using its statement in the media war by means of which they are trying to conceal the utter devastation of Finnish forests from European wood purchasers. Or has the WWF, in thoroughly corrupt Finland and Europe, turned into a branch of the forest industry, a criminal organization?

No retraction has been made regarding this disgusting statement. The situation is a bitter one for a friend of nature like myself, who supported the Finnish chapter of the WWF when it was first founded, who has encouraged it to embark on many an arduous campaign, who has been part of its administrative board for a long time and who has always funded its campaigns with a large share of his personal income — always, that is, until now.


Chapter 3: Animals

From Gunslingers to Environmental Disaster

Now that new hunting regulations have been approved, I wish to examine the changes that have taken place with regard to hunting in the field of conservation. The changes over the past fifty years or so have been dramatic: the country’s fauna, flora and natural environment have also changed tremendously. In less than fifty years, Finland has been turned upside-down.

When I was a young and fanatical conservationist, I was committed not so much to plants, like my father, but rather to animals, and particularly birds. Hunters, therefore, represented the greatest threat in my eyes. My first public appearance in the world of conservationism was when, in the late 1940s, I delivered a speech at a student celebration in my school attacking duck hunters. Just before the opening of the hunting season, I had read an interview with two hunters in a newspaper where these gunslingers were anxiously wondering about how many ducks might be arriving. In reading this interview, I was filled with contempt. I had first begun my career as an ornithologist by observing the water birds of Tavastia; I had been watching ducks ever since their migration in spring, counting the number of nesting couples, eggs and broods, and had even received an award during the winter celebrations at Luontoliitto for a paper entitled “The Waters and Coastal Birds of Some Tavastia Lakes”. I was shocked, therefore, when I read that those two jerks, who knew nothing about ducks, were going to start shooting them on August the 20th. Now that I think of it, official data on the duck population was probably nonexistent back then. The Finnish foundation for the preservation of wildlife, later named Riistanhoitosäätiö, was just getting started in those days.

Like the whole brotherhood of naturalists, however, I was worried the most by predators. All beasts of prey down to the marten had been slaughtered to the verge of extinction. Predatory birds had suffered since the end of the last century, but had managed to recover during the years of the War, when guns were reserved for other tasks. Soon after the War, guns began blazing more furiously than ever throughout the country, as hawks and owls were being stuffed and turned into ornaments to be displayed in homes or offices.

In the 1950s, birds of prey suffered greatly in Finland. In those years, even in enlightened Tavastia, an ornithologist had to keep even an osprey’s nest strictly secret; else, a punitive expedition would have set off from some corner of the village to destroy it. It is a great blessing that no one back then had even dreamt of forest roads — roads that do not lead to a house. The fact that in order to embark on a journey in the woods one had to cross miles of rugged terrain afforded the birds at least some degree of protection. When the network of forest roads was set up and every tree with a nest could be reached with a car, environmental education had already accomplished its aims. Had there been such roads in the 1940s and 1950s, many species would be extinct by now.

When I was young, I was an energetic and temperamental person. So I began pestering the state conservation official in order to end the persecution of birds of prey at the hands of the ten most famous taxidermists in the country. In fact, even before the War a law had been in place to protect most of these birds: simply, it had always been infringed upon. As they needed a licence for arsenic, taxidermists were all registered. Conservation official Reino Kalliola, however, was a jovial, kindly and old-fashioned gentleman, who rewarded rather than punished, and believed all that was stated in his splendid, literarily fabulous books on nature (which remain unsurpassed to this day). Perhaps, the man was less than keen to heed my request because he was the only person responsible at the time for all those matters that are now handled by the Ministry of the Environment, the environmental administration and provincial conservation officials.

A little insistence on my part is all it took for Kalliola to order a police investigation and appoint me — who else? — as the expert to be consulted on the matter. This all happened almost exactly forty years ago. I remember the great bird-watching summer of 1953, when I rode a bicycle up to my observation spots in Tyrväntö and Sääksmäki, ringing the last stock dove fledglings of the summer in the aspen woods of Haukila. Over the course of the decades, twenty-eight nest holes of large birds and countless little crevices of starlings and tits had accumulated in those giant aspens.

What we found in the hands of the taxidermists was beyond all expectations: honey buzzards, common buzzards, long-eared owls, marsh harriers — hundreds upon hundreds of birds. The policemen were not particularly zealous in their work. When we were stumbling through what I assume must have been the only freezing-room in the capital, located in a large warehouse at Sörnäinen, the old officer Jalonen, who had been yawning his head off until then, suddenly noticed a squirrel in summer fur: the animal had been killed when the game season was already closed. I also remember Jalonen’s reply: “Well, what’s wrong with that?” After all, the squirrel was a useful fur animal back then (although, in his reply, Jalonen was also referring to the honey buzzards and owls).

The police of Vääksy proved more compassionate. As our trip back from the taxidermist of Urajärvi extended well into the evening hours and I did not have a tent with me at the time — it was years before I bought one, as I usually just slept in barns — I asked for, and was granted, a night in the lock-up. Oddly enough, it was the only night I ever spent in jail, yet I failed to make the most out of it. During the morning hours, a mate from the cell adjacent to mine began conversing with me through the wall; he seemed genuinely kind and even mentioned he knew a place were I could work. Only now that the tricks and low-cost imports of the European Commission have ruined my business as a fisherman, have I regretted that I never further inquired about that job. Perhaps — who knows? — I could have made a fortune.

Things eventually took the course suggested by Kalliola and Yrjö Kokko. Their successors, a number of skilful and diligent scholars of nature, began their educational work with literature, newspaper articles, photographs and films. In a quarter century, the people of Finland were brainwashed into tolerating, or even loving, not just the country’s lynxes and bears, but also hawks and eagles. Only a few sullen geezers somewhere in the backwoods are still shaking their fists at animals and placing eagle traps.
My relationship with hunters improved once the persecution of birds of prey came to an end. What certainly contributed to bring about this change was the appointment of biologists with a strongly conservationist background to official positions within organisations dealing with hunting and wildlife. The pivotal magazine of these organisations, Metsästäjä, has long supported conservationist efforts. Of course, most hunters are not nearly as exemplary in their attitudes as their leaders. Duck hunting is still the vilest of spectacles, leading to many outrages. The fate of water birds is still a sorry one: as in the case of fowls, no talk is ever made regarding the protection of ducks. Nevertheless, it is nice to think that one day water fowl too will be protected: we shall then see at what level their population will settle.

Making peace with hunters was, first and foremost, a necessity for me. Finland began to prosper, but industrialisation and an efficient economy were only achieved at the expense of nature: in the 1960s the focus of environmentalism suddenly shifted from preventing the killing of animals and plants to the protection of their environment. The primeval aspen woods of Haukila that I mentioned earlier have long gone, like many other aspen woods that were there in the 1950s. The stock dove faced extinction long ago in Tavastia, my home area, not because of hunters, but because of foresters. When the fauna of Finland was forced to adapt to an altered environment, and only a few animal species survived while many others disappeared, environmentalists and hunters often found themselves on the same side against a common enemy. It made little sense to protect the birds of a lake from being hunted when the nutrients used in farming and industrial nitrogen were causing the whole lake to be covered in vegetation.


An Animal History of the New Age

In the last essay of mine, I explained how Finnish naturalists and hunters were ultimately forced to sign a peace treaty, and how the worst fate was that of Finnish animals. Long past are the days when — so a mournful anecdote goes — a first attempt was made to protect the lynx. At that time, President Paasikivi, who had been shown the amendment, had sceptically asked: “Isn’t the lynx a beast?” The politician who had presented the motion, unfamiliar with the finer points of conservationist rhetoric, rather perplexedly gave an affirmative answer, only to hear the president say that the motion was being dismissed. The lynx had to wait a few more years before being granted some form of protection.

But what about the present condition of the Finnish fauna? It is highly unfortunate that life has not taught me much about the so-called lower species of animals: invertebrates. Invertebrates are sure indicators of many forms of environmental damage, ruin and destruction. Luckily, a growing number of researchers have become acquainted with these small brothers and sisters of ours, and are busy setting up new conservation programmes. My point of view is that of a layman: I give priority to warm-blooded animals.

I would say that the most remarkable change that has occurred in recent years is that animal populations are less stable than they were in the past. Unbelievably sudden rises and falls in animal populations can be observed: it is hard to tell what spring will be a silent one for which species. Environmental changes caused by man do not always provide an explanation, although they frequently do: fauna today is entirely at the mercy of man. During my youth, or childhood at least, zoologists generally attributed similar variations to climate change.

Strange as it may sound, signs of instability can sometimes be observed even on an individual level. In my youth, when I began banding not just the fledglings of tawny owls, but also their mothers, I would find seven out of eight mothers alive and nesting in the same hole the following spring. Nowadays, it seems like almost half of the owl mothers change each year. Presumably, there are so many young and newborn owls living in the numerous high quality birdhouses this welfare state provides that old owls are being prematurely displaced by the young. Not a pleasant discovery for an elderly ornithologist like myself.

Another feature of contemporary Finnish fauna is the renaissance of large animals, a stunning surprise nobody would have predicted thirty years ago. Again, it is mostly birds I have in mind here, but of course bears, lynxes, and most importantly moose should also be counted. When Rolf Palmgren, the pioneer of conservationism, announced the threat of extinction in the 1920s on the basis of what had occurred until then, the moose, along with the swan, topped his list of endangered species. We are now witnessing the glorious comeback of swans, both whooper swans on the mainland and mute swans on the coasts. The crane population is growing too. In fact, the crane is a unique example of an animal that has been able to replace its lost environment with a new one: it has left dried marshlands for coastal flood meadows and even land under cultivation, or scarcely forested depressions and low-lying cultivated fields. However, it can be assumed that the crane would have nested in damp fields and beach meadows in the past, had the keen land owners of the past not unceremoniously fended off all harmful birds.

The end of unrestricted culling apparently leads to a surprising increase in the number of larger and stronger animals — provided, that is, that the environment can afford it. These animals lie at the top of the food chain: many are hunted by no animals except humans, wolves and bears. Who knows: will a bear snatch a moulting goose or a crane fledgling? The eagle, at any rate, will not outmatch a crane. In a swamp in Ilomantsi I once saw a crane driving a golden eagle away, chasing it far, trying to poke it with its beak from both sides — one of the most amazing bird sightings of my life.

The bean goose population has risen, as has — in even greater numbers — that of the greylag goose. The eagle owl too has made a huge comeback. Every summer, conservationists triumphantly announce the recovery of white-tailed eagles in the last few years. That giant gull, the great black-backed gull, is faring better than any other species of its genus. In my youth, the mightiest of all Cervidae, the raven, was extremely rare in southern Finland: it has now spread all over the country. The grey heron and bittern, those ghostly cousins, are the freshest newcomers among our avifauna (we are still waiting for the white stork!).
The golden eagle, which has problems both with the atavistic use of guns in the north and with dwindling populations of prey, is somewhat of an exception among large birds; yet the last few years were not the worst witnessed by this species. Given that snowmobiles are considered one of the chief problems for golden eagles, we should be cautious in talking about the future of these large animals in positive terms: if things look fine at present, the future might be gloomy. People studying the white-tailed eagle will remind us that when the number of holiday visitors exceeded a certain limit in an archipelago, it meant the beginning of a decline.

The third major recent change in the Finnish fauna is the growth of the number of predators. Since the 1950s, things have taken a radical turn: predators are now heavily represented in our fauna, so much so that even a conservationist is led to question his own assumptions. Large predators are of course still scarce, but all — with the one possible exception of the wolverine — have recovered from a terrible depression. The bear constitutes a significant ecological factor near the eastern border, and so does the lynx around Savo and Tavastia. But how can this rise in the number of large mammals be explained, considering that forested terrain has been stripped bare and paved with roads? I presume that one major reason must be the same factor that, conversely, has caused a great loss in avifauna: the spread of dense nurseries in areas that were clearcut. Man has nothing to gain from these wretched sites: whether he is a berry- or mushroom-picker, a hunter or a hiker. Bears, lynxes and wolves, on the other hand, can lie there unbothered, although they have to seek prey in more productive hunting grounds.

The weasel, which in the 1950s I only spotted in the primeval forests of Kuhmo’s Jonkerinjärvi around Viena, has become a noticeable presence in Finnish forests: an exciting example of a new predator. Whether native to foreign continents or — like the weasel — a son of the land who has returned from emigration, new predators breed in great numbers and take an unnaturally heavy toll on the population of its prey until a sort of balance is achieved. At the moment, the weasel roams about in biotopes that are entirely different from the vast woodlands where it used to live; now it even steps on the toes of polecats and mink (the European mink, to be more exact). The situation with mink and racoon is also far from being under control. These animals are altogether new predators: when present in great numbers, they constitute an additional strain for the environment, which also has to accommodate its old guest, the fox.

Among birds of prey, the disappearance of the peregrine falcon has caused the greatest grief; nothing could have saved this animal in the 1950s and 60s: its extinction was one of the fastest ever to take place. However, for some unfathomable reason, a small population of this species survived in Lapland. The merlin and kestrel are also trapped in a downward spiral. The kestrel gives a very poor image of Finnish agriculture because it has survived reasonably well elsewhere in Europe. On the other hand, the hobby has been erroneously said to be endangered: it is more likely that in the course of my life its population has grown. In my last long rowing trips along the great lakes of eastern and north-eastern Finland, I found eighteen nests of predatory birds on shores and islands, and all belonged to the hobby.

Harriers have greatly improved their lot in Ostrobothnia, and to a lesser extent in other regions as well. Marsh harriers are the first species that came to my mind when I wrote that man is not always accountable for variations in animal populations. It is an utter mystery why harriers abandoned the splendid grasses along the Gulf of Finland and moved to measly patches of reeds along inland lakes and ponds. The bird that is better off of all is the sparrowhawk — his case is similar to that of the weasel. Its numbers fell dramatically, probably because of environmental toxins, as it happened not when game wardens were hostile towards predators, but later, during the 1960s and 1970s. This drop in the sparrowhawk population, however, was followed by a recovery unlike anything I have seen before. When in the 1980s, after a twenty-year break, I spent three weeks, from August to September, at the place where I used to work in my youth, the sparrowhawk was the bird species found in greatest numbers — even more so than the willow warbler, flycatchers, redstart and tree pipit, species that were in their main migrating season at the time. I would never have expected to witness such a display. Banding little birds with a net was nearly impossible: sparrowhawks would kill them before we could even reach them.

Owls are still faring pretty well... Tengmalm’s owls, tawny and Ural owls all rejoice because of the nationwide network of birdhouses. In some areas there are even too many birdhouses, and the lumber used to build them would be better used elsewhere. However, I shudder when I wonder what the situation might be like in a few years’ time if the number of ornithologists continues to drop. What will happen if there won’t be anyone capable of building decent birdhouses? The population of black woodpeckers is also surprisingly strong at the moment, but it may be only a temporary phenomenon caused by the exceptionally mild winters we have recently had. And besides, the whittlings of this master carpenter only benefit Tengmalm’s owls. Owls are in the same position as the osprey, which will face hard times if the coming generation of naturalists does not maintain and renew birdhouses.

When I was young — now, that’s a new way for me to start a paragraph! — the eagle owl was on the verge of extinction. In the fifteen villages in Tavastia that I had explored there were only three or four birds left; throughout the 1950s, despite my strenuous attempts, I failed to come across a single nest of this species. When welfare-Finland was suddenly born and its municipal junkyards fattened by squander started providing food for thousands of rats, the eagle owls first conquered these joyous fields, and then, with the fat broods spawned there, the whole of Tavastia. The way they behaved with their fledglings was shocking, and my relation to the giant owl chilled to below zero.

At the other end of the owl spectrum we find that sharp-eyed devil, the pygmy owl, a very similar case. In my active days in the 1950s and 60s, I would only rarely encounter this bird; in the following decade, however, its population grew at least five times in size. Nowadays, I encounter pygmy owl nests and broods far more often than in my youth, although I spend maybe one percent of the time in woods that I spent back then. There probably aren’t many locations in Tavastia where on daybreak in autumn one would not hear the shrieking falsetto of the pygmy owl.

I see the eagle owl as a mistake of Creation. I simply cannot stand the food it stores in my birdhouses, which regularly goes uneaten and rots in spring: a layer of bullfinches, covered by one of pretty siskins and topped by five glinting blue tits. I cannot understand the sanctimonious nature-worshipper who thinks that everything in nature is fabulous and indisputable. If we criticise man and his crimes, we can criticise other parts of nature as well. Evolution is neither perfect nor infallible, especially now that its usual course has been interrupted. If an ecocatastrophe weren’t looming ahead of us, surely the eagle owl would eventually be somehow stripped of its unneeded surplus.


The Ethics of Environmentalism

A hundred years ago, books divided birds of prey into two classes: the “clawing” and “extremely clawing”. Old statistics about bounties and their victims are impressive. I stated earlier that predatory animals and birds were still having a hard time in the 1950s. For a long time hunters saw predators as the main cause of both the fluctuation and constant diminishment of game. Similarly, fishermen with empty nets first blamed gulls, ospreys and black-throated divers. By exaggerating a little, it could be argued that an ancient idea prevailed back then: that the Creator had brought forth a given amount of game and fish at the beginning of time, and that this reserve was being slowly eaten away by predators — and of course, according to fishermen, by other fishermen.

The notion of the renewal of game and fish populations, of their division into age groups, and of the extent to which each notch in the food chain can be taxed is a historically recent development in the consciousness of the average man. Only after my youth have zoologists discovered the natural law according to which predators cannot permanently extinguish the whole population of their preys (for in doing so, they would then perish themselves). This is as close as researchers get to the truth when speaking to the public.

Now that Finland is swarming with predators, it is time to address the issue of predatory animals once more. Maybe old game wardens were right after all: the thing about the balance between predator and prey surely holds true when the former attacks only a single species of animals; but, like we all do, predators enjoy several foods. The eagle owl can start by eating all smaller owls, common buzzards, goshawks and ospreys in its territory — something it often does. After that, it will move on, leisurely taking its toll on the numerous moles and rats that can easily hide and thus won’t be completely decimated. The mink swims from one island of razorbills and black guillemots to another, killing their offspring down to the last cub; it then simply starts eating sticklebacks and young perches.

We here get to the issue of natural balance. No matter how vigorously someone like Yrjö Haila might deny it, balance in nature does exist, although it is constantly shifting. Man-induced disruptions are a reality. I have already mentioned the abnormally large number of eagle owl broods in junkyards; clear-cutting is another unnatural occurrence that is responsible for the sudden increase in eagle owls in the Finnish forests. Clearcutting has provided new spacious hunting ground for eagle owls, which have thus increased their chances to spot and catch common buzzards at the edge of clearings or ospreys, visible in their nests from miles away. Another efficient predator, the goshawk, is facing the opposite problem: as it nests in old, large woods and hunts in densely forested terrain by stalking medium-sized animals that are now diminishing in numbers, it is not faring well.

It is with a feeling of resignation that I am forced to admit that the full protection of eagle owls was an obvious mistake. Our natural environment has been so disrupted by increasing human intervention, that any policy of conservation soon requires some kind of rectification: research and, even more so, legislation simply cannot keep up.

The greatest disaster will occur, however, if no attempt is made to change human actions: we will fail to reach the largest sum of life possible, which is the highest goal of environmental protection. The new law on hunting and, even more so, discussion of this law among naturalists are not a sign of progress in themselves. Those who were aiming to protect all or nearly all animals (except game) were seriously mistaken. In ornithology magazines it was suggested that the crow should also be protected: why, it isn’t harmful to humans, is it?

The above point of view is something quite new; it rejects the notion that nature must be taken care of and instead leaves animals to face each other. At present, by contrast, man is constantly interfering by favouring one animal over another. I do not see this as the triumph of conservationism or as being indicative of any profound understanding of nature; rather, it strikes me as a form of estrangement from nature. How did that aphorism by Sylvi Kekkonen go? It is a short road from tolerance to ignorance. I think the two are often synonymous.

Human concern for nature emerges very clearly in expressions like “harmful animal” and “harmful bird”. I am sure that in many cases this has led to some excesses. There was a time when the red-backed shrike was considered an outlaw throughout the country because it ate little birds, lizards and bumblebees. There was no flaw in this reasoning except for the fact that the bird does not benefit from the economy, rubbish-heaps, etc. of man. While it benefits from the man-made landscape in which it lives, so do its preys.

The ecological principle that inspired previous legislation was clear enough: an animal that lives off man through most of the year by making use of human waste and eats its own fledglings or eggs for the rest of the year is a harmful animal that must be driven away. The deaths caused by man, in this case, must also be prevented by man. The fox, crow, magpie, jay and herring gull are typical harmful animals of this sort. If that winter parasite living on rubbish piles, the jay, is moving from its ordinary diet (of crossbills) to a diet consisting solely of the eggs of blackbirds and small birds or fledglings at springtime, it is man who is responsible.

Choosing to protect the jay was a mistake, as is likely to be the protection of ravens, who prospered thanks to the remains of elks and the carrions on which eagles feed. The major reason for protecting colonies of herring gulls was that of shielding other birds of the archipelago from naive game wardens: the herring gull itself deserves anything but protection. It is questionable whether this policy of protection is in any way a positive thing. Anyhow, it is highly regrettable that game wardens no longer organise shooting contests targeting crows in spring and other harmful birds.

In the previous essay, I discussed whether by restoring — i.e. rejuvenating — natural environments we could have millions of more birds in the country, provided a similar increase were sustainable. Perhaps a different assumption is needed: I feel that predators, both native and imported, are actually so plentiful at the moment that they permanently stifle our bird population. Anyone who follows bird nests in summertime will point out that very few of them survive, except in holes. I have estimated that only plentiful secondary broods in late summer will save many little birds from complete ruin, even if only a small portion of the population were to nest. It is as if the merciful hand of destiny controlled the yearly activities of professional predators like the jay and magpie, who appear to limit their sweeping of the nests in July.

When I consider my personal and rather typical southern Finnish backyard and its surroundings, I can see that the chances for wagtails, chaffinches, spotted flycatchers, blackbirds, yellowhammers and swallows to get their fledglings flying are almost non-existent. There are almost no spots safe from crows, magpies, and jays; cats cruise through the lot every day, squirrels scour every log and every building corner, while hawks make an appearance every now and then. The tawny owl can be found stalking the area; raccoons, dogs and badgers sniff around at night.

I was excited last summer to find a bird nest that had been spared from predators in my own house. A robin had managed to bring forth a brood in a nest that was located on the porch of my stable, in a fold of a canvas that loosely hangs from a beam supporting the ceiling. No predator could plunge upon the nest from above or jump at it from below, although its canvas could not withstand the attack of a magpie or great spotted woodpecker.

It should be noted that while predators, even in the long run, do not undermine the populations of the animals they prey upon, the way they time their attacks is crucial for the preservation of life. It makes a great difference whether a young bird is killed in its nest in June or dies because of hunger, cold, snow and ice in February — when all birds are competing for food.

I have made a careful estimate of the number of nest-thieving birds during my bicycle trips in many European countries. Finland has the greatest number of crows, magpies and jays. Only Estonia, which has an unbelievable amount of crows, comes before Finland in this respect. I feel that there aren’t as many little birds on the fields of Estonia as its magnificent landscape would suggest. Germany, that wonderful and orderly country, is quite remarkable: nowhere in my life have I seen so few crows and magpies as I did during my cycling trip in eastern Germany last summer. Even jackdaws were scarce: only in two cathedrals in some city centre did I find a few specimens. All three species of birds, and even jays, were easily outnumbered by common buzzards. Correspondingly, more birds could be found in yards and gardens; more linnets, finches, warblers and woodpigeons nested in backyard lime trees than anywhere else.

Unscrupulously stern rules must be applied to foreign predators, both those which were imported and those which crossed the border themselves. We can probably tolerate the importation of alien species as long as they do not harm the native ones. But if the existence of any native species is threatened in order to secure the well being of imported animals — if goshawks are threatened because of pheasants, for instance, or lynxes because of white-tailed deer — then the environmentalist’s verdict must be irrevocable.
A final sentence must be delivered in the case of those predators that are not part of Finnish nature: the mink and raccoon represent an unbearable burden. Recently, even these creatures have found people to protect them, which is something quite paradoxical. People who defend these imported predators in the name of environmentalism are obviously enemies of conservation, while the game warden is its ally. Years ago, some crazy old lady wrote letters to newspapers issuing a nation-wide call to arms to wipe out every viper on Earth. Personally, I would suggest an efficient war against the mink and raccoon.


The Suppressed Nightmare of Conservation

So far, I have shared some thoughts and opinions from a ‘classic’ conservationist perspective by talking about the relation between man, animals, and the environment. So far, I have overlooked worldwide environmental issues: I have pointed out how man has caused nature several problems, even tragic problems, more on a local level than by contributing to the ozone layer, climate change and erosion. I have talked at length about the relation between predators and their prey, and about how man has disastrously imported predators from the other side of the world. The worst is yet to come. The worst animal in Finland is a domestic animal, an angel of death imported from Egypt: the cat.

I have already criticised the animal protection movement for defending the mink and the raccoon. But when the movement takes a stand in favour of cats against the flora and fauna native to Finland, animal protection becomes a serious enemy of conservation –even if the same movement earns the warm support of every friend of nature when it fights against the fur trade or intensive cattle farming.

But by God, not only are fanatical animal protectors friends of the cat, but so is half of the population! Man’s relationship with nature has never been more deranged, reckless and hypocritical than it is with the cat: when it comes to defending the cat, many environmentalists turn cunning and deceitful. I am here talking about the northern, Finnish man, who pretends to love nature, animals, and particularly birds — and indeed does love them, with half of his heart. But then again, Mediterranean people unabashedly walk all over wild animals.

Man’s relationship with the cat is such a sensitive issue in Finland — despite the increasing appeal of environmentalism — that the whole matter is never mentioned. And yet, the cat has a profound impact on nature. Cats are easily the most numerous animals in Finland, and their victims can be estimated to range in the millions every year among birds alone. An animal protector that stands fervently against hunting should know that a cat may kill as many birds in Finland as all the hunters of the country put together. The mammals it slays are even more numerous. One would think that the problem of cats would be a regular topic of discussion in magazines like Suomen Kuvalehti; that reports and statistics concerning the number of animals killed by cats would be widespread. Actually, the matter has hardly been addressed at all.

And what about the thousands of mawkish pictures of cats in magazines? How come you never see pictures that show a cat engaging in what, according to my experience, would be more typical behaviour: like dragging the mother of a green sandpiper brood into the crevice of a cowshed, or dragging a redstart by its wing into the rose bushes of some family home? Or again, sitting on the stairs of a cottage, guarding the red-breasted robin or squirrel it has just killed?

One of the worst features of the new hunting regulations was the effort to increase the protection of the cat. Sadly, some change in the wrong direction took place. The attempt to distinguish between wild and domestic cats is crazy. No doubt, there are a handful of cats living in apartment houses and which are taken outside on a leash: conservationists have nothing to say about them. All other cats, however, with some very rare exceptions, are top-notch predators. At least during the early hours, every cat from the countryside or suburbs is out hunting; and that includes 95% of all cats in Finland. That is precisely the use of the cat as a domestic animal, and why it was imported in the first place. Consciously or subconsciously, the role of the cat as a predator is still accepted. Therein lies the most paradoxical aspect of Finnish love for nature.

The cat can actually be seen as an extension of the hunter: down to the shrew, all small game that cannot be killed by either shotgun or rifle is handed over to the cat. Of course, there will be some overlap in this division of labour when it comes to medium-sized game. The snipe was removed from the list of game species thanks to the new legislation; yet, when a couple of snipes settled by my house, they were still treated as prey. The two birds romped about the gulf until mid-summer. Then the neighbour’s cat brought one of them to me as a gift, whole, shimmering, with drops of water glinting on its feathers — I have no idea why the cat brought me the bird instead of its owners. Some time before there had also been a mongrel dog and another cat in the same house. The miserable dog, slow and dull-witted, managed to track a brown hare and set off on a real, if rather slow, chase. The cat observed the chase from across the field and planned its attack: ambushing the hare, it killed it quietly and unaffectedly. The dog, outwitted, immediately gave up.

The list I have drawn up over the years of animals defeated by cats is vast. By my door I once found a familiar-looking cat carrying a couple of young goldeneyes: beautiful birds still unhurt, covered in drops of water like the snipe, the male displaying an astounding plumage. As far as I am aware, the goldeneye — particularly the male — never touches the ground: near lakes, it sleeps on rocks or reefs. So I cannot figure out whether they were caught while swimming to a rock, or if they were snatched together or in separate attacks. The cat was not some half-starved farm cat trained to chase rats, but a perfect pet: a furry and fluffy Angora cat that received as much food from its owners as it could swallow.

In August, when the fledgling flocks of little birds move low in bushes and grassy banks, I have seen a female cat carry a little bird to its autumnal kittens every half an hour past my ornithologist’s workplace — not a particularly encouraging message about my work. Compared to the cat, the sparrowhawk and hobby are just amateurs.

A certain garden district of the capital city has become so familiar to me now that I have reached certain firm conclusions. Its sumptuous gardens, rich in trees, would suggest a maximum density of birds; its thick bushes offer ideal nesting places. Actually, not even frogs are to be found there, nor butterflies, large beetles or mice for that matter. A small number of birds arrive at spring, but during summer they strangely disappear. The only solid, permanent population is that of cats — one or two for every house — large, shimmering and groomed.

The best period to observe the strategy of city cats is for a few weeks in summer and autumn. When a spotted flycatcher on its way to migrate arrives at night, it spends all day within a couple of yards of its temporary habitat. Some cats will then wait under a leafy bush, hidden from sight, and stalk there for as much as five hours, unflinching. With quick sweeps, the bird usually catches a few flies in the yard or by the road. Eventually, it will spot a fly on a road two or three meters away from the shrub where the cat is waiting in ambush. I couldn’t tell whether a cat’s lightning strike takes a tenth or a hundredth of a second, but I have yet to witness a failed strike. Two more seconds and the cat, with amazing agility, has slipped away with its kill into another thicket.

In the same yard I witnessed another interesting scene, as a cat dashed up an apple tree to seize a wandering blue tit. As the tit easily managed to fly away, I wondered why the cat might have behaved in such a silly manner. I soon realised that the cat hadn’t yet switched to its autumn mode: evidently, it was still used to catching tit fledglings that had just left their nests and would sluggishly be perching on branches.
To defend cats, it is often argued that they mostly hunt harmful mice and moles. Well, what can I say to this? Such a claim, at least when heard from someone calling himself a friend of nature, is outrageous: small rodents and shrews are an integral part of the Finnish fauna, and have as much right to life as any other animals. Any talk of general harmfulness is sheer nonsense. Even if we were to consider only those rodents living in settled areas, only one in a hundred might be said to cause intolerable damage to buildings or gardens. And if some of these animals are ever fated to suffer as part of the food chain, then it should be because of owls, ermines and weasels — not cats.

There is one respect in which I feel slightly less pity for a field or bank vole than I do for a little bird killed by a cat: rodents multiply at a far greater speed than birds. As an animal group, birds are characterised by extremely limited progeny and a correspondingly long lifespan. Only a few species of birds in Finland manage to leave more than one living descendant each: hole-nesting birds, some ducks and — in exceptionally good years — fowl. When a cat succeeds in catching a chaffinch in a forest, this is a more serious loss than a layman might imagine: it may well be a nearly ten-year-old bird that has had hundreds of close encounters with sparrowhawks, merlins and earth-dwelling predators; that has survived maybe twenty risky crossings of the Baltic Sea, thousands of electric wires and cars — and perhaps succeeded in breeding only that summer and has only two offspring to take care of until autumn.
There seems to be no census for the cat population in Finland, as these animals have never been taxed, registered or listed. In any case, there must be many hundreds of thousands of cats in the country — an almost endless supply. When a friend of nature starts confronting this nightmare in earnest, the end is nowhere in sight. A friend of mine from Pälkäne, whose wagtail nests never survived, finally lost his temper and laid a cat trap. He set it in his barn at midday; by evening, he had silenced seven cats (I cannot remember how many he caught later on). I have lived in many places, and in all of them the parade of multicoloured cats was endless (a cat that is uniformly of the same colour is more of an exception than a rule). I know from the powdery white of springtime snowfields that in the whole of Tavastia there isn’t a single field where cat tracks are not the most common pattern. On spring mornings, the same paw prints extend across Vanajanselkä for miles.

The cat problem is growing all the more serious now that animal protection authorities have passed a new insane resolution: they have decreed that putting a cat down by drowning is illegal. The breeding patterns among domestic cats have long infringed all natural boundaries: each cat now has a life span of twenty years, brings forth two large broods a year, is fertile under the age of one and knows no natural enemies. Nothing even close to this has ever been observed in nature. I am not sure how many years it would take cats to cover the face of the Earth, but it wouldn’t be many. Across the ages, a necessary method of defence has been the drowning of kittens and other unwanted cats. If anything, this is a humane act, considering that even in the case of humans drowning is the easiest and most blissful way to die. There are few guns in this country: Finland is not the United States. Besides, anyone even slightly familiar with Finland and the fees charged by its veterinarians knows that anaesthetic injections will not stop the cat catastrophe. I cannot predict what will happen, but the situation seems hopeless.

Currently, hordes of cats are posing a severe threat to the conservation of birds and wildlife. A minimum requirement would be for cats to be registered and kept on a tight leash when outside; were any cat to be found slaughtering a protected animal, its owner should be prosecuted. This, however, is pure utopia — as is always the case with attempts to protect nature that clash with people’s ardent desires.


The Cat Disaster

Hannele Luukkainen and Sari Ulvinen have rightly emphasised the difference between a conservationist outlook and one that privileges the protection of (domestic) animals. A rift has now been created. Woe to thee, nature! Woe to all wild animals! I wish that all those interested in the cat disaster would consider my previous articles, clarifying the place of these artificial predators in Finnish nature. My remarks contain all the answers to the points raised by cat advocates.

I would now like to say a few words about the relationship between the cat and man, although I might be straying from the subject of conservation. The cat has been imported to Finland in order to exterminate rodents and harmful birds that feed on seeds, crops and berries. According to a rough estimate, about half of our cats are still occupied with this outdated task: while the soil is not frozen, these cats are fed nothing but the occasional bowl of milk.

The explanation for the popularity recently acquired by the cat as a pet lies in the fact that it requires only a fraction of the care a dog needs. Granted, there are many other easy pets out there, whether mice, guinea pigs or turtles. The cat, however, is superior to all of them: except in January and February, it acquires its own food.

The cat’s unassuming frugality and hunting ability not only spell doom for wild creatures (as I have already suggested), but constitute a dire problem for the animal itself. So many abandoned cats starve in the heart of winter because they are hardly noticed: in villages it is hardly ever known which cat belongs to whom. Besides, a cat might be spending many days away on a hunting trip and be nowhere to be found when its owners must suddenly leave their cottage to head for the city. Were a dog to be left in a similar manner, it would howl and inform the entire village of its plight.

Because of this, it is utterly impossible to accommodate cats in the northern lands: the cat simply remains a grievance to be rooted out. Sure, cats are linked to some solid traditions, but so are spitting on the floor and tobacco. In any case, cats must be got rid of. I believe that the only positive invention of mankind was the domestication of animals (particularly the horse, cow and dog). Why in Heaven’s name must Hannele Luukkainen hang on to that pest alone?

Speaking of drowning cats, here’s an abridged lecture on ecology: in nature, (long) moments of joy and mirth alternate with (shorter) periods of pain and agony. When a hawk eats the flesh out of the chest of a starling or woodpecker, its prey is still screaming in agony. The cat too plays with its prey for a long time before it kills it. When animal protection, with its morbid interest in slaughter, asks whether drowning will kill a ten- or twenty-year-old animal in one or three minutes, it deserves no answer.


Joyful Chickens and Sad

The life and politics of primitive people revolved around their relationship with animals and the natural world. In modern society, decision-making operates almost entirely within the realm of man. Even though almost all resolutions and laws indirectly affect the conditions of other living beings, these influences and connections are left unexamined, and usually simply ignored.

Still, some currents — like movements for the protection of animals or environmentalist groups — go against the grain. The common aim of these movements is to safeguard the rights of living creatures other than man in a world that is dwindling — because of man. Organised into associations and leagues, these movements represent the interests of animals, plants and mushrooms, in the same way as trade union movements stand for workers’ rights. The school of Peter Singer, the best-known philosopher focusing on the protection of animals, is currently seeking to draw parallels between the treatment of animals and that of humans; it thus emphasises — quite rightly — that the oppression of animals at the hands of humans is by far a more ruthless phenomenon than the racist oppression practised among people.

These thoughts of Singer raise some profound philosophical questions. If the status of man in the world is too elevated at present, just how excessive is it? Similar questions in fact have been receiving an increasing amount of attention in recent years because of the spread of biotechnologies. Whole schools of thought have been founded in the United States to ponder upon the rights of animals and plants, as well as those of inorganic nature. In Finland, philosophers Leena Vilkka, Juhani Pietarinen and Eero Paloheimo have explored the field of bioethics from a profound theoretical perspective.

The biologist must always be wary of any shift in the morality of one nation or the whole of humanity towards either compassion or cruelty. Sooner or later, these shifts will be found to be merely transient, ideologically conditioned fluctuations; the biologist will then have to affirm his argument once more: basic human nature will not change — certainly, not in a hundred or thousand years. Besides, exceptional ethical choices — pacifism, for instance, among conservationists — are usually made only by small minorities, even when the ethical standard in question is at its peak of popularity.

At times, it must seem both surprising and paradoxical for decision makers to see conservationist or animal protection laws popping up on their agendas. These individuals, who represent the interests of most of the population and are happy to deal with housing benefits, investments and provincial border questions, are then faced with issues radically different in nature from the mundane problems of inbred human culture. These issues are pushed into the lives of many citizens through rounds of statements; in the best of cases — as with the present hunting law — this debate, spreading to panel conversations and newspaper columns, forces the sated ‘ordinary citizen’, who is rotting in his own garbage, to focus on the rights of other organisms — at least for some time.

I may already have come across as a little over the top in warning against the wisdom and emotionalism of the majority — ‘the people’. But such things should not be ignored, either. The average person is not an utter idiot when it comes to the treatment of Creation: he won’t just swallow everything. In nature, there are some favourites like dogs and horses, or swans, which almost enjoy the standing and rights of humans. And then there are those distinctive and blatant — and well-documented, too — acts of cruelty like the bludgeoning of seal puppies on glaciers, or whale hunting, that have caused waves of compassion across the entire Western world — at any rate, well beyond animal-rights circles. This is all very revealing.

It is an unpleasant surprise to discover that in the treatment of animals raised for slaughter, of fur animals and farmed fish the level of cruelty has reached an all time high, and yet such practices continue to be tolerated. I am not referring here to the most excessive among excessive practices: things like accelerating the growth of cattle with hormones, the use of artificial light night and day or the artificial swelling of livers in geese. These matters are too repulsive — “over the top” — and I do not wish to write about them. A simple order would suffice to deal with similar practices: death penalty for those responsible! What I wish to talk about here are only the terribly cramped cages in which mentally and physically sick pigs and foxes or deformed and finless rainbow trout are imprisoned.

I personally remember when in the 1970s the first battery henhouses were introduced. I attended a presentation by a pioneer in this trade while on a private visit to Itä-Uusimaa. I remember a large dusty hall packed with fodder and barred coops, each housing three or four hens perched side by side on bare grating: an assembly line from which eggs were gradually dropped; I recall the owner, who was full of contempt for those foolish old-fashioned hen farmers, who knew nothing about the expenses involved in the production of eggs. Another sad thing was that while the man was a doctor by training, he still farmed those hens as a second job. I remember his skin as strangely greyish in colour — or is this a later addition, this being such a grey and burdensome recollection?

The memory of those caged hens always springs to my mind when I look at the free-range chickens some of my friends are raising: lively, brisk and intelligent animals.

The cruelty involved in rearing caged chickens differs from that of whale hunting — or any other form of hunting, even the worst — in one fundamental respect: hunting affects animals that have lived a full life according to their own needs, perhaps for decades; when death arrives, it is sometimes painless, sometimes agonising — just as in nature. When hunting, man is a predator in the food chain, one cause of death among others. Of course, the issue becomes very serious in those cases — like whale-hunting — where the practice is not taxing interests alone, but affecting the whole capital: when, that is, it reduces the population of a given species, or even threatens it with extinction. This, however, is a matter of conservation rather than animal protection. By contrast, caged animals spend their whole lives, from birth to death, in unnatural anguish, not like animals but like objects. In this case, the very character and pride of the animal has utterly been devastated. Nothing could be worse than this. No doubt, the same issue is at stake in the keeping of household animals: the rights of a domestic animal to its own nature, freedom and pride must always be restricted. These limitations, however, can be seen as the price paid by the animal to be alive in the first place: most of the time an animal would not exist at all, at least here in the north, had it not been domesticated. Usually, this seems like a fair exchange. In old-fashioned farms, for instance, the cow is tied up during the long winter season — albeit not that tightly — and its calf is taken away right after it is born. Still, the cow is allowed to graze in the pastures for half the year somewhat according to its nature, at the small price of being milked. Cow barns should of course be increased in size, to improve the conditions of the animals they house.

It is quite striking that society not only allows animal rights to be completely ignored in factory farming and the fur business, but also supports the kind of unscrupulous research and experiments that sustains these activities, even at an academic level. In Kuopio we have a faculty of “applied zoology” where biotechnology, gene transfer and the kind of horrors futurologists dream of are being developed in the attempt to master and forge all life. Methods of making animal raising more effective are also being researched there: for instance, to find out at what point the economic loss brought by the death of animals from stress and overcrowding outweighs the profit made by limiting the building and maintenance expenses. In plain language, these people are seeking to cram as many cages as possible into one place.

When brought into the spotlight by horrified animal protectors, these researchers have claimed that a fox in nature lives a life of constant suffering, doomed to be always on the run because of despair, unquenchable hunger and fear of enemies; whereas a fox that is caged and well-fed will have experienced the dream of all foxes. Well, if this is the case, the most blissful state of existence for man must be detention in prison with an ample supply of calories! How can science and academic research ever get so low?

Those zoologists, be they professionals or amateurs, who possess both the gifts of empathy and perceptiveness, and who spend long periods among animals, are forced to admit that the barriers between man and other animals tend to become blurred. The more precise the observations they are able to make, the closer to man Creation becomes and the clearer the guideline: do unto animals as you would wish them do unto you. The most sensitive of people are able to perceive even the souls of plants. Many identify with the spirit of a living tree; some can also see other plants as their sisters and brothers.

When I carefully — and passionately — follow the actions of animal-rights activists, I feel some false emphasis is being placed. The presence of one greater issue certainly does not justify the ignoring of smaller ones. But animal protectors pay too much attention to the slaughter of animals, and whether their death is painful or painless. To be sure, the killing of an animal in hunting or fishing must be as humane as possible. But from the perspective of the continuity of all life, the death of either an animal or a human being is a minimal occurrence. If we keep this in mind, it is clear that animal protection is certainly connected to a cultural phenomenon that is characteristic of our time: fear of death and physical hardship. There is something disproportionate and morbid in all this.

When animal-rights organisations fight to secure animals a good life rather than a good death, they are supporting a cause a thousand times more important. Currently, their cause is among the most important matters in the world, and certainly in our society. Even this summer, a petition to shut down all battery henhouses is circulating in Finland. It must succeed. Switzerland and Sweden have already pointed the way. All animals confined throughout the year to a prison cell, regardless of whether they live on land or in water, must be freed. The caging of animals should never have been allowed in the first place: in no way is it in keeping with the civilised practice of protecting seal cubs and whales; rather, it goes against the morals of the vast majority of people. No legislation is as urgent as this one.


The Animal Protector As an Apostle of Doom

How could Veli-Risto Cajander have ever come up with something as insane as the protection of the wild mink, a predator imported from a foreign continent, which poses such an additional burden on our avifauna? It is clear to every friend of nature that this kind of vermin (mink, raccoon) should be vanquished down to the last paw print. Those mockeries of Finnish fauna (the muskrat, Canadian goose, white-tailed deer) that do not directly feast on domestic animals, but may affect competition for food in the environment, are already suspicious enough.

Since 1948, travelling for tens of thousands of hours, I have personally studied changes in the nesting population of water- and coastal birds, their breeding patterns and, most importantly, the presence of fledglings all around Finland (particularly Tavastia). Last year, from May to July, I spent about 1500 hours on the beaches and isles of my observation grounds (the nights I also spent on the shores, in sixty different places on the whole). I am aware of certain matters, therefore, and I know that the wild mink poses a mortal threat to the Finnish avifauna. The case of the mink in our country is fully comparable to that of the dingo in Australia and of all the imported alien predators that have destroyed the original ecological balance in various islands.

The current number of water bird fledglings can only be described with one word: catastrophe. Compared to that in the 1950s, when the population of wild mink amounted to a fraction of what it is now, the present situation is pitiful.

The number of black-headed gulls in Tavastia, which still amounted to ten thousand in the 1970s, has now dwindled to a few hundred. These birds have completely deserted their natural nesting habitat — lush ponds and lakes — due to mink having started to devour all of their young. Now the gulls have retreated to rock isles in the middle of large lakes, but still fly off every year to find new spots. This occurs because mink can hear the birds from the shores of the lake, and will swim after them to kill the fledglings — not to feed off, but merely to slay: to cram the dead birds in piles under rocks and sedges.

The mink has learnt very well how to find the fledglings of the common gulls, which nest sparsely in single couples, by running along the beach line: kilometres of shore inhabited by dozens of gulls are stripped bare within minutes after the fledglings are hatched. Few spots survive untouched between one mink territory and another. Maybe one out of five couples of common gulls still manages to get its nestlings to fly.

The nesting population of the lesser black-backed gull by what is by far the best lake for the species, Pälkänevesi, numbered approximately 215 couples in the 1970s; only sixty-four remained in 1997. These couples laid around 180 eggs, most of which successfully hatched. Then mink raided the little fledglings from island to island, from rock to rock, and only sixteen made it to adulthood. Eventually, these surviving birds bred at the age of four, when only four or five of them were estimated to be alive.
The havoc wreaked by the wild mink is made all the worse by the presence of four other strong predators, all of which man has either imported from the ends of the Earth or increased tenfold in numbers thanks to his junkyards; these animals complete the work carried out by the wild mink on islands and shores. Of these birds only the crow is an old pest. The raccoon dog and eagle owl were unknown in Tavastia in the 1950s; herring gulls numbered a fraction of their population today, and the same goes for mink (Vanajanselkä, for instance, that only had three couples of mink, now has 190). Thanks to the cooperation between mink and herring gulls, the five-hundred recorded nests of terns yielded only a few dozen flying fledglings last summer: the worst outcome I have ever heard of in Finland.
The total impact of these new predators represents by far the worst threat to water and coastal avifauna, a much greater threat than that immediately posed by man, denser settlements and all other assaults on the environment. Yet even these unnatural beasts have their defenders: imbeciles like Cajander — a small but vociferous group of people. These people are the same as the self-proclaimed cat-protectors. When we pass from the shores to the land, to backyards, gardens, fields and the edges of villages, the number one enemy of avifauna becomes the army of domestic and wild cats that our conceited society, which always leaves a desert in its trail, has swollen to millions.

What are these animal protectors aiming at by nurturing minks imported from Canada, cats from Egypt, raccoons from China? Like their protégés, these predators are archenemies of environmentalism, of friends of nature and of nature itself.


Aspects of Animal Protection

R. Halttunen has accused[15] me of using double standards on the grounds that while I am opposed to fur farming, I simultaneously create suffering for animals in my trade as a fisherman. Halttunen is quite correct with regard to suffering: the languishing of fish in the nets and their slow death are certainly more painful than the swift slaughter of the fox and mink.

But the question is not about death: it is about life. While nature and the whole animal kingdom are animated by an ardent desire to preserve life and freedom, nature is blind to temporary suffering. The starling and blackbird do everything they can to avoid the hawk’s claws. But when the hawk finally manages to capture its prey, it holds the starling in a firm grip and surely does not care about humanely ‘putting it down’; rather, the hawk plucks at it and starts eating the best bits of flesh, as the starling is still screaming. No doubt, the last few minutes (or hours or days) in the life of an animal that has lived for many years are of no great significance.

The difference between the netted pikeperch and the caged mink is as great as that between night and day. My fish have lived from five to fifteen years the lives of free animals when a stronger predator, the fisherman, intrudes. I am also consoled by the knowledge that 99.9% of fish end up either being killed by predators other than man, or dying of diseases or old age. The life of a caged fox or mink from cradle to grave (or rather certain slaughter) is instead chillingly dreadful. Still, I believe that they ‘suffer’ all the time as little as Halttunen does: someone sentenced to life cannot ‘suffer’ every minute; rather, he will turn apathetic and numb. The issue, then, is about respect for the lives of animals (and human beings).
Another crucial difference between fishing and fur farming is that one produces sustenance, the other needless luxury. The agonising death of fish in the net is certainly a grievous matter, but it is also inevitable. Methods of fishing that reduce the pain of death (such as sport fishing with hooks) yield only a meagre catch and, of course, the size of the catch is an essential factor for the feeding of people.

With regard to production of food I take a completely different stance from that of the most fanatical animal protectors, who oppose all hunting and all breeding of domestic animals. Following their views, human life would be impossible on half of the Earth. Even in Finland, north of Jyväskylä, no sustainable farming can be practised except for the cultivation of grass and, through grass, the production of dairy products and meat. How could a vegan survive in Inari and Utsjoki? If I came upon an animal protection activist burning down a slaughterhouse or a butcher’s car, I would take a hawkish hold of his neck and walk him to the police.

A different matter altogether is the fact that outdoor grazing for three to five months a year should be made compulsory in the farming of bovines and pigs; and similarly, that battery henhouses and excessively large poultry farms should be absolutely banned. But here we get to the most important question of all: the price for nutrition. The insane clearance sale of food that is promoted nowadays and senseless intensive farming are policies of death. Before any demand is met, production prices must be made at least three times higher: only then will it be possible to meet the requirements of animal protection, nature conservation and environmentalism.


Animal Rights in the Bible

These last few years I have located the impressive battle for animal rights that is currently being waged in European countries (including Finland) on an ideological chain that links the attempts to abolish institutional slavery, to free oppressed women and to uphold the rights of children. This might clearly be seen, in ethical terms, as a magnificent chain of progress: as the sole positive ripple in the crushingly negative tide of brutal market economy that has enveloped the Western world.

I have rejoiced over this small sign of justice in our otherwise dreadful society; my only grievance is the fact that the animal protection movement focuses almost exclusively on domestic animals (including all caged and laboratory animals). In other words, the outlook of this movement is still anthropocentric, and it recklessly leaves the vast majority (99.999999%) of animals to fend for themselves. But perhaps I am being rash in my judgment. Maybe the time for conservationism is approaching.

I recognise that my education and knowledge of history have failed in one respect: I fooled myself into thinking that the animal-rights movement represented a new — and for this reason all the more brilliant — ideological current in our own culture. (The relation of so-called primitive peoples to nature and their sense of brotherliness towards certain animals I would see as a separate phenomenon, as it is conceptually based on different foundations). I also had the flimsy idea that the cornerstone of the Western culture, Judaism, was entirely anthropocentric (even urban), reserving animals a cold and harsh treatment. I even assumed that this could be seen as one reason for the clash between naturalist, romantic Nazism and chillingly rational Judaism.

But now, I have gained some new insight after browsing the magazine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Herätkää [Awaken]: an altogether splendid, well-edited journal. This magazine described how the most horrendous blood sports had first been introduced for the amusement of man, and surprisingly emphasised that many “modern” attitudes to animal protection and animal rights can be found in the Bible — most of them even in the Old Testament. Once more we are reminded of the old adage: “nothing new under the sun”.

In the second book of Moses (23:4-5), one is encouraged to rescue a lost ox or donkey and to return it to its owner even if the owner is an enemy. Also, the donkey belonging to an enemy must be helped to its feet if it has fallen under its burden. Verse 23:12 advises to stay away from work during the seventh day of the week, “that thine ox and thine ass may rest”. Guidelines calling for the good treatment of animals can also be found in the fifth book of Moses (22:10 and 25:4): “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together” and “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn”.

Clearly a practical outlook is here combined with the protection of animals. Verse 4:11 of the book of Jonah expresses general feelings of compassion for animals: “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then six-score thousand persons... and also much cattle?”

In verse 12:10 of Proverbs it is said: “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”.

Finally, in the New Testament a beautiful sentence is found expressing the basic philosophy behind conservationism, including the absolute value of nature’s animals: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6).

These I have quoted are some of the passages contained in the New International Version of the Bible. Strangely enough, the fabulous vision of the future described in the book of Hosea, verse 2:18, is completely missing from the new translation of the Bible provided by the Finnish Evangelic Lutheran Church; this, nevertheless, does not make the passage any less grand: “And on that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” The eternal dream of all pacifists, environmentalists and vegans is here condensed in a single sentence!


A Look at Vegetarianism

So many passionate opinions are given on vegetarianism that tackling the subject is a little like poking a beehive. Yet the subject of vegetarianism is far too important from an ecological perspective to simply be ignored.

Let us first examine vegetarianism from the point of view of health. A discerning expert in the field, Leena Vilkka, who recently described an international vegetarian conference in Juha Rantala’s small Elämänsuojelija [Guardian of Life] magazine, pointed out that this is among the foremost factors to consider in relation to vegetarianism.

According to his build, teeth and bowels, man is certainly not a carnivorous predator; but neither is he a pure herbivore. Biologically, man is an omnivore: like the bear, badger and rat.

It is a simple truism that anyone who performs strenuous physical work (like the author of the present article), whose life-long health problem has been the battle against imminent emaciation, cannot thrive on ‘grass and salad’, but must seek to assimilate enough calories through animal fats.

And yet... Human ways of living change, even to the point that the intrinsic biology of man becomes a questionable matter. The modern man who performs intellectual work is such a thoroughly different being from a ditch digger or saw-wielding lumberjack that he can hardly be said to belong to the same species. A diet based on light vegetables and fish undoubtedly fits this new type of human much better than one based on heavy, nutritious, warm-blooded animals.

A similar mental leap is required by the generation of those who have experienced war and economic depression (those above sixty today): people who in their early youth could hardly conceive of wasting any piece of meat or fat one could lay his hands on, and who had never even heard of vegetarianism. Elderly people like me must also accept that the younger population must “be fussy with food” for the sake of their health — unless they are to improve their way of living, which is a far more complicated matter.

At present, however, the problem of human sustenance is still quantitative rather than qualitative. One must eat neither too little nor too much. What one eats is less important, as long as one does not swallow sharp shards of glass or badly bent nails.

Leena Vilkka lists various kinds of vegetarian diets: 1) vegetables, milk products, eggs and fish; 2) all of the above products with the exception of fish; 3) no animal products to be eaten whatsoever; 4) living food alone (no dead ingredients); 5) fruit alone; 6) veganism: identical to point three above in terms of nutrition, but with the additional avoidance of all animal-derived products in clothing, medicine and the like.

The reasons behind these choices might include not only health, but also animal protection and ecology. Behind the issue of animal protection lie profound ethical values that must always be cherished: an animal should not be killed, made to suffer or imprisoned in any environment incompatible with its needs.
These ethical values would be difficult to dismiss, particularly in a way that vegans would find compelling. Hunting and fishing represent the primeval means of human sustenance. I, for one, fully believe so. Sure, vegans will reply: the institution of slavery was also the most perfect economic system... The burning of wise women as witches has also been — or still is — an ancient tradition among many cultures; so too the custom of forcing young children to work all day, or genital mutilation... Why, what about war and torture? No doubt, they are central to human culture! Does this mean we should unreservedly approve of similar practices?

I find it a remarkably good thing that vegan ideology emphasises the intrinsic value of animals: that it voices such important questions. At least there is something new and positive to be found in these horrifying times of distress!

Nevertheless, many arguments can be raised to counter those of vegans. First, I would like to make a brief remark about animal suffering: in my eyes, cattle that are grazing in the pasture glow with satisfaction; similarly, I have personally witnessed the happy chewing and mooing of cows in a warm winter shed. And besides, creamy whole milk is the most divine of nature’s gifts: the highest of life’s pleasures.
Of course, a modern byre is even more of a paradise for cows, and the cowshed, no doubt, only a winter home. Obviously, the summer (which in Finland lasts from the beginning of June to October) should be spent outside by the animals, in forests and pastures. A ban on keeping farm creatures inside during summertime should feature as one of the first articles in the legislation to protect animals. I certainly agree with every vegan and animal-rights activist with regard to the raising of fur animals and poultry in cages.

I see the taming of domestic animals as one of the most splendid inventions of mankind, if not the only truly brilliant one. I have gathered that vegans generally accept pets — even if these do not lead a fully natural life. In the list I would also include bovines, horses, pigs, sheep and chickens, without which human life would be unspeakably poorer (at least here in the arid north) — poorer, say, than without music, art or books. I don’t suppose even a vegan would argue that these animals should be kept — and with what resources? — once they cease providing meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather or work. A strict vegan will ask for these animals to cease existing: but would cows, horses and sheep vote in favour of a similar resolution?

I will raise another objection here: many vegans won’t even attempt to persuade the whole population to support their cause; they do not strive to uproot the economy of domestic animals. But vegans have chosen their own way to protest the cruel forms of the streamlined economy. And surely, it makes a tremendous difference whether protests are directed against McDonald’s and the grazing of cattle in what were former virgin forests in Brazil, or against a small Finnish farm, whose few cows are almost like family members and calves named after the children — even if these animals will eventually be slaughtered, when their rather comfortable lives will abruptly be ended.

Vegetarians think that the strongest ecological argument in favour of their dietary choice is the fact that in the process of turning grain and other cereals into meat, food reserves decrease by 90 per cent. Some people genuinely believe that the entire human population could easily be fed, were an end put to the production of meat.

From an ecological perspective, the above reasoning is altogether untenable. Firstly, large areas on Earth can only grow cattle fodder, and hence can only produce meat and dairy products. Even in Finland, the area north of Jyväskylä-Vaasa could not sustain any human life — were vegans here also to boycott the slaughter of game and fish in the region. Ecologically, this would be an exceptional scenario, given it is a basic ecological principle that the population of any major region must produce its own food. Admittedly, it would be brilliant if central and northern Finland could be stripped of all human presence and previously inhabited territories be used for the storage and absorbtion of carbon and the production of oxygen. However, I feel that this is not what vegans are aiming for.

That whole vegetarian plan begins from utterly incorrect assumptions and ends in certain ruin. All energies must be directed not at increasing food reserves, but at suppressing the explosion of population and — in accordance with Arne Naess’s principle of deep ecology — decreasing the number of people. Considering the population of the globe first increased thanks to grains (should the vegetarian plan be implemented), things would not be looking good.

In the short run, it is not hunger that poses the greatest threat to the preservation of man, even with the current levels of food production. At present there are other ecocatastrophes to deal with, all of which have been brought about by the vast number of people and their way of life: environmental disruption, collapse and depletion, deforestation, desertification, pollution of earth, water and air. Hunger, at least for some time, seems to be a factor under control. Yet, the huge imbalance between those areas of the Earth that are self-sufficient and those that are not makes it difficult to face the problem of world hunger. Besides, mass-transfer of food to the other side of the world entails a terrifying increase in transportation, with further construction of storages, harbours and airports, not to mention energy expenditure.

Affluent countries produce so much food thanks to highly intensive forms of agriculture, which will unavoidably lead — and rather soon, too — to soil depletion, field erosion and a crash in production. Maintaining adequate agricultural yield becomes even more difficult if cattle manure is left out of the equation. The advantage provided by increased field acreage, once fields will have been converted from the growing of fodder, will only be transient.

The worst thing is that the population growth brought about by the production of grains will contribute to further climate change. As has already been predicted, these changes in the climate will upset the agricultural balance, both when the sea will submerge the land and when drought will affect the most fertile fields.

Decimating or shrinking the huge numbers of cattle would obviously help reduce the dissipation of ozone by cutting down on the release of methane gas. The depletion of the ozone layer, however, is just about the only ecocatastrophe that is likely to be solved anyway.

There are further weaknesses in the “ecology of vegetarianism”. Many unproductive and nutritionally poor vegetables demand immoderate acreages for cultivation. In fact, only a few plants provide sufficient (peas, beans, cabbages) or good (grains) nourishment in themselves.

Some of the smartest vegans have noted what is perhaps the greatest inconsistency in the ecological perspective of vegetarianism: the food to be eaten is frequently imported from faraway countries and continents. The people who strive to eat only what is grown domestically, or at least as much domestic food as possible, call themselves “fennovegans”. I have a funny recollection about this subject that dates from last summer. I was then conversing with a young farmer, Antti Ilola, in my home village, who began talking about vegetarianism. He was quite knowledgeable about vegetarianism, but was wondering what the meaning of the term “fennovegan” might be. I informed him that the term originates from the word “fennia” [for “Finnish”] and was used to describe the practice of eating only food grown in our country. Antti reflected for a while, and concluded that that diet too requires expensive transport: shouldn’t food be entirely produced on one’s own farm? Antti instantly came up with a name for these truly orthodox vegetarians: “hemmavegans” [“home vegans”]! So now, in honour of Antti Ilola, I would like to complete the vegetarian list drawn by Leena Vilkka by adding: 7) fennovegans and 8) hemmavegans.

In addition to the question of ecological balance, one more central issue remains to be addressed: the cherishing of nature’s diversity. Let’s pick an example from our own country. A large section of Finnish fauna and flora are part of an ecosystem that developed over thousands of years and is based on a prerequisite: that its soil be stirred and fertilized by domestic animals. Small-scale human settlement and agriculture based on domestic animals once hugely enriched nature. Now, all this is falling into ruin as large domestic animals are disappearing.

A field of crops, a plain where wheat or barley grow, even a swamp drained of its water and packed with pesticides, is still by far the poorest habitat in our land. Its population is many times poorer in terms of the number of species and individual animals than even the centre of a metropolis. A friend of nature can hardly ever be a vegan, however noble the principles of veganism might be from one point of view.

But is there anything more to human life than food? If so, let us turn to aesthetics and ask: what looks more dreadful than a grey-black field of crops between September and November or April and May? And, by contrast, is there any civilised landscape more delightful than a green pasture on which mottled cattle, horses and sheep frolic and graze? What backyard is livelier than one in which smart chickens freely potter about? And finally, if pigs (undeniably the worst animals in ecological terms) were to be removed, but sheep kept for wool, hens for eggs, cows for dairy products and horses as steeds, what could be done with aging animals or with all the bulls, calves and roosters? Would they be made to die of old age or by the veterinarian’s needle, and then buried in a hole? What ecological balance or national economy could withstand a similar waste of nourishment? In the future — in the near future, in fact — when all attempts to avert ecocatastrophes will have failed, we will have to ditch the taboo of consuming human flesh — whether we reach this stage by temporarily switching to vegetable food or by clinging to the mixed diet that is most common today.


The Value of Humans and That of Animals

It is not uncommon for discussions to bounce across several newspapers. In Vihreä Lanka [The Green Thread], Anto Leikola took on Bishop Voitto Huotari’s columns in Etelä-Saimaa [South Saimaa] and Kymen Sanomat [The Kymi News]. In turn, I would now like to take part in the discussion.

Huotari writes: “An animal has some intrinsic value, yet not in the same way as a human being; an animal does not possess the inviolable, absolute right to life that all humans are acknowledged to possess in all circumstances.” He continues: “It is certainly questionable to speak of animal rights in the same way as one speaks of human rights.”

Leikola shows some appreciation for the careful use of expressions like “we acknowledge” and “is questionable” on Huotari’s part; he writes:

“This ethical principle seems to be generally accepted nowadays, and partly informs the concept of “human rights”. Nevertheless, like all values, it lies more in the mind of its adherents than in the object it applies to, unlike for example biological facts; thus, it is inevitably subjective: it is all about what I think or we think. We cannot proceed past belief — or faith — here.”

“It is entirely possible and justifiable to draw a sharp line between man and animal with regard to absolute values, like the bishop does. This would be better than first assigning an absolute value, in addition to humans, to anthropoid animals, and then extending this value from mammals to lower vertebrates and invertebrates, all the way down to the paramecium and amoeba.”

In conclusion, Leikola thanks churchmen for at least paying attention to the issue of animal rights, and for emphasising how humans are responsible towards the natural world: “Churchmen never used to speak of these things when I was young.”

As far as I am concerned, respect for life is a clear — or pretty clear — principle that I share with many people committed to the preservation of nature.

Like Leikola, I think it is quite self-evident that it is impossible to extend absolute respect (which includes protection from slaughter or damage) to all animals, for we would soon find ourselves discussing the rights of parasites, termites, mosquitoes and dangerous bacteria and viruses. If we begin trying to avoid every ant that we encounter on the forest trail, we will soon be hopping to death. Of course, it is unethical to needlessly kill these little fellows (but the plant kingdom too must be protected from unnecessary slaughter).

The intrinsic value of animals, however, and the degree to which they are seen as inviolable beings, depends on their status: their position, that is, in the biosphere and the ecosystem. The whole, the system, the maximum amount of species and diversity is the most sacred thing; the second most important thing is the total number of individuals for every given species across the entire Earth and in every specific area. The greatest, most beautiful and most important value on Earth is the richness of nature (actually, for me, this is the most important thing in the whole universe, as my consciousness, identity and interests do not extend to other celestial bodies).

The concept of “endangerment”, then, is central: the extinction of species, subspecies or local populations threatens dramatically to impoverish nature. The notion of extinction implies that a greater value will be placed on “rare” animals than “common” ones — and the size of any given animal population is a sheer fact.

Value can also be assigned on the basis of the phylogenetic status of an animal: of whether, according to the gradual process of birth and development, the animal in question is one of the earlier, more “primitive” creatures or one of the latest and more “advanced”. Evolutionism has placed a greater emphasis on the latter kind of animals. So an endangered tiger and mountain gorilla would be seen to possess more value than a species of shellfish that is threatened with extinction.

It has been pointed out that while phylogenetic classification is advantageous for the human species, a valuation according to population size would be devastating. Man is entirely in a class of his own in this respect: he has broken away from the natural system, eluded the laws of the food chain, and vastly increased his numbers. He is by far the most populous animal on the Earth in proportion to his body size and dietary requirements.

Any “merit” man might have acquired through phylogenesis almost disappears, however, when one considers that humanity has made itself even more of a burden by unscrupulously satisfying a large number of artificial needs, in a manner unknown to any other life form but highly detrimental to nature. Man is by far the least favoured species among friends of nature. A friend of nature will regard human beings as bullying and most often corrupting nature, and will seek to protect ecosystems from human influence as far as possible. According to this perspective, the value and rights of wild animals will always surpass those of domestic animals (which are closer to humans). Likewise, preference will always be accorded to the (surviving) indigenous fauna of any given region rather than animals imported by man. In the worst of cases, the non-indigenous animals are those predators that dramatically diminish the number of original, natural animals. These animals (the mink, raccoon and cat in Finland) will have to be stripped of all rights.

Man also practises the active impoverishment of nature when he disproportionately increases the amount of beasts of prey in the ecosystem by offering them an abundance of unnaturally good nesting places (as in the case of owls nesting in birdhouses), or by feeding them in the winter, when their natural pruning by hunger is prevented and the population expands to destructively large numbers (this is the case with the crow, eagle owl, herring gull and great black-backed gull, great spotted woodpecker and squirrel in Finland). The friend of nature must strive to correct all these mistakes.

I will now return to the issue of human rights. The term, as it is commonly conceived, unreservedly clashes with both my ethics and logic. A definition I once gave again springs to mind: “human rights = a death sentence for all Creation.” A few factors in the formulation of human rights will probably always remain obscure for me.

First of all, my logic refuses to accept that the value and rights of a human individual might remain the same ever since the beginning of time, regardless of how many humans there are on the planet. It is quite clear to me that the net increase in humans is constantly lowering the value of existing individuals (and with six billion humans, not much individual value is left on average...).

Secondly, I cannot understand why human rights are seen as being applicable to everyone in the same way — to quote Anto Leikola’s paraphrase of Bishop Huotari: “Each human being possesses a certain intrinsic value, which does not depend on good or evil or the quality of his reason.”

I find this kind of thinking truly worthless. I could never find two people who are perfectly equal: one will always be more valuable than the other. And many people, as a matter of fact, simply have no value. Some individuals exceed the “environmental allowance” by a factor of a thousand: they vastly decrease the richness of nature and squander its resource reserves, both through their own way of life and through their influence. There are also plenty of evil people around, who have no moral standards: downright criminals who in extreme cases cause a horrid amount of pain to other members of their species. What mysticism, what black magic can allow such creatures to possess full human rights? What is the philosophy of those who oppose the death sentence?

Life, which is hierarchic by nature, demands that we extend “this value from mammals to lower vertebrates and invertebrates, all the way down to the paramecium and amoeba.” But just as necessary should be the classification of people according to their degree of humanity; in other words, according to the extent to which they possess those abilities that represent the unique qualities of their species and define the place of man in relation to other animals: intelligence, wisdom, culture, emotion, empathy. Physical deficiencies do not affect intrinsically human qualities like spiritual life or the exercise of the mind. Retardation with respect to emotional life or intelligence, however, is another matter. Some individuals, in this respect, are on the level of chimpanzees, some of the beaver, some of the pipit. Some totally deficient individuals cannot even be compared to the most primitive expressions in the animal kingdom: why should a higher value and better rights be assigned to these people rather than to the chimpanzee, beaver or pipit?

I believe that without an adequate knowledge of the way in which nature operates and an awareness of the limits of human rights, the animal-rights movement stands on tenuous ground indeed.


Chapter 4: The World and Us

A Refresher Course in the State of the World

An ecocatastrophe is taking place on Earth. Local ecocatastrophes are everywhere. Increasingly, vast tracts of green and productive land are being paved to make way for buildings, roads and parking lots. Vast spaces turn to desert or are poisoned, made barren and unfit for living. Wind and water erosion wash the topsoil of the most significant grain reserves into the sea. Finite natural resources are on a clearance sale, while renewable resources like forests are being depleted at an ever-increasing speed. The gas balance of the atmosphere has been thrown out of kilter; seas have been polluted with oil and their food chains ransacked. The rapid warming of the climate poses insurmountable problems for natural plant life and crops. The amount of waste and pollution is growing uncontrollably.

The above was only a refresher course: a summary of everyday information. Most of mankind more or less ignores these mega-trends and their multifarious subdivisions, which are nevertheless familiar to inhabitants of so-called enlightened countries of the cooler part of the Northern Hemisphere. These trends and their causes are generally accepted as scientific facts in these countries; only numeric estimates are known to fluctuate within certain limits. I am not taking into account here all worldviews based on pure faith, including those held by the few thinkers who — even with sensible-sounding arguments — would deny that the biosphere is facing any emergency. To the end of the world, there will always be someone ready to claim that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, that females impregnate and males give birth.

As for the public, the problem no longer regards the volume of information about the state of the world and its availability, nor the assimilation of this information. It is interesting to observe how well certain facts are understood, and how deep they have sunk into people’s consciousness. However, what kind of connection is the informed person capable of making between the state of the world, his own community, and his personal life? Ultimately, the essential question is whether awareness of this global situation — the distress of the biosphere — affects the individual’s actions as a decision maker and citizen.

Man: an Irresponsible Thief

This interim report doesn’t bring a glimmer of hope. In fact, there is no apparent difference between the behaviour of the communities and individuals that are part of mankind’s unenlightened majority and that of the enlightened, aware minority. Everywhere, man remains a complete lout, a destroyer of the biosphere. The only difference is that among the enlightened portion of mankind there is more chattering to be heard and more rustling of papers thanks to things like the UN-appointed Brundtland Commission. The minimum demand of the committee was for industrial countries to reduce their energy consumption by half within a few decades. In Finland too, then, one would expect all construction work, industrial production, traffic, road maintenance, lighting and household appliances to have being reduced by 50%, and half of the power plants to have been shut down.

In reality, the Finnish producer and consumer, whether student or pensioner, farmer, metal worker or doctor, fiercely hangs onto the dreadful material standard of living that already, decades ago, had exceeded all rational boundaries, while in addition demanding that his purchasing power should continue to increase. Finns perceive economic stagnation as a stunning backlash, and its overcoming as a national mission, even though, as enlightened men, they should be praising it in all churches, praying that the depression might worsen tenfold. Luxury and glamour marked every aspect of the 1992 exhibition of medical science: tons of chlorine-bleached enamelled paper, amazing conference rooms, fabulous presentation halls, fancy flights and five-star hotels.

Will the Population Explosion be Averted — or Will Awareness of It?

Let us now return to the subject of this article. I apologise for the digression: the bitter ecologist got carried away again. I was meant to deliver a lecture on the population issue, the notion of value and medical ethics. We’ll get to them, too.

It is worth stressing once more that the chief cause for the impending collapse of the world — the cause sufficient in and by itself — is the enormous growth of the human population: the human flood. The worst enemy of life is too much life: the excess of human life. A secondary cause that is accelerating the process of devastation is the increasing burden that each new member of the population brings upon nature. First and foremost, in what follows, I will be discussing the fundamental problem of the population explosion.

Experience shows that the dire news about the population bomb, even in the enlightened world, is never allowed to spread far: here logic will dim and judgment stray in an imbalanced battle between optimism and realism. Optimism, that most wretched of all human characteristics, successfully projects the gravity of the population issue both forward in time and geographically away from home, to foreign lands.

For as long as I have actively been following demographic diagrams — say, forty-five years — population growth has been seen as a critical threat. It was then claimed that the Earth was barely able to cope with the population it had, and that further growth would have been unsustainable. This law of forward projection is generally still valid today. But what is really the case? Already millennia ago, man had caused irreparable damage in limited areas of the globe: where density in population had exceeded all boundaries, humans depleted green land and altered the biosphere by creating permanent deserts and semi-deserts. The most shocking and irrecoverable loss caused to the biosphere is the number of species that have become extinct: extinction, which centuries ago occurred at a natural pace, began spiralling out of control a few decades ago.

What is truly significant, however, is the fact that severe damage to the natural systems of the air, sea, and soil was first wrought when there were around two to three billion people on Earth who had significantly lower standards of living and represented far less of a burden for nature. It has been suggested that we are only still in existence because the chemistry and physics of the Earth react, change and absorb shocks rather rigidly: because they are slow to get going and slow in coming to a halt. The idea that the Earth could permanently bear the current burden of five billion people without a dramatic change such as the abandonment of the whole Western culture and way of life, is purely absurd: the faith a child or animal might have in the future. Just as it is certain that all fallouts always originate from somewhere other than one’s own country, similarly any government, and the sophisticated people they lead, would claim that there is no overpopulation problem in their own country. Well, there are still two partial exceptions, China and India: the leaders and enlightened minorities of these countries admit that even their own populations are too large. China and India, however, are only exceptions: countries that, thanks to their ancient cultural traditions, are ahead of the majority of savages that inhabit the Earth.

The Reality of the Population Explosion

A while ago the president of the Finnish Centre for Statistics visited me, wishing to hear how a man could endure being aware of the aspects of global collapse. The president said that he had tried to avoid the inevitable conclusions in order to keep his peace of mind, but was afraid, being close to retirement, that without the bustle of work and meetings he would be left with too much spare time to think. The two of us had a very serious and personal discussion about depression and its causes, about cures and self-treatment, amidst the racket of a ceremonial reception. We agreed that indicators that the end of the world is approaching — matters I will soon be discussing — certainly belong not to the sphere of personal opinions or worldviews, but to that of statistics, facts, and arithmetics.

So, what do statistics tell us about how the population explosion will be divided geographically? For the next few decades — which is probably to say, for the remaining time allotted to humanity — the bulk of this explosion will take place in industrial countries: Europe, Japan, and the United States. These countries are highly populated and, most importantly, their citizens’ lifestyles are environmentally very burdensome. According to the most positive estimates, individual energy consumption in these countries exceeds that found among the majority of non-industrialised humanity even by a factor of twenty. Of course, crucial indicators such as the use of food and the depletion of forests do not show such vast differences. Naturally, the threat posed by non-industrialised populations is increasing all the time, since they are growing at a significantly faster rate than the populations of industrial countries. But if the current disparity in living standards endures, these countries will only become major players in the destruction of ecosystems in a faraway future.

When making certain estimates, it is also important to bear in mind that a major share of the use of natural resources and perpetration of environmental damage in non-industrialised countries is in fact caused by industrial nations. This point is always brought up when discussing world economy or the Third World. By contrast, what is generally ignored is the fact that immigrants from poor nations, whose birth rate is at par with that of their cultures of origin (if not higher, thanks to the social care they now benefit from), dramatically increase the wealthy population and environmental burden of industrial countries. As Matti Kuusi once put it, there is no use counting the immigrants at the border: one should wait a while and look in their nurseries.

The Value-Basis of Protecting Life

From a philosophical perspective, the doctrine of the protection of life — or its basic message, which I have personally promoted for decades — is neither that ingenious nor new. In short, the doctrine is based on the notion of enabling the survival of life in order for future possibilities to be open. As such, the doctrine says nothing about the quality of life. Still, it is the most important of all messages: it represents the highest objective, all other goals being subordinate to it. Even the most beautiful of mankind’s aspirations loses its meaning if there is no life or humanity on the planet. The protection of life is thus justified at whatever cost.

The guardian of life, however, does not derive all of his power and assuredness from reasoning and logic. The basic principle of life protection, the conservation of the Earth’s life as a lush and diverse whole, is also perceived as being sacred: as something incomparably holier than anything man might regard as such (not that in this age of cynical despair much holiness is left!).

The diversity and richness of life is contingent on both a maximum number of species and of specimens — meaning that the greatest number of ecological niches might be populated as fully as possible. The number of species, however, is by far more important than that of individuals, particularly when the two clash: when a given species immoderately discriminates or even destroys another. The latest estimates regarding the current pace of extinctions caused by man suggest that 525,000 species of animals, plants and fungi are becoming extinct every year: one species per minute. The protector of life believes that man has no special right to act in such a way; that this is a horrendous sowing of death, in comparison to which the merits of humanity, its life and culture, are irrelevant.

One thing is certain: there will be no need to struggle to discover our place in relation to the natural world or to appreciate the right to life of man and other forms of life on the planet: for in the end, ecocatastrophes will prove perilous for humans as well. Even though humans will first destroy vast numbers of animals, plants and fungi, they will inevitably be crushed by the avalanche they have caused: humanity will ultimately consume itself. Even the most narrow-minded humanist, in the name of reason, must agree to the conclusions of a protector of life.

The Doctors’ Burden of Sin

It is often stated that the greatest culprits of our drifting to the brink of destruction are engineers and doctors, who together have made the human flood possible. But what does a more specific analysis tell us about the doctor’s work and its justification? The matter is a two-fold one. Maintaining the population as physically and mentally healthy as possible is certainly a goal that withstands criticism. If mankind itself, this gang intent on robbing the biosphere, this species of tyrants, is sick, wretched and full of suffering, the sensibility of protecting its life might be questionable.

Anyhow, the most remarkable achievement of the medical profession has been the prolonging of human life. Given the present condition of the world, I have reached the conclusion that anything that even remotely fosters progress is to be seen as negative, for it pushes us further towards complete ruin. In a world where the keywords for salvation are stop, return and regress, old people are extremely valuable. Man has been formed in such a way that the little wisdom that certain individuals possess tends to gradually accumulate in the course of the years. One of the insanities perpetuated by the frenzied times we are living in is the trivialisation and marginalisation of the elderly. Only a small percentage of elderly people suffers from illnesses leading to dementia: most people are certainly wiser at the age of ninety than they are at that of eighty-nine. The young human being will always be an unripe fruit and crude specimen: both wisdom and sense of responsibility tend to develop in one’s old age (if they were ever there in the first place, that is), while irrelevancies fade away. If the minimum age requirement for all the decision makers of mankind were, say, eighty, much would already have been achieved. Many harmful delusions would have been avoided, and destruction would now be advancing at a far slower pace.

Much of the positive work carried out by doctors, therefore, has been diverted by the miserable youth-worshipping Zeitgeist. It has ultimately been ruined, however, by doctors’ stance on population growth, birth-rates and child mortality — to the foetus and child. Due to its key role, the medical profession should always have exercised a superior authority despite its being a tool of society: to a large extent, it could have determined the demographic policy.

Now, however, the medical profession is adopting no common strategy: as such, it can easily be divided into the ‘good’ and ‘bad’. On the one hand, doctors can prolong the life of a wise old man with surgery and cardiovascular interventions; on the other, doctors are engaging in irrational and extremely destructive behaviour to save five month-old premature infants, regardless of the cost — that is, the cost in natural resources. As a side note, the cost of medical care can be seen to touch the conscience of all doctors alike. Certainly, the pills, intrauterine devices and condoms developed by medicine deserve our praise. But a huge burden of sin falls on the shoulders of a share of paediatricians and gynaecologists — and, by extension, the whole medical profession. The deep drop that has been achieved in infant mortality alone should be deeply distressing to a biologist. Besides, every step forward in the pharmaceutical industry or national health system should at the very least have been accompanied by an effective programme of education with regard to contraception and family planning. Only as the leaders of a firm policy of population control could doctors have been acclaimed as the benefactor of mankind.

Tabula Rasa: a Clean Slate

Western culture has brought humanity to a state that has been described in various ways. We are living in the eleventh hour, at the edge of the abyss, on the verge of extinction, two minutes to midnight. One expression may be more eloquent than another, but unfortunately all are equally true. Most people take no stand: they either live their lives romping about like before, or drain even more material resources just in case these might run out. Even among the thinking minority many surrender: they simply give up, as if nothing could be done. This, I believe, is a coherent and realistic assessment of the situation.

Then there is this policy of fiddling: recycling, filters, catalytic converters, solar panels, electric cars... These aimless and misguided actions can be illustrated with the familiar metaphor of the leaking boat, which is tearing along two seams while the third is being sealed. People sink almost to the level of idiots when discussing the birth rates of developing countries: they argue that standards of living and education must be improved the Western way, like the condition of women, so that after five generations — a long time for man — birth rates may eventually halve and the pro-capita burden on nature increase twenty fold. These “environmentalists” are pretending to aim for the same goals as the protector of life, but they cannot grasp what even quitters have realised: how low Western culture has sunk. Its societal systems, with all their structures and legislations, have been directed towards the one objective of economic growth and global collapse: nothing in these systems is worth improving. The most stubborn believe that the boat of junk we are living in could after all be made waterproof by developing an entirely fibreglass canvas. Too bad the boat is worthless for sea travel to begin with: it will sink as soon as it is hit by the first waves. As a matter of fact, the boat will sink while still moored in the harbour, because it has been loaded full of rocks. If one seriously begins to ponder what kind of world might survive, he will soon realise that a tabula rasa is what is needed. We almost need to start from Adam and Eve again.

The Protection of Life and Humanism

I am particularly interested in humanist thinkers who have reached conclusions similar to those contemplated in biology with the doctrine of survival. Among Finns, Georg Henrik von Wright — along with Matti Kuusi — is the most notable thinker seriously to consider — albeit in cautious academic tones — the possibility that humanity might become extinct. In his public statements, von Wright, like Kuusi, puts his prestige at stake in an exemplary manner. I will now quote von Wright’s personal letter of gratitude for a book I wrote two years ago: Johdatus 1990-luvun ajatteluun [An Introduction to the Thought of the 1990s]. Von Wright was struck by the metaphor I used in the opening section of this book:

“What to do when a ship carrying a hundred passengers has suddenly capsized, and only one lifeboat is available for ten people in the water? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to pull more people onto it, thus drowning everyone. Those who love and respect life will instead grab an axe and sever the hands clinging to the gunwales.”

I should point out that a personal letter may be the product of a momentary state of mind and is not meant to be turned into a public lecture. Nevertheless, the honest confusion of such lines should have a heuristic value. Von Wright writes:

“As you may know, I hold you in high regard as a thinker. At least in this country, you are the most lucid and profound among truthful prophets. As to what practical conclusions to draw from realising the truth, this is a different matter. Perhaps I too would strike at the hands that are clinging to the boat, but hardly for the love of life: rather, out of fear, in an attempt to save my own skin. Perhaps, it would be a better solution for all of us to drown, a final proof of the human species’ inability to survive.”

The above letter proves how difficult it is for a great humanist to let go of the overemphasis on the value of human life. I think I can sense some fear between the lines, something I have previously encountered when discussing the issue of overpopulation. I call it the fear of breaking loose and of disgrace. People fear that if any actions are taken to limit the world population, the situation will spiral out of control and human life will somehow lose its value forever. It is also thought that after similar actions mankind will forever lose its sense of self worth by sullying its ethical values, and will be unable to restore any norms and conventions. This fear endures, regardless of how elegantly the reduction of the population might take place, were it even to occur more artlessly and discreetly than with the German gas chambers during World War II — possibly by limited nuclear strikes or through bacteriological and chemical attacks against the great inhabited centres of the globe (attacks carried out either by some trans-national body like the UN or by some small group equipped with sophisticated technology and bearing responsibility for the whole world).

In the light of human history, I find this fear to derive from an obvious misconception. Whenever wars and mutual slaughter have ceased, societies have returned to their ordinary routine after only a brief period of transition. The massive depopulation operations of Stalin and Hitler, even the most gruesome tortures perpetrated by secret police forces, when described to the world audience in detail, have not overturned our ethical norms. It is often the case, in these scenarios, that in the block next to the secret police people are writing poetry, philosophising or helping their elderly neighbour.

Our age has witnessed the gas chambers and many other atrocities. On a global scale, the main problem is not the inflation of human life, but its ever-increasing, mindless over-valuation. Emphasis on the inalienable right to life of foetuses, premature infants and the brain-dead has become a kind of collective mental illness. The same phenomenon can be observed in the absurd history of capital punishment: when there were five million people on Earth, it was a self-evident fact that the death sentence might be enforced upon the most twisted members of the human community. Now that there are five billion people, one society after another is shirking away from the execution of even the most diabolical criminals. Amnesty International bitterly complains about the few countries that still endorse capital punishment. Unrelentingly, new means of rescue are being developed, so that helicopters might be able to fish out every raving mad fisherman who has ventured into a storm with a boat made of bark, thus salvaging another unique and irreplaceable individual from the embrace of the waves. The mind boggles.

In themselves, legalising euthanasia, re-instating capital punishment and abolishing overzealous rescue services would not have any significant impact on the population growth. Yet, as a matter of principle, these actions would be extremely important. As long as distorted practices prevail, an insane respect towards human life will reign: thus, even the possibility of a solution to the population explosion will be lost, and all lifeboats will sink into the depths of the sea.

Unless Man Grows Humble...

It is somewhat peculiar that so few thinkers have questioned the philosophical foundations of our culture. Most of those who try to observe the world receive a bad shock, after which they do their best to maintain a sense of solidarity with their own species, and values like human rights, individual freedom, equality and democracy. These people refuse to acknowledge that the world has not gone to ruin regardless of them, but because of them. The old saying, that thinking is unavoidably dependent on values and very rarely genuinely free, fits this case perfectly. It should be obvious, logically speaking, that the underlying values of a society ought to be questioned, when such a society is headed to its doom.

In this respect, I find myself to be an exception among contemporary thinkers. It is not difficult for me to envisage man returning to his place in a harmonious biocoenosis. Might this be due to a greater clarity on my part regarding the notion of man? In my eyes, humanity is an infinitely grand species: I too fight for its survival. Yet, I believe that human brilliance manifests itself only in flashes, among rare individuals. For this reason, humanity as a whole is enormously destructive: the creation of something as devastating as Western culture, which is now allowed to spread throughout the world, offers sufficient proof of this fact.

I find it almost inconceivable that, despite all contrary evidence, an intelligent individual might still have faith in man and the majority, and keep banging his head against the wall. Why won’t such a person admit that the survival of man — when nature can take no more — is possible only when the discipline, prohibition, enforcement and oppression meted out by another clear-sighted human prevents him from indulging in his destructive impulses and committing suicide? How can such a person justify democracy? Does he not see that unless man, unless all of Western culture, grows humble and takes a deep bow of submission, it will assuredly ransack the whole Earth and strip it to the bone, no matter how it might manage to change some chemicals into others or switch to alternative sources of energy? How can such a person not perceive that if we maintain man’s rule over nature and preserve the value of human life as it is conceived in Western nations, what remains is but a straight path leading to the pothole of extinction? How can anyone be so crazy as to think that all human life has the same value and all humans the same morality, regardless of numbers? It is clear to me that every time a new child is born, the value of each human on the Earth slightly decreases. It is obvious to me that human morality during the population explosion is wholly unlike that adopted when in the beginning man was a sparse and noble species.

A Protector of Life is Forced to Compromise

Harsh reality suggests that the thoughts of neither the public nor decision makers in Western countries come even close to addressing the aforementioned problems, which is to say: to reducing the present population, at least by curtailing its rights. The little debate we are capable of only concerns the basic level of birth control.

In the furthest outposts of ignorance, people have started pondering about the rights of a newly inseminated ova or foetuses. I am so dumbstruck by such an idea that I cannot even enter the debate on such matters: as a protector of life, I simply won’t retreat all the way back to the last defensive trench — I’d rather surrender. At gunpoint, perhaps, I could be persuaded to discuss restrictions on childbearing. “If I can’t get a life-jacket, then maybe a life-vest, and if not a vest, then maybe at least a cap.” In an emergency, the guardian of life parts with demanding an end to extinction, and explores the possibility of delaying it by prolonging life. Everything is bound by time, even though the time estimated until the diminishment of the sun’s energy and the inevitable quenching of the globe’s biosphere, ten billion years, is difficult to differentiate from the idea of eternity.

The perspective of the protector of life with regard to birth control is simple enough: given the present condition of the world, under no circumstance can procreation be a family decision in the hands of parents or individuals. Of all the actions of man, procreation should most evidently be a matter regulated by society and, ultimately, a world council. How child quotas are to be divided among families and mothers should be a matter of family social policy. It may be that large families have to be supported as well; it is of paramount importance that we do not give in to the idea of equality, which will never bring anything about but misfortune. The average quota of children, anyhow, must certainly — everywhere and for some decades at least — be limited to one child per fertile woman. If the human population across the globe then settles to a suitable size, it will be possible to return to a quota of around two children per couple.

Other unequivocal ideas include making free contraceptives and abortion available. The fine-tuning of the system would decide whether the child quota would be controlled by forced abortions — which would still enable the conception of new children in case of the first one’s death — or forced sterilisation of either or both sexes. It will be advisable to make controls as stringent as possible, in order to avoid killing babies already born — although infanticide has commonly been practiced even in recent times.

All this, perhaps, is but mere speculation. However, I would like to apologise again to my audience: I am afraid I forgot that man can neither limit the birth rate nor reduce overpopulation — and ecocatastrophe is around the bend. Man, with his technical talents, is an ingenious creature, yet a mindless animal in all other respects: driftwood in the merciless and capricious stream of evolution. Few realise how many individuals man is treading upon. We are heading for extinction, as one species among millions of others that have became extinct.

Or are we? Do we still have one chance in a million? Might the enlightened minority hold a joker up its sleeve after all? Will there be enough individuals to prove that man can have free will? Individuals who fully commit themselves to opposing the grey majority, while simultaneously fighting for its survival? Individuals with a powerful heart ruled by crystalline logic?


The Intolerable Misfortune of Technology

By the solemn stone church of Sääksmäki, which dates to the fifteenth century, there is a beautiful graveyard. Here, in the shade of grand old trees, many of my former friends and acquaintances lie buried. Why do people visit the cemetery? To reflect and refresh their memories, to put small and great values into perspective, to think melancholy thoughts and to experience peace and quiet.

In the autumn I sought the graveyard on three forenoons. Only the third visit was successful: the first two times a large and speedy tractor had raced along the narrow pathways of the cemetery, shaking its gravestones and stone wall.

Before fleeing, I saw what the tractor was doing: with its front shovel it was carrying withered garlands from a grave to a nearby refuse heap. The capacity of the shovel was small, about the same as that of a wheelbarrow. Next, it would probably have transported some dry leaves. I didn’t feel like checking, though, and immediately left.

On a daily basis, both at work and in my garden, I carry many things in a wheelbarrow and a small wheel cart, even heavy things and for long distances. I am well aware of the limited efficiency of these means of transport. On the other hand, I am not familiar with the way the parish of Sääksmäki is organised: is the church council in power there, or is it — as is often the case in Finland — some financial executives with mixed-up values? In any case, whoever may be in charge there has mixed-up values. Besides, I am not that familiar with the economic status of that particular parish. I have read about the great financial difficulties the whole Finnish Church is experiencing, and how many of its employees are getting fired. What I do know, is how much a tractor costs for one hour’s work and how much a man’s labour. I also know the price of a wheelbarrow.

There would be enough examples of the insanity of machines to fill a book. I will pick another recent example, from the time when economic depression struck Finland. For a week in July I took gentle walks in the outskirts of Tenajoki. Here I encountered, among many other things, several farms that were still in good condition. I closely observed them, and spent my nights in their barns, as was once my habit. All of these farms only produced hay: a share for the cattle and, presumably, a share for the additional feeding of reindeer. None of the farms had more than five hectares of grassland. All of them, however, had a new tractor (which costs 150,000 Marks); a few even had wagons for the compression and unloading of hay (each of which costs 80,000 Marks).

For a few years I have been harvesting the hay alone in one hectare of land I own in Kuhmoinen: I meticulously cut it with a scythe. I do not only reap the harvest and stack it, but much extra work is involved: the hay has to be fluffed up a few times before stacking, even in the best dry weather. In a few adventurous years I even transported the dry hay to the barn through the woods, either by dragging it with alder poles or by carrying the pole on my shoulders.

It was not a huge task: I reckoned that in the course of a normal season a man in his fifties could harvest five hectares of grassland by hand; young men, of course, would harvest even more. I remember gazing at noisy tractors and thinking to myself: you wretches, with your quarter of a million Euro investments and vanity! All that is needed are a scythe, rake, hayfork, axe and knife!

Now, things are not always that simple. At least in the south, the grass has to be renewed every four or five years. Men here cannot plough on their own: they need tractors after all. If farms are five hectares large at the most, one tractor for every ten farms should be enough. In a farm co-operative, each farmer has a 10% share in each tractor. If the tractor is employed year-round in other tasks, that grassland’s share of the annual work probably only amounts to a few percent. On the other hand, the sowing of hayseeds and spreading of fertiliser can be accomplished just fine with a sowing basket, by hauling the compost or manure with wheelbarrows. I have much first hand experience with these options. Still, I would prefer a pair of horses to a tractor.

The examples I have presented were not chosen at random: they illustrate the essence of technology well. In the parish of Sääksmäki two religions go hand in hand. Faith in technology has absolutely nothing to do with reason or wisdom: it is religion — an insensible, uncritical, unquestionable religion. Technology is the foundation of the most anti-intellectual and religious culture Western civilisation, or indeed the world, has ever known. The two religions at Sääksmäki, however, offer an interesting contrast: the Church nowadays, whatever its faults, is gentle, understanding and preserving; the religion of technology, on the other hand, is aggressive and destructive.

The remoteness of Finland is dramatically evident in the context of Europe. Finns top the list in terms not only of individual consumption of resources — from energy to paper — but also when it comes to machinery and automation. Finnish agriculture is so dully over-mechanised that it defies all statistics and diagrams. Every village in Finland, far from being an embodiment of farming and the rural way of life, reminds one of a technological exposition, whereas serenity and the values of tradition are still visible in the countryside of all other European countries. Finland — at least a few years ago — was the world leader of electronic financial transfers. Ideas about electronic systems and computers enter our silly heads like knives cut through butter. Personally, those who feel so important and busy that they couldn’t survive without mobile phones in their cars, I would send to the mountains for a year, or rather five years, for them to reflect on the values of life. But perhaps that wouldn’t help either: if a mind is dull, it’ll stay dull.

At times, technology is justified on the basis of seemingly rational arguments. Attempts have also been made over the ages to find evidence for the existence of God. The foundational argument for technology is that it makes life easier: easier and easier, invention after invention. In reality, man has been dominating the globe without rivals ever since the discovery of the stone axe, and our life has been unnaturally and hopelessly comfortable. Since then, our only real problems have been our physical ease, meaninglessness, rootlessness and frustration.

Only evolution cannot fathom the derailment of the human species into the whirlpool of the technological religion: it doesn’t even understand enough to be puzzled. From human mothers evolution still produces creatures bulging with strength, speed and endurance: untiring runners, jumpers, squatters, lifters, twisters and carriers. Now that man has developed an article of faith and trembling house of cards all of his own, material excess, physical performers all the more astounding are born with the help of vitamins, micronutrients and prenatal clinics. These tall and strong, muscular and sinewy girls and boys are then seen staggering in our streets and yards, full of wasted energy, apathetic, pale and desperate.

The situation is only worsening now that our religion has plunged its culture into mass unemployment, so that even the most imaginative cannot come up with any satisfying tasks for individuals to perform amongst machines: mankind is left with no role. Currently, a new president is being elected in the Republic of Finland. A reporter asked the candidates how the problem of unemployment might be solved: that bewildered band of believers, those embodiments of all human mistakes, just gave a blank stare. No one was capable of crossing the sacred boundaries to blaspheme God by uttering two simply words: no machines. Yet, there is no other solution nor will there ever be.

Through all his technical inventions and celebrated innovations, man has made himself useless. In recent years technological progress has been explosive: humanity has been successful in obliterating the roles of producer, refiner, transporter, distributor and serviceman. When we manage to also rid ourselves of the role of the consumer, everything will be over. A clanking of robots for some time; then, only deep silence.


Women As the Protectors of Life

At least in Western culture, if not throughout mankind, that of the nurse is usually a woman’s job. The current cultural trend of challenging established values and customs has called the gender bias of the nursing profession into question: shouldn’t men be nurses as well? At any rate, shouldn’t the most physically demanding tasks of working with patients be assigned to men?

Any change in this direction seems rather forced to me. There are clear reasons, in terms of both qualification and motivation, why the nursing profession might be said to suit women better than men. Whether the reluctance of the average man to take care of others is inherent (genetic) or culturally determined is difficult to say; nevertheless, it is an evident fact of life.

The gender distribution of nursing careers accurately reflects a distinction that underlies the whole civil community. Among any kinsmen, friends and acquaintances visiting a patient in hospital or an elderly person in the hospice, eight out of ten, if not more, will be women. Many men know that personal problems are easier to discuss with female friends than male (and possibly problems within the community with men?). Similarly, when struck by depression, one tends to lose his male friends. A woman close to you will at least attempt to help in such a case, although assistance is of little aid in the case of severe depression.

There is no doubt that the soul of a man, beneath its rough surface, is paradoxically more sensitive, fragile and weak than that of a woman. That of frail men and tough women is not a myth, but an established fact of human life. What I consider in my writing are always typical, average cases.

In some extreme cases, the strength of a woman will be incomparably greater than that of a man. For some time news regarding the spiritual collapse of the male population — a collapse also reflected on a physical level — have been coming from Russia, a country that is facing a profound cultural crisis.

Judging that personal observations will always prove more convincing than anything read or heard, last autumn, with a small expedition, I set out to visit some villages in Vienan Karelia in order to witness the cultural collapse with my own eyes.

There are 1,500 people in the large village of Jyskyjärvi, of both Russian and Finnish ethnicity. I left the place where I was staying at 7 am. The village was thoroughly asleep even as late as then, as were two young men sitting on the front seats of a Lada, blissfully and symmetrically reclining, their heads resting against each other (as this was taking place on the only bridge of the village, the two men were effectively blocking the main road that leads to Rome through St. Petersburg).

My walk soon led me to a cemetery, where I compiled a small statistic regarding the life expectancy of different genders. I didn’t take any notes, but I remember that the survey included thirty men and women, spanning a period from the 1960s to the present. The result was rather shocking: the age of death for men ranged from twenty-eight to sixty-three, that of women from sixty-five to eighty-three. The ages between the two genders didn’t even overlap: rather, they were consecutive. Certainly, we also saw the odd old man on our trip, but old men were such an exceptional sight that they had no influence on the overall statistics.

Following some interviews, we found a possible explanation for the sorry state of the male population in the region: unrestrained alcohol consumption, accompanied by equally unrestrained smoking habits, which impaired health by causing illness and death, not least through common accidents. We were given a taste of the extent to which alcohol consumption is rampant in the area at the beginning of our trip in Uhtua (now known as Kalevala), when we were only able to find soft drinks in the third store we visited. Every store sold vodka, which was displayed on the shelves and counter and was the easiest product a customer could lay his hands on.

It is important for me to point out that women did not yield in the same way to the alcohol epidemic. Everywhere in the village were cheap greenhouses with cucumbers, cabbage and potato patches; everywhere were basketfuls of mushrooms and people picking berries by the roadsides. These, however, were only women (whereas in Finland gatherers are usually men). We gave a lift to a few spirited, merry Russian women carrying enormous buckets to the village, their mouths smeared with blueberry.

If there are reasons why Russian men have fallen so low, why have the women of Russia not turned into alcoholics and chain smokers? There is no reason other than the fact that women are stronger: women take care of the continuity of life to the very end. Women in Russia may not be over-generous in their care and might fail to keep a man off booze or guard his health until old age; nevertheless, they handle the food, chop the firewood, turn on the oven and offer men shelter from the cold. Men only live long enough to seed the next generation.

On our brief trip to Viena we also noticed the odd fact that women do not limit their care to mushrooms and potatoes, but also extend it to culture. We came upon a village festival, which people from other villages attended thanks to a couple of (Finnish) special buses that travelled to and fro for the occasion. There was choral and solo singing, dances and party games in a meadow by the village. There was only one man among the performers: the accordion-player, who was relatively sober. No more than a quarter of the spectators were men (possibly Finnish tourists). Again, we decided to investigate matters. So we set off through the village, where we found more men: it was a fairly warm day, so everyone was outside; men were seen on the shore, in yards, by the walls, in groups of half a dozen, all lying on the floor after having downed a dozen bottles of vodka.

Little boys, from toddlers to adolescents, mingled with the groups of men — learning from them. The future does not look too rosy at the moment.

The future, however, is unpredictable. The wind blows from different directions, and many are the influences that might come into play, even from afar. Suddenly the atmosphere might change: depression might turn into recovery or vice-versa. Shifts and transitions can be positive or negative, depending on one’s perspective. The current human community in Russian Karelia does not particularly threaten the environment. In this respect, it is a good community. But if I stick to the perspective of the cultural anthropologist — that I have adopted so far — I would wish to see a new glimmer shine in the eyes of men at Viena. I would like these men to saunter by their women’s side in the cabbage field and firewood shed. Predictions are always tricky, but there will never be a future where woman stumbles and man does not.

I will now return to my original object of enquiry: the Finnish man — and his woman, the omnipresent leader in the background.

I recall when a year ago, one autumnal night, the phone rang. I had a friend twenty years younger than me, a good fishing pal named Jokke. An exuberant man, robust rower and leader among friends his age, Jokke was a terrific joker, who would make people die with laughter. He was also an unrelenting fisherman in both inland waters and open sea, jigging burbots at night, snatching perches and pikes by day. Yet, he was as soft as the fluff of a goldcrest. I guess I was a kind of a father figure to him, or perhaps a mother figure (a father too has a role to play at times, if only a surrogate one).

Anyhow, the phone rang one night. It was Jokke, who in a state of shock had just made his way back from Helsinki. I was aware that his family was awaiting its firstborn child and that Jokke had attended a pre-natal course to support his wife during her delivery. The long-awaited moment had finally arrived that evening, and Jokke had rushed to the women’s clinic... yet... Gradually, amid stuttering and weeping, Jokke managed to explain the situation to me. He described the long white corridors, the swarming white nurses, the buzz of electronic devices... and the terrible fear of what might have happened to his wife. Jokke had panicked: he had fled from the hospital and was now trembling over the phone filled with terror and with a damaged self-esteem.

The reader might be eager to learn what happened next. Well, Jokke proved a loving and tender father, despite certain tendencies. He kept on repeating the same word to his firstborn son for weeks, until he achieved his goal: the boy’s first word was “fish”. Soon after, another son was conceived: “because” — Jokke explained — “in many jigging competitions a family team of three men is needed.” Alas, the fishing team was never formed: a routine appendectomy, then clinical bacteria, inflammation and death after a couple of days. For quite some time, Jokke’s large circle of friends was bewildered and utterly beset with grief. Life’s cruelty sometimes knows no boundaries. The only consolation for Jokke’s friends came from the fact that his wife was known to be a strong woman: they could be sure that she would pull through and take care of her little ones. She wouldn’t necessarily take them jigging on ice, but would otherwise give them a good start in life.

Psychology is teeming with theories and hypotheses. It is my personal belief that man is more susceptible and weaker than woman, and that he probably cries more too — although he does so away from others. Man, however, is more egotistic in his sensitivity: he relates to human suffering and disillusionment very sympathetically when the sorrow and disappointment are his own. Man is more apt to be consoled than to console: deep down, these construction builders, army generals and industry councillors remain mummy’s little boys. Why did the Creator (evolution) make man so? Mysterious are the ways of the Lord.

Still, differences between genders are not all that great. Man is better able than woman to disregard friends in need, patients in the hospital and elders in the hospice, by keeping himself active and busy. Yet man too is empathetic: it is all a matter of degree. Man is more clueless than careless. Many other men besides my friend Jokke feel confused in those long, white corridors: they do not know how to talk and what to talk about with patients and elderly people. Man, perhaps, is more stupid than evil.


Human Nature and History

Again and again, “human nature” is fatalistically invoked as one of the reasons for the impending collapse of the world. The deeds of mankind are determined by “drives and instincts”; as such, they are inevitable and irreparable.

It is of course a truism that human nature is behind all human actions. This, however, does not make all deeds unavoidable — not those perpetuated by individuals or communities. It would be intellectually absurd for anyone to argue that the prevailing culture and way of life in his era, the direction life has taken in his age, has been unavoidable For example, the well-known statement by a Finnish prime minister that economic growth, the EU, EMU, competition and information technology are the sole options in this epoch and for this country, is foolish. These options have nothing to do with historical inevitability: they are arbitrary choices made by a small group of individuals — small, yet amazingly powerful and influential in its folly.

Even a brief glance at history brings forth a vast spectrum of alternatives. The human species has developed a huge variety of cultures and ways of life. Now, at the brink of global ruin, the most interesting of these cultures are those that are preserving, life-affirming and humble towards nature, and which adopt a conservationist approach to natural resources. It is a notable fact that similar cultures include not only the local societies that still flourish in parts of Africa, Australia and the rain forests of Brazil and Indonesia, but also what were once dominating societies. This was, for instance, the case with the Neolithic culture that ruled Europe a few thousand years ago: a culture that did not go to war and, most importantly, was in control of technology (then a useful tool rather than a master).

The urges and instincts of humans do not vary only according to geographical distribution: even the same population — Finns, for instance — might be at one time furiously devoted to killing other men (Germans, Poles, Hungarians, etc.) and getting its own population killed; and at another time (e.g. the 1990s), seek to preserve human life with an hysterical lack of common sense (through incubators and rescue helicopters, with no regard for costs).

One must be unflinchingly attentive and open-minded in assessing the cause-effect relations, connections and influences on the lives of various cultures, of different stages in the same culture, as well as changes in the spiritual climate. A complete detachment from the confusing spell of one’s own age, an ability to perceive the tendencies of that age objectively, externally, by comparative means, are an absolute requirement. Knowledge of history is critical for thinking, but most essential of all is to be able to examine one’s own epoch — the only epoch one is capable of influencing.

What will an objective historian of his own time, an observer of human movements, a cultural anthropologist, make of contemporary Western culture? No doubt, what he will find is a truly unique spirit and way of life that has exceeded all bounds. Western culture, pervaded by capitalist market economy, knows no historical parallels in terms of greed and frenzy: even the slightest humility it has turned into its opposite, particularly in its relation to nature (but also in the relationships it fosters between humans). So far, it is the lowest point ever reached by humanity.

Never in history has economy — money — played such a central role in culture as in the countries leading world culture today. Never before has the kind of vile, hellish gambling connected to stocks, exchange rates, basic interests, prime rates, investment funds, options, derivatives, trading incomes, annual profits and other similar variables spread from a limited band of crooks to the very core of society.
Never before in history have natural resources been so depleted. Almost the entire globe has already been stripped bare. The few resources that still remain — oil in the Barents Sea, wood in Siberia, Karelia and the Pacific Islands — are being preyed upon by crooked claws striking with unparalleled efficiency (Finnish claws, as always, are even longer and more crooked than those of others). Construction, the suffocating of green land, knows no boundaries; nor do the production, transfer and consumption of goods, or the bolting of tourists from one place to another.

Never before in history have the distinguishing values of a culture been things as concretely destructive for life and the quality of life as democracy, individual freedom and human rights — not to mention money. Freedom here means the freedom to consume, to exploit, to tread upon others. All rights, even the most seemingly beautiful — women’s rights, children’s rights, rights for the disabled — only express one thing: ME, ME, ME. Pure selfishness has been given a new name: “self-realisation”, now considered the noblest of all morals. Words like responsibility, duty, humility, self-sacrifice, nurturing and care are always spat upon, if they still happen to be mentioned.

For all their mistakes, even such recently buried ideologies as fascism and socialism, both of which emphasized communal values and contained restrictive norms, were on a higher ethical level. The same goes for Christianity: only a while ago the Church spoke of fear of God, of humility, and of the need to counter sin with virtue, altruism, and care for one’s neighbour. Now this yes-man of an institution, hankering after earthly power, is promoting only forgiveness and mercy. How tremendously distant this feels from the guideline “we came not to be served, but to serve” that only a few decades ago the Church was following!

Cultural anthropology is familiar with failed, merciless cultures, in which fear and terror rule the life of man. These cultures have only developed in small areas, lasted for a short period of time, and have never threatened the whole biosphere. Now, all those countries that hold sway over the Earth are experiencing the most uncontrollable, menacing and cruel of all ages.

When such a colossal amount of faults have been piled on human culture that the whole human society has become one uniform, giant Fault, the resoluteness of an attentive and mindful guardian of life is truly put to the test. How to unravel this chaos, how to fight against some flaw when it is linked to a thousand other flaws? The market economy of contemporary capitalism — this veritable religion of ruin, global destruction and extinction — might seem overwhelming. Many are crushed, and choose to end their own lives. Many more surrender, paralysed, and attempt to find a tiny hovel of their own, a place where they can keep busy and cover their ears. It would be easy to draw a long list of such people among our “Green”, “environmentalist” brothers and sisters.

And yet... History, and history alone, will strengthen the faith of he who strives to keep his wits about him and use his energy to change the course of the world. Enormous, stunning changes have taken place even within single cultures or regions: some of these positive changes, aimed at improvement.

A reasonable man will thus always choose his models from history. The known history of mankind is already so vast that it contains all the positive exemplars required. The past will always provide the best guidelines when fighting for the future. But if the future is fashioned after a madman’s belief in progress and development, delusions and science fictions, the game is most certainly over.


The Decline of the World Knows No Mercy

Eija-Riitta Korhola is a wise thinker: a ray of light in the wretched panorama of Finnish culture (and, what is most important, the European Parliament). In a splendid article of hers, Korhola addresses the issue of survival. This fundamental theme is very dear to me — as Korhola herself points out; I would here like to add a few more comments on the subject. I have dealt with the issue before, but audiences change; and besides, not even Korhola can be familiar with all that I have written.

The way the future of billions of wastefully consumerist human beings is envisaged depends on one’s imagination: are we capable of vividly imagining the final days of humanity in their unfolding? I think that Korhola falls into a slight contradiction when she discusses the subject. On the one hand, she provides a keen and obviously correct portrayal of the contemporary age: “What if humanity had already said farewell to goodness? This impression is conveyed not only by the horrible, inconceivable news we find in the papers, but also by the general cynicism that characterises our day.” On the other hand, when censuring my criticism of Mother Teresa, Korhola writes: “I would rather see the whole of humanity step into the grave while continuing to express mutual love until a distant, honourable end, than witness a future without love.”

But it is not honourably, I would argue, that humanity will disappear: the coming years will prove increasingly cynical and cruel. People will definitely not slip into oblivion while hugging each other. The final stages in the life of humanity will be marked by the monstrous war of all against all: the amount of suffering will be maximal.

My own dream is to avoid a similar end by means of both emotion and reason. Logically, the only option would be to implement a controlled pruning (of both the population and its material standard of living) before chaos breaks loose. In this manner, violence could be minimised, and life could go on.
Of course, in reality, chaos and a ghastly end are far more plausible alternatives. My own dream is perhaps only a fraction more realistic than that of Korhola.

I am not altogether satisfied with Korhola’s use of the term “charity”: I myself have outlined a model of living where brotherly love is held in high esteem because without it the life of any community would be intolerable or even impossible. However, I have a literal understanding of the term “brotherly love”: a brother to me is a human I have direct contact with. I will always be friendly with such a person: I will ease his grief, give him my advice and rescue him when he is trapped in the ice.

”Species solidarity” — the extension of love to faraway populations — is a completely different matter for me: a forced, artificial behaviour that goes against human nature. Species solidarity is unnatural — and fortunately so. There is no need for us to practise such a twisted form of charity, for it contributes to the depletion of natural resources: it spoils the ecosystems of land, sea and sky by nurturing and feeding overly-dense populations across the world that have squandered the material prerequisites for life, thus inevitably guaranteeing torment and inhumanity.

Eija-Riitta Korhola, in her article, has brought up the fundamental questions of life. Yet, she is still wrong as regards one fundamental point. Evolution has developed — the Creator created, if you prefer — millions of species of organisms on the globe. All these organisms have cultures, activities, joys and sorrows of their own. The swelling mound of human flesh that now already weighs three hundred billion kilos is suffocating all its sisters and brothers. Is it ultimately destined to choke itself as well? Yet what must take priority?

One minor detail remains to be clarified: what position must the friend of nature adopt here? Are we first to worry about the tragic disappearance of our own species rather than that of all others — a tragedy a million times greater?


The World at the Turn of the Millennium

Man is not a sensible creature, not in the least. Rather than Homo sapiens, the wise primate, man should have called himself Homo insipiens, the insane primate. Every zoologist, even an amateur, can see how inexplicably more practically and reasonably animals arrange their lives than humans, who are now getting ready, according to their strange calendar, to enter a new millennium. Amidst the vast chaos and devastation it has wrought, humanity will just barely make it to the year 2000 — it will hardly make it much further.

Man is a lunatic, not a sapiens; but Homo, the handed one, that he certainly is. Hands have made man a luminary: thanks to his technical ingenuity, he has turned into the great bully of all living creatures. If only some other animal species were as dextrous as man with its hands, and endowed with reason, it would have long ago wiped the human species off the planet.


Democracy: The Seal of Ruin

Stupidity reaches a climax among those people who argue — without having learnt a thing from history or being able to read a single sign of our times — that man knows what is good for him: “the people know”. From this absurd assumption derives a suicidal form of government, parliamentary democracy, born among the tyrants of mankind, the West. Alas, it looks like the bubble of democracy will never burst: as we struggle to enter the new millennium, we can abandon all hope.

Democracy and the public right to vote guarantee that no one other than the sycophants of the people will rise to power — and people never clamour for anything other than bread and circuses, regardless of the costs and consequences. Even the one possibility, comparable to winning the lottery, that some intelligent exception might rise to the positions of power, is completely lost with democracy. Our hapless species might also produce a rare mutation within its ranks: someone capable of controlling the people without being led by it; someone capable, when necessary, of taking a stand against the people. But unfortunately the era of hereditary kingship and feudal lords is over, and even the rise of dictators has been made impossible: mankind is carefully planning its own demise.

What Do We Mean by “End of the World”?

In the human mind, the end of the world does not mean the end of the universe, nor that of our solar system or planet. The globe will continue its course. Surely, some form of life will survive after man is gone, at least in the depths of the ocean, whose creatures will take their energy from the warmth of the Earth’s core rather than the sun. The “end of the world” is understood as the extinction of one’s own species, its death down to the last individual. A few millions of these ends have taken place in the past and will take place in future centuries. For mammoths, the end of the world meant the disappearance of the last mammoth; for the Glanville Fritillary butterfly it means the death of the last Glanville Fritillary.

People who speak about the human end of the world, which looms in the very near future, are belittlingly labelled doomsday prophets. The gift of prophecy, however, is no longer necessary to predict certain events: only an ability to differentiate between uncertain optimism and actual reality is needed. The end of the world is a calculable fact. A pair of eyes is all that is needed to predict it — a pair of eyes wide open.

Is There Anything Good in Us Humans?

Man, no doubt, deserves even the most painful of labels: “the cancer of the Earth”, a terrible mistake of evolution, etc. But is there (still) anything good in the human species, as part of the biosphere? I am here thinking in terms of my own culture and country.

Science (standard research, science for the sake of knowledge) and art are still being practised: these represent the original contribution of humanity to the animal kingdom. The essential achievements of science took place long ago: the Golden Age of visual and musical arts occurred centuries ago. Thankfully, even today there are some humans who are doing things wise and beautiful. And — something even more rare — here and there some civilised people still lurk.

Individuals can still be found who perform deeds of compassion with all their heart, in the Church, social services and health sector. Similar people can also be found in everyday life: individuals who are good in the most genuine sense of the word, who brighten and warm the whole human community around them; people who are not swayed by the “passing fancies of the world”.

All of these people look out for their friends and relatives, and practise neighbourly love. True greatness, however, is only encountered among those few rare individuals who extend their protection to the whole of Creation, the whole living layer of the globe. Amid the raging and clamouring rabble, among the frantically accelerating häkkinens and mäkinens [race drivers Mika Häkkinen and Tommi Mäkinen], there is still a group of people committed to environmentalism and the guarding of life. Some of these people, each in their own way, attempt to influence others through associations and unions.

It is a miraculous thing that this small, sane core of humanity, which combines knowledge with emotion and is still attempting to preserve what is fair and good for as long as possible, is able to show such patience amid all of the fuss. While these people cannot tilt at windmills, they still cling to the last shreds of nature that have not been raped by man, the last remaining forests, in an attempt to delay the coming end and give the biosphere some extra time, however short it may be.

These people still ponder, discuss, write, negotiate and try to develop conservation programmes, which are then inevitably torn to shreds by ignorant property owners and their lackeys. The greatest wonder at the turn of the millennium is the fact that there are still some protectors left, who in their hearts still cherish the values of faith, hope and love.


Bull’s Eye

On September 11, hijacked passenger planes destroyed some of the tall buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and a corner of the main military headquarters in Washington.

This incident had little impact on mankind as such, yet the reactions it elicited in the world were huge. Overfed Western countries, choking on their wasteful consumption, experienced the same shock, panic and chaos that had struck the United States. Because of these reactions, the attack became genuinely significant. Still, overstatements like “the world has lost its course” and “the world will never be the same again” are nothing but rubbish.

Hysteria has even spread to Finland: articles were written that oozed with bloody fury, a flood of flowers was showered upon the US embassy, and emergency aid was offered even by the government. One commentator recalled the list of US states recently drawn by the perceptive Hannu Taanila, the last ones being Alaska, Kuwait, and Finland.

Never before have foreign casualties elicited such great sympathy, never before has so much attention been paid to the suffering of families. And still, judging merely by the number of victims, this incident amounted to little more than a brawl if compared to other events in the recent history of mankind. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died in the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, masses of people also in London, not to mention the loss of life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Leningrad a million civilians died of bombings, artillery fire and hunger. Or to consider even more recent episodes, where are the mourning flags for Grozny, Baghdad and Kosovo?

That confused nation cannot count the full number of casualties in New York — after all, we never even got to know who they voted for as president in the last election. However, from what I have gathered, only a couple of thousand people died.

Those who died in the attack were not simply humans: they were Americans; and not ordinary Americans, either, but the priests and priestesses of the supreme God of this age: the Dollar. The passengers of the domestic flights are not a valid sample of humanity either, but a wealthy, busy, environmentally damaging and world-devouring portion of mankind.

The force and pull of money and power, which is apparent everywhere, including the way in which governments fawn upon the United States to prove their friendship, is almost incomprehensible.

It took days before something other than human evil and the hatred of madmen was suggested by our media as a possible cause for the incident — and this explanation is still the favoured one.

As a matter of fact, the United States is the most colossally aggressive empire in world history: the number of US military bases around the world is simply bewildering. Through its bases, the US spreads its economic and cultural influence by profaning, subjugating and silencing others. On all continents it finances and arms the governments and guerrilla movements it favours, frequently switching sides. The US employs death squads to do away with dissidents, and wages war when needed. Every now and then, as a reminder, the US bombs old proud Iraq. The US is the most wretchedly villainous state of all times. Anyone aware of global issues can easily imagine how vast the hatred for the United States — a corrupted, swollen, paralysing and suffocating political entity — must be across the Third World — and among the thinking minority of the West too.

On these grounds, it may be assumed that Third World activists are behind the bombings in New York and Washington. These people are waging a desperate battle for their fatherland and faith against an overpowering, gigantic enemy — not unlike Finns during the Winter War. Regardless of how alien their religion or culture may be, they certainly deserve all our sympathy. Opposition within the United States is also strong. The case of the Unabomber springs to mind here: his planned, thoughtful model for an alternative society was presented to the Finnish public with a translation of his manifesto. Domestic opposition in the US, however, will hardly have the energy and ability to carry out an operation such as the one we have witnessed in New York: the skill, competence and courage behind the attack has stunned even Western military experts (who, nevertheless, publicly voiced their condemnation of the action).
In the US, search for the ‘culprits’ has now turned into a farce. The blockhead who, following obscure procedures, was appointed president called the kamikaze pilots “cowards” in his first statement. He later claimed that the matter is no longer about terror, but war: a war between the US, with its 250 million citizens, and a private individual, an admittedly noble-featured and clearly determined Sheikh from the Middle East, who must “be caught either dead or alive”. This individual hired a large group of madmen to commit expensive atrocities (this being the only point of view that Bush understands).

The workings of the small Finnish state also border on farce as, following September 11, emergency status has been declared on the border. From small beginnings great things may develop. I am reminded of how, after an attack by the German Red Army Faction, large police forces were mobilised in Lapland to search for a young German citizen. It was later revealed that he was only a student gone hiking.

With regard to our own country, there is one further point I would like to make: it would be desirable at least for those people who idolise our Winter War to stop being sanctimonious about violence in general.

One should also bear in mind that the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is a matter of perspective: it all depends on the observer and the verdict of history. One clear example springs to mind: that of the Finnish soldiers who took a violent stand against a legitimate government. These soldiers received their military training in foreign countries, exactly like the Palestinian guerrilla group that made its attack at the Munich Olympics or the Reds in Italy and Germany. For all we know, they were trained in Southern Yemen or Lebanon. Some of these infantrymen were madcap adventurers, others fanatical patriots. Had our own civil war ended differently, they would readily have been labelled as terrorists.

Still, the oppressive measures taken by the US against other cultures and populations are not the worst of catastrophes. The most serious aspect of US supremacy is the leading position this country has acquired as the cradle and engine of global economic growth. Unbounded economic growth rapes nature, exploiting the natural resources of land, ocean and sky.

What now remain are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost — or, rather, the Dollar, Economic Growth and Market Economy. Two Gods clashed against each other in New York: Allah and the Dollar.

The servants of Allah sacrificed their own lives and the lives of a few disciples of The Dollar. The aim of the servants of market economy is to murder the whole of Creation and mankind as soon as they can. The deep ecologist and protector of life, the guardian of the continuity of life, would certainly choose Allah when things get tough.

Given the situation, the towers of the World Trade Center was the best target among all the buildings of the world, both symbolically and concretely. It was a magnificent, splendid choice.

No matter how great the joy that followed this bull’s-eye, certain questions were raised soon enough: what will the long-term effects of the attack be?

Although human mass deaths are always a positive occurrence in the light of the population explosion, a few thousand lives are nothing — even if quality were to make up for quantity. In other respects, the incident seems to be having truly significant repercussions at the moment. Economic growth seems to be plummeting — at least to some extent. Air traffic, the worst kind of traffic, is decreasing. Foreign trade seems to be slowing down; destructive tourism and international cooperation seem to be growing more difficult. Surveillance and police actions are always an impediment to raging business life. All incidents of this sort “give nature extra time”.

The bitter tenets of life have always proven optimism to be unfounded. Will it be justified on this occasion?

Elonkehä [The Biosphere], 26.9.2001

A Perspective on the State of the World, or
The ABC of the Deep Ecologist — Part One

Philosophy for the Everyman

Repetition is the mother of education: there is nothing new under the sun. I intend to return to some basic issues regarding the biosphere. Patience, after all, is a virtue.

First point: the explanation of the world is simple. Matters are always easy to understand when one wishes them to be so. Very many people have a peculiar tendency to complicate things. Perhaps, they reckon the world is more interesting that way. A thinker, however, does not complicate matters and thus favour confusion. Thinking is reduction, pruning.

Second point: the relativist (one of those “on one hand... but on the other...” kind of people) is wrong. From the same starting point, foundation, premise, only one conclusion can be reached. In other words: there is only one truth to each thing.

There are only a few important matters in existence, and only few significant equations. And there is only one considerable problem in the world: the impoverishment of life on Earth — the diminishment of life’s richness and diversity.

Only one remarkable process is taking place: mankind is battling other creatures for living space. Mankind’s inner disputes are only indirectly interesting, depending on the degree to which their effects either preserve or destroy the biosphere.

There is No Place for Nihilism in This World

There are wise guys who pretend to question the value of life, and say that the continuity of life on the globe is of no concern. Or, they will claim that the continuity of life is of lesser interest than some source of temporary pleasure that threatens it (like human rights or democracy in the world of men). The only truth is that the continuity of life is a basic foundation for every creature, including every human individual. When the obliteration of life will become tangible, even nihilists will change their ways.
There are also know-it-alls who point to the meagre significance of our own planet in relation to the universe as a whole. The sole truth here is that no animal, not even man, is capable of comprehending the value of the universe. The cosmos, space, is unimportant. Our own solar system is the only reality.

The relative importance of the most significant matters is quite self-evident. There is nothing above the requirement of the continuity of life: all other interests fall below it. As the deep ecologist emphasises those factors beneficial to the preservation and continuation of life, his arguments will always be above all others.

The Useless Strategy of Man

Already, centuries ago, man had broken loose from the system of nature, the equilibrium of populations regulated by food chains. Mankind is no longer a part of nature. Humanity in no way competes with other forms of life and — now that laboratories have defeated all notable diseases — is no longer threatened by nature. Humanity is the complete sovereign of the biosphere.

Like other animal species, humanity has checked its production of offspring throughout the ages, yet — unlike other species — in a wholly inadequate way. Prosperous and sufficient regulation is known to have been practised only in some periods of early human history. Man has also limited his use of natural resources, but again in an entirely insufficient manner.

Now the majority of mankind has entered a new historical age, that of market economy, in which the clearance sale of natural resources knows no boundaries. With breeding still unchecked, the human population has risen to a monstrous, murderous size. Mankind has reached a stage of development where it is superseding all other life forms on the planet at a very fast pace, and is ultimately destined to consume itself.

The Objection Raised by the Deep Ecologist

The guardian of life, the deep ecologist, will not accept progress as the end of evolution and will reject the dominating position man has assumed. The deep ecologist notes that the human species also has a preserving side to it: qualities of humility and abstinence. These qualities manifest themselves in some populations through customs, ways of life, ideas and worldviews. The protector of life will try to strengthen them so that the progress leading to utter devastation might stop, or at least slow down. The best example for the inclusion of sustaining elements within the human species is the deep ecologist himself.The World’s Greatest Love

The deep ecologist does not see evolution as something suicidal, but rather as a form of perpetual enrichment (destined to endure until the sun dies out): the filling of an increasing number of new ecological niches, leading to a greater diversity of forms, races and species, and a greater number of organisms. Evolution is marked more by speciation than by the extinction of species (more by success than failure), adding more and more joy to life.

What the deep ecologist loves is the whole. Therein lies the grandest beauty, wealth, and love. The deep ecologist does not understand the Christian-Humanist love of man, which even at its best only extends to a nation or mankind: this he sees as a form of inbreeding, egotism, masturbation.

What is the position of humanity for the guardian of life? It is that of an interesting, splendid species; for the survival of this species the deep ecologist will fight with all his might. Billions of people, however, represent a threat, not an object of love.

Even to conceive of the development of humanity, as a species, into a seething mass is insane: to approve of it is unthinkable. By his own nature, man is already a large predator that consumes a lot of resources to sustain its vital functions; thus, the only way mankind can inhabit the biosphere is in small numbers. It must also be remembered that the distinguishing characteristic of the human species, self-awareness, calls for limited numbers: among masses of billions, man loses his identity, while his life is deprived of value and meaningfulness.

A Perspective on the State of the World, or
The ABC of the Deep Ecologist — Part Two

The Insight of the Deep Ecologist

The deep ecologist recognises and perceives that the relationship between nature and man is a matter of space. Human rights = the death sentence of Creation. Ultimately, the survival of the human species is itself a matter of space. So: human rights = the death sentence of mankind. Only quantities are essential. The globe has a given size: it will not grow any larger. Its resources are limited and will not increase. Life may not be mathematical, but its framework is.

The deep ecologist both ponders upon and incessantly observes the surrounding world, mankind and society, in their relation to nature. Public authorities already appear to have moved slightly towards the protection of life (the Kyoto protocol, nature reserves protected from economic exploitation, etc.), yet these actions are only superficial, considering the overall avalanche. They will also remain superficial if they fail to address the underlying questions of overpopulation and Western economy.

It is still the case that the worst enemies of life are, on the one hand, an excess of life (human life, in particular) and, on the other, the legislation and structure of societies based on market economy. The sturdier a society, the more peaceful it is; the more efficient economic growth (i.e. the ransacking of natural resources), the quicker other forms of life will step aside. Everything that upsets the established order of society, causing chaos and panic, gives extra time to nature and, ultimately, humans too.



Wars between men are of great interest to the preserver of life, because they seem to carry certain possibilities. War is an institution that is frequently resorted to by nations, which love and worship it. War is like an already established organisation for the pruning of human populations.

Still, the rules of war until now have always guaranteed that the population explosion might continue its course. It is difficult for the deep ecologist not to plunge deeper into despair: is ecocatastrophe an unavoidable consequence of humanity after all?

Following their rules, wars have traditionally only removed young males in any significant numbers: individuals who only minimally contribute to the breeding potential of their species. Even a massive number of dead males causes a buckle of only one generation in the population because there are practically always enough of these males left — along with the old males dismissed from warfare — to procreate with the fertile female population that was almost fully spared.

Then, the law of large age classes known throughout the animal kingdom swiftly helps replenish the population, nullifying any achievement of war. The replenishment might even yield an interest, so that in the long run the population grows more with war than without it.

On the other hand, business (i.e. the war against Creation) is seriously disrupted when people battle with each other: wartime is always magnificent and life-preserving in this respect. Yet, the same disastrous law that applies to the population also applies to business: war is followed by a frantic period of rebuilding, which enlivens and inspires technological advancement and raging investments, so that economies leap forward.

Along with business, the most destructive forms of human recreation like tourism, vacation-home building and harmful sports also come to a halt in wartime. In the aftermath of war, however, the population will frenziedly ‘make up for the losses’.

It would be a spark of hope if only wars were to morph in such a way as to target the actual breeding potential of a population: young females and children, half of whom are girls. Unless this happens, war will mostly remain a waste of time or even a harmful activity.


Democracy: The Religion of Death

Man has learned almost nothing even when confronted with the impending end of the world. The majority of people continue to make their daily choices on the basis of what they desire and what pleases them.

The deep ecologist never confuses human preferences or distastes, whether his own or those of others, with what needs to be done. He will formulate his judgments and establish his guidelines on the basis of what is feasible — without diminishing the possible richness of the biosphere or endangering its continuity. Democracy, by contrast, caters to the whims of man: the will of the people. The consequences of this are frightening: what democracy leads to is the kind of suicidal society that we see all around us.

Democracy is the most miserable of all known societal systems, the building block of doom. Under such a system of government unmanageable freedom of production and consumption and the passions of the people are not only tolerated, but cherished as the highest values. The most serious environmental disasters occur in democracies. Any kind of dictatorship is superior to democracy, for a system where the individual is always bound one way or another leads to utter destruction more slowly. When individual freedom reigns, humanity is both the killer and the victim.


The Heresy of Non-violence

Man has learned almost nothing: there are people who are still sanctimonious in their opposition to violence regardless of the state of the world, and who will presumably continue in the same way until its end. Frolicking in peace and love must be sweet — no doubt about that. Yet it is a nonsensical and disastrous attitude. With a smothering shroud of six billion people and all their demands covering the surface of the Earth, pacifism is dead.

Nothing is as much a case of its own and an unsuitable example for pacifism as Gandhi’s teaching. Mahatma Gandhi was backed by 400,000 Indians who faced 1,000 British soldiers: what a fine moment to preach peace! The minority, on the other hand, has no chance other than to resort to violence against violence: to a tougher, sharper, more astute, massive and fanatical violence; an iron will capable of facing no matter how superior a power. Examples can be found throughout history of both heroic defeats and victories. Finns have a fine example of their own for how violence at the hands of a tiny minority can prove successful: the Finnish Winter War. An example a hundred times more brilliant than even that can be found: a recent act of war, in which a handful of morally and intellectually superior people managed to severely wound a mighty world power.


Changing Morals

The thinker and author Eero Paloheimo, who of all Finns has been the most tireless in considering possible alternative models to preserve life on Earth, commented upon the attacks at New York and Washington. Paloheimo argued that these incidents nullified all “prattle”, as he likes to call writings, presentations, declarations, demonstrative marches — the only methods that he himself, like the author of the present article, has ever dared to resort to. These methods are useless. The only thing that is effective, which weakens and shocks the present order bent on world destruction is extreme violence.

I myself would not go that far. I believe debate is needed as groundwork: it is first necessary to establish what the question is all about. Prattle and groundwork are only futile if they do not lead to any tangible confrontation — if cowardice, sloth and a desire for comfort prevail.

As the world’s collapse looms near and the population explosion gains momentum, the conclusions and doctrines of no single thinker or lodestar will prove enduring: we are all but children of our age. Even the knowledge and teachings of a great philosopher and ethicist like Jesus of Nazareth must be measured against the backdrop of the number of people present in his day and the frequency of extinctions. It will then be noted that Jesus’ message and moral teaching are for the most part obsolete and no longer applicable.

The crippling human cover spread over the living layer of the Earth must forcibly be made lighter: breathing holes must be punctured in this blanket and the ecological footprint of man brushed away. Forms of boastful consumption must violently be crushed, the natality of the species violently controlled, and the number of those already born violently reduced — by any means possible.

One must realise that now that we have entered the third millennium according to our calendar, there are no longer human individuals: only populations; no individual suffering or pleasure, but only the pruning and survival of populations. And innocent animals, plants and fungi: those that still remain.


Chapter 5: The Prerequisites for Life

The Sum of Life

I consider predators and the largest species of their respective genera to be the most successful vertebrates in contemporary Finland. The losers’ group is larger. Among mammals, the worst hit species are the mink and garden dormouse, who share the fate of the peregrine. The number of arctic foxes, western polecats and flying squirrels has greatly dwindled. I have met only a limited number of mammals: it is strange how few mammals an ornithologist encounters on his path; and even when he does meet them, it is only indirectly, via his birds: mice, voles and wood lemmings found dead in the nests of owls, weasel bones and tails, squirrels, rabbits and muskrats in the nests and on the feeding rocks of goshawks and eagles.

Even the flying squirrel became familiar to me thanks to birdhouses. Forty years ago, as I was approaching a couple of starling nests, I was met not by the stern gaze of a starling mother, but by the astounded stare of a cuddly, silky, silvery-grey creature. Flying squirrels, however, vanished from my life a while ago. Once, the nests of starlings could be found in sumptuous aspens, as well as in common alder and walnut groves. Each grove I calculated as having 800 bird pairs per square kilometre, including five species of woodpeckers. Now only some spruce scourers linger on in them, and the bird density is barely 200 pairs per square kilometre.
Long ago, in Kuhmoinen, when the children were small, I had a polecat as a pet, and a large group of rabbits dwelled in my stables. The polecat made its appearance in our backyard in winter; it dug a passage to the stables and began attacking the young rabbits. I snared the animal with a trap and carried it five kilometres off on my way to the village. A couple of days later, its phosphorous eyes were again glowing in the dark of my barn.

I could name a long list of current losers in the world of birds: unlike the winners, they share no common characteristic. These birds are spread across many families and include the white-fronted goose, the black guillemot, the black-backed gull, the ringed plover, the dunlin, the cuckoo, the nightjar, many woodpeckers and a great host of sparrows. The greatest losers among birds are ultimately the capercaille and the black grouse. My home villages on the shores of Vanajanselkä are an extreme example of the plummeting of the black grouse population. Many years ago black grouse landed on every cape, and the sound of their courtship could be heard across the ice in spring. Now, for three consecutive springs only a lone survivor was spotted in the vicinity of three villages. For the first time in presumably thousands of years, spring last year was completely silent up until the end of February, the end of the mating season, when an unexpected wandering grouse made its appearance.

A list of the most endangered species has been prepared, and it is a wonderful thing that attempts are being made to protect them through tangible conservationist campaigns. Still, it feels as if in mapping primeval forests, for instance, a disproportionate emphasis is placed on a few of the most endangered and uncommon species. It is certainly true — and this is one of the founding principles of environmentalism — that the extinction of a species is the most overbearing of losses. Extinction is irreversible, the worst blow that could befall the biosphere. The question of conservation is hardly ever framed in these terms in the case of our fauna, however, as we are not dealing here with ocean isles or isolated mountains which represent the only habitat for the entire world population of a given species. Almost all our species of mammals and birds are also found across the border.

Eljas Pohtila of the Department for Forest Research (Metsäntutkimuslaitos) has emphasised some interesting aspects of the extinction issue. Pohtila believes that the protection of the white-backed woodpeckers is not a priority for Finland because the bird has strong populations in Estonia and Russia. This, however, is where he goes wrong: he claims that our white-backed woodpecker population can fade away because it is a scarce and untypical population experiment, pushed to the edges of its distribution area. If this kind of thinking were to be followed, every animal would soon face the danger of extinction: if the living zone of a species is limited once, it can be limited again and again.

Yet Pohtila’s remarks also contain some valuable observations. First of all, it is clear that the Saimaa seal is more important than the white-backed woodpecker from the point of view of biodiversity. Secondly, it is true that the most significant richness lies in the number of animals: the sum of life. Whether there are seven or five million pairs of chaffinches who are living, bustling and rejoicing in our woods, makes a fundamental difference. This is precisely what nature is about.

My impression is that the population of our most common small birds has sharply diminished in recent years. I am aware of only two rather common bird species that have steadily increased their numbers: the greenfinch and blue tit. Even those species that were thriving thirty or forty years ago have either stopped growing in numbers, like the scarlet rosefinch and dunnock, or are reverting back to their original numbers, as is the case with the lapwing and black-headed gull.

Eljas Pohtila’s remarks on extinction merit further consideration. Ultimately, extinction has a definite meaning: it means the complete disappearance of a species from Earth. Nevertheless, we have grown used to perceiving, experiencing and mourning extinctions according to state borders. Finnish birdmen have also been profoundly shocked by the extinction of the middle spotted woodpecker in Sweden, and are unrelentingly fighting — much to Pohtola’s vexation — in defence of the Finnish white-backed woodpecker. It is certain that if the whitebacked woodpecker, or some other animal, were to vanish from a comparable region in Russia, its disappearance would be perceived in Finland as only a minor occurrence.

The above reasoning is not as foolish as it seems. Our conservation work is rather tied to state borders: international cooperative campaigns simply do not yield the same results as national ones. Unavoidably, lists of endangered species will be written by individual countries, be they large or small.

But when nature, with its flora and fauna, diminishes, it results in the increasingly frequent loss of different species in small areas such as provinces, counties or villages. These local losses are already so significant in themselves that they should be treated as forms of extinction. For example, the whitebacked woodpecker has become extinct over the whole of western Finland. It is a bitter truth that in the “home territory” covering perhaps a thousand hectares on the northern cape of Vanajanselkä, an area I have been closely observing since 1948, twenty bird species have grown extinct and only two new ones have appeared in their place.

A long time ago, in 1949, I remember spending my summer holidays as a full-time bird-watcher in the villages near my home. At that time I was not yet in the habit of taking notes every day: merely surveys every five days or once a week. In a section of my writing dealing with midsummer, I noted that the females of the yellow wagtail were “commonly having nestlings” then; and that northern wheatears seemed “extraordinarily numerous all around the village”. In my notes, I mentioned many nests and broods. It is years now since a feather belonging to either of these bird species has been spotted in the region.
As I eye my banding lists from the year 1953, I notice that I had marked 210 out of the 263 starling fledglings in this village — despite the fact that the village blacksmith Sandsten would not allow me, under any condition, to search through the particularly large number of birdhouses he had built. Furthermore, dozens of starling broods grew in holes in common alders and aspens, and were thus unreachable. I have followed the current starling population closely: for many years, there have been no more than four or five nests of this species. The ratio of decline is about twenty to one.

I observed that when ornithologists illustrate changes in the avifauna, whether that of starlings or of other species, they are generally much more conservative in their estimates. Maps that only record complete losses are a major factor of psychological distraction: whether a hundred pairs of northern wheatears have been discovered in an area of 10 square kilometres or only one nest, the entry on the map will be the same. The herring gull, for instance, is marked on many maps of Vanajanselkä with the same circle it had in 1950, although its population has risen from 3 to 165 pairs.

While large animals and predators, the victorious species of our fauna, usually number in the dozens or hundreds, the loss of birds species is frequently a matter of thousands or even millions of individuals. If we could successfully bring back the tree covering of our sapling plains, we would also regain a tremendous amount of animal life. Our mixed forests would have to be restored, our groves and ditches, weeds, berms, cattle, meadows and cultivated fields, while all unnecessary roads and over-large courtyards and parking lots would have to be closed. This is not utopia, at least where small regions are concerned: every property owner, even the humblest, can take part in the task of bringing back nature.


On the Reversal of Finnish Society

Finnish society needs to radically change its list of priorities and its direction: to undergo a complete reversal. The development of our society in recent decades has been entirely negative. The only true and sensible goal for a society, the good life of its citizens, has been sacrificed before the idols of economic growth, efficiency and competition. The atmosphere of our society has become more restless, fearful and spiteful than ever before. In particular, Finns’ faith in the future has seriously been shaken.

The only criteria to measure the satisfaction, happiness and future faith of citizens and societies are the following:

- the number of suicides

- the need for psychiatric services and medicine

- the need for drugs and alcohol

- the endurance of relationships or the number of divorces

- the degree of firmness and warmth in gender relations

- the degree of harmony and respect between citizens

- the quality of the environment.

Judging from the above criteria, the current objectives of our society and leaders have led us — and will continue to lead us — to utter disaster. There are no other indicators. The need for a full reversal means that the decision makers, the leaders of the country, must begin working without reservation to improve the factors of well being alone. A completely new path must be sought.

I am here talking of a turnabout capable of rooting out all demands for performance, rationalisation, automatisation and renovations from our society. Most importantly, competition, which is nothing but the immoral subduing of others, must be disposed of in all areas of life. Even the thought of vying between nations or economical coalitions must be extinguished: no country is an enemy to be overcome. Domestic products are vital for all countries, and Finnish products must not be displaced by imports. The word kilpailu [competition] must be eliminated from the Finnish language.

Man, and specifically northern man, is first of all an active creature, who sees pleasant toil as a prerequisite for life. Unemployment is so severe an affliction that its magnitude is impossible to overestimate: according to psychological surveys, Finns cherish a secure job in the future incomparably more than they do a high material standard of living.

We demand that the destruction of human work be stopped: to end the replacement of physical work with machines and mental work with computers. We demand that toil be returned from machines to man.
The overall focus of all policies must be the welfare of human existence. Instead of efficiency, workplaces should strive to make their employees feel happy and relaxed in their second home; and besides, only a moderate amount of absolutely necessary goods and services should be produced for sale.

At the heart of any viable and enduring society will always be agriculture, including all secondary sources of livelihood like gardening, cultivation, gathering, fishing and hunting. Any society that has severed the link between the majority of the population and the basic foundations of life — green leaves, soil, earth and water — is destined to collapse.

Professions that provide sustenance are not just one kind of trade among many others. Agriculture is not merely one livelihood among others; rather, it is the prerequisite for all secondary crafts, and is thus situated above them. Humans will continue to farm for as long as they inhabit the Earth.

The position of agriculture as the country’s primary source of livelihood should clearly be acknowledged: society should contribute to strengthen the agricultural sector by all possible means. In addition to good working conditions, we ask that the number of farming people, the backbone of society, be quickly increased. A prominent (and wasted) workforce reserve is represented by the half a million of unemployed individuals: these might be sent to work both as independent farmers and farm labourers.

All deserted farms, their entire acreage of fields and buildings, must be put to use. Leased fields must be restored as independent farms as soon as possible.

A natural increase in agricultural yield ought to allow smaller areas under cultivation to provide sufficient sustenance. In the 1950s, the average acreage of a lucrative family farm (used to grow crops in southern Finland and raise animals further north) measured around ten hectares. Today, it could be reduced to five hectares; in the future, to three or even two. I am here referring to an average yield of grain, milk and meat. The land required for the production of any additional, specific and rarely used agricultural products would be even less.

Small farms would be made more profitable by increasing the price of agricultural products (i.e. food). Increased incentives would be given to support any new smallholdings.

The current mindless and unjust practice whereby a person who has just entered the farming trade is forced to pay large sums of money for his workplace — something which does not occur in any other profession providing an ordinary income — will immediately have to cease. Generational turnover must be spared inheritance or legacy taxes. Siblings will not receive their share of the inheritance in those cases where their schooling in a trade that will secure them a living has been paid for them from the farm’s funds.

To make an expanded agricultural sector profitable, the price of food must return to a reasonable level. The contemporary clearance sale of foodstuff will then be seen as only a brief error in the pages of history.
The farms must derive their profit from the sale of their agricultural produce through the sufficient pricing of their products. The current subsidy system — the recycling of a farmer’s earnings through tax reserves — will be abandoned. The only part of this system to be kept would be profit balancing in favour of the smallest farms.

A substantial rise in the cost of nutrition will reduce the budget available for entertainment: wasteful consumption will decrease throughout society — expenditures in the agricultural sector will be reduced as well. These changes will lead to forms of robust and vital cooperation and socialisation in both villages and suburbs.

A strong, controlled agriculture creates total nutritional self-sufficiency. In the present climatic conditions in Finland the self-sufficiency level is very unlikely to be exceeded (i.e. produce more than is required just for living), as we would move towards natural means of farming ― an imperative action for environmental reasons. This would mean smaller crops. People’s nutritional needs would grow in unison with every bit of industrial energy to be replaced with the physical energy and work of man. If we decided to reintroduce the workhorse to assist in farming a significant acreage of fields would of course have to be reserved for the production of food for this domestic energy (horse).

In the present situation, there is no point in striving to secure the business of the most hard-working farmers and large estates: these will survive anyway. The protection of small, and particularly the smallest, family farms is essential.

Just as banks, offices and industries guarantee the livelihood of their less skilled or slower employees, so would the slacking owners of small estates or cottage farms be guaranteed a minimum income. Half of every population is always more inefficient and less skilled than the rest. Society must always be structured in such a way as to meet the needs of its weakest citizens.

Globally, as statistics suggest, there will soon be a shortage of crops and food: famine will come knocking at our door. One must bear in mind, after all, that even now agricultural conditions are worse on a major portion of the Earth (for example, the whole continent of Africa) than they are in Finland. On a global scale, southern Finland is an excellent area for cultivation; central and — to a lesser extent — northern Finland are similarly good for animal husbandry.

This global perspective strongly suggests that Finnish society should concentrate on agriculture: while the products of forest economy (paper) are ultimately superfluous, food is not.

Forecasts regarding climate change point to a future diminishment of the world’s granaries because of drought, erosion and rising of sea levels. By contrast, an increase of harvests is expected in Finland. Even when the notion of overproduction will have been transcended in the future, eventual surplus in foodstuff will be in high demand on the global market.

It follows from these grave facts regarding the nutritional balance of the world that the EU must adapt to Finnish agriculture rather than vice-versa. Currently, the societal and agricultural policies of the EU are badly misguided. If no adjustment will be made to face the facts, fatally harmful directives will have to be systematically disobeyed, or — if worse comes to worse — Finland will have to leave the EU.

Mustiala, March 30, 1996

Can We Survive? A Model for a Controlled Future

Mankind, the human species, seems to have reached its end. We are in the midst of ecocatastrophes, in the eye of the storm. No natural scientist or serious futurologist believes we have more than thirty or — at the most — one hundred years left. Researchers hired by the fanatical business world spew out their data for money and contradict the views of true scientists. The human language makes it possible to formulate any twisted claim to be formulated: it is easy to say that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.

Plenty of severe warnings can be found: individual biologists, population scientists, philosophers and thinkers have issued terrifying warnings to the public; a hundred Nobel laureates have signed a declaration calling for an immediate end to economic growth.

The most wretched of all current trends is of course the mass extinction of organisms, which has been escalating for decades and is still increasing in magnitude.

While doomsday omens can be said to be old news, in the present century they are based on something other than intuition or revelation: modern forecasts are founded on scientific facts, data, calculations and figures. This kind of news is no more than a century old.

The point, however, is that neither mankind nor the nation — I am here referring to Finland — are reacting to this information in any way at all. In the media, news about the impending end of the world is drowned amid thousands of other news items. Even though news concerning the gradual suppression of life is really the only significant news, which all other human aspirations are subordinate to, it never really makes the headlines.

The most striking titles and the most enormous amount of space is reserved for unbelievably uninteresting nonsense: Diana, Clinton, Sundqvist, Vennamo and so on. Political and business leaders speak and act as if there were no threat to life. A man aware of what is actually happening wouldn’t know whether to compare the behaviour of a minister, president or general manager to that of a lunatic or an ignorant brat. When asked about the current endangerment of life, ordinary citizens will stutter in bewilderment. All signs of collective suicide are perceptible in our society.

Many are the ecocatastrophes that threaten land, water and sky, or are already occurring, and which amplify one another. I will here mention only one among many possible examples: climate change, a phenomenon that is unfolding before our very eyes at an even faster rate than what was predicted.

To put it briefly, what follows the warming of the climate is the submerging of wide, fertile coastal plains under the sea level, and, most importantly, the destruction of the essential cultivated areas around the world because of drought. Then again, in the north — in places like Finland — harvests seem to be increasing, although the lack of direct sunlight may balance the rise in temperature. Yet, the massive increase in rainfall will prevent harvests from being gathered either mechanically or by hand. According to a different scenario, the Gulf Stream will change its course, and Finland, along with its neighbouring regions, will turn into tundra. No other scenarios than these two are possible.

The supposed awakening of governments to the reality of climate change has produced shows like the conferences of Rio and Kyoto. Despite all the buffoonery, business-making and cynical swindling, climate researchers and ecologists have calculated that to actually stop climate change it would be necessary to cut emissions by ten percent. Other plans to end various ecocatastrophes also yield similar estimates. Naturally, overall consumption in industrial countries would have to be reduced by over ninety percent.

All these programmes, figures and percentages are remodelled in such a way as not to call for the most essential thing, an end to the extinction of organisms, by forcing the human species to retire from the domineering position it has acquired. Such a step would mean a return to the so-called natural frequency of extinctions, which is one thousand times smaller than the present one (or something close to that — I cannot recall the exact figure). Undoubtedly, human population would also have to be reduced to about ten percent of what it is now.

In drafting a few guidelines, I will here limit myself to a less ambitious programme that only aims at the preservation of mankind and its few companion species. I will provide a brief outline of what changes in society would really be needed to stop climate change.

It is possible that even this more limited objective would require lightening the intolerable burden of human population — although the present population would in this case not be reduced to one tenth, but only stripped of around two billion people. The resulting figure would roughly be equivalent to that of the world population just over half a century ago, when the great ecosystems of the world began to waver and collapse. A reasonable hypothesis can be formulated: that the globe could handle a demographic load of such a size, provided that the levels of material consumption do not rise to what they are today.

In my presentation, I will be even less ambitious: I wish to begin by outlining a reckless attempt to lessen the present demographic strain by the sole means of controlling human birth-rates. This policy is deeply humane — and, precisely for this reason, probably too soft. Whatever the case, what is required is a radical turn, under the guidance of reason, away from the stray path of Western culture.

I will proceed in such a way as to first suggest some practical solutions, and only at the end address philosophical and psychological questions.

A Demographic Plan

The cornerstone of any population platform is the dismantling of the freedom of procreation, the most senseless form of individual freedom. Puzzlingly, this policy has only been implemented so far in the country with the oldest culture of the world: China.

Procreation should be licensed: on average, every woman should be allowed to bear only one child. This policy should be followed for several generations, until a sustainable population is reached. The quality of the population must in all cases be taken into account as well: procreation licences would be denied to homes deemed genetically inadequate or unsuitable for the raising of children, whereas families capable of providing a stimulating environment for children would be granted several licences.

Various means of contraception and abortion would be made freely available anywhere.

The opulent excess of fat, even obesity, which is widespread in our present society, would be decreased by regulating, controlling and normalising the nutrition, vitamin and hormonal levels of adolescents. A drop of twenty centimetres in the average height could realistically be achieved; the same goes for a drop of twenty kilos in the average weight. This is a very important step to be taken — and among one of the most humane ones — in order to reduce the demographic burden.


Fossil fuels, including peat, will be abolished on the first day the programme is implemented. Even the production and distribution of electricity — the harnessing of which should probably be seen as a great misfortune in the history of mankind — will largely be brought to an end. Electricity may continue to be used as a source of energy by the media and to illuminate rooms (strict quotas would have to be set in this case); but street lights and other external lighting would be banned. Households, as well as businesses, will have to switch to manual labour.

Firewood will be used in heating and its use will be tightly regulated. Fireplaces will be made as efficient as possible. Within walls, bodies will first be warmed by clothing rather than air.

The necessary electricity will be produced by wind power — yet with the awareness that the construction of wind power plants, with the transportation of resources it entails, and their use represent a considerable drawback in environmental terms.

Other power plants will be demolished. The worst kind of plants, energy dams, will be the first to go. Indeed, waterpower has caused the third great ecocatastrophe alongside the clearing of fields and the forest economy: the faltering of our whole marine economy. The new policy will restore our waters to their natural state.

The Collection of Carbon Dioxide

The only large-scale method of removing the colossal surplus of carbon that has already been released into the atmosphere is by absorbing it with vegetation: firstly with trees, then with bushes. In Finland the mean volume of living trees on growing forestland now amounts to 70 cubic metres per hectare. This figure will be increased to about 400 cubic metres, which corresponds to the natural density of forests. Additionally, a significant amount of carbon is stored in fallen trees: this increases the more north the woodland is and the slower the decomposition. Fallen wood also transfers a part of the carbon into peat, if the tree is left alone.

It will take about one hundred years to reach the suggested figure of 400 cubic metres. In the meanwhile, the forest industry will largely have to be shut down. Still, in order to deliver orders and announcements to the population, to maintain the media and literary culture (all of which must be preserved in order to sustain society), the production of paper will continue. Paper, however, will become the most strictly regulated of commodities: perhaps two percent of the current amount of paper will then be produced.

A remarkable obstacle to trees’ absorption of carbon and a corresponding source of carbon emissions into the atmosphere will be the use of firewood, even when controlled as described. Firewood will be harvested from fast-growing deciduous trees in small, carefully outlined areas. For a long time we will survive by burning the waste wood of Suicidal Society.

When binding carbon, there will be no room for forest fires: fire-fighting troops will be trained to carry out efficient actions on terrain devoid of forest roads.

An increase in woodland acreage will also be necessary. All wastelands, banks and fields that absorb little or no carbon will be forested. In different phases of the programme, the forest acreage will progressively be incremented in a multitude of ways.

Reforesting a significant portion of field acreage is the most notable step that will be taken. This will be made possible by replacing grain with mostly animal protein for nutrition. The resources of inland and coastal waters, vastly under-utilised in Suicidal Society, will be put to good use: annual profit will be reaped from all species of fish, including fish species that have been dubbed “junk fish” because of fashion whims or popular prejudice, although they serve equally well as food. The fish catch can sustainably be increased a hundred fold, so that it will be possible to replace a third or even half of the nutritional content of grain and other plant-food with first-class animal protein. A corresponding percentage of fields will be forested to contribute to the binding of carbon.

Hunting will also be rendered more effective, although it is a less profitable activity than fishing. Small mammals and highly prolific rodents — and perhaps invertebrate animals too — will be added to the list of game species. With detailed research, care will be taken to keep food chains intact and functional through both hunting and fishing: both activities will take account of the natural growth rate of species.


Farming will be organised in small units, while machines will be abolished and a major portion of the population will be made to practise light agricultural work. Once methods of transport become limited, the population will have to disperse in order to live closer to raw materials and sources of sustenance: close to farming, fishing and gathering. Almost everyone else will have at least a plot of vegetables, and a garden with fruits and berries in the south. A comprehensive network of advisors will operate in order to secure sufficient harvests.

Depots, cleared of machines, and the inner road network of farms will either be added to the cultivated area or forested. Half a million horses will have to be reintroduced onto farms to perform heavy duties — even if this will mean that many hectares of land will be devoted to the production of fodder.
The collection, transportation and use of human and animal manure will be organised on a local basis.
Greenhouses will operate — when at all — exclusively by solar energy during the warm season. Fresh vegetables, fruits and berries will be available only in their natural ripening seasons. Food will be preserved in each household — either by drying, souring or salting. Forest berries and mushrooms are of great nutritional importance because they provide valuable vitamins and minerals. The lingonberry will be preferred to other berries as it keeps for years, when turned into purée. On good berry years hundreds of millions of kilos of this berry will be gathered and stored safely for many years to come. The same applies to mushrooms in good years.

Finland will be more than self-sufficient in its food production: some quantities of food will be reserved for export. Research into plant cultivation — like that into fish and game economy — would be greatly subsidised in order to develop subspecies that withstand moisture.


Traffic conditions will change radically. The main rule will be for people to live in their native areas and home districts. Services will be provided that are reachable on foot, by skiing, cycling, rowing and paddling. Public means of transport on roads and water will be available for long trips. The old system of guesthouses will be restored.

Private car and motorboat traffic will cease. The only road traffic will be that of public transport vehicles and a small number of cars that will be used to transport goods. Most heavy transport will operate via railroads and on water.

Since metal, plastic and rubber junk will be in little demand in the future, the majority of cars, household appliances and other metal and plastic waste will be pressed into solid blocks and transferred to the unproductive rocky grounds of junkyards; the first places to be filled will be mine shafts. Most of the road network will be cleared and reforested, starting from forest roads and those roads built near holiday resorts.

Foreign Relations

After all international trade agreements will have been revoked and all trade coalitions abandoned, foreign trade will drop to a minimum. What will mostly be imported will be metals not found in our country and salt, as the use of salt will rise sharply due to food preservation. After some decades, when railroad and bus equipment will probably cease functioning despite all attempts at repair, equipment and mechanical parts that cannot be manufactured domestically will probably have to be imported as well.

Products of handicraft, woodwork and foodstuff such as fish and berries will be used as exchange currency.
Mass travel will end and will be replaced by hiking in one’s home area. Only professional correspondents, negotiating officials, and individuals or delegations practising cultural exchanges will travel abroad. Ships will travel at sparse intervals to carry both these people and the mail. Most of the transport will be on open waters. Ships will not sail against the wind.

Foreign visas will be issues to hikers moving on foot and by bicycle. Presumably, they will survive on packed lunches and by working in the countries they visit. Customs will be able to inspect the backpacks and bags of these travellers without any hassle.

All air traffic will cease. Related equipment will be scrapped, while airfields and terminals will be reforested. Most ships, icebreakers and structures in most coastal harbours will be demolished, with the exception of what is left for inland traffic. Consideration will be given to preserve basic ice-breaking equipment, to be used in emergencies.

Industry and Wares

Industrial manufacturing will be subject to licensing: no product will be manufactured unless there is a buyer in real need of its use. In all cases, ecological balance will be a central factor in evaluating whether to issue a permit for industrial manufacture.

Most business enterprises will come to an end. Only a handful of large corporations will be maintained: for instance, those linked to the production of equipment used for public transportation, bicycles and paper. These industries will be in the hands of the state. Long-distance hauling will be avoided in the case of small production units and firms: many people will work in local handcrafting trades.

Only sturdy, well-built equipment will be used, which will last several generations. The mending and maintenance of objects will be central to society: the intentional abandonment of usable objects will be punished.


The construction of new buildings will cease. Once people dispense with electrical household appliances and excess furniture, more rooms will be available to inhabit. The number of currently uninhabited houses in rural areas would be sufficient to meet the needs of the population, provided a few repairs are made here and there. Most buildings in the suburbs will be demolished, along with construction sites, parking lots and streets, which will all be forested.

A small number of public buildings will be left intact to be used as schools and conference halls or to host cultural events. Smaller gatherings will take place in private households. Sports will be practised in the open in the appropriate season.

Holiday resorts will be demolished and replaced by tents, as holidays will take place in the wilderness. The wooden parts of these demolished buildings, like all wooden material gathered from elsewhere, will be stored and protected from damage by moisture and decay, to be later employed as firewood, in such a way as to save living trees.


The school system will be cherished as the most precious aspect of society. Foreign languages will be removed from the syllabus of elementary schools (and transferred to that of the more specialised schools for the training of future workers in the field of foreign relations); less mathematics will also be taught. The greatest emphasis will be placed on all-round education (natural sciences, history, Finnish), sports, arts and, most importantly, civil skills (which the adult population will also be taught). Throughout the year camp schools will be set up in the wilderness.

Civil skills include responsibility towards one’s neighbour, nature and mankind; social skills, behavioural education and practical abilities. Every citizen will learn how to mend, patch, handle the most common tools, build axe shafts, file saws, gut fish and skin animals. The handling of food will be painstakingly taught: everyone will learn how to bone a fish in such a way that only the largest ribs are left and to use their teeth in mincing food in such a way that the skin, innards, fat and bone marrow will not be wasted.

Right from the start, the school system will root out all competition from society.

Universities will be maintained whatever their cost. However, as universities will be investing in spiritual capital, their buildings and tools will be modest. Basic research will focus on the humanities, philosophy and natural sciences. Those fields of science and research requiring the most expensive equipment will be removed. Applied sciences will concentrate on research and the fine-tuning of the new economy (the development of soft technology, repair of buildings, production and preservation of foodstuffs). Commercial sciences will come to an end as society will shift away from materialism and trade will be reduced to a minimum.

While art and music will be widely practised and taught, heavy or bulky equipment and buildings specifically devoted to the practice of the arts will be abolished. In the literary field, the ministry of education will grant permissions to print only fictional and non-fictional works of high quality: trashy novels will vanish. The inherited capital of public and private libraries will be carefully managed. Afternoon newspapers and pulp literature will be abolished. The number of pages in newspapers will be reduced by removing all advertising, making all announcements consist only of text, and banning the repetition of any item of news in the same publication. News, events and trends will still be thoroughly investigated.

The school system, like the whole of society, will be extremely prejudiced against technology. Suicidal Society has taught us that every new phase of technological advancement is more destructive than the previous one. It has also taught us that technology is never a servant, but always a master. Tested solutions will be kept for decades, preferably centuries. Discoveries unrelated to the repair or preservation of technology will not be allowed.

Law and Order

The people most responsible for the present economic growth and competition will be transferred to the mountains and highlands to be re-educated. To be employed for this purpose will mostly be ex-sanatoriums with a healthy climate located on pine ridges.

The supervising staff, whose function shall include the tasks and mandates of both educators and police officers, shall be purposefully trained to have a clear sense of direction and to be goal oriented. Enough staff will be found locally throughout the country, both in uniform and civilian clothing.

Property crimes will be punished harshly. Sentences will generally become harder.

From an economic perspective, society would not be able to endure the health damage and disruptions wreaked by drugs. Hence, society will forbid the consumption of drugs, including tobacco. Through pricing, the consumption of alcohol will be limited to only the largest festivities. With the population adequately under control, no home distilling will take place. Borders will be closed to prevent smuggling.

Subsistence Economy

Subsistence economy will penetrate the whole of society. Most commodities will be rationed: rationed foodstuffs will be allotted according to the age, body build and profession of each citizen. In such a way, even the bulkiest performers of heavy work will be guaranteed sufficient nutrition; but then again, obesity will be unknown. On the other hand, domestic cultivation and gathering of food will not be regulated. Attempts will be made to avoid any wastage of food during the phases of transport, distribution and consumption. Not a crust of bread will be wasted.

The hysteria about freshness and hygiene that has caused such waste and frantic traffic will come to an end. From childhood, citizens will be made to develop immunity to the most common strains of bacteria (such as salmonella). In other ways too, the medical science will leave the path of Pasteur to embrace practices more in accordance with Darwin’s teaching.


Monetary transactions not aimed at immediate material acquisition will come to an end. Stock markets will be shut down; investments will stop.

The only function of banks will be to store currency, allow small-scale withdrawals and lend money. Payments will be made face-to-face, as automated systems of money transferral will only be seen in museums.

Information Technology

When human life and society will have made their way back from their most ghastly odyssey yet, from virtual reality to concrete, material reality, we will do our best to move all information technology into the trash bin of history. It might be the case, however, that the present bubble will burst, and nothing will remain at the bottom of the bin.

A reader who is contently living in the absurd world of modern delusions may think that what has been presented above is only a form of humour — dark humour. The thought is not altogether absurd, for anguish may give birth to humour, for all we know.

The programme I have outlined is truly born of agony: agony and fear of collective death, the dread of extinction. This fear, however, does not result in dark humour, but in an absolutely serious plan. Hardly any of the points I have listed could be ignored in drafting a country’s policy — provided different applications of these points will be sought in different societies — if our aim is that of preserving human life on Earth. The figures and ratios suggested, of course, must be verified.

The above programme is based on a number of assumptions: firstly, that faith in humanity is the greatest of all follies. If man knew what was good for him, would history be full of wretchedness, war, murder, oppression, torment and misery? Would mankind have driven itself to the brink of total destruction by following millions of false beacons?

The programme also assumes that very few — perhaps one in a thousand or a hundred thousand individuals — are capable of being first-class mechanics, trapeze artists or pilots; and that similarly only very few are capable of solving national and worldwide problems. Only rare individuals are capable of seeing the greater picture and ascertaining the causes and consequences of given phenomena.

At this moment in history, in this part of the globe, we are madly clinging to democracy and parliamentarianism, although we are all seeing that these are some of the most irrational and hopeless experiments of mankind. It is in democratic countries with a parliamentary system that world destruction, the sum of all ecocatastrophes, has reached its most advanced stage — and not by chance. The sole glimmer of hope lies in a centralised government and the tireless control of citizens.

I will stress this point yet again: the underlying error that is leading us astray is a political system based on indulgence. Our society and ways of life are based on what man desires rather than what is best for him. The two things — desire and necessity — are as far from one another as east and west.

In moving towards a conclusion, I wish to add a rather amusing observation. Besides guaranteeing its main goal, the preservation of life, the suggested model of society would also secure an incomparably better standard of living. What are the sweet, cherished traits of the modern world that man would lose? Record suicide rates, exhausting competition, unemployment, stress, job insecurity, alienation, desperation, the need for psychological medication, bodily decay, individual arrogance, quarrel, corruption, crime...

What would be left, then, would be: an endless spectrum of arts and hobbies (singing, music, dancing, painting, sculpture, books, games, plays, riddles, shows...); numerous museums; the study of history, local customs and dialects, genealogy, the countless pursuits related to biology; handcrafts and gardens; clear waters, virgin forests, marshlands and fells; seasons, trees, flowers, homes, private life... — in other words: a genuine life.

Why, then, is a strict central government needed? I have already referred to the shameful history of mankind. If ordinary individuals, the people, masses, are given the chance to choose, like magpies they will again and again go for the shiny things, leaping like butterflies into the flames. A government led by a few wise individuals is necessary to protect the people from itself.


As the reader may surmise, I will leave open the question of how those few wise individuals might rise to power and how the programme for the preservation of life might be implemented: I simply do not know the answer. Will salvation come at the last moment, after massive catastrophes? (Is there anything left to save?) Or will this happen suddenly, without notice, through some collective flash, like the utterly unpredictable collapse of socialist systems? Or will it perhaps not come to pass at all? This is by far the most plausible scenario. Despite its horror, extinction does not strike the biologist as something exceptional, for it is an ever-present possibility.

What I wanted to emphasise is how distant the life of Western man, of Finns, is from a reasonable existence; how hopelessly deep we have sunk into the mire. I also wanted to outline what kind of options are available, what kind of debate should be articulated in society, and what kind of questions politicians should address, given the present state of the world. All other actions are nothing but a way of playing with fire, waiting to get burned.


[Back Matter]

Other books published by Arktos:

Beyond Human Rights

by Alain de Benoist

The Problem of Democracy

by Alain de Benoist

Revolution from Above

by Kerry Bolton

Metaphysics of War

by Julius Evola

The Path of Cinnabar:

An Intellectual Autobiography

by Julius Evola


by Guillaume Faye

Why We Fight

by Guillaume Faye

The WASP Question

by Andrew Fraser

The Saga of the Aryan Race

by Porus Homi Havewala

The Owls of Afrasiab

by Lars Holger Holm

De Naturae Natura

by Alexander Jacob

A Handbook of Traditional Living

by Raido

The Jedi in the Lotus: Star Wars and the Hindu Tradition

by Steven J. Rosen

It Cannot Be Stormed

by Ernst von Salomon

Tradition & Revolution

by Troy Southgate

Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right

by Tomislav Sunic

The Initiate: Journal of Traditional Studies

by David J. Wingfield (ed.)

Pentti Linkola Biography by Riitta Kylänpää

[Translated using google translate, so there will be many translation errors. Obviously feel free to edit this text dump to whatever extent it's valuable to you.]

[Front Matter]

[Title Page]





[Publisher Details]

Riitta Kylänpää 2017

ISBN 978-952-234-489-2

Graphic design Mika Tuominen

E-book folding by Tero Salmén


I met Pentti Linkola for the first time for this book in June 2015. He had finished Vanajanselkä's bird counts a couple of days earlier and was recovering from his job, which had turned into a pregnancy, at his girlfriend Sirkka Kurki-Suonio's in Tapanila, Helsinki. He was tired, even depressed. He had rowed more than 300 kilometers, explored the islands and islets and recorded all the birds he saw in his pocket notebook. Every bay, every cape and island was already familiar to him for more than sixty years. There were also familiar seagulls as individuals.

The trip had been hard, too hard. It had been stormy for several days in a row, and he had also forgotten his tent at home. He had slept in his sleeping bag on the terraces of deserted summer cottages.

"Old age is crueler than I could have expected. Everything has been based on the fact that the body at least obeys," he said. Now the body had betrayed him and it was almost impossible for him to accept it. During the long rowing round, he had realized that he would no longer return to Vanaja to do bird counts. Many times he had thought that I would never see this cape, island or islet again. It had felt wistful.

Now he was sitting in an armchair in Sirka's cozy living room. The sun's rays played on the floor and climbed the walls. His orderly, calm nature emanated a strange power, his presence was strong. Loneliness and defiance had made him a stubborn personality, but in his company you can also sense a genuine interest in another person.

I was encouraged to present my case. I suggested he write a biography. He smiled, but it looked more like a grimace. He doubted that he would not be able to make such an effort again. Anyone who wanted something from him was late, he said, but promised to consider it. The situation was new to him; he had not known the conditional until then, but his answer had been yes or no. Besides, he had felt for a long time that there was no point in talking anymore. "The world is plunging towards its destruction, and we don't want to discuss it. People are chumps and chumps - drifting like slaughter towards their end."

The world is going exactly in the direction he has predicted. He lamented his fate: "It's hard to know or understand things that others don't understand. It is an accident, a burden.”

I came back a few weeks later. I didn't have time to inquire about his answer when he started to tell about his childhood. He told about his youth when I interviewed him, one of many, for my previous book (Nyt vasta näen, Otava 2009). In Linkola, I am interested in the development of his thinking, but also in the contradictions of his personality. He comes from a civilized family and his behavior shows a good home upbringing, but at the same time he is like any common man, earns his living by fishing. His speech and writing are harsh, but on the other hand, you rarely get to read anything as sensitive as what he has written. He is a romantic at heart, but his engine is anger. His opinions are harsh, but he doesn't want to discuss them face-to-face, he just writes because he doesn't want to offend anyone. He likes people, but has chosen solitude. He has a tough exterior, but he cries easily. He doesn't shy away from talking about his deepest feelings, his brokenness. How did he become him?

Pentti Linkola made people think already in the 1950s, when he wrote his first articles in Ylioppilaslehti. In 1960, his pacifist pamphlet was published. He wore the Peace Sign on his chest and was suspected of being a communist. He loathed the communists, but became an advocate of strong governance and began to hate democracy as well. People don't know how to think of their own best interests, instead they vote for leaders who promise a higher standard of living, more goods and more machines, continuous growth. While traveling on his bicycle in the 1950s and 1960s in different parts of Finland doing surveys of birds of prey, he saw what the increase in the standard of living meant for nature. Forests were cut bare in grief. When he found his beloved woodpecker lying on the side of the road, he burst into tears. Finland was turning into an "ugly and raped" country. "I mourn, mourn, mourn...", he wrote.

His writings were cries for distress, attempts to intervene in the exploitation of nature and the way of life of people, which he considered outrageous. In his opinion, all of humanity's problems come back to uncontrolled population growth. Therefore, anything that only reduces the number of people is good for him, wars, starvation, attacks on the twin towers of New York. Political correctness and rules of appropriateness are unfamiliar concepts to him. He writes as he thinks and lives as he writes.

He requires people to live in such a way that the world would be saved. It would mean a return to the 1930s, but people being what they are, in his utopia the citizens are under strict control. Philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright thanked Linkola; there may be times ahead when we need his rigorous program.

Reports on the accelerating extinction of animal species, the effects of pollution, and climate change have awakened more and more people to think that growth cannot continue indefinitely. Pentti Linkola was ahead of his time, and as a great writer he also got his point across.

He has been named Päijänne's prophet, eco-prophet, eco-proclaimer, defender of life, Finland's Rousseau and Kissakulma's Tolstoy. For some he is the Holy Fisherman and the green God, for others a black-talking patriot, eco-ascetic, apostle of death and prophet of doom. He doesn't like being called a dissident, because he thinks everyone who thinks is a dissident. Thinking has become so rare.

The green dictatorship he offered was finally too much even for the greens. To them he is an eco-fascist and an eco-terrorist. Some do not approve of him at all and call him a lunatic and a lunatic. There is no Finn who does not know him.

I had proposed to the publisher Touko Siltala a book about forests, for which I would interview Pentti Linkola, among others. He suggested that I write Pentti Linkola's biography. I interviewed Linkola for fifteen hours at Sirkka Kurki-Suonio's place in Tapanila and at his home in Vähä-Uotila in Ritvala, Sääksmäki, and many more times on the phone. He lent me his archives, including his 45 fishing notebooks and 65 birdwatching diaries. They are laconic, more about weather, fishing and bird sightings than about his thinking or relationships, but when he was having trouble with his mental stamina, he wrote about his feelings. Diaries and interview material form the basis of this book. Direct quotes from his diaries are in italics in the book, as are the letters. I also had access to the hundreds and hundreds of letters he received. The most moving of them are his mother Hilkka Linkola's three hundred letters to her son. Pentti Linkola's late brother Martti Linkola's son Hannu Linkola gave me Pentti's letters to Martti. Linkola found his letter from Martil in his own archives. There were also the ´adventure books´ and poems he had written in stick letters as a child, and the wartime letters to his grandparents. And to his father who died before his time.

In particular, I would like to thank Pentti Linkola's ex-wife Aliisa Sinivaara and the couple's daughters Mirjami Linkola-Auvi and Leena Linkola, as well as Pentti's sister Aira Ruoho for their cooperation.

Contrary to popular belief, Pentti Linkola is not a recluse, he has an exceptionally large number of friends, and he also takes care of his friendships. "I hate humanity, but I like people," he says.

Pentti Linkola, thank you for your trust.

Nilsiä 21.3.2017


HELSINKI University Botanical Garden, Pentti Linkola's childhood environment.

I. CHILDHOOD (1932–1946)


It was banishment from paradise. However, the family had been able to live for one more year after the father's death in his official residence in the main building of the botanical garden in Kaisaniemi and get used to the idea of leaving. Father, Kaarlo Linkola, professor of botany at the University of Helsinki, had also been the supervisor of the botanical garden.

It was April 1943, Pentti Linkola was ten. The blue lilies of the east had just burst into flower on the garden hill. New anti-aircraft guns bought from Germany were installed in different parts of Helsinki. The war against the Soviet Union had turned into a war of position, but the enemy also rarely bombed Helsinki. When an anti-aircraft shell hit the ground, Pentti jumped on his bike and pedaled to collect the shiny fragments of shell and blades before they lost their luster, and before the other boys could. There were a lot of boys and they all wanted to add to their shard collections.

The mother of the family, Hilkka Linkola, looked around. The movers carried the last items onto the truck bed. The children, Pentti, 12-year-old Aira and 6-year-old Martti were already waiting to leave.

Hilkka Linkola said goodbye to the family's old cook, Iida Karttunen. Iida had been a "good and humble" servant. He had inherited Hilkka Linkola's family from his parents Hugo and Greta Suolahte. Cooks and housekeepers were often for life at that time, only nannies changed. However, now Hilkka's mother wanted Elsa Pesu, the family's nanny, to move with them to the new home in Ullanlinna. After their father's death, Pentti and Martti had been even more unruly than usual, and their mother planned for Elsa to help them with discipline. The father's death meant the loss of an important authority, and the children took advantage of the situation. "Mother didn't know how, and wouldn't have had time from her work, to keep the kind of command that we had in our home before," Martti Linkola recalled later.

The old head gardener Karl Edvin Liljeström and the caretaker and heater Puomila and their families also joined the group of farewell guests.

The move upset everyone, but only Elsa Pesu rebelled out loud. He was angry, he felt it was criminal that the family was evicted from their home like that. In his opinion, the university should have honored the memory of the respected scientist and allowed this family to stay in the main building. After all, Kaarlo Linkola had also served as the rector of the university. Hilkka Linkola restrained himself. The children also fell silent.

The family's "year of grace" in the Kaisaniemi home had passed quickly, and organizing the move in the midst of grief had consumed the strength of the 34-year-old widow. Kaarlo Linkola's short-term successor, Professor Colliander, a familyless man, was content to live in the courtyard building in the garden, but his successor, Professor Aarno Kalela, was already waiting with his family for the official apartment to become available.

The main building of the BOTANICAL garden.

University rector Kaarlo Linkola in his office in 1938.

The castle-like, revival-style main building of the garden stood tall on the garden hill. It is still one of Helsinki's most handsome buildings and would perhaps be even more impressive if Emperor Nicholas II had approved architect Gustaf Nyström's original drawings. The emperor was afraid that the building would overshadow the imperial center of Helsinki designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and ordered Nyström to draw a new main building, says the current director of the department, docent Marko Hyvärinen. Nyström removed the castle-like features from the building, left out the tower and changed the facade from red to yellowish, but his thoughts were still in French castle romance. He knew what he wanted. He had designed the Säätytalo, the State Archives and the Old Market Hall. He also designed the winter garden in the Töölönlahti bay and the modern glass and iron palm house of the botanical garden.

The smaller greenhouse of the later completed wing of Palmuhuone still has a giant pool of water. When Pentin's sister Aira, born on Flower Day, was three, a photographer immortalized her sitting on a water lily leaf. The picture ended up in the garden's brochure. Kaarlo Linkola presented the greenhouse collections on the inside pages of the brochure: there were plants from all climate types, from tropical to Mediterranean. Lianas, banana trees, palm trees, pineapples, pepper bushes, a total of 1500 plant species. Thousands of different plants grew in the outdoor garden.

In 1918, when the monarchists were looking for a residence for a possible king of the newly independent state of Finland, their eyes were fixed on the "castle" designed by Nyström.

The Linkolas' 200-square-meter home was on the first floor at the north end of the building. The almost four meter high rooms added to the sense of space. A dark oak panel surrounded the walls of the large dining room. The centerpiece of the hall was Finland's first soapstone stove, in front of which was Linkoloin's oak spiral baroque tableware. The servants served the food to the table.

You had to "behave" at the dinner table, but when there was a box of herring, which the children hated, and the father was asked to answer the phone, Pentti and Aira slipped under the table. After dinner, the parents retreated to the salon, father to read and mother to do crafts or read. The eye-catcher in the salon was a Russian-style white cauldron. The high windows of the dining room and salon opened up an unobstructed view of the center of Helsinki and Siltasaari. An old maple tree grew in front of the children's room window. The servants had their own room.

Father had a study both downstairs and upstairs, where there were teaching rooms and the university's botanical collections. When Kaarlo Linkola went upstairs to his study, he told the children that he was going to university. Father had retained the Savolaine intonation from his school years in Kuopio, and brother Martti heard that father was going to high school. The children were not allowed to go into the father's study without permission, because "papers were not allowed to be moved".


Hilkka Suolahti had time to study biology for three years when her teacher Kaarlo Linkola "snapped" her as a spouse in 1928. Her studies had ended there. "At that time, it was not appropriate for an upper-class lady to go to work," states Pentti Linkola.

Later, Hilkka Linkola's sister Hertta revealed to the children that they had felt sorry for Hilkka when she had to leave her studies and become a lady. Their mother, Greta Suolahti, had studied chemistry and graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Imperial Alexander University in 1902, but her dreams of working as a chemist had ended when she married Hugo Suolahti three years later. Hilka's brother Osmo, the children's uncle, was a doctor of chemistry. Sister Hertta had not wanted to study, but was working at the Suolahtie farm in Kariniemi, Tyrvännö.

Kaarlo Linkola and Hilkka Suolahti had met each other in the master's and doctoral promotion of the Faculty of Philosophy just under two years before their marriage. Kaarlo Linkola had been responsible for the planning and implementation of the event as the director of party expenses, Hilkka Suolahti had been the general wreath maker. His selection had been a great tribute to Hugo Suolahte. In the previous 1923 promotion, Elli Ståhlberg, the daughter of president KJ Ståhlberg, and Sophie Mannerheim, the daughter of the 1919 regent G. Mannerheim, had served as general wreath-bearers.

Hilkka Linkola, general wreath binder of the 1926 promotion.

Kaarlo Linkola rejoiced. "I have taken an important step that will put my home on a happy track," he wrote to his colleague Vilho A. Pesola after getting married.

The young couple was the topic of conversation. Mrs. Hilkka's father, Hugo Suolahti, was a well-known statesman and university chancellor. When Kaarlo Linkola was later appointed rector of the university in 1938, the university was ruled by a family dynasty.

For Kaarlo Linkola, marriage was the second. His first wife, Anna Linkola, nee Ringbom, had also studied biology and geography at the University of Helsinki, but had died during the birth of their child Anssi. The marriage lasted only six years. Linkola was left alone with the newborn. He buried his grief in research work and his passionate nature hobby. "My grief is longing for him. Anna was one of the best women, an absolutely divinely noble and fine character, so noble that I have not been able to feel that anywhere else. Anssi is my joy again... It's too much after my father," Linkola wrote to Vilho A. Pesola.

Kaarlo Linkola's sisters helped him with childcare. Linkola's father, Karl Julius Collan, from Mukka, lived on the nearby Rantakatu across from Eäintarhanlahti, but he was of no help. Linkola's mother Naema Collan had died of tuberculosis years earlier. Kaarlo and Hilkka Linkola's family visited grandfather only rarely; the visits were more obligatory visits. Mukka died in 1938 when Penti was six. "Grandfather was quiet and focused on his own old age."

"MUKKA" Colla, Pentti Linkola's paternal grandfather.

Kaarlo Linkola managed to live for seven years alone with Anssi in the Kaisaniemi official house before marrying Hilkka Suolahte. According to the story, Hilkka Suolahti had met little Anssi while visiting the garden and then got to know Kaarlo Linkola. Ans had a photo of his own mother as a memory. According to the picture and the portrait on the hall wall, his mother had been a real beauty. Pentti compared his own mother to the woman in the picture: his mother was "ordinary looking". "As a parent, my mother was funny-looking for her age, gentle and affectionate. And he was a pretty good writer too."

Kaarlo Linkola was a civil servant and priest family of the Collans from Savoia. He had Finnished his name after his grandfather's farm in Sulkava when he attended Kuopio Lyceum. Writer Johannes Linnankoski's call on the centenary of JV Snellman's birth in May 1906 to Finnish foreign surnames had sparked a mass movement, and within two years almost 70,000 Finns finnished their names.

Linkola's father, Karl Julius Collan, was the crown prince of Kuopio and Liperi, and was stationed in Kuopio during his son's high school years. Kaarlo Linkola's mother, Naema Collan, was the daughter of the mayor of Vaasa, Karl Oscar Elfving. Naema's sister Ester, a writer and journalist, had written, among other things, a biographical novel about Mathilda Wrede, a helper of prisoners and the underprivileged. She had married the first president of Finland, KJ Ståhlberg, in his presidential year in 1920, when both had become widows. Topakka Ester Ståhlberg founded the Finland branch of Save the Children organization and through it acquired foster homes for civil war orphans. Kaarlo and Hilkka Linkola and their children visited Ester and KJ Ståhlberg in Kulosaari. Pent remembered the aunt as a harsh and dry woman. "Even though KJ Ståhlberg was a dignified gentleman, he still offered us candies."

For Kaarlo Linkola's father, Karl Julius Collan, the early years of the century in Kuopio were the most difficult of his career. His superior, the governor of Kuopio County, Martti A. Berg, scrupulously followed the orders of the Governor General of Finland, and the pro-Finnish Collan's oath of office obliged him to obey his superior. Still, he often looked through his fingers at the actions of opposition-minded Savoans defying the pro-Russian leadership. When the governor ordered the arrest of writer Minna Canth's son Jussi Canth, Collan kept the arrest warrant in his pocket long enough for him to escape to Sweden. Still, he got used to being publicly scolded. He was called a traitor to the motherland and a henchman of the Russians.

During the Great Strike of 1905, people were agitated, and there were numerous incidents in the Kuopio region as well. In fear of riots, a security guard was established in the city, which was joined by the eldest of Collani's eight sons, Kaarlo and Ilmari. In Helsinki, Kaarlo Linkola enrolled in the academic battalion of the Helsinki Guardian Council and was later a supporter member of the club. Brother Ilmari, who worked as a scribe for his company, fell on the side of the whites in a civil war battle on Ahvola's Hanhimäki in Jääske.

Born in 1888, Kaarlo Linkola was fond of nature and camping and started collecting plants already in his first school summer. The hobby took on new dimensions when he got to know OAF Lönnbohm, the brother of writer Eino Leino, who worked as a national school inspector in Kuopio. The original Lönnbohm had previously collected words, but later became interested in plants. In 1896, Lönnbohm founded Kuopio's Nature Friends Association, and in 1905, Kaarlo Linkola and his colleagues founded the association's youth section. He was elected vice president of the department. 1904 Linkola received a credit assignment: he organized the plant collections of the Kuopio museum.

Kaarlo Linkola's career progressed rapidly. He began his studies in botany in 1907 at the University of Helsinki, obtained his doctorate eight years later in 1916, and three years after that he was appointed docent and shortly thereafter professor of botany at the University of Turku. In 1925 he was invited to Helsinki to the position of professor of botany. When Professor Fredrik Elfving retired in 1926, the then 38-year-old Linkola succeeded him as the head of the Department of Botany. The duties of the supervisor of the Botanical Garden were attached to the position.

The 300th anniversary of the University of HELSINKI on September 5, 1940. Marshal Mannerheim, university rector Kaarlo Linkola and vice-rector Edwin Linkomies.

Kaarlo Linkola was more comfortable in nature than in laboratories. He was a botanist and "outdoor biologist", a keen observer of nature and a fast and tireless hiker. His summers were spent doing research in different parts of Finland. He dabbled in tube plants, mosses, algae and lichens, but his passion was meadow plants.

Kaarlo Linkola wrote more than a hundred scientific publications, but his major work on the study of meadow plants was left unfinished. "No one was able to translate the entries he made in his notebooks into Finnish after his death, and his great work on meadow plants in Impilahti in Laatokan Karelia was partly wasted," says Pentti Linkola.

During the war, 1938–1941, Linkola served as a university rector for one three-year term. The highlight of his rectorship was the university's 300th anniversary celebration in September 1940, where Marshal Mannerheim handed him Finland's highest honor awarded to the university, the Cross of Freedom.

You could sense dark tones in the precious occasion. Finland and the Soviet Union had signed a peace treaty only half a year earlier on March 12, in which Finland lost Karelia. For Kaarlo Linkola, the loss was also personal; he had collected the material for his dissertation in the regions on the northern side of Laatoka, and after completing the dissertation, spent most of his summers in Karelia until the winter war.

Already in the spring, well before the university's 300th anniversary, the post office issued a stamp related to the topic. On May 5, 1940, Kaarlo Linkola sent a stamped letter to his 7-year-old son, who enjoys postmarking. Dear Pentti. Yes, you might have been surprised when you received this letter in the mail. It has such a remarkable stamp that you have never seen before. And yet it is Finnish. It is our university's celebratory stamp in honor of the university's 300th anniversary. That is why the words "Universitas Helsingiensis" and the years 1640–1940 are printed on it. Now we are collecting all such signs, so that there would be enough for you and Mapanki's great-grandsons. Father

As a botanist, Linkola was also interested in broader ecological issues.

In 1925, when the State Council asked Metsähallitus for a report on the separation of eight protected areas from state lands in Lapland and Kuusamo, Linkola was given the task of investigating whether they could be formed into national parks or other nature reserves.

The task was pleasant. For him, nature conservation was a national duty, and he "jumped on his long legs" during the two summer months exploring the areas. Thanks to his ascetic nature, he managed even in difficult conditions, and already the following summer he submitted his report to Metsähallitus. In it, he emphasized that only in northern Finland, in the terrain of Pallas and Ounastuntur in Upper Lapland, there were "larger magnificent samples of original nature". He wrote to his colleague Vilho A. Pesola that the area was "an incomparable piece of state land that offers a true image of Lapland in all its grandeur; with its large-featured fells and eye-popping sloughs".

In 1928, the Parliament approved a bill on the establishment of nature parks and national parks, but it was not confirmed due to the unfinished major division. Linkola continued his work to establish protected areas, but only ten years later in 1938, after numerous reports and presentations, the parliament approved the law. Malla and Pisavaara nature parks and Pallas and Ounastunturi and Pyhätunturi national parks were the first to be established.

The delay in the law partly led to the organization of the nature conservation movement. Kaarlo Linkola was at the forefront of that work. He was founding the Finnish Nature Conservation Association, the current Finnish Nature Conservation Association, and served as its chairman until his death.

He was in correspondence with numerous of his German and Swiss brothers in office. He sent encouraging cards to amateur botanists so that they would be able to collect material for the botanical museum. He knew how to socialize with common people and enjoyed their company. As a reward, they gave him folk names of plants.

Linkola was also interested in tribal peoples, but that was also linked to his research work. He chaired the Finnish-Baltic Botanical Union, which included Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and often visited the neighboring countries.

"For him, science and other cultural life were international, and his ideas about nature conservation also came from abroad. At that time, Germany was a pioneer in the field in Europe", writes Teuvo Suominen in the history of the Finnish environmental movement, The Songbird's Legacy (Suomen Luonnonsuojeliitto, 2008).


Pentti Linkola's mother Hilkka Suolahti was from an old cultured family. His father Hugo Suolahti, until 1906 Palander, had finnished his name like Kaarlo Linkola during the Finnish wave. Suolahti is a creative Finnish translation of the Latin-based Palander, a swamp dweller.

Hugo Suolahti was a professor of Germanic philology and a respected university man. His scientific achievements were related to lexicographic research, but most of his time was spent in administrative duties. Before his appointment as chancellor of the University of Helsinki in 1926, he served as the university's vice chancellor and principal. He was Chancellor for 18 years until his death.

Hugo Suolahte played an important role in changing the teaching language of the university to Finnish. In 1935, the government proposed that the University of Helsinki be changed mainly to Finnish, but the students pushed for the university to be completely Finnish. At their meeting on January 23, the students decided to start a student strike and leave Helsinki on extra trains as a protest. At the end of the meeting, they went in a torchlight procession on Merikatu as a tribute to the university's chancellor Hugo Suolahte, who, like the students, demanded that education be completely translated into Finnish. Suolahti spoke from the balcony of his home in Koitere to a crowd of more than a thousand high school students gathered in front of it. "The nation and its culture are driven forward by completely different forces than politics, although that is also important," Helsingin Sanomat and Uusi Suomi quoted him in the next day's newspaper.

Hugo Suolahti considered social activity to be the duty of academic civility. When Finland declared itself an independent state in 1917, he, like his brothers, supported the monarchists, and the following year was founding the National Coalition Party. The founding meeting elected him as the chairman of the party. In the next election period 1919–1921, he served as a representative of the coalition, in the presidential election of 1925 he was a candidate of the coalition. The quiet and gentle Greta Suolahti did not enjoy being in public and even avoided situations where she would have been exposed. To his relief, country ally Lauri Kristian Relander became president.

During JK Paasikivi's term as CEO of Kansallis-Sake-Pank, Hugo Suolahti was the vice-chairman of the supervisory board. Paasikivi had tantrums, and the gentle and social Suolahti mediated their unpleasant consequences. Pentti listened secretly as grandfather blessed Paasikivi's difficult nature in the living room of his home.

Hugo Suolahti also socialized diligently with his German colleagues, met them and corresponded with them. At that time, Germany was the absolute number one for Finnish scientists. One of Suolahti's acquaintances was the historian and cultural philosopher Oswald Spengler, who visited them. In his two-volume major work The Destruction of the West (1918–1922), Spengler proved that cultures are organism-like systems that are born, go through certain stages of development and die. He predicted that Western culture would die within 200-300 years. Spengler's visit was reminded of the armchair named after him in Koiteree's salon.

Hugo Suolahte was often spoken of as a "model of national culture". He participated in the activities of numerous science and art political funds at the board level and was the honorary chairman of the Finnish Cultural Fund. When he turned 60, the country's top management, from President Svinhufvud to Parliament Speaker Kyösti Kallioo, including the country's government, came to congratulate him. During the Winter War, Suolahti appealed to his German scientific colleagues to make Finland's cause known in Germany.

Hugo Suolahte's spouse, Linkola's children's grandmother Greta was from the von Fieandtie noble family on her father's side and the von Essenie noble family on her mother's side. After being elected Hämeenlinna's district doctor, Greta von Fieandt's father Dr. Karl von Fieandt moved with his wife Eva and seven children from Oulu to Hämeenlinna in 1897. When Hugo Suolahde's parents Edvard and Ottilia Palander moved with their family to Helsinki in 1904, the von Fieandts bought from them the building still known as Palander's house on Lukiokatu in Hämeenlinna.

Like his family, Hilkka Linkola also supported right-wing ideas. Her mother's father, county doctor Karl-Johan von Fieandt, had supported the whites in the civil war, and when an event was organized in Hämeenlinna market to celebrate the end of the civil war in May 1918, the grandfather took the then 11-year-old Hilka with him. Hilkka later wrote in his diary: The rebellion was shocking and traumatic in many ways, but the happy ending was still an immense relief. It was a great experience of liberation when the German brothers in arms liberated Hämeenlinna from the power of the red terror in May 1918. It was amazing when together in the town square we carved 'God owns our castle', the Germans in German and the Hämeenlinna people in Finnish. At that time, grandfather was moved to tears that he still got to see Finland as independent, and he couldn't help but add his second dream to the same breath: If only he could still see a woman in the pulpit.

Dr. Karl von Fieandt, like his father, wanted to promote the position of women: his daughter, Pentin's grandmother Greta, was one of the first female graduates of Oulu Lyseo and had a final degree from the university.

Hugo Suolahde's father, Edvard Palander, had worked as a language lecturer at the Hämeenlinna Normal Lyceum, but now moved to the position of head teacher of Russian language courses organized by the state. Although he was a gifted language person, he did not get the inspector's position he was looking for. The reason was perhaps political. As a representative of Hämeenlinna, he had been taking the big address created by the manifesto of February 1899 to St. Petersburg and was therefore a marked man.

One year after the sale of the house, in 1905, the wedding of Greta von Fieandt and Hugo Palander, later Suolahti, was celebrated in the Palanderi house, which was important to both of them.


Pentti Linkola was born on December 7, 1932. The boy came and he was a big boy, much more than 4 kilos. No doctor came to the scene, and even the midwife updated when she couldn't get a rubber glove on the other hand when you had to be admitted, mother recalled later in her letter (December 4, 1997) to Pent. You were quite a park baby (…) you really watched as a baby. When your sister slept like an angel. But you were a prodigy when it came to eating. Everything that was offered was fine. You started walking already at the age of 10 months, so you've always been in a hurry.

Pentti was impossibly fussy, downright hyperactive. After learning to walk, he didn't stay still for a moment. "There seems to be a name for that kind of behavior." Pentti also spoke all the time, initially in his own language. Only Aira understood it and acted as Pent's interpreter. Pentti "recited" from memory the nursery rhymes that mother read to them.

At the age of one and a half, Pentti got severe angina and had to lie in bed all spring. Antibiotics hadn't been invented yet, and many died from infections that are now easily treated. When the disease finally eased, Pentin had to learn to walk again. The family doctor, Dr. Uroma, who was unpopular with Pent, visited him regularly. When a vaccine against diphtheria was invented, he went to vaccinate the children. Gourd rot was feared. Mother's youngest sister Tellervo or Lelle had died of it at the age of four, and grandfather's brother Eino Suolahte's son Heikki, a talented composer, at the age of 18.

Before Pent was born, the family had managed their daily lives with the help of one servant, a cook. Now they also hired a nanny. Aira was upset; the nannies liked Pent more, who was "a happy boy and loved food". Aira suspected that he did not know how to give sufficient value to the work of the assistants and therefore fell out of favor with them. One of the parent's educational principles was that those in a less significant position could not be discriminated against or put down, and especially the helpers had to behave nicely and respectfully.

Aira and Pentti fought constantly. Pentti pulled Aira by her thick hair, and Aira blocked Pentti. At times, the siblings' quarrels escalated into wild matches where they kicked each other.

Pentti also had tantrums while playing and things went flying. The target was, of course, Aira's sister. When Aira started to cry, Pentti rushed crying to her mother, and the mother thought that something had happened to Pentti, but Pentti was crying because she had been mean to her sister.

Playing with the little brother Marti, four years younger, was different from playing with the sister. Martin's experience from those times was that even as an adult, Pentti decided what to play with and subjected him to his will. During the war, the boys played endlessly with their more than 500 tin soldiers. Pentti knew by heart the names of Finnish and German generals in alphabetical order. In his dreams, he was often a soldier himself, the war dreams continued even in adulthood, but more often than when he was fighting, he was swimming in his dreams.

When the children had misbehaved or were otherwise troublesome, they were awaited by their father in the evening. The father sat solemnly behind his large desk in his downstairs office, while the children confessed their "sins" to him standing next to the table. The father didn't discipline them, just seriously stated that "you can't be like that". Finally, he asked the miscreant if he was okay now. Aira could answer "no", but Pentti quickly answered "yes".

"Father was not scary, but awe-inspiring. We didn't laugh for nothing in his company," Pentti Linkola remembers. Martti-veli later described his father in his writing in the book Lapsuudenkotini (Kirjayhtämä 1985): Despite his busy life and demanding job, he was not a person who withdrew from his family or immersed himself in his work in a disturbing way, but a warm and considerate father. Martti had later written "not true" in the margin.

Pentti also sensed "extra tension" in Issa. "Dad created a tense atmosphere in our home."

Later, Pentti heard from his mother that his stepfather, "Mukka", had been very strict according to his father, and Kaarlo Linkola had told his spouse that he did not want to repeat his mistakes. He had hoped that Hilkka's mother would have been in charge of order, but she had a gentle nature, and discipline did not come from her. In the end, the parents agreed that the father would give the children a gentle talk if necessary, and the mother's task was left to act as a messenger. The father didn't have much time to spend with his children, but "he was kind to us". According to Pentti Linkola, more time would have been a disaster: "A person who has so much to give to humanity can easily leave childcare to others."

For Aira, Pent and Mart, the botanical garden was a playground. They ruled it, especially in winter, and ignored the prohibitions of head gardener Liljeström. They skied over the plantings and skied down the garden hill so that the Latin nameplates of the rock plants, stiff in the light snow, flew around and disappeared. The situation was difficult for Liljeström; the garden's pebble group, founded in 1884, was Finland's first, and the children of his supervisor, Professor Linkola, were completely unruly.

The shower pool in front of the greenhouse was covered for the winter, and climbing on it was already strictly forbidden for safety reasons, but Pentti and Aira had fun there too. When they saw that the big and somewhat scary head gardener was approaching, they shouted that "Lilka is coming" and ran away. Little brother Martti was with them more and more often.

When Pentti couldn't think of anything else to do, he bombarded passers-by with snowballs or threw dry leaves into the gatekeeper's booth. The porter, dressed in a brown hat and blue coat, sat in his booth all day from nine in the morning to nine in the evening and closed the garden gate when he left.

Sometimes the father took the children with him for a walk. The tall Kaarlo Linkola walked ahead and the children lined up behind him along the garden's sandy corridors. They returned home through the Kaisaniemi park on the side of the Zoo. The trips were not long, but they were so rare that they remained in the children's memory. "They were a huge experience." In the winter, dad skied around the botanical garden. When the ice melted, he took the children with him on a walk to Korkeasaari. Father and mother also went for a walk together.

"Mother would undoubtedly have been a very motherly mother," Pentti Linkola recalls, "but mother's time was spent alongside her spouse in representative duties and childcare was left to nannies." Hilkka Linkola was a sociable and cheerful person, but she was not a social diva. "She was a family mother who dabbled in literature."

Hilkka Linkola liked Chinese, Japanese and especially French poetry, which she read in the original language. At the beginning of his studies, he had studied French for four months in Lausanne, Switzerland. He often had a work by Saima Harmaja or Elina Vaara open on his bedside table. The beautiful and impeccable Finnish language was important to Hilkka Linkola. During his school days, he had edited the Nalle magazine of the Finnish Cooperative School's natural science club. He used the typewriter to clean up his spouse's publications and other official papers.


The First World War had caused Hugo and Greta Suolahti to fear a possible food shortage, and during the war they had acquired a 70-hectare farm in Kariniemi on the banks of Vanajanselkä on the border between Tyrvännö and Sääksmäki. The farm included a field and a large garden with berry bushes and vegetables, and there were six cows, a bull and two horses in the barn. The ulterior motive of the grandfather, who was attached to the land and agriculture, was that the heirs would also learn to appreciate farming.

KARINIEMI's main building.

SUMMER in Kariniemi: left. Greta Suolahti, Osmo Suolahti, Hilkka Linkola holding Pentti, Aira Linkola, Hugo Suolahti, Anssi Linkola.

Grandmother, Hilkka's mother and children Aira, Pentti and Martti moved to Kariniemi on the first day of June and returned to Helsinki on the evening of the last day of August. Father and Iso, as the children called grandfather, came to Kariniemi as soon as they got time off from work. The children were excitedly waiting to go to Kariniemi, the trip was already an experience. Mother made small and medium-sized "Riihimäki sandwiches" as a travel snack. The sandwiches got their name from the fact that you couldn't eat them before Riihimäki.

They traveled from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna by train. When the train was late, mother took the colt in front of the station and the horse ran full trot to the quayside. From Laivaranta, the journey continued on the s/s Into steamship across Vanajanselkä to Kariniemi ship pier. Kariniemi had everything Pentti could dream of. Fishing waters, beach, strawberry groves, forests and later also birds.

In summer, there were a lot of people in the manor villas, because there were no private cottages, and even in Kariniemi, all seven bedrooms upstairs were constantly full of guests. Osmo-eno also enjoyed himself with his wife Helena Hrimaly and her German-born mother in Kariniemi. The grandparents stayed in a small villa on the outskirts.

Kaarlo Linkola, Aira Linkola and grandfather Hugo Suolahti at KARNIIEMI's greenhouse.

The cooks prepared the food, and the servants served it to the table. Grandma bought liters of wild strawberries from the village children for dessert. Pentti watched the wild strawberries ripen in his own mariko on a nearby hill, and when the berries threatened to dry up in the sun, he carried water for them in a watering can. In the 1930s, garden strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes were not yet known in the countryside, but they were also grown in Kariniemi. The greenhouse was grandfather's pride and he went every morning to check what stage the tomatoes were in. Pentti was also impatiently waiting for the harvest to ripen, and one morning, when he thought everyone else was still asleep, he ran to the greenhouse in his shirt before his grandfather. The first tomato was ripe and he couldn't resist the temptation and ate it. Tomato juice dripped from his mouth when grandfather surprised him in the yard. Aira watched the development of the situation in horror from the bedroom window. He heard how grandfather asked Pent who has eaten my tomato. "Pentti, who wasn't afraid of anyone or anything, answered that I was." The grandfather looked the boy in the eyes and stated that "there is only one me in this family and that is me". The son's answer, ready for words, satisfied the grandfather: "Then I am the little me."

HILKKA and Kaarlo Linkola, Eino Suolahti and Hugo Suolahti.

The farm manager, herdsman and farm workers and servants hired according to the work situation took care of the model farm. Pehtori and Karjakko and their families lived in a residential building next to the barn. Cowgirls churned butter with a separator in the milk room. The servants had enough work in the rich flower plantings of the mansion. A jasmine bed stretched from the villa's yard down to the shore. There were fire-red giant poppies and marigolds that bloom from mid-summer to autumn. Big and grandma enjoyed the splendor of flowers, Äiti-Hilkka loved flowers, Pentti tied bouquets of wild flowers and sold them to the aunts. Flying squirrels were jumping in the big pine trees in the yard. The starlings peeked out of their nests. On the way to the beach sauna, there was the Kariniemi grove, which had its own rich birdlife, warblers, grebes and woodpeckers. On dark autumn evenings, the rustling of branches could be heard from the forest as the villagers secretly picked nuts from the nut bushes in the grove. Rare pencil elms also grew there.

The children swam on Kariniemi's rocky shore and caught pebbles in the ponds they built out of sand. Twice in the summer, the family took a day trip to the sandy beaches of Keso island. In the courtyard of the villa, they play cards and tips. Pent had its own fortress site on the hill between the main building and the beach. In many summers, he dragged heavy stones there from the beach, but even though the castle was already impressive, he didn't think it was ready.

LITTLE BOY'S summer happiness in Kariniemi: bream from the catfish.

In the evenings, grandma and aunts gathered to talk and drink tea on the long porch overlooking the beach. In Kariniemi, the father was just another sidekick for Pent. Flowers, berries and forests were much more important to him. It wasn't until decades later that he learned that his father had also carried out botanical field surveys around Kariniemi and found two previously unknown species of mosses and a rare mixed form of gray alder and tar alder on the Kariniemi beach. He had planted culleras on the beach, but they have all disappeared.

As much as Pentti Linkola loved Helsinki and cars as a child, the three summer months in Kariniemi were much more important. Kariniemi drew him to the countryside and nature.

Aira had time to start school at Kaisaniemi National School before the family moved to Ullanlinna. His parents gave him a key, which he used to get through the small staff gate in the garden and straight across the Kaisaniemi park to the school. It was necessary to return home before the gatekeeper closed the garden gate at nine in the evening. The fence surrounding the garden isolated the area from the rest of the environment, and Pentsi had an early desire to expand his territory. His parents warned him about street boys, who were "inappropriate company", but Pentti was curious and often moved around Sörka's restless alleys as well. When Martti grew up, Pentti took him along on his research trips to the other side of Pitkänsilla.

Aira, Pentti and Martti didn't think that their family's life was upper class. Only Aira could marvel at the fact that the heater's family of five was crammed into a small living room, but they had enough space for helpers as well. The heater made sure that the fire in the main building's hearth burned day and night. At the Kaisaniemi public school, Aira learned that many families lived in much more modest conditions than hers. He went to school with "street boys" and learned what "poor smell" meant.

Once, when Hilkka Linkola was returning with her children from shopping at Hakaniemi market, a young woman told her on Pitkälläsilla about her intention to jump into the sea. The startled Hilkka Linkola called the woman and her little boy over, and gave them clothes and some money. The same thing happened a few times. Once Aira and Pentti were together at home when a woman came to their door with her son. They made them sandwiches, but they had nothing to put on the sandwiches but pickles.

The Linkolas could have lived a very upper-class life, but because of Kaarlo Linkola's ascetic nature, they lived deliberately modestly. The professor had gotten himself a tailcoat for official events, but Hilkka's wife didn't have a single extra dress or shoes. The cook prepared the food, but Hilkka Linkola did the grocery shopping. Before the wars, he walked every morning with his children across Pitkänsilla to Hakaniemi market to choose good butter and the best fish. "A wonderful aunt sold cheese in the hall," Pentti remembers.

When Aira started school, Pentti started going to a German kindergarten on Malminkatu. The Japanese ambassador's daughter Joshiko Kato, Pent's first crush, was in day care at the same shelter. After meeting Joshiko, Pentti talked about nothing but the beautiful and lovely Japanese girl. When Aira and her mother saw Joshiko, they said that the girl was just as beautiful as Pentti had described.

PENTTI In a German kindergarten.

The parents had high expectations for Pent and they enrolled him in Helsinki Suomalaisene Yhteskoulu. "SYK was an elite school whose mission was to prepare gentlemen for this country." With a university career in mind, his parents chose Latin as his second foreign language, Swedish studies started already in the first grade. When he started school, Pentti knew everything that Aira had learned in school until then. He read and wrote fluently and was able to skip the second grade in preparatory school. "He was unbearably smart, knew everything. After all, it had nothing to do at school except to disturb," Sister Aira recalls. Only music theory went beyond Pent's understanding. "It was a hair and I didn't understand anything about it and I rebelled against it." In the singing tests, Pentti sang Oolanni's war as loudly as he could. The defiant performance annoyed the music teacher Siuko, and he complained about Pent to the school's headmistress. There was musicality in Pent's father's side of the family, but it was not passed down to him. Karl Collan, who lived in the middle of the 19th century, has composed, among others, Zachris Topelius' poem Sylvia's Christmas Carol, Savolainen's song and Vaasa's march. The prolific composer also translated the Kalevala into Swedish.

SYK's teachers in the 1930s, in the top row, 4th from the left, headmaster AA Koskenjaakko.

Going to school was easy for Pent, but it was impossible for him to sit still. Rather than at school, he would have been digging stamps out of trash cans, changing aquarium fish, and collecting registration numbers of cars, especially post vans, or PA numbers, and writing statistics about them. "I was in a terrible hurry, and then school came, which prevented all proper activities."

School discipline was also too much for Pent. He messed around with everything forbidden in the classroom, shot the blackboard with a slingshot, and the teacher immediately kicked him out of the class. Pentti was often interviewed by principal AA Koskenjaako. The situation was awkward for Koskenjaak, because he was married to Pent's grandmother, Greta's grandmother's sister.

During recess, fights often broke out and a group of boys quickly gathered around the quarrelsome boys to shout and encourage the troublemakers. Pentti was usually the other party in the fights. Aira was ashamed for her brother and for once she wondered to her mother why such a brat wasn't sent to an educational institution. He was even more ashamed if Pentti cried after losing a fight. Mother got used to Pent's constant follow-up sessions and home reminders, and younger brother Martti was not much better than Pent. "Only Aira was a perfect model student," states Pentti Linkola. Kirsti Salomies, wife of Bishop Ilmari Salomie of the Helsinki Diocese, who worked as a teacher at the preparatory school, once told Aira about Pent that "it doesn't help, no matter how wise and intelligent you are, if you don't know how to behave".

KAARLO Linkola's 50th anniversary: Anssi, Pentti, Hilkka, Aira, Martti and Kaarlo Linkola.


Pentti started doing postmarking around the same time he learned to read and write at the age of five. You didn't have to look any further for stamps than dad's wastebasket. Postmarking was a popular hobby at the time and many of his schoolmates were also into it. They exchanged and sold brands to each other, and eventually Pent had an almost complete Suomi collection. Like many of his classmates, he also collected stamps from Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Pentti also designed and drew stamps himself, which the family then used in their internal correspondence. There was a mailbox in the vestibule for internal mail. Pentti derived the country names of the brands he designed from the first names of family members: Penttilä, Marttila, Airala, Hilkkala. The servants also got their own country names, Elsala and Marjala. There were hundreds of different stamps, and he drew more all the time. There were Red Cross badges, long lion badges, triangle badges, statesman badges and the entire Elf Series. There were more than 50 different Penttilä tower series stamps, different colors, serrated and non-serrated. Pentti designed 274 different brands for the Penttilä series, completed in 1946 alone.

When Pent was in a hurry to get an answer to his letter, he took it directly to the recipient, the father, on his desk. The father replied: When I am writing to you now, I am at the same time thanking you for the many little letters that some mysterious person has brought to my desk in the past few weeks. There have been very funny pictures in those letters. Maybe you will become the kind of man who writes a lot in his life. Maybe you write a lot of thick books. It would be very funny for Dad if that happened. This letter doesn't need to get longer than this, when we have our own way and we can then speak our mind. I'm just sending happy greetings from Father's room to the children's room. Father

The father saw his son's literary tendencies, but did his wishes influence Pent's choices? In any case, writing became an important part of his life.

While the classmates were learning the alphabet, Pentti was already delivering a children's magazine for the family to read. The name of the first was Lasten lehti, the second Pääskyne and the third Kampela. Pent had to be busy all the time, he couldn't bear to be idle for a moment. The magazines were filled with short news, stories and question-and-answer stories written by him in the style of How many cities have you been to, what is your most exciting adventure? The defendants, mother, assistants and sisters, hid behind the name tags. Pentti also came up with: Sparkling Cow, Pyryrakka, Mr. Hay.

The May 1940 magazine ends with Pent's song lyrics: And Adam was a soldier and he was terrible. He went full force and broke hell. And the second: This tie is a piece of hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray. And every morning of the party, it has to be put on me, sumfrara, etc. He used the nickname Peppu for himself. Pentti tried to force Airanki to write, but he did not agree. However, every member of the family had to read the magazine.

With pocket money left over from postage, Pentti bought boys' adventure books from antique shops. The most exciting and at the same time the best of the books was Bertil Cleve's Red River Indians, published in the Adventure World book series. Many of the books published in the Boys' Adventure Library series were also popular with Pent. Jalmari Sauli, Kaarlo Nuorvala, Yrjö Rauanheimo, Jalmari Finne, Jussi Lappi-Seppälä, among others, were the authors of the series. The subject of the books revolved around the war: Ajojahti, The Secret of Ryssänsaari, Major Condemned to Death. Pentti drew inspiration from books for his own stories.

"KAARLO became the principal and Ylioppilaslehti came to photograph the whole family," wrote Hilkka Linkola in the family album.

He was a diligent writer and wrote long stories in stick letters. After inheriting his grandfather's typewriter, he started writing with it. The books were booklets made of soft "propaganda" or squared paper folded twice and bound with sewing thread. Satuja Pentti, his first collection of fairy tales completed in 1941, was dedicated to his younger brother Marti. The first story in the book, The Tale of Pupila, ends sadly: Soon news came that Paps and Pops' father had died. Pops and Paps went to the funeral with their wives, but the mother bunny was so sad at the funeral that she too died of sadness. Paps and Pops started to cry, but the bunny aunts comforted them as best they could. When the funeral was over, Paps and Pops sadly went to their own homes.

Pent's books had a publisher according to the adult world model. It was Kusstannusliike Kultainen Kotka's printing house. In the same year, 1941, he wrote his first "Indian novels" in the Tales and Adventures series: The Chase, Pentti-poja's outing, Punanahat, Martti and me. The books are flying: Hurry up, I shouted to my friend Martti Vasara. "It's not worth it, Pena," he said hopelessly. We ran for our lives from about fifteen "devils", as we called the Seminole Indians. We had been spying on the main camp of that hostile tribe of Indians, but the keen eye of the Indians had discovered us. "As long as there is life, there is also hope. Remember that!” I said. If you don't change your mind immediately, I will leave you alone to the prey of those "devils". These words worked. Martti increased his speed quite a lot.

FATHER and son: Kaarlo and Martti Linkola.

Pentti was passionately interested in numbers and already as a little boy started to collect registration numbers of post cars. In the 1930s, there were only a few passenger cars in Helsinki. There were more mail cars and trucks, but there were hardly ten thousand cars in total. In addition to postal truck numbers, he also collected the numbers of large stores such as Elanto's bread and milk trucks and Kuljetusliike Hakonen's cars. He knew the numbers of the trains bringing trees to Halkosatama, Helsinki. In Elanto's garages, the boy messing around with anger and a pen was not looked upon favorably. His intentions were uncertain, and the workers evicted him many times, but Pentti returned, he had work to do. Eventually, the employees got used to him and he was allowed to record truck numbers in his notebook in peace.

Pent's favorites were Elanto's tall Brockway brand bread trucks 14 and 16, whose sides opened with dozens of bread box compartments and whose drivers wore baker's hats. He was also well informed about the routes and schedules of the bread and milk trucks. He knew by heart the numbers of the mail cars running on the Helsinki-Kouvola-Miehikkälä and Helsinki-Lahti-Jyväskylä lines. When Pentti was in Kariniemi, father listed the numbers of the cars he saw in the postcards he sent. In the family's internal mail, the mother answered (January 18, 1941) Pent's question about what she had seen with Marti on her grandmother's trip. ...we saw PA7 and PA137 standing in front of Suomen Bank.

Pent's classmate Risto Pelkonen also collected car registration numbers, and they competed to see who had seen the biggest one. Later, Pent's other classmate Jukka Lehtinen and younger brother Martti joined the "auto bongars". The brothers report to each other about the cars they see via internal family mail. At the same time, they told about the day's events. Hi Mapa! In the morning, when I went to school, I saw Alko 9, Viktor Ek 5N, MVMK 20, which nowadays no longer owns its long load, and 29. But the best and most wonderful thing, as I crossed Arkadiankatu, locomotive 544 popped up from below! (…) At school, during chemistry class, Juhani Lihtonen was ordered to stand. When the teacher's eye averted, I tried to knock him over, causing him to scream for help. So I was kicked out. In gymnastics class, while we were skating, I saw jumbo 109, 110, 113, 254. In history class, substitute Voipio asked us to put the books away. I asked him if it was enough to close the book or if it should be put on the desk. I was then driven outside again, where I slept on the windowsill, counted to 900 and saw some cars, e.g. Livelihood 6.12. Well hello! Shame.

In cars, Pentti was only interested in their appearance, not engines or other technical issues. He used a pencil to draw pictures of the cars in his notebook on the fly, but it often happened that the car started moving before he could finish his work. Then he pedaled his bike after the car, but often it took a lot of effort to find the car, and even then the car didn't necessarily stay in place long enough for him to finish the drawing. For each drawing he gave himself a grade, 8 and 9 being common numbers. He rated the Fiat A-4609 he drew on October 14, 1947 as worth 9+. There is not a single performance of the top ten in that year's list. He rated his drawing of Elanto's 6-16 Brockway-4389 as only worth an eight.

He always had a notebook with him and he also made lists of school meals and morning hymns. The numbers of the hymns and their words remained in his mind. When the hymnal was reformed in 1986 "in a rogue way", he accepted only one hymn, which begins with the words "Let the morning shine again." Before the reform, the hymn began Again the blessed morning creates its light. "The ugly reformers of Jouluvirtta 21 didn't bother to move anyway." The list of school meals is monotonous: pea soup, porridge, herring box, brown sauce and potatoes.

He also wrote down the readings of his bicycle's odometer. Many five kilometers came because of the post session. The bikes were of poor quality, and he had to take the bike to the Red Cross bike service or Latupyörä to be repaired. Often, the rubber on the bike burst already while inflating the tire. He had a separate notebook in which he wrote down all his expenses.

All of Pent's same Christmas gifts also ended up in the notebook, as well as the books he read and later also bought as gifts. For lack of anything better, he wrote down the flies and flies he killed in his notebook: 31, 40, 54, 58. Once he started counting something, there was no end to it. He insisted that the streaks continued unbroken.


Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who became the leader of Germany in 1934, was also a topic of conversation in Finland. For Kaarlo Linkola, Germany was the "cradle of culture". The entire academic world took an example from the research work carried out at German universities. The Suolahti were also pro-German, but when they heard that Hitler came from a lower social class, their attitude towards National Socialism became critical. Many of Kaarlo Linkola's German colleagues were also suspicious of Hitler because of his educational background.

On the eve of the Winter War in 1937, Kaarlo and Hilkka Linkola made a long business trip to Germany that lasted more than a month, but even then Hitler's plans did not dawn on them. When they returned home, they were horrified by the bus seating rules; some pews had read no to jews. It was also strange that Kaarlo Linkola's close colleague at the University of Frankfurt was made to live with his family in the basement of his home after he criticized the National Socialists. At the same time, German soldiers lived in their home.

The children contracted measles and whooping cough during the parents' trip to Germany, and the grandmother hired a nurse to take care of them. Father and mother sent them letters and cards together and separately, and Pent's stamp collections grew. He was five and a half years old at the time and could already read and write. Berlin 22/05/1937. Father's beloved Pentti. Now mom and dad have had a wonderful day. We have seen at least 10 big elephants, hippos and lots of crocodiles and monkeys and little piglets and little bunnies. When you grow up, you'll probably come here to see all kinds of miracles. We also saw a handsome parade and several thousand buses and cars. We are already traveling further away from Germany's big capital. Mom and Dad send many thousands of greetings.

3.6.1937 Dear Pentti, now father and mother are sitting on the train again and traveling away from Wartburg, where we had a lot of fun. We also took two long car trips in the university's car. Flowers and chocolates were also brought to the station. Many greetings to everyone at home. Mum

Weimari 6.6.1937 You hear, dear Pentti, that here in Germany there are terribly large trucks that pull goods wagons behind them just like a train. You should see that one too. And then there are a lot of lively little boys here, who march through the streets on warm days in their underwear. Greetings from mom and dad.

KAARLO and Hilkka Linkola on their trip to Germany in 1937 on a trip to the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea.

The war years dramatically affected the lives of the Linkolas. Pent's half-brother, Anssi, who is eleven years older than him, joined the military boys during the winter war, and when the defense forces organized month-long additional refresher exercises in October 1939, 17-year-old Anssi volunteered with his father's special permission. He dug trenches on the Isthmus and manned defensive positions with other military boys. The purpose of YH 1939 was to familiarize the men with each other and with their tasks and the field of action in case of war, which seems increasingly likely, but according to many, it meant launching a movement. The matter was also discussed in Kariniemi, where grandmother, Hilkka's mother with her children and her cousin Eino Suolahte's daughter Elli Leikola with her children Anton and Juhani had gathered, but without the children's knowledge.

When the winter war broke out on November 30, 1939, Anssi was too young to take up arms. He didn't enroll until the following spring, and by then the war was already over. Enemy planes bombed Helsinki right on the first day of the winter war. Schools closed their doors, and the university also emptied of students. Kaarlo Linkola, together with the employees of the Department of Botany, put the facility into "protective condition", carried large bottles of ether out of the laboratory while jet planes roared overhead, his professor colleague Vilho Kujala later recalled.

STUDENT Anssi Linkola.

The war worried Pentti. When the hostilities reached the capital, Grandma Greta went to Häme with her grandchildren. Aira, Pentti and Martti lived all winter with grandma in Kariniemi's small villa. Pentti was troubled by the lack of doing; in the winter there was not nearly as much activity as in the summer, and he passed the time by writing letters and cards and impatiently waiting for the return mail. Pentti wrote to his father almost every day. Kariniemi 11 February 1940 Dear Father! I have a cold that you brought from Helsinki. I was in bed all day yesterday and I was reading Perämies Pirtää. You can be sure that it is the Funniest book in the world. It told about one ship that was wrecked near Australia and its crew was saved on a coral island and then told about their lives. (…) Write to me as soon as you receive this letter. If you don't write, I'll call the man named and ask him to go to Helsinki and put you in jail. Pentti was also worried about his little brother Marti: Mappu doesn't say much here, other than that life will break up my population shelter.

When the father's reply letter lingered, Pentti hardened his tone: Answer again as soon as you did in the recent rush or you will be shot even though this is not a custom in Finland... It wasn't summer, but no one knew that you would be sitting there in the basement and we would be skiing here... Muksusi Pentti .

Father did not always remember that Pentti did not know German. 6.3.1940 Dear Father, A thousand scarlet pepper thanks for the letter I received last night, but now I'm getting tired of German letters. Every word in the first letter must be in Finnish.

Three days before the end of the winter war in March 1940, the Finns managed to shoot down an enemy bomber in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki. The matter bothered Pentti and he wrote to his father's sister living in Munkkiniemi. Dear aunt Kirsti. Now I also write to my aunt, when there is no one else to write to. Then there is when I get a letter from someone, but yesterday when I didn't get it, I don't know who to write to, but the other day I got three letters and you can't get that every day, right? (…) Have you heard anything like that a Molotov bird had fallen there next to your apartment in Munkkiniemi, namely Ryssä's plane.... Were there any Ryssä planes there at all? I hope not. If they bombed, I hope they didn't get any damage.... Is Uncle Jaakko at the front, I ask because I haven't heard anything about him. (…) Write soon because I am so happy to receive letters that you cannot understand. Pentti Linkola.

Pentti asked his grandfather Hugo Suolahte to use the typewriter because he did not want to find out about his shaky handwriting. Iso replied (March 29, 1940): Many thanks for your funny letter. I notice that you have learned to write letters well during the war. I am now typing this letter according to your advice, and every word in this letter is Finnish, as you requested. Grandfather said that after peace came, Helsinki started to look like it used to. The windows will no longer be darkened, and the boards in front of them will be removed. The toys were already waiting for Pentti. You're about to start building snow castles at full steam.... And to dig streams and put mills in them. Along with the letter, Iso sent Pent a German dictionary.

Now you have fun when there is Rauha, but it is very bad when Ryssä got so many territories, Pentti lamented in his reply letter. He lived war in his games. He had 94 paper soldiers and 16 airplanes and the war and the stories in the books were mixed up in his mind. In his letter to Iso, he recalled their play together in the forests of Kariniemi, which had been taken over by the Indians, the previous summer. He hoped the old Indian in the sky would answer soon.


Continuation war broke out on June 25, 1941. If Kaarlo Linkola dreamed of Greater Finland, he didn't make a sound about it. But it was clear that he wanted the Impilahti meadows back in order to continue his unfinished research there. He had been conducting field studies of plants in Karelia for more than twenty years, defended his doctorate based on the material he collected there, and passed on his enthusiasm for plants to his students during their joint trips to Karelia. Mrs. Hilkka and Anssi had also accompanied him a few times.

Now Anssi went to the front.

Kaarlo Linkola unflinchingly followed the stages of the war. Pentti was also aware of the changes in the front lines. He marked new conquests with pins on a large map on the wall of this room with his schoolmate. The Soviet Union began bombing Helsinki. One day, Pentti and Martti saw from the window of their home when the train station was blazing. When the family moved from the basement of the home to the rock shelter on Unioninkatu at night, the army's food storage was in open flames. Despite extinguishing efforts, the warehouse was completely destroyed.

The Linkolas exceptionally spent the end of the summer in Vihti, in the apartment of the manor of the Koikkala manor owned by a family of acquaintances. Kaarlo Linkola also fled the war with his family. Pentti is in Hiidenvedi. There was a different law than in Kariniemi, where grandfather strictly insisted that the fish be bought from professional fishermen. Jussi Eklund, who lived in Silvoniemi, Tyrvännö, kept the Suolahti and their summer guests in fish. Hilja, the wife of Silvon Juss, brought the fish she had covered with tar elm leaves in a gill cover to the cook in Kariniemi. Pentti peeked under the leaves. The shiny sided walleyes inspired him. "I had a role model for that." During the war, when "the fishermen living on the Vanajavesi islands were either in the forest guard or at the front", Pentti was allowed to fish in Kariniemi as much as he wanted. Now even junk fish could be used as food.

In Vihti, Pentti started to keep statistics on his fish catches for the first time: "1054 fish with a net, 46 with a net, 70 perch with a line, 10 roach and 7 bream". Father and mother also fished and caught walleye and bream with a fishing rod. Aira remembers that summer as special; father took him with him on a plant excursion, and once they rowed together in Vihti's Kirkkojärvi all the way to the church village. In the fall, when the father had already returned to Helsinki, Hilkka's mother and the children went "harvesting" in the manor's wheat field. They picked up the ears of wheat that had fallen to the ground, and mother cooked porridge from the grains.

During the Continuation War, the food shortage in Helsinki worsened to the extreme. Market tables were deserted and store shelves were gaping empty. Only potatoes were out of regulation, but almost everything else, meat, butter, eggs, milk, sugar, flour, bread products, coffee and tea were on the cards. In 1941–1942, the potatoes also ran out, and those who joined the queue at the store were often bitterly disappointed when instead of potatoes, they were offered frozen langoustines. The rations received with food cards were small, an adult's monthly ration of meat was just under half a kilo, and fat was between half and a half kilo, depending on the job.

Food was freely available on the black market, but Kaarlo Linkola's morals did not allow him to buy food "under the counter". He was absolute about it, and the family had to make do with what they got with food stamps. Linkola was of the opinion that "during wars civilized people must live modestly for moral reasons and be an example to the people". His position as rector of the University of Helsinki was also an obligation.

There wasn't too much food even in the countryside. While the men and horses were at the front, some of the crops remained unharvested. According to the peace treaty, ten percent of the country's arable land had remained with the Soviet Union. Many were starving and malnourished. Mother Hilkka also often gave part of her own portion to the growing and always hungry Pent and lost weight as she lost weight. There were no mushrooms or berries left in the forests during the war. Everything that could be eaten was collected, and yet many were starving. Pentti was a passionate berry picker already at a young age, and the fish he caught also brought points to the "talkooviški".

Aira's sister wrote to Anss every day, Pentti less often. Just write, yes I can read as much as you can write, Anssi replied to Aira. He also wrote to his father. In Karelia on 10 August 1941. Thousands of greetings from the beautiful lakes and lakes of Karelia. So far, I have done nothing but rest, sunbathe and swim. It seems to be the calm before the storm. I'm here as the deputy leader of a rifle team... Snare

Anssi appointed Yleni as second lieutenant, and Aira sent her brother a long congratulatory letter for the appointment.

Kaarlo Linkola wrote (18.9.41) to his colleague Vilho A. Pesola that he would come to eastern Finland again the following summer. There, our boys are fighting for a happier Finland. There is also Anssik in Säämäjärvi.

The atmosphere was hopeful. When the Finns managed to recapture Vyborg at the end of August 1941, the joy knew no bounds. "The joy resembled mass psychosis", Martti Linkola later recalled. In the Linkola family, moods quickly went to the other extreme.

The post office brought back Aira's congratulatory letter to her brother just a few days after she had taken it to the post office. The news is terrible. Anssi had fallen on September 21, 1941 in Matrossa in the fierce battles of Prääsä before the capture of Äänislinna. He was 20 years old when he died. A silent, impotent grief overcame the family.

Kaarlo and Hilkka Linkola went to identify Anssi's body, and soon after he was buried in Hietaniemi's hero's cemetery. Hugo Suolahti wrote under Anssi's photo in his photo album "Pikku-Anssi, the factotum of Kariniemi, the favorite of relatives and rural neighbors."

Vänrikki Mylläri sent an 'eyewitness testimony' about the Anssi crash to Kaarlo Linkola: In July 1941, new pilots arrived for our company in Uuksalonpää, near the island of Mantsi. Among them were e.g. your son Anssi Linkola. He was assigned as the deputy manager of another company while the undersigned acted as the team manager. Our task was to prevent enemy landing attempts at Laatoka. From here we went to Hyryla, Veskelys, Maanselka, Tsalkki. In Maanselka, your son got his first baptism of fire in a severe artillery fire, which caused a lot of losses in the ranks of our people. Your son proved to be a most exemplary soldier here with his courage and modest behavior. From here we come to Säämä and Sidjärvi positions for the famous battle of Prääsä and Pyhäjärvi. The new task, on the other hand, drained us because Petrosavodsk (Eänislinna, later Petroskoi) had to be obtained at any cost. We proceeded to the "motto battles" towards Matrossa on 21.10. -41. Our company attacked across a large opening, while the rifle fired fiercely, we responded. We were already close to the sheltering edge of the forest, when I saw your son Anss ducking behind a large tree stump, which he sought to shelter. He didn't say anything else until "oh", after which he didn't move. I knew, as did my whole team, what had happened to him. My quiet, unassuming companion had fallen, as a hero must, without uttering a sound. He was never afraid of it, because the whole time I didn't hear him complain. One of us was gone again. I have known all the men in my squad, for they all liked his innate leadership qualities, which the war only brought out.

Anssi's catchphrase had been "Well, let's go again, boys."

Pentti and Aira don't remember Anssi's funeral. Maybe the parents sent them to Kariniemi for the Funeral, maybe they wanted to spare their children. Or the case was so shocking that Aira and Pentti shut it out of their consciousness. "I was eight then. I could remember, but I don't," says Pentti Linkola. After that, the family walked to Anssi's grave every Christmas to light a candle in his memory.

"Anssi was a nice and agreeable big brother." Sister Aira adored her handsome half-brother and made a fuss about going to his room. Pentti also admired his older brother. Especially his achievements in sports impressed him. In Kariniemi, Anssi and the two sons of the neighboring farm Seppälä had competed in the high jump in the summer, and Anssi had won, but all three fell in the first days of the continuation war. Since Seppälä's family lost two sons, the third was moved away from the front line and he returned later to continue tending the farm.

When Pentti bullied his brother Martti, he took refuge in Anssi. Decades later, old and embittered, Martti Linkola developed an analogy between the family pattern of that time and the parties to the war. He equated himself with little Finland, which was held in his grip by the sadistically domineering big brother Pentti, i.e. the great and mighty Soviet Union. For pro-German Martti, Anssi represented Germany, which rushed to help.

PENTTI and Martti in the war summer of 1943 in Sipoo.

The whole family mourned Anssi's death, but it especially touched the father of the family, Kaarlo Linkola. The memories came back heavy in his mind.

After Anssi's death, father received a package from the front containing all of Anssi's belongings. The letters of encouragement and congratulations sent to him by Aira and Penti were also returned. Pentti received an Anssi pocket watch and a Suunto compass. The atmosphere at home became heavy. Father retired more and more often to his study, and mother did even more handicrafts. Until then, Aira and Pentti had been constantly fighting with each other, but now they realized that there was no point in fighting.

At Anssi's funeral, Kaarlo Linkola felt that he was not completely well. The tests revealed that he had prostate cancer and he went to the Surgical Hospital for surgery right at the beginning of 1942. Pentti and Martti did not see their father after that. Hilkka Linkola visited her husband every day and took Aira with her a few times, but never the boys. Maybe the mother was afraid that the boys would be shocked to see their father lying in a hospital bed. The boys were already worried enough about the war. Hilkka Linkola could hardly even imagine that her spouse might die. Kaarlo Linkola was also hopeful. In the hospital, he told his spouse about his plans to get his own summer place for the family.

On the night of April 24, the mother received a call from the hospital, and she went to her husband. When the children woke up in the morning, their grandmother was there to meet them. Grandma told Aira, Pent and Marti the shocking news: the children's father had died. The operation was successful, but at that time it was customary to lay patients down after surgery, and Linkola had suffered several consecutive blood clots, the last of which was fatal. Kaarlo Linkola died on April 24, 1942, just over half a year after Anssi's death. He was 53 years old at the time.

The news of their father's death came as a complete surprise to the children. They were fools. It wasn't supposed to happen like that. Hilkka Linkola's parents did everything they could to support their grief-stricken daughter. Pastor Lauri Pohjanpää delivered Kaarlo Linkola's blessing in Helsinki's Old Church on the second day of May 1942. Just 14 years earlier, he had married the couple and now worked as a religion teacher at Aira and Pent's school. The blessing ceremony, which took on national proportions, ended with Beethoven's Sorrow March performed by organist Venni Kuosma. Kaarlo Linkola was buried in the new part of the Hietaniemi cemetery next to his first wife, Anna Ringbom.

Aira felt strange when the pallbearers mourned his father's youth. His father was old to him, at least when he compared him to his mother, who was 19 years younger. His father's funeral has been completely erased from Pent's memory. He doesn't even remember that he participated in them, but in the newspaper photo he stands with a confused expression on his face next to the coffin as the pallbearers take it to the cemetery after the blessing. Behind him come mother, grandfather and grandmother, Aira and Martti and a large group of other attendants.

HELSINGIN Sanomat prominently covered Kaarlo Linkola's funeral.

"No, no memories of any kind. Losing my father was a sad thing, but for some reason I remember Anssi's death better than my father's death. However, I was still a child and could not fully understand the finality of death, and the losses were quickly covered under passionate pursuits.”

All eight of Kaarlo Linkola's siblings were long-lived, dying in their nineties. Hilkka Linkola believed that Kaarlo would also have had all the conditions to reach the same old age, but he was in poor general condition due to malnutrition. He considered it at least part of the reason for his spouse's death. The food shortage was at its worst at the time, and the field biologist's trips were physically tough. As a large man, Linkola should have received the manual worker's food vouchers, according to his spouse, but he settled for the mental worker's daily ration, and buying food on the black market was out of the question.

Father's death was a painful thing, and they didn't talk about him after the funeral, at least not that Pentti or Aira would remember. They buried their sorrows deep inside.

Later, Pentti Linkola encouraged her mother to write her memories of Kariniemi and Vanajavesi. The mother wrote, but never came back until Anssi's or her husband's death.


It was clear that the family could not stay in his official apartment after the father's death, but the war had also paralyzed the housing market and finding a new apartment was difficult. There was a crying shortage of rental apartments, and owner-occupied apartments rarely came up for sale. Hilkka Linkola was already in trouble. Kaarlo Linkola had been wise from afar and had taken out a large life insurance policy almost 20 years older than his spouse, but the joy of the insurance money was short lived. Housing prices rose, and inflation ate away at the value of money at an accelerating rate. In the end, Hilkka Linkola found an apartment with four small rooms and a kitchen suitable for her family in the same Koiteree housing association in Ullanlinna where her parents lived. The residents of the Koitere house had the right of first refusal on the company's apartments, and the deal required the approval of the housing company's board. The situation was tight, but in the end the board of Koiteree decided that the widow of the university rector, the mother of three school-age children and the daughter of the Suolahties, who live in the same house, is entitled to buy an apartment in her childhood home.

Not many things in Koiteree's house had changed since Hilkka Linkola's childhood and teenage years. The maids went to wash clothes in the sea, the dogs watched over life in their booths in the yard. The grandparents' home was located in the building on the Merikatu side of the Koitere house. It was a large, more than 200 square meter luxury apartment, as befits the status of a university chancellor and a prominent politician. The Gulf of Finland opened up ahead. The home of Hilkka Linkola and the children was in the building on the Laivanvarustakankatu side of the housing company. The sea and the beaches were around the corner, but Pent's main experience of the new corners and home was that it was dark there. A "street without lights" passed under the window. For him, home was like a "slum apartment".

"It was funny when all the other school friends were much more handsome", remembers Pent's sister Aira Ruohonen. "We had also had a great time and we had had a father. Now there was no father and nothing." Hilkka Linkola had to find a job for herself. The change from a professor and the director of a botanical garden to a single parent of three children was a fall both socially and financially. The home was no longer "bourgeois safe" in the same way as it had been during my father's time, but "mother was a positive and bright person, and despite the war, the atmosphere in the home was warm".

Hilkka Linkola's brother Dr. Osmo Suolahti managed the fire laboratory of the State Technical Research Center, and hired his sister as a laboratory assistant. Työrupeama under his brother was short-lived when AI Virtanen recruited Hilkka Linkola as a research assistant in the plant department of Valio's Biochemical Research Institute. Two years later, in 1945, Virtanen received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Mother's new job on the beach of Hietalahti interested the children. Even though they were forbidden to enter there, "we were sneaked in there", recalls Pentti Linkola. "AI Virtanen was in his own worlds with biochemistry and didn't scold us or drive us away." At home, the mother was shocked and told how Virtanen argued with other researchers. He had never seen or heard adults arguing before. There was no arguing at Suolahti and no raising of voices at Linkola either. Thanks to the mother's job, the family was able to visit the Valio sauna in Länsisatama every week, but the interval between the boys' sauna visits could be as long as three weeks. The home had a bathroom, but the water had to be heated with halos and it was difficult to get them. Mother's job also benefited from the fact that, in addition to card rations, she received skimmed milk, kurnal, and low-fat processed cheese intended for soldiers from Valio.

The summer of 1943 was spent by the mother and children in the beach cottage of the former Skräddarby manor, which Virtanen named Joensuu's farm, on the shore of Sipoonlahti. For the boys, the place was exciting: the Finnish navy hid its torpedo and destroyer boats in Lahti. For the last 19 years before his retirement in 1970, Hilkka Linkola worked as a laboratory assistant in the Bacteriology laboratory of Aurora Hospital.


In Ullanlinna, Hilkka Linkola and the children got used to their new life in the middle of the continuation war. The mother went to work and the children to school. The infrequent trams were constantly full, and Aira, Pentti and Martti ran to school on Nervanderinkatu. When the air raid alert came, they rushed to the nearest shrapnel shelter along the way to school. "Penti had no fears, the war affected Martti more. Martti was afraid of war and he became very timid," recalls Aira Ruohonen.

The food shortage became even worse. Hilkka Linkola had a full time getting enough food for her family. Pentti in particular was a big eater, there were even jokes about his bottomless appetite, but for mother it was a real place. Thanks to the ingenuity of the caretaker of the Koitere house, Hilkka Linkolan, as the headmaster's widow, managed to keep two plots of land on the university's farm in Viikki. He grew potatoes and vegetables, and Pentti and Aira transported sacks of potatoes to Ullanlinna with their wheelbarrow. Aira tied the bag of potatoes carefully, but Pentti was hasty and his bag often fell and the potatoes rolled along the streets. When something unpleasant happened to Pent, he often started to cry and even now Aira felt that "the nephew indulged in his own stupidity".

My mother's laboratory assistant's salary was negligible, barely enough for what was necessary. In terms of purchasing power, it was below the minimum wage that has since been set, Pentti Linkola later calculated. Elsa Pesukin, a nanny who moved with them from Kaisaniemi to Laivanvarustajakatu, looked for another job, but still lived in Linkolii. He paid his rent by cooking food for the family.

Pentti was ashamed of her patched underwear in the locker room of the school gymnasium. He didn't admit to his school friends that he was a free student because of his poverty, but lied on the payment day that his older sister took his payment too. In Martti Linkola's mind, shame remained as the overriding emotion, even though at Suomalaiske Yhteistskoulu, many students, all war orphans, went to school with the help of a special scholarship. "Father had the identity of a poor man," recalls Martti Linkola's son Hannu Linkola. "Martti, unlike me, was of the opinion all his life that there is not enough money. I, on the other hand, considered myself rich, even though my income was a quarter of Marti's," Pentti recalls. The boys' worries about the family's livelihood were not eased by the knowledge that they had a wealthy family to support them, who would undoubtedly have come to the rescue in a real need.

The major bombings of Helsinki began in February 1944. When the air raid sirens started ringing on February 6, a few minutes before seven in the evening, Hilkka's mother hurried with her children to the split basement of the Koitere house. Grandma also obediently came to the basement, but Iso, Hugo Suolahti, remained sitting unmoved at his desk. Pentti didn't care about the "little alarms" either, and Martti got to cheer up his brother again. Just a moment later, a firebomb fell from the eaves of the Linkoloi's home, hitting the general store run by a Jewish family across the street. The destruction was complete. The windows also rattled down in both buildings of the Koiteree housing association, and finally Hugo Suolahtik came to the split cellar.

On the roof of the neighboring Merikatu 5, which before the wars served as the house of the guardianship council, there was now an anti-aircraft rifle or a light IT cannon, the booming sound of which could be heard all the way to the basement.

When the Linkolas returned home at dawn, a sad sight awaited them. The floors were covered with plaster that had fallen from the ceiling and it was also on Pent's bed. The window panes were broken, and a cold wind was blowing inside. There were traces of bomb shrapnel on the spines of father's old works on the bookshelf in Pent's room. One large shard had fallen onto his bed. There was frozen water on the floor.

In the morning, Pentti and Martti walked around the city looking at the traces of the bombing. "The sight was inconsolable. Meritor's beach and Kaivopuisto's little field were like plowed fields from the traces of bombs", Martti Linkola recalled later. Dozens of bombs had fallen in the area of Eira and Ullanlinna. On Kapteeninkatu, Jääkärinkatu, Vuorimiehenkatu and Korkeavuorenkatu, many of the buildings were badly damaged. Several bombs had also fallen in the vicinity of Johannes kettu, and some of the houses on Ratakatu had been completely destroyed. The railway station had suffered severe damage. Three bombs had fallen in the botanical garden, the glass in the greenhouses had been shattered and all the plants were frozen. Only one cypress and the pride of the snowdrop house, our giant snowdrop, was spared, and the giant snowdrop only because the seeds that fell to the bottom of its basin froze and did not have time to spoil before the war ended in September 1944. Our current giant snowdrop has started from those seeds. 105 people died and 295 were injured in the night's bombings.

The city began to be evacuated immediately after the first night of bombing. Schools closed their doors and everyone under 16 and over 60 was told to leave Helsinki. There was a chaotic atmosphere at the railway station, but the volunteer lotas and Helsinki's ready-to-work women made sure that everyone got on the train with their luggage. Pent's mother sent Aunt Ipi, Grandma's sister, who lives in Palanderi's house to Hämeenlinna, to Valborg von Fieandt, a lyceum lecturer. Aira and Marti's address was the homestead of the grandmother's little cousin, who lived in Koitere's house, in Vihti. Aira went to school in Vihti, Pentti in Hämeenlinna.

Hilkka Linkola continued to work amid the bombings. The letters went.

9.2.1944 Dear Pentti Now I am a completely childless mother, while all of you are scrambling all over Finland. (…) We have received cardboard on the windows both on Merikatu and at our place. (... ) It's already quite warm here, so I won't start living at home from tomorrow. I'm trying to get some homeless people/acquaintances to visit me so that I don't feel so lonely. We have a lot of free beds right now. (…) Now say thousands of dear greetings to Aunt Ipi and Mummu, and mom feels so good to think that 11-year-old Pentti Linkola is going to school in Hämeenlinna because of the war and is living with Aunt Ipi - just like 26 years ago 11-year-old Hilkka Suolahti lived Stayed with great-aunt and went to school there - because of the war. And do you know, that time left me with so many special and funny memories for the rest of my life. And the war ended so beautifully then: spring, roses, German soldiers, the song "God is our castle" in the market square and - Finland's freedom. We hope that your school year will come to a happy end - peace and Greater Finland. Now, my dear Pompölini, write a very long and detailed letter to me here, so that I know a little about your life. Mum

It didn't take long for her mother to write to Pent again, but Pent's letters to her mother have not survived. Winter 1944, Dear Pentti, Please write again soon and tell me more about your school and your life there. They say you have made a good friend in Kaarle Kurki-Suonio. It's really fun. If only you could borrow some skis so you could go skiing. I could try to send your success here. Maybe I'll get to visit there myself one Sunday, when the evacuation calms down a bit. Here I am sending you stamps from father's stores. It's so funny when grandma writes that you are a nice boy both at school and at home. Be still! (…) If I get to visit, I'll try to bring a jar of jam to Pent, who loves jam. Mum

Five days after the second major bombing in Helsinki on February 23, Hugo Suolahti visited the university. On the way, he went around looking at the devastation caused by the bombs. That time, the central city had been the enemy's main target. Numerous buildings had been destroyed on Albertinkatu, Lönnrotinkatu and Abrahaminkatu. The windows were broken from building to building. The enemy's bombs had finished the destruction also on the street next to Linkolai, Neitsytpollu; many buildings had burned to the ground. However, compared to the size of the enemy's operation, the damage was small, because most of the bombs had fallen into the sea in front of the capital this time as well. 25 people from Helsinki had died and 29 were injured.

Hugo Suolahte had a weak heart and after returning from his walk, he stayed to chat with the caretaker at the front door of his home in Koitere. He didn't complain of pain, but in the middle of the conversation he started to fall to the ground. The janitor got hold of him, but nothing could be done. Suolahti died in the caretaker's arms. He would have turned 70 in the fall. A devastated Hilkka Linkola told her children about Iso's death on the phone. The phones worked better again, and a few days later Aira called her mother back. He had decided to come to Iso's funeral.

Two days after grandfather's death, on the night of February 26th and 27th, 59 buildings were destroyed in the third major bombing in Helsinki, 135 were damaged, including the main building of the University of Helsinki. There were 21 dead and 35 injured. When Aira boarded the Helsinki bus in Vihti, the driver wondered what the girl would be doing in the city. "There is nothing left in Helsinki, not a stone on top of a stone. The whole city is on fire," the driver explained, but Aira didn't believe him, stating that at least their home was standing because their mother called from there.

The mother and grandmother were paralyzed with grief, but the family's helper Elsa Pesu insisted that a nice funeral be organized for the chancellor. "Elsa was my mother's age, energetic and a good person," Pentti Linkola remembers. He glued broken window panes, collected food items, and conjured up great offerings from them. Pentti would also have liked to attend the funeral, but Aunt Ipi wouldn't let him go.

Aira wrote to Pent about Iso's funeral (February 29, 1944): ...Now the funeral is over. Iso has been laid to rest in the grave after a meritorious day's work, as Professor Nevanlinna said. It was very beautiful in the church. However, the altar table had been evacuated and in its place was a golden cross on a blue cloth. On both sides of the coffin were the flags of the divisions, probably held by the representatives of the respective division. Two verses were sung, the body was blessed and prof. Nevanlinna gave a memorial speech. Then we went by car to the grave and from there in the same car back home. Here we drank and ate the food of the table. There were quite a lot of guests. - We'll see when we can see the graves of Iso and Issä and Anssi again. It's terribly cold here. Something like -15°. It was the same yesterday and the day after. The big people in this other room (dining room) (I'm sitting in the hall) are talking all kinds of things, planning to evacuate things, etc. (...) I'm also going to try to get to school in Vihti.(...) But who would have thought that I would still end up in school in Vihti and maybe I'd end up in the Tarttila strait, where I had collected plants with Father. Oh, what a happy time. Tomorrow I will go back to Ilola and my mother will come with me. Write soon. Lots of greetings from mom. Aira

Pentti and Martti corresponded with each other throughout the long spring winter. 6 April 1944 Hämeenlinna Hello Mappu! Thank you for the letter and the information that you will be here on May Day. I now have a closet in my snow castle that is 1 1/2 times taller than me and only a hole in the ceiling leads to it. It's really nice, but it must have melted on May Day. Yesterday evening at 9 o'clock came Hertta from Helsinki. I was opposite at the station, but it was so dark that we didn't notice each other and we came to Aunt Ipi's house almost at the same time, but on different roads. The locomotive was a thousand, 110 km per hour.

Martti had sent Pent two of his own poems. Pent's thoughts were on war and he wrote a warlike poem for his little brother:

Once upon a time, you were a wild man

corporal was worth,

went alone once,

rush to Moscow.

I met six ruffians on the way,

killed two with his sword.

The other four captured him.

But he managed to escape.

I met the Caucasian boys of the company again.

Immediately started fighting

with a bloody sword…

Hugo Suolahti had held the position of professor of Germanic philology at the university for over forty years and had studied in Germany as a young man at the universities of Heidelberg, Leipzig and Freiburg. Maybe it was just a good thing that he wasn't about to see the end of the war, the women in the family mused. The German ambassador to Finland, Wipert von Blücher, had been a good friend of grandfather's. In the Lapland war that started in 1945, Finnish soldiers drove the German soldiers, who had become enemies, into their path. "Those would have been difficult things for grandfather." The war in Lapland also shocked Pentti. "It was the most shocking of all wars, because Finland then had to fight against its brother nation."

Grandmother Greta Suolahti took her husband's death hard and died six years later in 1950. Death followed death. The children's beloved Aunt Hertta, mother's sister, had a recurrence of breast cancer and she passed away the same year as her mother. After the grandmother died, Hilkka Linkola moved with her children to the grandparents' large apartment at Merikatu 3. Pentti was seventeen at the time. Hilka's brother Osmo Suolahti had already received his share of the inheritance. Kariniemi had passed to him after his grandfather died.

Hugo Suolahti had believed until the end that Karelia would be regained with the help of the Germans. He would have been happy if Greater Finland had come true. Despite this, Suolahti, who was considered a role model of national civilization, criticized AKS, which promoted the Great Finland idea, in his speeches and writings. He accused the club of extreme right-wing, intolerance and lack of history.

Grandfather's brother, Pentti Linkola's great uncle Eino Suolahti, Ona's uncle, was an open extreme rightist. He had supported the Lapuan movement and was in the process of founding the IKL, the Patriotic People's Movement, in 1932. When Vihtori Kosola, the leader of the Mäntsälä rebellion orchestrated by supporters of the Lapua movement, began to show signs of weakness in the opinion of his supporters, Eino Suolahte, known for his dictatorial style, was planned to replace him, but he preferred to remain a background influence. He had a doctorate in medicine and served as chairman of Duodecim society and Lääkäriliito and CEO of Instrumentarium. During the wars, he served as a medical major general as the chief medical officer of the defense forces.

Even in the 1960s, when Pentti Linkola got to know the old fishermen of Vanajavesi, they spoke of Eino Suolahte as "the general of the harbor". This one had rowed his goods with the local fishermen without compensation and otherwise behaved badly towards them. Eino Suolahte had a villa in Tyrvännö in Petäys in Vanajavesi. Penti's grandparents, Hugo and Greta Suolahti, had had a villa on the neighboring island, but they had given it up when they acquired Kariniemi five kilometers away.

World history came close to the Linkolo family when German Reich Leader Heinrich Himmler visited Finland at the turn of July-August 1942. Eino Suolahti's son, Penti, Aira and Marti's beloved uncle Nenno, mother's peer and close friend, Eino E. Suolahti acted as a liaison officer when Himmler was on vacation in his at his father's villa in Petäys. For just under a week, the tired head of state rowed on Vanajanselkä and enjoyed the hospitality of Eino and Anna Suolahte. Himmler was also the head of the infamous Gestapo and one of the main planners of the mass extermination of the Jews. On his way to Finland, he had visited the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. One of the purposes of his visit to Finland was "organizing the Jewish question in Finland."

Eino E. Suolahti was a history researcher and completed his doctorate shortly after the end of the war. Until 1948, he taught Latin at the Finnish Co-educational School, and Pentti was also his student. Eino E. Suolahti quickly developed into a significant cultural figure. He wrote several historical works and in 1951 he was elected literary director of WSOY. For the last 11 years of his life, Eino E. Suolahti, who died in 1977, ran the Akateem bookstore.

In addition to Eino Suolahte, grandfather had four siblings, Gunnar, Ernesti, Väinö and Elli. Gunnar Suolahti, Uncle Nunu to the children, was a prominent historian. Ernesti Suolahti, uncle Änsti, had served as the head of Hämeenlinna's guardianship and was one of the leaders of the Mäntsälä rebellion. Elli Suolahti, later Wegelius wrote several novels. Väinö Suolahti managed to act as the namesake of Mynämäki for a few years before his death.

Pentti Linkola thinks that he came to his fierce and stern great-uncle Eino Suolahti rather than to his gentle grandfather. At least he agrees with his great uncle that tolerance means something like indifference. "That's why it might be the worst kind of injustice."

Pentti and many other students of Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu considered Germany their brother country even after the war. They collected aid packages from the scarce food and sent them to Germany. "We knew they were in a much tighter place than we were." For Pentti Linkola, Germany is still the land of countries, the "cradle of civilization", next to which England is a "despicable fog-covered island in the North Sea". In National Socialism, he is fascinated by the "brutality" of the system.

"Germans are hardworking, hardworking and successful. Attempts were made to crush them after the First World War, but Hitler managed to restore their self-respect. He appealed to the people. Germany, for example, had much better social welfare than we do, and the internal opposition in the country was much smaller than in the Soviet Union ruled by Stalin."

Linkola considers Stalin's mistake to be that he tried to stifle private entrepreneurship, "people's natural greed", and "that's where communism fell."

If the Second World War had ended in favor of the Germans, Linkola believes that public opinion would have been sympathetic towards them, and the victorious nations would have been treated in a similar way to Germany. "The majority always sides with the winners, regardless of ideologies."

Shortly after the end of the war, the Helsinki Art Gallery organized a photo exhibition about the Nazi concentration camps. At that time, 13-year-old Pentti went to see the pictures that became a topic of conversation among the boys. In one of the pictures, tractors rolled over piles of skulls and corpses. Pentti couldn't believe his eyes. It was incomprehensible to him how history could be distorted and staged like that. He considered the pictures false war propaganda, and left the exhibition crying in shock. But he was also believable in the end.

He was troubled by the cause of the outbreak of the Winter War, but the answer did not become clear to him until his old days. After that, he accepted the Soviet invasion of Finland. "The Winter War was the purest defensive war ever fought. The background of the war was the absurd Peace of Tartu, where the border between Finland and the Soviet Union was made to run almost to St. Petersburg, then Leningrad. It was known in the Soviet Union that Finland, if anything, had a hostile attitude towards it; each holder had militaristic guardianships, whose exercises involved firing at images of gunners. The Soviet Union was also aware of the German threat. It made the Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany, but it was a sham on both sides. The Soviet Union had to defeat Germany, and that included that hostile Finland had to be removed from the gates of St. Petersburg."

The Soviet Union also had another option. "Even before the Second World War, it proposed a barter to Finland, in which Finland would have received the huge forest wilderness of Kuittijärvi and Tuoppajärvi from Eastern Karelia, if it had sold the strategically important Suursaari in the Gulf of Finland, Tytärsaari and part of the Karjalankanga to the Soviet Union. Paasikivi and Mannerheim would have agreed to the deal, but neither the people nor the parliament elected by the people." The consequences are known.


During the war years, school years were short. After the outbreak of the Winter War in 1939, schools only started in November, in 1940 in the fall at the beginning of October, in 1941 only in November and in 1942 again in October. Teaching stopped immediately after the first major bombings of Helsinki, after February 6, 1944. Even after the end of the Continuation War in the fall of 1944, school started again late. The year 1945 would have finally been full, but a typhoid epidemic spread in Helsinki and the start of school was postponed again for two weeks.

In September 1944, Pentti and Martti were still in Kariniemi with Grandma Greta. From mother's letter (September 2, 1944), they understood that the food situation in Helsinki was still bad. Dear Pettiboy .... Are the lingonberries starting to ripen? You can probably guess that you can pick up unlimited amounts of them for both grandma and me. The blueberry quays are already at the end. What was your blueberry liter amount this summer? (… ) There is no information about the start of schools yet. The last time I spoke with Rex was yesterday on the phone, but he said that in a couple of weeks at the most they will try to decide something. (….) You are doing very well now. Many greetings to grandma and Mapu.

For Pent, the school was a "torture facility". Due to fever and stomach ailments, he accumulated several absences of a couple of days and sometimes he was absent from school on his own accord. Hilkka Linkola was also a graduate of Suomalainen Yhteistokoulu, and the same teachers who had taught her now taught her children. Mother was a member of the school's parents' council, and saw that the teachers were already old and war-weary and could not always cope with the students' lives, which had been disrupted by the war. Pentti was not the only restless student, sometimes his whole class was in the after session, but Pentti's "small saving grace" was that he was good at school. "I bemoaned overzealousness, but at that age you can never have self-education."

During recess, boys' mass wrestling was common. "There was no anger or even a desire to win in them, but they were children's play," remembers Pent's classmate architect Risto Pelkonen. During lunchtime, the boys played iceball at the corner of Museokatu and Dagmarinkatu, and in the evening ping-pong at each other's houses. When they were older, they organized tournaments where one was the horse and the other was the rider, and the riders tried to knock each other off the horse. Regular participants in the tournaments were Pentti and his classmates Martti Leisten, Risto Noponen, Jukka Lehtinen, Risto Pelkonen, Juhani Lihtonen, Erkki Tammisalo and Veikko Ivalo. The boys called themselves the Guerrillas. Aatos Erkko, a classmate, also belonged to the club, but he was "a little outsider and lukewarm, limp anyway", and Pentti was tasked with going to inform Aatos that he had been expelled from the club due to "reluctance". Aatos was indifferent to the announcement, hardly even taking note of it. Based on Erko's performance at school, Pentti was of the opinion that "the guy will become nothing at all". At Christmas of the last school year of the school, the Erkos moved to America.

The boys in their next club named it Kuutos, after the left-wing opposition group in parliament. They gathered to discuss politics at each other's houses, but even then the evening culminated in tournaments. "We were all still childish then," Risto Pelkonen recalls. Pentti had a keen attitude towards politics even at that time. In his letter (March 11, 1943) to his grandmother, he confessed that he had made a harassing call to Ville Pessi from his classmate Veikko Ivalo. Ville Pessi, who sought influence from Moscow, served a ten-year prison sentence at the time, but was already elected general secretary of the Communist Party of Finland, SKP, the following year. A female voice had answered the phone.

In high school, the comrades called themselves Philosophers. Pentti was called Socrates, Risto Pelkonen was Aga according to his maternal grandfather Agathon Meurman. Also his second name is Agathon. The boys discussed the burning questions of world politics, the most important being issues related to the war. They watched the war crimes trial, where the political leadership of Finland during the Continuation War, including President Risto Ryti, were sentenced. The verdicts were announced in February 1946, but already a year or two later, most of the convicted were released.

Pentti had an absolutely negative attitude to killing. He didn't even approve of hunting. Fishing was a different matter, "because fish were not on the same mental level as other animals." Pentti never told his schoolmates about his half-brother who died in the Continuation War, but Risto Pelkonen doesn't remember telling about his father who fell in 1941 either.

The girls in the class, Riitta Karikoski, Ritva Sohlberg, Ritva Melkas, Nina Aho and Marja Malkki, sometimes organized house parties twice a week. Party games were played and danced with invitations. Everyone except Pentti learned to dance - "the rhythm of the music didn't turn into movement in me". There was also modest catering at the events. In the movies, Pentti followed suit when the software was updated. The Count of Monte Cristo, Lassie Returns Home, I Live, The Pirate Queen were the boys' favorites. Bio Rex also organized free short film screenings. Pentti went to see the play Katupeili at the National Theater with his friends Risto Noponen and Risto Pelkonen and Veikko Ivalo. The boys were fourteen at the time.

Pentti was critical of the teachers and often very snide, and that did not improve his positions. "If someone said or did something stupid, Pentti gave it back right away, he was verbally gifted," Risto Pelkonen recalls. Pentti also attracted attention with his school subjects, in which he said unpleasant truths about teachers, his classmate Anna Kerttu Wiik later told Katso magazine. "Sometimes the principal came to the class looking gray and worried, read Pena's subject aloud and asked if the others agreed."

At times, Pent's quick-wittedness caused rebellion among his classmates. When the girls once again organized the "villains" and baked a big cream cake and invited the teachers to the occasion, Pentti announced that he would no longer come to the conventions. He objected to baking a cake for teachers and wrote a controversial essay in which he described how the Swedish teacher Aimo Tillander, Tilu, "would cast his lustful eyes on the cream cake". He didn't want to witness it.

The case was not the only one where "Pentti pushed himself to the edge", and during the rest of the school he was a little discriminated against because of it. But he had a strong sense of self, he knew what he wanted and what he didn't. "For those who were wrong" he laughed mockingly. He despised those who didn't understand birds, Risto Pelkonen recalls. After the war ended, some of Pent's comrades gave him the nickname Kuulosuinnistaja because he had big ears.

In winter, the boys enjoyed going ice skating at Johannes rink and skiing on the sea ice. Pent had minor accidents here and there, but according to his calculations, Aira crashed much more often. "My sister was brisk, but impossibly clumsy." He fell on his skis and got hit on the head by the sled that came behind him on the toboggan hill. Only Martti was spared from accidents. The "court hospital" of the Linkola family was the Surgeon conveniently located near the skating rink at the Johannes field.

On the Johannes field, the speed skaters circled the field at full speed, and the field was meant for them, but Pentti and the boys tried to get through the speed skating ring from one finish to the other, and there were inevitably crashes. In one of the bumps, Pent's nose was broken, which is still bent after the accident. Once, Pentti woke up in the Red Cross hospital without his front teeth. He had a deep wound on his upper jaw, which still bears a long scar. The front fork of the bike had broken at full speed on the downhill, and Pentti had flown onto the gravel road on his face on a birding trip "somewhere in Espoo". Pin teeth were planted in place of the missing teeth, a bridge and an even longer bridge were built, but they "ruined" so that a prosthesis had to be made to replace them, but even that was not completely successful and he has had to suffer from it for the rest of his life, "it is impossible to bite anything harder".

Once, one of Pent's fire-bladed skis broke on the smooth sea ice. He got so angry that he tore them to pieces. After walking home, he calculated the cost of his skiing hobby: FIM 9,900 an hour. "It was an exception. In fact, the sports and outdoor equipment of that time, skates, sleds, kickballs, balls and high jump stands were originally cheap capital and, above all, were passed down from one generation and sibling to another." The bicycles of the boys in the class were tested by a ball game they developed for the fall and spring seasons, with football rules, but the players were on the bike.

Even as a child, Pentti was known as a penny stretcher. He recorded all his expenses in his "financial book" and still does so, but he has never added up his expenses. After reading the "financial book" he hasn't come to the end of the street: "I haven't fallen into vanities." For two years, around Christmas and New Year, he was a flower delivery person at Eira Kukkakauppa, Dan Ward's flower shop in Lasipalatsi and Dahlia on Korkeavuorenkatu and recorded all the tips in his "financial book". From Lady Mannerheim, he received a crumpled five-mark note, which was the smallest tip there could be. He understood the smallness of the note and glued it to his "memory". Later, he has joked that he understands wage earners based on his time as a flower courier. He has not been in the service of a stranger before or since.

With the money he got, he bought stamps and adventure books and completed his aquarium. With his birthday and Christmas gift money, he bought another, bigger aquarium. He gave names to all the slightly bigger fish, Esko, Keikari, Kört, Josef, Uno, and recorded the dead ones in his diary. 26.12.1947, Two little bodies in the aquarium again. 29.12. The big female and Josef male got sick and died. 3.1.1948, the aquarium pit died. 7.2. "My beloved cardinal who had been ill for almost a week, the second one brought by Rainer, was dead in the aquarium, much to my sadness.

In Ullanlinna, Pent's stamp hobby got a new boost. The garbage boxes in the basements of the central city were full of waste paper and envelopes and "stamp treasures" from agencies and offices. He avoided the janitors and found the doors that led to the waste paper storage in the basements. There were many good places in the city center around Yrjönkatu and Hotel Torni, but you couldn't get to all of them, no matter how clever you were. When Martti started doing postage stamps, the boys kept finding more good "junk stamp places". Pent also had philatelist friends in Germany, with whom he exchanged stamps. The most enthusiastic of them was Theodor Möbs. At the beginning of 1948, Pentti joined the youth department of the Helsinki Postmark Society, but the opportunities were lackluster and fruitless for him, and he often missed them. He was not a social person.

Pentti had inherited his grandfather's typewriter and wrote whenever he had time for his other hobbies. The events of the war were transferred to his writings. During the Continuation War, 10-year-old Pentti also placed elves on the front. The problem for the officers in the story of the elf's army lieutenant and major in the forest cabin is that they cannot find a flat place for the house in the forest. So they build a cabin on top of a stone stilt, but the stone stilt begins to rot, and the cabin falls down. And soon a magnificent red truck dived through the trees.

Pentti also wrote poems and rhymes. They appear in the book Linkola's boys' snow castle and other Lullabies.

On the third day of January, the brothers built Linkola

a nice, nice snow castle and they did all kinds of fun there and were still expanding it.

And it turned out to be wildly wonderful.

Very nice, very nice bomb shelters were born there.

People looked there and saw great caves.

If you watch it too, you will surely fall in love.

And those Linkola brothers were terribly proud, and the little "cappers" and "iron warriors" and "jobs" will probably remember it all night afterwards.

The poem Pöytätavat was inspired by the weekly invitations organized by the girls in the class.

Now let's eat bread and potatoes,

and a lot of butter on the bread.

And remember: you must follow table manners.

Hold the fork in your left hand,

so the cash of your table manners accumulates.

And when the wonderful Children's Party celebrates,

so you can be trusted without hesitation.

And when a big seine is drawn on the lake,

so the fish don't get into the stupid lord's mouth,

when they came to the dinner table once.

From the years 1945–1947, the voice of an older boy is already in the children's prams nursery rhyme book. Writing had become a natural way for Pent to express himself. The night poem is impressive.

The dead rest in the pit,

a fly flies to them,

whose wings are sticky. From afar,

in the distance, a secret cry can be heard.

The night is brighter than ever before.

Aamu describes street boys:

A goose is sitting in the nest of the hand.

The wind is no longer humming.

Of course, it was still humming yesterday.

The gurgling of the sewer, the rattling of the nightstand.

The sun rises, of course its light wakes me up.

Two young street boys, both hardened hooligans, bully the house cat.

A goose flies out of the hand's nest. The noise of flat-footed and small people is endless.

The poem Kommunisti tells about the author's distaste for "low thought":

There is a bleeding veil in the man's eyes,

unmelted gloom in the gaze.

The nose shines with unbridled anger,

and the mouth is loaded with curses.

The ears move furiously,

they become a whining stiff freezing wind---

The skin exudes unintelligence,

and the stomach laughs at its master's frenzy.

In December 1946, Pent's Kustannusliike Kultainen kotka published his book Adventures in Eastern Europe. The book's events take place in the future, in April 1950. Two years had already passed since the end of the war, but it was still strong in Pent's mind: on March 13, the regiments had marched across the Finnish border without declaring war. Finland was in such a weak state after fighting two wars a few years earlier that the president surrendered. There were a few skirmishes, but already on the 25th, the Russians were the masters of Finland. But the Russians practiced unusual atrocities throughout the country. That's why a resistance movement was born, which included mostly young men, including a lot of schoolboys.

"Nothing in those texts suggests that the author has any kind of writer's gifts," Pentti Linkola states now. But he was serious about writing and, like his father, put a lot of effort into his texts.

During the winter, grandma Greta, who lives on the other side of the block, was Pent's main correspondence partner. The letters went in the internal mail. In May 1946, Pentti handed Grandma his unconditional tone that became familiar later. Grandma had apparently scolded the boy frolicking on the bike, and now she got to hear Pent's opinion. Dear grandma. Thank you for your letter. Your perception of cyclists and pedestrians is absolutely to be condemned and rejected. My understanding is that pedestrians must yield to both cyclists and cars, and cyclists only to cars. Pedestrians are such insignificant and cheap creatures in traffic that they must meekly and submissively give way to vehicles - or get run over.


After the beloved biology teacher Arno Jalas, "Nallen", retired in 1937, Dr. Jorma Soveri, a former student of Kaarlo Linkola, took over the position. He was a good teacher, but his disciplinary methods were often sadistic. He could punish a nagging student by shoving a map stick down his throat. If someone made a mistake grinding gum in class, he would rub it into the student's hair. Hardly anyone had real chewing gum at that time and the boys chewed paraffin. When Pent's classmate Jukka Lehtinen moved to America because of his father's work, the diplomat Arthur Lehtinen, he sent genuine Yankee chewing gum to his former classmates.

At SYK, Soveri organized voluntary birding trips on spring Sundays. In April, when the bird migration was at its peak, the teacher and a group of students gathered at the Jewish cemetery at three in the morning. Regular participants were Pentti Linkola, Risto Pelkonen and Juhani Lihtonen. Penti's younger brother Martti was also accompanying the boys more and more often. The first destination was Tilkka, after which the group toured Pikku Huopalahti and Iso Huopalahti and even Laajalahti. When they returned home from Otaniemi via Lauttasaari, it was three in the afternoon.

The family dog Sissi faithfully followed Pentti on his trips. At home, it guarded the boys' backpacks, because taking them out meant a trip. Sissi was a wise dog, but no match for grandfather's dog, who, tired of city life, ran alone to the train station and jumped on the Hämeenlinna train. From Hämeenlinna station, it ran along the forests to Kariniemi. Later, a German magazine published Hugo Suolahte's article about his dog's unprecedented adventures.

Jorma Soveri didn't care about the weather. Risto Pelkone didn't even have rubber boots, but he walked in sneakers and socks on the wide beaches, and the others were worn out. Risto's father had fallen at the front, and the single mother of a family of four had no means of constantly buying new boots for her growing sons. Risto's picnic lunches were also miserable. Pent had good lunches because his mother got cheese boxes from Valio. "I looked at them lustfully," Risto Pelkonen recalls. "But then there was neither taking nor giving, but eating what was available."

CLASSMATE Risto Pelkonen's album photo from a joint birding trip.

On the bird trips, Jorma Sover had with him Kalevi Raitasuo's new Practical Bird Guide and Ivar Hortling's Bird Book to make identification easier, but the books were not made for the conditions of the trip, and they were often in the backpack for the entire trip. During the famine-era summer of 1945, 12-year-old Pentti spent one summer with his classmate Jukka Lehtinen at his grandparents' in Muurla, near Salo. The boys started to identify birds. During the month, Pentti recorded 45 different sports in his notebook. "It was completely different to wake up to the song of the gold rinna than to the sound of horses' hooves on Laivanvarustajankatu", he recalled later. The horse-drawn carts picked up milk from the Farmers' milk center located opposite them in the early morning. The locomotives pulling heavy log wagons to Halkoport were also on the move early in the morning, and their route also passed by the Linkoloi's home.

The boy's bird identification started with a wood stork, which chirps for several minutes at a time. The pocket of bushes clicking in the hay field was also easy to recognize. The redbreast started singing after dusk and its concert consisted of low and high notes.

The song of the birds was the most beautiful thing Penti had heard until then, and after the summer of Muurla, all other hobbies gradually ceased. In Helsinki, Pentti started going to Kaivopuisto and John's church park to identify birds. Västäräkki ran happily along the sandy path, tallittinti stormed about in a bad mood, wagging his tail. He saw birds as human beings. The rest of the summer in Kariniemi was spent identifying birds. By the time he got to Kariniemi, he had time to determine the speed of the train even a little bit. "It won't work anymore. Nowadays, the trains run so fast that you don't even have time to see the scenery."

Just a year earlier, Pentti Linkola had looked shocked at the concentration camp photos at the Helsinki Art Gallery exhibition. Professor KE Kiviriko's bird collection was on display now, and the atmosphere was different. Young bird watchers visited the exhibition to improve their bird identification skills. In the following summer of 1946, Pentti already made planned birding trips and his knowledge of birds grew by leaps and bounds.

After Hugo Suolahti died, Pent's uncle Osmo Suolahti tried to continue running the farm in Kariniemi alongside his work in Helsinki, but he was a researcher, a doctor of chemistry, a distinguished developer of rot protection, and was not the owner of a farm in his own area. "Enoni was impractical and there was no room for him. The war had also left its mark on him", recalls Pentti Linkola.

Osmo Suolahti tried to turn Kariniemi into a garden farm, cultivated carrots and other vegetables. “For a skilled housekeeper, it would have been a good business in those days; food was paid for in gold at that time, but eno made one mistake after another. The old headmaster Lehtonen was competent, but old-fashioned, and was allowed to leave. The new schoolmaster cheated as much as he could." There were still cattle on the farm and butter was being churned in the dairy. The old master of Uotila later told Pent that the new master distributed butter for free, and when the villagers wondered about it, he stated that it was out of the master's bag. Osmo Suolahti attracted his brother-in-law Ola Hrimaly to take care of the farm, but his talents were also elsewhere than in farm management.

"All of Eno's businesses were terrible," says Linkola. The state's immigration settlement policy finally offered him a way out of the difficult situation. Based on the land acquisition law approved by the parliament in 1945, settlements were created for frontline soldiers, relatives of the fallen and homeless immigrants from Karelia. 250,000 people applied for new land, of which 50,000 were migrants, and farms were split up. Many large landowners in Häme had to hand over hundreds of hectares of their land for housing. Civil service lists were not viewed kindly, and Osmo Suolahti was given two options. He could keep the entire 70-hectare farm if he started farming it full-time. Otherwise, the farm would be divided into two housing estates, in which case he would be able to keep the farm with the banks of the main building. Osmo Suolahti chose the latter option, and in the summer of 1946, the Virkkie family moved into the farmhand's house, and another immigrant family started building a home for themselves behind the Kariniemi fields.

Pentti was confused and even angry. He had spent all the summers of his life in the country and missed the forests and lake shores in Kariniemi. There was a sea in Helsinki, but it wasn't the same. His element was lakes. In the end, Hilkka's mother came up with an emergency solution and agreed with Uotila's old master that Pentti and Martti could be in full care with them for June's compensation. Being able to eat was important. Although the war was over, there was still a shortage of food in the capital. It is less than a kilometer from Uotila to Kariniemi and a few hundred meters to Linkola's current home Vähä-Uotila.

Pentti spent the end of the summer at the summer place of his mother's cousin, Dr. Harry Renkonen, a lecturer at the Swedish Normal Lyceum in Helsinki, and his wife Anna, on Taipalsaari, Töimönen island, Saimaa. The Renkos' three sons had fallen in the continuation war, and Uncle Harry repeated the phrase "in life you have to suffer, suffer, suffer..."

Töimönen island was a birdwatcher's dream place, and Pentti made the most of it, but he missed his family. The mother comforted her son (5.6.46): Dear Pentti... I guess you've missed it a bit in the beginning - it was the same for me as a child, when we went to Kariniemi in the spring and it was cold and muggy. And yet I had my own family and siblings on the way. You've been separated from your siblings and your noisy, beloved family and into silence, so it's quite natural that a little nostalgia creeps into your mind. (…) And when the post office often brings you letters, the summer goes by so fast and you're here again. (…) Tonight I first made out with your fish. Snails waggle their horns on plants or glass walls, fish swim briskly and eat hard. The little ones are fine - I just can't see more than three of them with my eyes. Elsa had a dream last night that she was lying at the bottom of a large aquarium and was looking at fish and water plants and that there was very good and sweet land. Then I've laid out sheets and ironed socks, I even repaired Mapu's old golf shoes for next winter's ski trips. (... ) Elsa made real coffee, which was a bit refreshing in this rainstorm..... Listen, Pentti will ask Aunt Anna if she noticed that there was a coffee order coupon on your general shopping card. Good night, little Pentti. Sleep well and see lovely kalauns... Your mother

Martille Pentti wrote (June 14, 1946) about his bird observations: This early summer is truly a birdwatcher's golden age... Yesterday I was sitting here in my attic reading Woodhouse's book The Maiden's Distress. Then a familiar voice came to my ears from the forest behind the fence: "boiling, boiling!" Like lightning, I bolted down the stairs and ran into the forest. Then I crept cautiously towards the still continuous sound. And suddenly a thrush-sized, yellow bird, a male grebe, flew out of a tree in front of me. The female was also meowing nearby in her cat-like style, but I didn't bother chasing her anymore.

A report to his brother on June 18, 1946 tells about the deepening of Pent's birding hobby. The birds came to make up for the loss of Kariniemi. Last night was extraordinarily beautiful; the sun was also shining beautifully, which is very rare this month. I heard the song of the thrush again in the forest and went to find it. It was chirping along the same path where the red-winged sparrows had their nest, but further in the forest. When the song started to be heard relatively close, I started to move carefully on all fours along the path. But suddenly the song stopped and after a long time it started on the other side of the island, where the bird seemed to be singing mischievously: "Ota kii, ota kii!"

When Pentti wasn't running after birds with a notebook in his pocket, he was fishing or playing the snare. Martti, who spends his summer in Helsinki, reports on his car observations. Pentti hadn't even seen a car wheel, only birds. In the end, he missed Kariniemi more than his home in Helsinki and poured out his feelings to grandma Greta: Dear grandma, ... At least in terms of angling, I would really like to be in Kariniemi; I think fishing there is the crown of the summer. (…) I would like a detailed letter from you as soon as possible about the conditions of my dear Kariniemi, the domestic animals, the birds, the health of my castles, the water level, fishing, the current owners of the land, the villagers, boating possibilities, forests, berries, the garden, Levonsaari, Toukose, etc. Can I come and see you in Petäysi then? ? Petti

Mother knew Pent's quick-burning nature and also raised him in her letters (27.6.1946): My dear Pena boy (...)He's doing very well now, catching a lot of fish, but don't become complacent - and restrain yourself nicely when the big fish falls back, so that you don't no one can see what's going on inside you. That's how the fish will raise you into a great man, who is suitable as a hero in a novel!

Pentti and Aira spent August in Petäys with Eino E. Suolahti, Nenno's uncle. From there it was a five-kilometer rowing trip to Kariniemi, but during the whole month they only went there on grandma's birthday on August 8. Pentti fished, held a long line with Uncle Nenno and watched the birds. When father and grandfather were not around, the men of the family looked after him.

School started on the second of September, and a uniquely depressing autumn. Pentti was thirteen, and many things happened for the first time in his life.

28.9. I looked at Sover's class with a microscope for the first time in my life. 28.10. I saw a posetivar for the first time in my life. 4.11. I ate salmiakki for a long time. And I saw the Steamships Brynhild and Arcturus for the first time. 18. 11. I saw negroes for the first time in my life. 3.12. at the dentist for the first time in my life, an otherwise tough baby tooth is pulled out.

He was no longer a child, but a curious youth. 2.10. I extended Sörka's research as far as I knew up to that point. In the spring, he had received his first long pants. Until then, he had worn knee-length "golfers" like other boys. In winter, long socks were worn under the pants, which were held up with garters. The outfit was completed by a little jacket and a close-fitting leather cap.

RISTO Pelkonen's high school picture of his classmate Pent.

SIGNILSKÄR and a young chicken hawk.

II. YOUTH (1947–1959)


Pentti Linkola has a habit of repeating the phrase "there are joys in life, but there are always many more sorrows". It also came true in the summer of 1947: Pent's uncle Osmo Suolahti sold the buildings and beaches of Kariniemi. "The sale was not discussed, it just happened."

Pentti was fourteen. The loss was huge, more painful than the family's "expulsion" after the father's death from his official residence in the Botanical Garden. He had been a child then, but now he was old enough to understand the value and finality of loss. Kariniemi had been a paradise for him. There he had found forests and berry fields, and when his half-brother, father and grandfather died, Kariniemi stayed.

Not many years passed when the Association of Agricultural Consultants, which bought the farm, sold Kariniemi to the city of Valkeakoski. The city turned the villa into a summer camp for children and built a modern terraced house for employees in the old yard. The idyll was shattered, once and for all.

There was still a shortage of food in Helsinki, and when Karinieme was gone, Hilkka Linkola had to find places for her children to spend the summer. Pent had another summer ahead of him on Töimönen island as Uncle Harry's "fish boy". Martti wrote to his brother about his car observations in Helsinki. Pentti hadn't seen any cars, but he managed to catch 58 perch, seven kilos, and saw a fabulous number of birds.

13.6.-47 Töimönen Hi Mapa...I could write a lot about birds. 1)I saw a tent once... on the other side of the island, with flapping wings, flying over the (shrouding) water (membrane) (holding the bottomless pain in his throbbing bosom). 2) Bullbirds fish in our bay all day long and hoarsely mewling in the evenings... 3)... on the beach I admired the beautiful spring dress of an aspen.... 4) Large flocks of mallards roam the region. They are frivolous family men who have left their ladies to brood…. 5) I've often heard the cuckoo's cry, but I haven't seen the bird yet. 6) Tavi's nest was found by Impi (servant)…. The nest pit with ten eggs was extremely carefully and warmly lined with black-motley down. 7) Swifts... 8–9) Back and herring gulls... 10–11) Terns and crows... 12) I saw a falling hand frolicking on the lower branch of a pine tree... 13) I saw a graying male tern already on my first day.... 14) The woodpeckers are flying, just like last year, always in the evenings, flying back and forth over the cottage and chirping.... 15) The crickets are always mischievous in the garden. 16) The starlings have a couple of nest boxes right here nearby. 17) A pair of walleyes regularly visit our island. 18) I once found a handsome big woodpecker in the forest. 19) Shorebirds populate the nearby waters and fly gracefully at the surface of the water. 20) On the beach meadow.. the hummingbirds are constantly flying around in an insane manner... 37) I have heard the sound of the yellow warbler in the village, but I have not heard the magpie and the bush pocket that you mentioned, for example...

Pent's "bird catch" was enviable, and he consoled his brother: When I was your age, I knew nothing about birds. In other respects, Pentti described how he felt. He missed his mother and family and asked his brother to answer with lightning speed, because a letter to this gray solitude is like a glass of water to a thirsty rider in the Sahara.

Mother encouraged (July 11, 1947) Pentti, but you could also sense sadness in the letter. Hilkka Linkola had lost her husband, her father, Anss, who had been like her own son, her home, Kariniemi, and now she was forced to send her children out into the world so that they could eat enough. She, the daughter of the university chancellor and the wife of the university principal, had had to adapt to working life; working hours, short holidays and low pay. His life had turned into the everyday life of a working single parent. Although he hadn't lived extravagantly, he hadn't had to think about having enough money either. Now they were poor people, relatives mourned him. But Hilkka Linkola did not give up. She was a brave woman, hard-working and positive.

Dear Benedict! Thank you very much for your letter, which I was eagerly waiting for. It's nice to hear that you are "outwardly" feeling great - and probably to some extent internally as well, because you catch so many fish and make such wonderful pike, etc. adventures. Don't demand too much: a human child doesn't get everything, fate will take care of that, because apparently the downhill is unhealthy for the development of the human spirit, even if you don't notice it yourself. So be happy with your fish, sauna room, freedom and blueberries. Sometimes life gives you trips and camping companions. Your whole life is in front of you, you can fit anything in it... Warmest greetings, Mother

At the beginning of August it was grandmother's 70th birthday, and the family gathered together for the last time in Kariniemi. A surprise awaited them in Helsinki, their loyal assistant Elsa Pesu had gotten married and moved into her own home. At the end of the summer, Pentti wrote his summer fish catch statistics clean at home. Mother found the attic while cleaning out Anssi's stamp collections. The atmosphere was simple.


When the first migratory birds arrived in the spring, Pentti was like stung. All his other hobbies were left behind as he rode his bike from one birding spot to another. At the beginning of March, he was on a birding trip in Munkkiniemi with his companions Risto Valjaka and Elmo Kajoste. "The sewer mouth was frozen, and Risto wondered if it would last, but Elmo was already crossing it. At the same time, he drowned up to his armpits in the drain." The boy, who was limping heavily, was removed from the tram on the way home. After that, the boys gathered on March 4 to remember the incident, first every year and then every five years for decades until the death of Risto Valjaka, who studied biology, in 2007.

11-year-old Martti accompanied his brother on his birding trips more and more often. 23.3. On the first Sörka trip of the spring. Starlings. 25.3. Great birding with Juhan (Lihtonen). 26.3. Birding with Juhan and Mapa. 27.3. A less successful birding trip with Mapa and Juhan in Wiik. 28.3. I wrote about the blue heron and the sea magpie in Luonn Tutkija. 29.3. With Juhan and Mapa on a birding trip in Wiik. I lost my scarf and fell into Vantaa. 4.4. With Juhan and Mapa on a birding trip to Pikku Huopalahti. Absent from the Philatelic Society. 6.4. On an atmospheric bird tour in Hesperia, Meilahti, Munkkiniemi, Tali and Ruskeasuo, by bike. 9.4. Go on a birding trip to the breeding ground with a permit lesson. 10.4. In Kaivopuisto, listening to the song of a songbird, which turned out to be a redwing. 11.4. Awakening ½5, Mapa and I at Risto Pelkonen's place. Departure from there with Juhani around 6:00, coming home after the tour of Laajalahti at 15:05.

The further along the spring was, the earlier the morning awakenings were. 18.4. Over 12-hour birding tour around Laajalahti with Risto and Juhan ½ 5-4:40 p.m. 19.4. With Juhan in Seurasaari. 22.4. With Juhani Poijärvi and Mauri Kolho at the outer tip of Lauttasaari and Laajalahti after school. 23.4. After school alone in Iso Huopalahti. 24.4. With Mapa in Pikku- and Iso Huopalahti and Laajalahti. Swan!

In the winter of 1948, inspired by his teacher Jorma Sover, Pentti prepared a small treatise on the waterfowl populations of Häme's lakes for the Nature Association's winter days. In the spring, he passed his teacher the silver badge of the Nature Association's knowledge of birds. Throughout the spring, Pentti had harbored hopes for the possibility of spending even a week, even two, in Kariniemi, but on June 4, his dreams collapsed. Even the previous summer, grandma had been allowed to live in Kariniemi's little villa for a short time, but not anymore. The disappointment was horrible, and the evening was hopeless, Pentti wrote in his diary.

When Hilkka Linkola helped her brother clean Kariniemi in the summer, Pentti and Martti were in full care in Uotila. That week sealed Pent's future as a bird of prey researcher. He hung out in the forests and also got to know the great hinterlands, in Haukila forest he found his first osprey, i.e. gnat's nest. The second edition of KE Kiviriko's Suomen linnut book published in the same year told about only one pair of gnats found in Finland. Now Pentti had found another and the discovery encouraged him to search again. Two years later, he started mapping mosquito nests in Häme. He interviewed all the farmers in Kuhmoinen, Sahalahti and Sääksmäki and finally the hosts of Kanta-Häme, Pirkanmaa and Päijät-Häme, and got a lot of information about skunks and other birds of prey. He searched for the nests based on the information he received.

"Pentti is the most persistent person in the world. He went through the entire chain of narrators until he found the one who had seen the mosquito. In the best cases, his nest-specific statistics go back to the times before the wars, but that information is based on hearsay," says his ornithologist friend Juhani Koivu.

That summer, Martti Linkola read Rolf Palmgren's two-volume work Nature Conservation and Culture, written in the early 1920s. The book had a decisive influence on his thinking. The book found in his father's remains was also important to Pent. "It was great to notice that I had developed the same thoughts myself." However, he quickly realized that his father's motive for establishing nature reserves was narrow: "Dad wanted to save the original forest nature first and foremost for research." According to Pent and Palmgren, nature had to be protected for nature's sake. Pentti was also attracted by the poetry of Palmgren's work. His poem stuck in his mind: "I am homeless, as far as I go, the wind blows away my tracks."

Hilkka Linkola's cousin and best friend Elli Leikola invited the Pent family to their summer place in Keuru, Selkisaari. "We went to cat shops and we even had a net. During the famine, it was important to get fish", recalls Penti's younger cousin Anto Leikola, Tinti among the family. He watched by the side as Pentti weighed the fish and recorded the data in his notebook. Anton's younger brother Juhania Pentti taught him how to make reed boats, "he was very good at it". Only Anto didn't understand Pent's obsession with collecting PA numbers. "I could have gotten that information from Elanto's office." The highlight of the end of the summer for Pent was the one-kilo pike he caught. First, a roach caught the hook of the line, but when he was about to pull it up, a pike gobbled it up. It was quite a skunk, and in a terrible excitement I pulled it out of the water, Pentti wrote to his brother. His fish statistics improved in one fell swoop. Before that he had caught 40 roach, 1950 gr, 20 perch, 1375 gr and 27 zander, 600 gr. He also kept a record of the berries he picked: 54 liters of blueberries, 6 liters of raspberries.

He was in a restless mood, and he wrote (14 August 1948) to his brother: I am currently very much in the grip of two hokemas (Can't, pu, get out?!). The first was: Why sooty chicken?, asked Lord Emsworth, and the second: It's booze, he said. The sentences are from PG Wodehouse's book Kesäinen rajuilma.

One morning, half of Keuruuu Pent's lower molar fell out, and in the evening the other half fell out. He took it seriously and began to prepare instructions for himself for the days of old age. He also wrote a short-term action plan, and started implementing it in Helsinki. The job started with cleaning the boxes. He threw into the trash the statistics he compiled on Finnish post-war cars, many bundles of family correspondence cards, 96 paper train cars, dozens of Elanto, Volasen, Koli and other paper cars. He also cased his bookshelves, designed his own fish-themed bookplate, printed it, and glued it to all 162 books in his library. He threw letters into his diary as if in a fit of rage, and his beautiful handwriting momentarily became uneven. Many things in his life were irrevocably over. The old was allowed to make room for the new.

Along with the birds, Pentti also began to observe the surrounding nature and wrote about them, Human and nature, Alustava propaganda leaflet and Suomen Lintusuojelijat. His first waterfowl study and his first bird nest statistics are from the same summer. He purposefully used his knowledge of birds in his writings, and the Luonnon Tutkija magazine of the Finnish Society of Biologists Vanamo ry published his bird studies and essays. He was familiar with the magazine from childhood, when it was called Nature's Friend and his father wrote for it. Pentti wrote short stories about his migratory bird observations to be published at the end of the Uuuteen Suomee column.

Because of his bird hobby, Pent didn't really have time to go to school in his last years of high school, even biology didn't interest him. His interest in cars had been limited to their appearance, and the same was true of birds. He cared little for their anatomy or physiology, and that later alienated him from his studies as well. During recess, Pentti often cycled to Hesperia Park to watch the birds. The first finches and jays came at the beginning of April. After school, he headed to the beach of Töölönlahti. The promontory between the Hietaniemi cemetery and Taivallahti was a particularly good spot for birdwatching because there was uncleared scrub.

His birding trips became even more intense. He went after the birds every day and often at night. He also began to study the Latin names of birds. Before Christmas, he sold his small aquarium to Aunt Elli and used the money to buy a wartime German 6 x 24 Goertz binocular for bird watching. Before making the deal, he went around with Risto Pelkonen comparing the prices of binoculars in the city's buying and selling stores. Pent's binoculars cost FIM 4250, Risto Pelkonen's "lottery won" 6 x 30 binoculars worth FIM 5250.

Gradually, Risto Pelkonen and Juhani Lihtonen gave up. When Pentti asked them to join him on a birding trip, they had other things to do. "Certainly because Pentti took birds so seriously. He was intentional and intense," Risto Pelkonen recalls. He also kept a record of his bird sightings, but was not as accurate as Pentti. "I didn't have the same fire." But when the Pelkosets later acquired a summer place in Savonlinna's Ritosaari, Risto Pelkonen also started systematically mapping birds.

Many boys in Pentti's class were already looking at girls at that time and small romances were born, but Pentti rejected girls in his opinion. In his opinion, the boys who were having fun with girls were, in his opinion, "reckless", they also tasted alcohol. Besides, girls were "a conventional and far too ordinary hobby" for him. "I thought nature and nature conservation belonged to me."


Jorma Soveri taught students how to make a thesis in the upper class, and at the same time encouraged Pentti to start studying zoology and botany at the University of Helsinki. Mother also thought it clear that Pentis would become a naturalist, and "I believed so myself". In Finnish co-educational schools, boys usually had clear career plans, they already knew in the upper grades whether they would go to medical or technical college. Pent's home, father and mother, and the entire family on his father's side were oriented towards the natural sciences, so the studies of plant and zoology seemed like a natural choice for him.

The LINKOLA sisters and the Sissi dog in the early 50s.

In the last grades of high school, going to school became even more difficult for Pent. If he had stayed in class, he would have dropped out, but to his own miracle, he made it from one class to another. Because he had skipped one grade in the preparatory school, he enrolled as a high school student at the age of 17, but did not receive his high school diploma until the following year, 1950, after taking the missing exams. On the morning of the final exams, he was watching the birds' spring migration at the tip of Lauttasaari and arrived for the exams wearing rubber boots and bird binoculars around his neck. On his classmates' graduation day in May 1950, he was on a birding trip in Pälkäne. He happened to look at his watch at the exact moment that his classmates were presumably putting the graduation cap on his head. At the same time his boat ran away, and he had to swim to catch it in full gear.

Pentti had made an agreement with his "mom" according to which he can take a gap year and study birds if he manages to finish school. He kept his mother's promise. After receiving his high school leaving certificate, he spent three weeks in Frankfurt with his pen pal, the German postmarker Theodor Möbs. After the war, Germany had been divided into states, each with its own stamps, and Möbs had sent them all to Pent. Möbs was Shell's department manager and belonged to the National Socialists. He acknowledged the Holocaust by stating that there were more Jews in Germany now than before the wars. The traces of the war were still visible in Frankfurt. Although the repair work had progressed rapidly, there were still plenty of ruined buildings in the city.

It felt wrong to Pent that the allies had also bombed countless small German towns to the ground, and innocent people had died, but after the war ended, only German atrocities were talked about. "The allied bombings are at least as reprehensible. They used incendiary bombs, and a lot of women, children and elderly people burned in the bomb shelters, but they don't talk about it."

Pentti spent the summer of 1950 in Hämee counting bird populations. Uotila's wine cellar, less than a kilometer away from Kariniemi, served as his base again, and Martti joined him for part of the summer. The boys hid notices drawn up by Pent and copied by their uncle Olavi Linkola in the nests of seagulls nesting on the islets, which said that the bird was harmless and that its nest could not be destroyed or its eggs stolen. During the famine, many had eaten seagull eggs, and for some it had become a habit.

In autumn, Pentti began to study Helsinki's winter birds. First, he sniffed all the areas of single-family houses. "They were small, but important because they had holes where redbreasts and blackbirds thrived." When one of the residents came to the stairs to ask what the boy was doing in the yard, Pentti stared the questioner coldly in the eyes and said "listen, close that door from the inside". It worked and "the situation was under control again".

He even followed individual birds. When there was a robin somewhere, he would look for it again and again and see if it survived the winter. The little finches that thrive in the elder thickets either survived or not with the help of the berries. Ports Pentti visited daily, he checked the logs there. The gray gulls stayed in Helsinki until almost February, and after they left, the arctic gulls came. He sent the statistics he wrote down in his pocket notebooks to the Animal Museum.

On May Day 1951, Pentti went around Vanajanselkä again and enjoyed the spring. From Uotila beach to the water at 6:50 a.m. - Keso - Kintaankärki - Mäntysaari - Hiirenkintaat - Monte Cristo rock - Jänissaloi group - then for the first time to the back of Säaksmäki - Pikku Selkäluoto - Kallioluoto - Vähä-Kantturi - Iso Kanturi with islands - Niitysaari's 5 small islands - Itä Niittysaari - still for completely newbies , to unknown waters – three small islets behind Länsi-Niittysaari – Aidassaari – Väh Vohlio – Pikkuluoto – Vohlionsaari – Rauttunselkä – Vehniönsaaret – Pikkuluodot – in front of Visavuori and back the whole huge journey to the tip of Aittosaari. To Kotiranta on 21.10.

In the old maps, the small islands had no names, and Pentti named them according to their shape and atmosphere. The selection of birds was rich: plovers, blue tits, cuckoos, kestrels, mallards, sandpipers, herring gulls, gray gulls, back-billed gulls, terns, little terns, among others. On his second trip to Häme, he assessed Ritvala's Vähäjärvi lake, Limojärvi lake in spring, Supanlammi lake and Kavijärvi lake: black-throated sandpipers, liras, white vultures, plovers, cabbage-breasts and hen hawks. And again the back tour: Mäntysaari – Hirenkintaat – Jänisalot – Variskutteri – Pyteri – Pikku-Pyteri – Keisa – Selkäsaaret – Ruissaari – Keso.

Two weeks after coming to Häme, he wrote a summary of his mood at the beginning of May in his Bird Notes No. 14 notebook. He had read a lot and honed his expression in a fictional direction. Life had changed quickly. Just the day before, I had been, as before, at the top of Santahamina, in diligent scouting work, and after that I got home to eat a ready and good meal. Now late in the evening I was in the middle of the most remote countryside and my beloved Hämetta, ahead of me was a long summer of research in my own conditions, almost in the solitude of a hermit, and in a life complicated by many practical difficulties, housing, food issues above all. When I couldn't get my large amounts of stuff arranged on the bus due to being caught by Matkahuolto in Hämeenlinna, I had to - humiliatingly - drive the distance by bus myself with my stuff, which luckily I completely endured, so that I got on the highway at the Lehtimäki crossroads in good condition. My beloved summer country welcomed me "with a smile". Already in the second species I heard the sweet dripping of the perennial perennial TILTALTI at the crossroads - immediately as a new joy of spring, because in Helsinki I had not come across a tiltalti in the last couple of three days when it had already arrived.

Häme in May was a new experience for Pent and the atmosphere was etched in his mind. He watched the spawning of fish on the shore of Uotila and listened to the bird concerts in the forests. The song of the thrush, red-breasted and green sparrow echoed everywhere, and more and more migratory birds kept coming. Pentti had stayed in Uotila's vintkamari, but now rented a piece of land in the nearby forest from Uotila's old owner, and built a small, six-square-foot wooden shed on it as a base for birding trips. The old owner would have rented him a plot of land on the beach, but Pentti was already of the opinion at that time that the beaches should not be built, but should be preserved in their natural state.

In Häme, Pent didn't have much money, he lived on potatoes and oatmeal, but once he borrowed a fishing rod from the owner of Uotila and managed to catch an almost three-kilo pike from the shore water. There was enough to eat for a whole month in the haue. "It tasted different every time and finally it was already in liquid form." Pentti ate it as a snack with potatoes.

In addition to the Martti brother, Pent was visited by his amateur ornithologist friends from Helsinki, Tapio Klemola and Olavi Hildén. Olavi Hildén was a graduate of Töölö co-educational school and studied zoology in his first year at the University of Helsinki. Klemola was Pent's acquaintance from SYK. At that time, many young people were interested in nature, but there were fewer bird enthusiasts, and all the young amateur ornithologists in Helsinki knew each other. The main reason for the hobby's rarity was the lack of an easy-to-carry pocket-sized bird identification guide. Binoculars suitable for observing birds were also difficult to find after the wars; Pentin's binoculars were used German military binoculars.

Many shunned Olavi Hildén because of his absoluteness and inflexibility. He was known for cutting things off as soon as the other didn't act as agreed, even if there was a valid explanation. Linkola understood that plans can change, but he also had his flaws, he got angry easily. However, the two strong-willed young men quickly became soul mates. The boys were also united by the fact that they were sons of a professor. Both took their birding seriously, and went on joint birding trips even in winter. In the bitter cold, they skied from Kulosaari via Herttoniemi to Vuosaari in Puotilan and wrote down in their notebooks all the tree climbers, redstarts, blue and fir and shrike, yellow warblers and green finches and ground warblers they saw. They were always just as enchanted, Helsinki's snow-covered, festive landscape with birds was an experience.

When the duck hunting season started in August, the summer in Pent Häme ended. That summer he was focused on waterfowl and that summer became his "by far the worst nesting summer". Before returning to Helsinki, he and Olavi Hildén spent another week in Pori Yyteri with Tapio Klemola as a guest of his grandmother. The boys swim and enjoy life on the sandy beaches. It was the idle idleness of young men, to which Pentti indulged extremely rarely. He had read in the Suomen Luonto magazine Jukka Koskimiehe's great account of watching the night migration of birds in the sea island, and inspired by the story, according to Eero-Pekka Paavolainen and Olavi Hildén, he went to the Söderskär lighthouse in the outer archipelago of Porvoo. Erkka Paavolainen, who was two grades above Pentti at SYK, had been the president of the school's nature club Amici Naturae and was now studying law. Pentti had scrutinized the club and at the beginning also its chairman. During recess, he had shown a long nose to Erkka Paavolainen, but after getting to know each other, they became lifelong friends.

"Pentti was a special person even at a young age, he was Pentti Linkola. Fierce and passionate, on the other hand downright leisurely and hermit-like. And pretty specific about who he was talking to. That's such a stupid person, not worth talking to, he could say. He is a matter-of-fact person, but also a great humorist. He is also a provocateur, but he won't admit it. When Otaniemi University of Technology was ready without masonry, he threw bricks from the construction site into the forest on bird trips," Paavolainen recalls.

For Pent, the night at Söderskär's outdoor wilderness was a much more wonderful experience than Koskimies had been able to describe in his article. He listened to the stories of his fellow travelers from Signilskär in Åland, where they had been ringing and counting birds in May 1950 and 1951. After the trip to Söderskär, Pentti accompanied Erkka Paavolainen on his motorboat, observing birds on all the islets and islands off Helsinki. The boys' stories about the spring migration of birds on Signilskär warmed his mind, and he acquired a bird ringing permit.


Still in the same fall of 1951, Pentti started studying zoology and botany at the University of Helsinki with a minor in geography. There were no entrance exams, it was enough to register as a student. He had in mind a career as a researcher or natural history teacher. His mother was certain that Pent would become a biologist, but his studies did not go as planned. He didn't enjoy college. He passed the first year, but in the spring, when he should have read for the final exams of the first school year, he went to Häme to follow the spring migration of birds, ring birds and make their frequency calculations. It did not bode well for the continuation of studies. After the bird counts in Häme, he traveled to Signilskär with Olavi Hildén.

The Signilskär bird station, located on the west side of Åland, is the oldest bird station in Finland and Scandinavia, founded in 1927, and is maintained by the Ålands Fågelskyddsföreningen. Lintuasema operated in a former pilot station, which also had two other deserted buildings on the island. The last inhabitants had left the windy rocky outcrop in the 1930s. After the wars, the association had applied for voluntary workers for the station with a newspaper advertisement, and bird ringing had been started again.

The route to Signilskär went from Turku by Vellamo, Borella or Aallottar first to Mariehamn, and from there by bus driven by Ragnar Fällman to Eckeröh. The car journey progressed slowly, because Fällman stopped here and there to run to the residents along the road the goods they had ordered. The employees of the Enskär coast guard station on the neighboring islet of Signilskär drove the travelers from Eckerö to Signilskär.

KARU Signilskär. Photo: Mauri Rautkari.

It was warm August and there were a lot of birds on the uninhabited island. It was just as impressive as Linkola had imagined: windy sea-licked bare rocks, the sea as far as the eye can see. Even at that time, Signilskär didn't have ringing nets, but there were two big gillnets, "fellas", into a glass booth at the back of which the men drove birds to ring. As decoys, they used live buntings they caught from attics in Helsinki.

When the weather was favorable, the tire work went quickly. Hildén, who enjoys opera music, sang arias. After his graduate studies, Penttikin had acquired a collection of a few dozen records of classical music, Sibelius, Bruckner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. The music spoke to him to the point of movement. Especially the third movement of Mahler's first symphony brought tears to his eyes. Hildén was his favorite company also because with him you could discuss high culture from music to literature and theater. Young Linkola was enthusiastic about the theater. He frequently visited the National Theater. When Teatteri Jurkka was founded in 1954, he was one of the first to see August Strindberg's play Miss Julie. The Jurkas were his favorite actors from the days of the Intimiteatteri founded by Emmi Jurka.

SIGNILSKÄRI bird station. On the right, grapple traps, "fellats".

Time at Signilskär passed quickly. When it was time to leave, Olavi Hildén got on the coastguard ship and headed for Helsinki and the university, but Pentti couldn't wait to leave and stayed alone on the island. He had been sociable since he was a little boy, and he wondered if he would be able to live alone on the island, but surprisingly, he had a great time without the company of other people. "When you're smart enough, you can enjoy yourself in your spirited company," he praised later. He liked the birds as his companions and at times even identified with them. His favorite bird was the osprey, whose "activity approaches madness". The black-backed gull is "ceremoniously handsome", but "the most brilliant of all is the Lapland tern, which flies millions of kilometers a year".

Pentti collected bird observations until December for the Åland Bird Protection Association, which owns the station. It was important for the association to get information about the migration routes of birds. He paid the rings he performed to the Zoological Museum of the University of Helsinki. He became friends with Göran Nordström, who started as the director of the tire agency in the same year. This informed Pent with a personal letter whenever a bird he had ringed was found dead. Pent's obligations also included writing down the bird observations he had made on Signilskär, and when he had done it at his home in Helsinki, spring was already well underway. He returned to Signilskär in March.


In the summer of 1952, Pentti continued surveying mosquito nests and ringing mosquitoes in Häme; Hattula, Hauho, Sääksmäki, Tyrvännö, Kuhmalahti and Pälkäne. "In May and early June, I spent more time in the trees than on the ground." To his own surprise, he only fell once. At the time, he was ringing his first or second säksäkipiku on Säaksmäki and was just learning how to climb pole rails in his shoes. "The stilts failed, but the hands did not. The little one scratched his chest when I ran down."

Pent had a bad fear of heights, he was already dizzy on the old bridge in Hämeenlinna, and the gnats' nests were usually on the top branches of 20-30 meter tall pine trees. Little by little, the fear faded, but returned when he eventually stopped ringing the birds of prey. Many used safety ropes when climbing, but they were difficult for Pent. He tied himself with a hemp rope from the waist to a tree only after reaching the gnat's nest. As he leaned against the rope, he freed his hands to ring the chicks. He also disliked pole shoes, even though they were often necessary when climbing the tops of tens of meters of treeless trees. “I had strong thighs and calves. When I got to the branches, I threw my stilt shoes on the ground, Alashan managed to slide, but sometimes in the wind it was quite fierce. It's a lot of work to ring the chicks when the top is swaying in the wind."

"Pena was good at climbing, but not daring at all," recalls Juhani Koivu, an amateur ornithologist and photographer who was often Linkola's friend. "When his head hit the bottom of a gnat's nest, the most demanding job lay ahead. The height of the nest was a meter and a half and he had to bend himself into the nest. If he had no chance of getting into the nest without breaking it, he announced that he was going to come down. He didn't take any risks in passing the nest, it didn't make sense to sacrifice his life or the lives of the chicks."

The tallest tree that Pentti climbed was a 31-meter pine tree at Humalavuori in Tuulos. Lammilla had made her nest on top of the broken top of an equally tall spruce. "When I came down, I measured the tree with my own height." The vultures also preferred nesting sites on the slopes of cliffs and triangulation towers, which were good places to view the scenery. "I can still see what the remote forest landscape is like: first there is green, then blue-green, and finally the last blues of Daagan Laet. It's handsome."

VANAJA, Jylisjärvi. Photo: Juhani Koivu.

"He has a sensitivity to landscape", says Juhani Koivu about Linkola. Koivu often watched his traveling companion by the lake as the sun rose. "Pena stared blankly at the landscape and asked, how can people rape such a landscape?" Koivu's and Linkola's mosquito trips could last even a week. "We went all day and when the evening started turning into night, Pentti said to hit the brakes now. He got out of the car, took the tent from the trunk and set it up ten meters away from the car. The wake-up call was at five in the morning. I packed water, oat flakes and blueberry jam, plus some sourdough bread and water from the road brook, and off I went again. The whole day we were on the move, calmly, that's what coping was based on," Koivu recalls. While traveling, Koivu learned that Linkola's moods could change from side to side. "He is an extremely contradictory person."

For many days, Pentti searched for the osprey named by him as the "national hero of Vahtermetsä" based on his brother's advice, but it had disappeared without a trace. Game management associations paid killing money for the destruction of nests of "damage birds", and birds were even caught with leg irons. "When you saw an osprey's nest, you had to keep your mouth shut so that the bounty hunters wouldn't attack it," Linkola recalls. "The fishermen were afraid that the fish-eating gnats would empty the lakes of fish. The chicken hawk was also an outlaw. It ate chicken birds that hunters competed for. All the other falcons were also in danger because the hunters did not distinguish the birds from each other. In 1953, so much metso was brought to Helsinki that the market hall and market square were flooded with them, and some even got spoiled. Grouse and grouse were also available for sale, and the stocks dwindled until 1954–1955 the hunting of hen birds for sale was prohibited. Even foxes and their cubs were killed until 1975, and the men spent the night digging rocky hills and looking for foxes' dens.

Pentti reports to the state nature conservation supervisor Reino Kalliola about the destroyed nests of birds of prey. Kalliola was familiar to him based on his works The beautiful nature of Finland (1946) and The nature of Finland in the changing seasons (1951). He was Pent's role model as a writer.

"His texts approached pathos, but always remained below the limit of appropriateness."

KALASÄSKE nesting in Lopen Mustinsuo.

Olavi Hildén continued his zoology studies at the university. Pentink also intended to continue, but he only made it to the middle of the fall semester. Already the previous spring, he had posted a defiant declaration on the university's notice board next to the exam results, in which he announced that he was quitting his geography studies. He also found the anatomy and physiology of animals "unspeakably uninteresting". It was worse just being indoors.

In December, he admitted to himself that nothing would come of his studies. "I was puzzled. I lay in pain in my bed and wondered what my life would become." The situation was oppressive. "I didn't understand why my studies didn't go well for me. I couldn't even blame my childhood. It had been too free.”

He went to talk with psychologist Martti Samooja, the career guidance counselor of the city of Helsinki. They discussed literature, and Samoa would have liked to buy from Pent the novel Oblomov by the highly praised Russian Ivan Goncharov. The main character of the book sinks into complete inactivity because he does not have the strength to realize his good aspirations. The book was important to Pent, and he didn't want to give it up, but he lent it to the career counselor. Samooja recommended him any non-practical profession, even the job of a civic college principal. "I didn't pass the iron wire torsion tests." Later, Linkola thought about the work of a priest, but he couldn't find the slightest faith in himself. He had grown up with naturalistic thinking, and "blue maids" were not part of his worldview.

Mother had a "principle of non-interference", and she did not put pressure on Pentti in his studies. It wasn't even necessary, because it was clear to him that Pentti wanted to be a biologist. "When Pentti finished university, my mother let out a deep sigh," Aira's sister recalls. Even the fact that Pentti was initially reluctant to go to the matriculation exams had been a difficult place for the mother. The relatives had called him and said that "we have to demand". On the other hand, the family was used to black sheep. Mother's sister, Aunt Hertta, had not wanted to go to school, but had worked at the statistics office of the city of Helsinki. Grandfather's youngest brother Väinö had "only" completed a lower degree in law.

The failure of Pentti Linkola's biology studies was also a disappointment to his high school biology teacher Jorma Sover. Soveri was aware of his former student's predilections, but also of his exceptionally passionate birding. Pentti ringed and made bird observations with the precision of a professional. Soveri had advanced to become the principal of Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu and sat on the board of directors of Otava. He took advantage of his position in the publishing house, and ordered a Finnish translation of the work Svenska djur by Swedes Gunnar Svärdson and Sigfrid Durango from Pentti Linkola. Fåglarna.

It was 1952, Pent's 20th birthday was approaching. Lintukirja's translation work came as a gift from heaven to him. He had just returned from Signilskär to Helsinki and his university studies were not progressing. When the publisher agreed that he would translate the book together with his ornithologist friend Olavi Hildén, Pent's life was back on track.

Hildén was known as a bird identification guru, and he had just been elected secretary of the Finnish Ornithological Association and later chairman of the youth section of the Union of Ornithological Associations, the predecessor of BirdLife Finland. Linkola and Hildén were excited. Birds were no longer just a hobby for them, but their work took on a wider meaning.

There were very few bird books at that time. The Bird Book of Lågskär's "discoverer" Ivar Hortling was from 1936, and years had already passed since its supplementary edition was published. Kalevi Raitasuo's Practical bird guide from 1948 helped those interested in birds get started, but even that only described some of Finland's nearly 450 bird species. KE Kiviriko's Suomen linnut was the only basic work, but "already felt childish". It was also thick and not suitable as a field guide.

Linkola and Hildén's translation work Suuri Lintukirja was published in 1955. The work was well received. It was not a single translation, but the authors had supplemented the book with their own knowledge and experiences. In its review, Ilta-Sanomat praised the book's "situational pictures" of birds and the material based on the authors' own experiences, which "gives the work its unique and enjoyable tone". Linkola was only saddened by the fact that he was not able to take the free copy of the book to Aimo Tillander, Tilu, his Swedish teacher whom he appreciated from the time at SYK. "I even knew my former teacher's apartment on the cross street of Museokatu, because I had taken my lazy homework there. His standard instruction to the students was: Fifth floor, I hope the elevator is broken."


Early the following spring, Linkola traveled again to Signilskär's barren bird observation station. As usual, he spent the summer in Häme, but returned to Åland in the fall. Every fall, Åland magazine did a little story about him, and titled it Fågelpojken har kommit. He already did the work of a field ornithologist in a completely professional manner. Signilskär had replaced Kariniemi for him. Winters were spent writing down observations at my mother's house in Helsinki.

Pentti got by with a little at Signilskär. He lived in a deserted house, ate only potatoes and oatmeal, which he mixed with cold water. Apart from them, money was only spent on bread, milk and butter. The employees of the Enskär sea guard station delivered to him every two weeks the groceries he ordered.

Pentti's sister Aira, who was studying physics and chemistry at the University of Helsinki, had married her fellow student Pentti Ruohonen, and in the fall of 1953, at the herring market in Helsinki, the young couple got the idea to greet Pentti at Signilskär. The conversations between Linkola and his brother-in-law revolved around matters of war and peace, both were pacifists, but it wasn't until a few years later that their thoughts were refined into a book. Felix Iversen was Ruohosten's physics teacher at the university. Iversen led the Finnish Peace League founded in the 1920s, but for Ruohos he represented a bygone era. In the 1930s, Iversen and the organization he led had been pressured due to anti-fascism activities and legal proceedings had been initiated against him. Although Iversen's career as a peace activist was illustrious, a new generation took over the peace movement. Pentti Linkola also went to Peace League meetings and old Iversen didn't make an impression on him either.

Six years had passed since the end of the war. Yrjö Kallinen, a well-known pacifist, served as Minister of Defense in the post-war years 1946–1948. He had refused arms during the war and had been condemned to death Four times, but had been acquitted each time. He was admired not only by young people, but also by many parents. "Even my mother said that it's great that a man of peace is the minister of defense," Aira Ruohonen recalls.

Pentti realized that with this visit, he had received a tacit approval from his sister for his decision to leave his university studies. Aira wasn't even surprised by her brother's ascetic lifestyle: "Pentti had come to his father."

The following spring, Linkola did not go to Signilskär, but to Lågskär's low bird islet in Lemland, south of Åland. Lågskär was known from Ivar Hortling's famous bird book. Hortling was a teacher at Helsinki's Swedish Lyceum, the most famous amateur ornithologist of his generation, but he died before Linkola could meet him. After Hortling, Linkola was the second ornithologist to visit the island. Halfway from Mariehamn to Lågskär, the ship had to stop at the Båtskär coast guard station due to drift ice. "We are sitting here at the Båtskäri sea guard station halfway on the way to Lågskär for the third day already, sometimes we eat ali, then we sit again and watch the ali", Pentti wrote to his brother (March 6, 1954). Lågskär's lighthouse keeper Johansson was also waiting for the journey to continue. On the third day, the officers of the pilot station took them on the station ship "Valvoja" to Lågskär lighthouse. Pentti reports to his brother. "There are more bird species here full-time and many bird species in one flock than in Signilskär all together during the spring migration season. PS It's more maritime here than at sea."

Linkola did systematic bird counts on the island. He ringed the birds he caught with dreams and rudimentary nets. The bird observation book he kept at Lågskär at that time quickly became the "bible" of bird enthusiasts, so vividly and thoroughly does Linkola tell about his bird observations. 28.3.1954 Lågskär 13.10 as soon as I came out, the starlings jumped from the sheds into the air shouting lace-lace, and a beautiful female falcon arrived from the inner island... 14.4.1954 Lågskär at 15.15. One blackbird flew to the wall of the station between some boxes and a moment later a sparrow hawk followed slowly braking its talons with a ditch!; the blackbird screamed loudly and there was a different noise until they came one after the other flying low and the sparrow hawk either drove by or left it in, but in any case they separated...

At Lågskär, Linkola was a guest of the lighthouse keepers. A bird observation station was established on the island only in 1963, and it became more popular than Signilskär among bird watchers. Today there are already a dozen birdwatching stations like Signilskär, but in the 1950s it was the only one in the whole country, and Linkola was the only one that received a small daily allowance for birdwatching. The entire bird station operation of the 1950s depended on him. He created observation systems and ring systems. During the best migration time for birds, they were based on working in shifts from sunrise to sunset. The observation instructions he drew up, which were twenty strips long, were "mandatory", Ilkka Stén later described in Lintumies magazine. "A lump rose in my throat as a young boy while reading them. How can you do everything necessary here? - And none other than Pentti Linkola could do it."

Pentti went around the whole island several times a day, drove the birds into bird traps and ringed them. He scrupulously recorded every bird that entered, even the ones that escaped. The notes indicate whether it was a local that had already been seen before, a roving or a new migrant. He also wrote down the bird's direction of entry, flight height and time in the notebook. In addition to sound observations, he recorded all invisible events, such as hawk alarms. "And, of course, the weather conditions were monitored all the time, the effects of weather changes on migration events were evaluated, and one's own activity and its effect on observation efficiency were critically observed. And there was no question of filling the dry bird station with ticks or number codes, in which case, with each filling in of the screen, perhaps the main part of the accuracy, versatility and comparability of the primary data researcher, which is unique in its comparability, is lost forever," Stén recalled. The reporting of Linkola's two spring seasons and six autumn seasons from Signilskär and Lågskär comprises more than 3,000 typewritten pages of "extremely exciting narration, summary tables and comparisons from different seasons full of the flavor of life", Stén described.

At the beginning of summer, Pentti returned to Hämee to make bird frequency calculations and to ring chicks. He shared the joy of the discovery with his brother in his letters. Uotila 8.5.-54. Keltanokka Martti Linkola, 2 overwhelming highlights of the season (unless I find a screech owl, sparrow owl or screech eagle's nest): just under 100 m next to my cabin, my best owl nest in the tar elm of the fern field, 4 gorgeous boys in the nest with a night owl and a crazy mother who won't leave, not even a claw lie gently on the bottom of the bed and allow yourself to be moved as much as you like...” Another significant observation was the finding of a hornet's nest in a woodpecker hole in a large wound. (…) There is no sign of spring here, it is summer here. Sweat flows like urine…. Frogs croak by the millions in springs… .

In October 1954, Pentti received a pleasant letter from his brother to Signilskär: I understand very well that you stopped your studies. I realize it wasn't a prank. Eero-Pekka Paavolainen and Pekka Putkonen also understand the sincerity of your solution. There is also a kind of royalty in the fact that you are still in the solitude of Signilskär following your ideas.

Martti had started his biology studies but quickly switched to studying ethnology, archeology and art history at the University of Helsinki. I feel that most of the students in my year represent Homo Simplex and that I am the only Homo Champion, he wrote to his brother. Pentti recognized the feeling. "There is nothing more unhappy than being above others, feeling that you are smarter. It's an accident," he later stated.

Martti Linkola also enjoyed nature, he had even obtained a bird ringing permit, but unlike his brother, he had nothing against city life. Like Erkka Paavolainen, many of his friends also became Pent's friends. He introduced his brothers Matti Klingee and Pentti Saarikoski, his peers, and many other young Helsinki cultural radicals of the time.


After the end of the war, Linkola closely followed world politics. He read everything related to the Cold War in the newspapers. Relations between the Soviet Union and the Western powers, especially the United States, were frosty. The "Iron Curtain" divided Europe in two. The narrowing of the gap between the superpowers was visible in all areas of society, from politics to the economy, from culture to sports, and even minor conflicts escalated. Nuclear weapons became central in the competition for military power. In the young Linkola, the uncertainty of world politics aroused strong emotions. The threat of the Third World War seemed real to him and the entire generation.

Against that social reality, the "militaristic patriotism maintained by men belonging to the generations who went to war" seemed to him not only frightening but also wrong. Time had passed the "oak-leaf generation". "Undoubtedly, the memory of my older brother also influenced my thinking. His death in the follow-up war seemed to me a pointless sacrifice.”

In the 1950s, Ylioppilaslehti played a significant role in stimulating social debate. Before the wars, the paper had been strongly on the side of the "authentic Finns" and had supported the Karelian Society from the Academy. During the war, it opposed communism. Now Western democracy was emphasized in its writings, but the spirit was still moderately right-wing.

Annamari Sarajas, who was the editor-in-chief of Ylioppilaslehti in 1947–1948, had created the magazine's cultural foundation. He had attracted promising young writers such as Eino S. Repo, Kai Laitinen, Tuomas Anhava, Kyllikki Wehanen (later Villa) and Jouko Tyyri to the magazine. There was talk of the "Annamari salon". At the beginning of the 1950s, Sakari Virkkunen was the editor-in-chief of Ylioppilaslehti. When Pentti Linkola published his first public section articles in the fall of 1954, Ylioppilaslehti lived through Antero Mikkola.

At that time, 150 years had passed since the birth of JL Runeberg, the national poet, the author of the Maamme song and the Porilainen march. The young generation did not unreservedly admire Runeberg, and Ylioppilaslehti published an article by Kai Laitisen and Pekka Lounela in their audience section, in which they criticized Runeberg's poetry about the idealization of war. They were labeled communists. Linkola was amused and also enraged by the comparison, and he wrote his own equivalent "for those in the right". He stated that "there may be even greater dangers to humanity than communism - perhaps precisely nationalism, or patriotism".

The combination of nationalism and patriotism hit a tight spot in many places, but in Linkola's opinion, the difference between the concepts had narrowed: "The desire for peace after the wars had turned into patriotism and intolerance again in a few years. And: patriotism manifested quite helplessly, if not as anger, then at least as contempt for the rest of humanity." He considered nationalism to be the root cause of wars.

Linkola hoped that the war generation would have understood the thinking of young people, but the wish was in vain; his polemical writings shocked the "oak-leaf generation". When he recommended internationalism instead of nationalism, he was branded a communist in many articles in the public section of Ylioppilaslehti, but he was not a communist. Closer to him is the idea "Civilized people of all countries - unite!" "It combined culture, promotion of science and art, pacifism and charity. Or if, in addition to humanity, an even broader vision is desired, we also include the idea of nature conservation," Linkola wrote.

He had become familiar with the thinking of the British philosopher Bertrand Russell and recommended his work Filosofiaa jokamiehelle (WSOY 1951) to the readers of Ylioppilaslehti. Russell had already participated in pacifist activities during the First World War and his message was that war is a senseless and senseless waste of human life. Like Russell, Linkola considered the creation of a "world state" necessary for the preservation of life, for him the fatherland meant the entire earth, not just a people or a nation living in a limited area. The main task of the army was to secure world peace. He suggested in his writing on Signilskär that the soldiers could also clean up the Åland Sea archipelago after the war. "After the islet fortifications had been blown up, the gallant granite cliffs of Åland, covered with piles of boulders, lumps of concrete and twisted iron pipes, were a shameful sight."

When it was hoped that the traitors would be punished as harshly as possible, even the death penalty, Linkola suggested that all Finnish war secrets be made public. He himself was ready to give any information to both the Soviet Union and other neighbors. In his opinion, such a concept as treason should not even exist.

Linkola's radical pacifist writings aroused anger. His ethics were considered high, but without cover: "especially his talk about the world state is utopian", one wrote. In the most angry responses, he was branded a traitor. The relatives furrowed their brows at Pent's thoughts, and the most senior ones pointed it out to his mother. In his letter, Hilkka Linkola hoped that Pentti would no longer write "such".

"My mother had to settle for a lot already when I was at school. I wasn't a model, but that didn't affect our relationship. Thanks to her bright nature, mother endured and swallowed everything."

At the beginning of 1955, Linkola met Pekka Tarka through the editorial office of Ylioppilaslehti. Tarkka, later known as a literary scholar, cultural journalist and non-fiction writer, served at the Reserve Officer's School and had sent his own "pacifist writing" to the magazine there. Under the protection of the nickname, he praised the ideas presented by Linkola as "intellectually refreshing". Later, Tarkka tried to become a regular literary critic of Ylioppilaslehti, and the magazine bought a few book reviews from him, but even then he didn't beat himself up.

Already during the first meeting, Linkola and Tarka had a lively conversation. Linkola had received a three-year deferment from the army due to his university studies, but was now going to do armed service. He was interested in hearing about Tarka's army experiences, especially since he seemed to agree with him on issues of war and peace.

Tarkka had read Bertrand Russell's Filosofiaa jokamiehelle (1951) after seminary school, and received inspiration for his thinking from the book. Pekka Tarka's father, Topi Tarkka, had not taken up a weapon during the war, but served as an unarmed chaplain in an Estonian battalion on the shores of Viipur Bay. "It was a bad place, because higher up on the other side of Vyborg, the Tali-Ihantala battle was going on, and the Russians were trying to get across the Gulf of Vyborg from behind the Finns. South of the Estonian battalion, the Soviet division lost the landing fleet and two-thirds of its men at the beginning of July, they were shot there," Tarkka told his shocked father's letter to his wife.

Pentti Linkola listened, but did not tell Tarka about his older brother Anssi, who fell in the Continuation War, either then or later, even though they became close friends. In addition to pacifism, Tarkkaa and Linkola were united by their love for Häme's buses. They knew the buses and operators that operated in Hämee in the 1950s and 1960s and knew how the companies were doing - why Anton Mäntylä from Padankoski abandoned his son, or the evil Pekola devoured Mäntylä's company. Tarkka had lived her childhood in Tampere and the family had visited their villa in Pälkäne by bus. He also memorized the serial numbers of the buses.


Many who know Pentti Linkola were surprised by his decision to choose armed service. It came as a surprise to his friends as well, and was not obvious even to himself. In the 1950s, it was only possible to enter the civil service "for reasons of conscience based on religious or moral conviction". Jehovah's Witnesses refuse armed service and dig swamp ditches. Refusals could also be placed in civilian administration positions in hospitals and universities.

Linkola's biggest fear was that if he refused, he would be forced into indoor labor. He sensed that he could not stand it, and fear made him choose armed service. In the invitations, he stated that he wanted to be as far away from Helsinki as possible, but quickly specified his wish - he wanted to join the Karelian jaeger battalion in Kontioranta, near Joensuu. Kontioranta was known as "the last bastion of falconry", but Linkola justified his wish by the fact that he did not know the birdlife of the area and wanted to get to know it. The summoning officers looked at him in disbelief; it was not usual for a boy from Helsinki to want to go to the Salomai of Karelia.

Linkola was excited about the Karelian landscapes, there were idyllic small houses in the landscapes high on the dangerous slopes, and there were plenty of birds in Lake Höytiäinen on the garrison's training ground. But as a conscript, he didn't have time to observe birds, and he was disappointed. Movement in nature was significantly less than he had imagined. "There should have been more brisk bike marches."

In Kontioranta, Linkola had to undergo special treatment from the beginning. Some of the students had read his writings in Ylioppilaslehti, and his reputation as a supporter of disarmament quickly reached the regular staff as well. "It meant a terrible mess."

Prussianism prevailed in all its splendor in the hiding place of the snowy fabrics of Karelia. Under the guise of morning gymnastics, the novices were made to stand in a position with their shirtsleeves in 40 °C freezing temperatures until their fingers and earlobes swelled up shapeless, and those who got the worst eye-sticks were run around the barracks naked in the wind or restored to such good order with a ground-up exercise that not even a fin moved anymore, Linkola later recalled.

CORPIS WARS -42 C in freezing weather.

The whole family was unreservedly on Pent's side, and hoped that he would be able to complete his military service.

You had to wipe the corner of your eye with the back of your hand and get a handkerchief, the mother wrote (8.3.55) to her son. Crying in the market doesn't help, they say, and of course it doesn't. The worst thing is that nothing else helps. All my mother hen instincts are in revolt, feathers are ruffled and a horrible vulture is underway. What is the use of that! Nothing! (…) Now try to somehow resign, to be temporarily bored, to fall into spiritual hibernation...

Sister Aira also comforted her brother (8.3.55): Pena, thank you for your letter, its arrival made me very happy, but inside it made me sad because of the insane treatment you have been subjected to. Now at least the frosts have subsided and the situation has become easier in that respect, maybe you have also been able to look humble enough to make the special treatment easier. I advise you: Sadists and stupid cocksuckers, who are usually very timid about their own honor, enjoy seeing humility and remorse, especially if you make them believe it's genuine. (…) We are all depressed because of your misery, try to hold on now, that meanness won't last forever.

Pentti Ruohonen informed his brother-in-law (12.5.55) about the death of a 19-year-old youth as a result of a brutal beating in Dragsvik. It can be assumed that gradually people will come to a slightly different understanding of these hilarious pranks and that in the end they will believe that the so-called a healthy man can be revived by running and jumping.

Linkola was saved by his good physical condition, which had come from combined birding and bike trips in different parts of Finland. Once the company's bike march went through the "most wonderful scenery", but the muona trucks went their separate ways, and the men were not allowed to eat for long periods of time. "Climbing the hills of Karelia with rifles on my back was too much for many. The men were splashing in the ditches every now and then." Linkola took the rifle of his four comrades on his shoulder so that the guys wouldn't starve. The regular staff saw it, and someone told him out loud that "yes, you are in terrible shape".

IN KONTIORANTA 1955: "Linkola series". Pictures. E. Esko E. Eskelinen.

Linkola was a qualified orienteer, he had navigated the forests for years with the help of a compass he inherited from his brother Anssi and won his battalion's orienteering championships in Kontioranta. "Partisanship was at its best in the army", and Linkola was once again popular. After the orienteering championship, the officers no longer pointed out to him about pacifism, but they started coaching him for the Defense Forces cross-country championships. When the others were locked up, Linkola ran a boom run, jumped along planks over water obstacles, threw hand grenades and fired endlessly with a Suomi submachine gun. He would no doubt have done well in the competitions, but unfortunately for him it was a team competition. Two team members got lost during the day's orientation, and Linkola's team finished fifth.

The track was difficult as hell, the terrain was such mountain and valley, rock and gorge, alps and valley that there is such a thing elsewhere only in theory, Pentti wrote to his brother. The best man in the Onttola garrison team couldn't find a single one of the six ticks. Linkola managed everything, but it took him three and a half hours to run the ten kilometers. …and a body in death convulsions. The winner, the namesake of the Kuopio orienteers, completed the course in an hour and a half.

The further spring went, the more restless Linkola became. He had counted the bird populations in Häme for four years in a row, and it seemed that the monitoring was going to waste because of the army. After receiving a fitness week due to the competition success, he immediately traveled to Häme. He had four whole days to complete the work of weeks. There wasn't even enough time to begin with. There was a gap in his until then uninterrupted waterfowl census statistics from that year, and he later joked that in revenge for that he wrote a pamphlet for Fatherland and Man, in which he urges young men to refuse armed service.

Longing for Häme's forests and lakes "was like a sickness." After receiving a letter from his brother from his trip to Lapland at the end of the summer, he lived for a couple of days as if on drugs. On his trip, Martti had seen little hens, kestrels, grebes, terns and terns. Let's say whatever rationality is needed, that one summer is such and such a small thing; I think it's such a big deal that the legal social order will never forgive it - even if I ever recover my former soul strength, Pentti wrote to his brother. He would have liked Marti to give a more extensive description of his bird sightings in Lapland, which in his mind swelled into a festival cavalcade. He was reading Gogol's Overcoat, and the brother's lack of words brought to his mind one of the lines from the book: Well, he looks at me inquisitively - well, I say, this is just a pile of fluff, two arsina and six blood chocks long.

In the summer of 1955, the HEAVIEST experiences of being conscripted were already behind us.

Pekka Tarkka also got to read (June 28, 1955) what Pentti thought about Kontioranta's man-making foundry. Tarkka had been worried about his friend's possible conflicts with his superiors, but Pentti wrote that his position was unexpected and rare, but I didn't go to the RUK (Reservist Officer School), which was no doubt a rather miraculous exception in the incoming batch, and that I'm known to be a real Old Adam with my pacifism and treason, I'm partly good (thanks to my outdoor hobbies, many of the regular staff are tough athletes, foresters, my "bird madness" has a unique reputation in the entire battalion) and I'm on the up. At this point, after the rookie period in the company went absolutely to hell, when my "adaptation" did not match the expectations.

As an act of trust, Linkola had been granted the post of "morning non-commissioned officer" for the duration of the reserve non-commissioned officer school. He had completely avoided the pipe. He was pleased with himself because he had controlled his nerves, which have been bad and which have certainly been separated from the lighter on many occasions by such a minimal film. He was waiting to go back to his company, as a corporal. There were still 197 days of service left. Midsummer, late summer, berry season, vegetables, yellow birches, finches leaving, first frost. Leaves to the ground, snow, lakes to ice, Christmas, winter, mid-winter frosts and JANUARY 10th. Am I up to it or has the accumulator been used too wastefully to achieve the gains praised above? (…) In any case, I'm overworked. Let's hope that this semi-silly night party brings at least a little joy to Hämeentie. Good health, culture, books, theater and - idealism constantly!

Orienteering was Linkola's strong sport in the military.

Life after the army also occupied Pentti. You did recover beautifully, he wrote to Tarka, but even before this misery, "my path" has been a beautiful slide towards barbarism, or how should I say it better - at least primitiveness. He was still hopeful, he believed that Kontioranta would put the finishing touches on his planned career as a professional fisherman. Mental preparation was missing.

Plans for the time after the BIG MORNING of January, shrouded in a cloud of imagination, are constantly as non-existent - go fishing! - Looking for a job in Kuusamo? – to the country house as a ring? – to the border guard? -suicide? – through maintenance bodies to forced labor somewhere? - a new start to studying (where is the strength?)?

Months passed, the last hundred stormed this morning, Pentti wrote to Marti (October 3, 1955). As the supervisor of the hut, I ordered 4 rubber bullets to be fired in the hut (when the pipe story came to light). 99 mornings, a bit of a loss of hope when the diabolical number one fell from the beginning.

Pentti often started his brother's letters with reproaches, but they quickly turned into thanks. He was grateful for every letter he received. In his letters from his time in the army, he also opened up about his inner world. The emotions were on the surface.

In the middle of a life of lies 17.11.1955. Brother silver. …. I think that I won't recover very quickly, even if this were to end.(...) I would not have thought that the dislike could rise, but it seems that the person has a strong emotional life. These days I often get such convulsive spasms of pain mixed with rage, which again subside into boredom. So be it - no matter how much dismantling helps. Sometimes I get silly when I have to wonder how extreme opposites can fit into the world and the same life: I have some second summer in Häme, a blissful life of charm, or the current state in the middle of such an incomprehensible turning of values on its head that a good brain probably can't fully understand it.

The LETTERS traveled and brought joy to the conscript.

Linkola had completed Knut Hamsun's Viktoria. That boy just had a gigantic emotional life. I cried a little. Here, he confessed to his brother.

Linkola saw many of his fellow soldiers as subjects for novels or novels, but did he seriously think about writing a book? He devoted himself to his letters and even graded them for himself. He also evaluates the letters he receives. 17.11. his letter to Mart he estimated to be worth 7 1/2. Martti, on the other hand, received a 9- for his previous letter. The expression used by the brother, Ilomantsi's long-winded hags raised the grade, although otherwise the letter was a sly letter from an unhealthy aesthetic snob.

The grades of the mother's letters, which she names as Aka, Regator and Rega, range between 8 ½ and 9. The five percent age bonus he gave didn't really affect the grades. They are far above average, very fluent and relatively readable..... This is not due to any pity or Rega's bribes or favors, for I am always absolutely uncompromising, as you know.

Martti considered his brother's letter worth 8 ½. In his reply letter, he recommended to Pent Kierkegaard's work Deathly Sickness, which he considered one of the greatest reading experiences of his life. What you say: If I have ventured wrongly, it is not a helpless thing: life comes to my aid by punishing me. But if I didn't dare at all, then who will come to my aid? (…)Or from this: Selfhood is the thing that is least asked in the world and at the same time the thing that is the most dangerous to show that you have. The greatest danger of all, losing oneself, can happen in the world as unnoticed as if it meant nothing. A man cannot lose anything so unnoticed; any other kind of disappearance, of an arm, a leg, five riks of money, a wife, etc., will be detected. Magnificent!

IN JANUARY 1956, Pentti Linkola went to the civilian service as a sergeant.


From Kontioranta, Pentti returned to his mother in Helsinki to recover. His future was still shapeless. All he knew was that he wouldn't be going back to college; "one cannot act against one's nature". But he wasn't ready to make his final move yet. If he had had any wealth, he would have acquired a small farm, but that option was out of the question. He had thought about becoming a fisherman and now it seemed almost the only possibility.

He was not idle. The first edition of his and Olavi Hildén's Great Bird Book had appeared the year before during his time in the army, and now they started planning a sequel to it. Their big dream was to make a book that would gather all the research information about birds and have color pictures to make identification easier. Already at the end of March, when the birds were singing, Linkola was surveying the nesting sites of the hen hawks in Häme. The peregrine falcons had dwindled alarmingly, and his diligent ski trips were fruitless. It was a passage from one destroyed bird's nest to another, he wrote to his brother in Marburg, Germany, where he was completing his ethnology and archeology studies. Pentti was dismayed: what had happened to the chicken hawks? The Joutijärvi barred owl was also gone and the buzzard's nest had also been destroyed, only the Hirvijärvi peregrine falcon had survived. After doing his annual waterfowl census and ringing the chicks in the nearby lakes and ponds, and rowing all the big ridges, islands, islets and bays of Häme, he went around the whole of Central Häme looking for hen hawks. The result was miserable. During the three summer months, he saw only one old hunting bird. He also looked for hen hawks in Eastern Finland. In August, he went around Ilomantsi and Kitee's raven with a compass and a map, but the bird of prey situation was not better there. The results of ornithologists living on different sides of the country supported his observations. Linkola guessed the reasons: the exceptionally cold and snowy winter had starved the chicken hawks. Another probable reason was too drastic "game management reductions".

At the beginning of the following year, the Vanamo magazine of the Finnish Biological Society, Luonon utikaja, published his ten-page scientific article about the collapse of the hen hawk population in 1956. At the end of his article, he suggested protecting the peregrine falcon or, as a minimum requirement, calming it down during the breeding season, according to the Swedish model. Nature lovers can't afford to lose the most representative example of the primeval strength of our current bird population - the last sincere beast of Southern Finland!

The summer of 1956 remained in his mind for another reason. He then heard the sound of a chainsaw for the first time during his birding trip in the heartland of Ruokola in Pälkäne. He knew what that meant: the bird forests of his childhood would soon be gone. He searched for birds so diligently that he didn't have time to sleep or eat enough. He was depressed. The hen hawks had starved to death and there were only scraps left of the snot. (…) More than before, there are only tree climbers and mosquitoes. (…) There are terrible logging accidents everywhere, even the barn owl's nest as a coffee tree for forest workers, he wrote to his brother, a long time ago. Like at least those disappointed in life, I have felt it best to submerge the depressing experiences - the complete destruction of the forests, the water pollution of Vanajanselänk thanks to Valkeakoski, the new villas even in Pyteri and endless - into wild work, i.e. into even more intense hiking under the control of a morbid hiking habit and still an enthusiastic tire tyre.

In autumn, Linkola traveled to Signilskär again. He no longer had obligations on the mainland and stayed on the island well into the winter. He ringed and followed the autumn migration of birds, this time alone. Olavi Hildén was in the army, and after that focused on his dissertation. Linkola prepared for the autumn storms by chopping the logs, planks, boards and rafters brought by the wind into pieces so that there would be enough for the next arrivals as well. He patched the floors and wall cracks of the dilapidated residential building with the inside rags of a rusted mattress, and the chamber remained "culturally warm" again.

In his letter to Pekka Tarka (November 24, 1956), he said that he misses people. The negative aspects of isolation had begun to remind him after the feverish bird season. He read, wrote down his bird observations and listened to the howl of the wind. You can well imagine how sad it is, for example, to read a book that arouses a strong reaction, objections and even ambiguity, and there is no one to talk to about it.... Relatives cheered him up with bundles of newspapers. Otherwise, I have not included following world events in my life here, with the exception of Ylioppilaslehti and its "World Wheel".

In the summer, while doing bird counts at Pälkänevedi, Linkola had visited the Tarkko's villa, and even slept one night in his boat on their shore, but when the host had not been seen, he had continued his journey. In his letter, he proposed to Tarka a two-day skiing trip together after Christmas to the hinterland of Pälkäne Laipa. Those regions can be visited from almost anywhere in Inari's Sevettijärvi and could be exciting for you to see as well. I don't remember you mentioning any trips to the lands of "primitive people".

The ski trip took place, but in a different form than Linkola had planned. The friends participated in the first Tahko skis. The demanding track from Hyvinkää to Helsinki was almost a hundred kilometers long. Pentti dug out his old skis from the attic of his home in Helsinki, one of which had cracked from the front and rubbed against him while skiing. Excess snow fell from the crack. Tarka was in good basic shape after the army, but he only lasted a little over halfway. Linkola skied to the finish line.

"Pentti skis with the power of your hands alone. He didn't have any kind of technology or proper equipment, but he was in incredible shape," Tarkka recalls. What Linkola had decided to do, he also did. "He was stubborn and terribly determined, but unhappily impractical," Tarkka describes. "Yes, I knew how to ski, but I lacked the flexibility required for skiing. Since I didn't have control over the style, I had to push with force," says Pentti.

Tarkka wrote a story about a ski trip to New Finland. "And he used the expression he borrowed from Pentti Haanpää, that I skied the most," Linkola remembers. He has a precise memory of a photograph; he remembered "everything".

He wrote to his brother Kulttuuripersoonallisuus Martti J. Linkola (12 December 1956) that he had finally settled in Signilskär. The symptom of settling down is also that the brush and the fork blink every now and then and that my aesthetic sense has improved so much that I lick the plate much more carefully than before. Of course, you still have to use a razor after that, but there is still time. Autumn storms raged, and the waves boiled high. Isolation starts to mean starvation, Pentti wrote in his birdwatching notebook. Enskär's sea guards boat had broken down and they couldn't deliver him food.

Finally, the storm subsided, and Linkola already walked to the shore, but immediately after another storm arose, which also threw his boat tens of meters away onto the rock. When the wind finally died down, he pulled the boat ashore and rowed across the strait to the coast guard station. Everything was fine again: Everything was perfect, there were 10 kg of apples. When the sea guards got their boat's engine repaired, they brought Linkola a food package sent by her mother.

The less sunny news also included the sad discovery of a dead field vole at the bottom of a five-liter jar of cotton candy. With teary eyes I tried to come up with a memorial poem, he wrote to his brother, but nothing came of it and I once again had to regret my weak poetic culture. But the incident also stung my family-famous trait of sassiness, because a lot of good jam stuck to my belly fur and paws, and out of respect for the reaper, I didn't lick it off. To his brother, who was enthusiastic about his cooking skills, he bragged about his final victory on the food preparation front. It is a fruit so fresh that it still sizzles when warm in the pot; venison, 2 parts peas, 1-2 parts carrots, 1 part potatoes with their skins, finely chopped onion, salt, water. It tastes like visa a.

In addition to his studies, Martti Linkola prepared book reviews for New Finland. Pentti read novels, which he had time to clean up his bird observations. In the literature section of the seven-page, tightly spaced letter he wrote to his brother, he evaluated seven books. Lauri Viidan Moreeni: Stylistically quite readable, but the factory worker whom Viita himself greatly adored! Low, low, low, nauseating, low, undignified low... And in the lines and between the lines, fantastic notions from the frog's perspective about "civilization", "professors and doctors", their decadence and alienation from life. If in the name of Jesus there were even half the truth in them, it would be a little more comforting, and we wouldn't have to consider it sad that "professors and doctors" are really more and more close to their brothers who are calking in life and workshops."

Paavo Rintala's novel Lakko: ...a directionless piece of trash, with a lot of good or at least fun, again honest realism and depiction of working people... Amongst startling indolence and lack of intelligence and some of the world's stupidest added burdens.

Paavo Rintala's book The Gospel of the Dead: A Little Good Nullity.

He justified the cutting of Rintala's and Viida's works as follows: It is a terrible misfortune for working-class couples that just when the democratic way of thinking has become established and people have seriously become convinced of the equal human dignity (sometimes even on a spiritual level) of "civilization" and "workers", these working-class realists come and mercilessly take it away . The directionless wildness of the spirit and the filthiness of the spirit just sucks. What a huge difference between the former rural realists Kianno, Joel Lehtonen and these others. It seems as if the words "degeneracy" and (biological) "health", which I consider to be the most mundane and wind-blown words, should be given some meaning.

While reading Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Linkola had felt a strange charm of easiness. The book was a great and enjoyable introduction to 100% metropolitan life. He did not dare to criticize the works of Samuli Paulaharju and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but humbly laid down his weapon and bared his head before the greatness of their art. He had read The Brothers Karamazov in three evenings and nights. The ending just fell a little, because it wasn't the right ending like in Crime and Punishment. Linkola even thought that the book would have been left unfinished. Thanks to Paulaharju's book The Life of the Ravens of Luiro, he had Sompio fever throughout the fall. The letter to his brother was his last of the autumn. Writing letters had become the heaviest restriction of freedom for him on the island. He liked receiving letters all the more.


Linkola's life rhythm followed the cycle of the year. He had the book Life in the Forest (Finnish, 1954) by the American philosopher Henry Thoreau as his travel reading. In his cult-famous book, Thoreau tells about his two-year lifestyle experiment on the shores of Lake Walden. Linkola found a kindred spirit in Thoreau. Both wanted to live as wildly and modestly as possible in the rhythm of nature, preferring to wake up to the sunrise outdoors rather than indoors. In the early summer of 1957, Pentti settled down again in his shabby stall in Hämee. In the spring, the cold penetrated through the cracks in the walls, and in the summer, mosquitoes. He heated the food with a primus cooker.

In the summer, he got to know the mosquito researcher Pertti Saurola, now known worldwide. "Pentti had found the gnats I had ringed at Humponvuori in Hauho, and I received a card from him for the Naval Academy, in which he said that he had removed the rings from the gnats I had ringed and attached his own instead." There were no tires of their own for Sääks at that time and Saurola had used Kotka tires according to the instructions. Linkola also used Kotka tires, but made them smaller to better fit the gnats "I was quite bitter, they were the first gnats I ever tyred, but I had been to his territory in Humponvuori and he wanted them as his own."

On his bird-counting trip to Pälkänevete, Linkola once again knocked on the door of Tarkkoin Ylisalo's villa. This time Pekka Tarkka was there. They rowed on the lake, and Linkola tried to teach his companion to identify birds, but he preferred to listen to Pent's stories about birds. The men told each other about their common "father aggression".

PENTTI Linkola and a young peregrine falcon in Purinsuu, Tammela, 1959. Photo: Martti Linkola.

"Pent's father had apparently been a very sharp, loud guy, but my father was a kind priest. He was so kind that it was frustrating to rebel against him," Tarkka recalls.

He saw that his father was a role model for Pent. "Pentti followed in his father's footsteps. It would have been difficult to imagine him in the post of rector of a civic college. Maybe he was just content when his father was dead. The competition for a wonderful mother had turned into her victory."

But how to rebel from a father who is already dead? The task is difficult. What remains unknown? Without saying what? Pentti didn't devote much thought to it, at least consciously. It was clear to him that the father, as a scientist, could not have much time for his children. "I can't say anything about whether I missed my father. Probably a little. After all, he was a positive phenomenon, he took us to the side of Alppila Zoo Bay and told us about the plants. I still rarely have dreams about him, but he's already pretty featureless in them."

Pekka Tarkka's father, pastor Topi Tarkka, was the general secretary of the Finnish Settlement Association. The union was founded by his father-in-law Sigfrid Sirenius, and the main purpose of the union is to promote the realization of social justice. Pekka Tarkka edited the Yhysside magazine of the Settlement Association after his father, and Pentti Linkolak also wrote for it. In the 1960s, he argued with Topi Tarka in the public section of the magazine about the church's way of keeping people in its grip by considering thinking about sin as big a crime as committing it. "I still agree as I did then. It's amazing how villainous thoughts a person thinks, as long as they don't turn into actions. The burden of sin only increases when a person does bad things."

Lapland and its special nature had already started to interest Finns in the 1930s, but the development of tourism has been bored by the wars. In the early 1960s, Lapland became a fashion phenomenon and everyone rushed there. It was no longer talked about only as an area burned by the Germans. Pekka Tarkka also hiked there with his fiance Auli Kostiojja. Martti Linkola became so enthusiastic about Lapland that he became a great connoisseur of Lapland. He was an ethnologist, researched the Sámi and studied the Sámi as well. "He walked in the hole like a professional, even though he was an urban person," Tarkka recalls. He considered Martti to be even more skilled in nature than his brother. Tarkka and Martti Linkola were united by a passionate relationship with literature, and both were active in the Southern Finland department.

Pentti Linkola made his first "big trip to Northland" in the summer of 1957. The trip lasted two months. He first traveled by train to Kemijärvi and from there by bike to Savukoski and Martti. On his way back, he stayed for a long second week in Kuhmo's Jonker. He mapped the nests of bald eagles and peregrine falcons in the area, about which few knew anything at the time.

Linkola was the first and at that time the only field ornithologist in Finland. For the first two years, 1957 and 1958, he did survey work at his own expense, but between 1959 and 1962 he looked for the nests of golden eagles, peregrine falcons and ospreys as an ambassador of the Finnish nature conservation supervisor and received a small compensation for his expenses.

The main destination of the "Great Northern Journey" was Värriötunturi between Savukoski and Salla. It was a vast, untouched and then still unknown wilderness area. Nowadays, there is a biological research station there, but before Linkola, it is known that no natural scientists had visited there. Värriöjoki, which leads to the foot of the fell, diverged from Kemijoki in the village of Savukoski Marti. Linkola's intention was to rent a boat from there to speed up the trip, but the early summer fishing season was at its best, and not a single boat was idle. On June 14, he sent his brother Marti a card about Marti. He was angry. If he couldn't manage to borrow a boat, he would have to continue his journey to Lake Inarijärvi. When things didn't go according to his wishes, he attacked everything. Now the northern building culture was targeted. The housing in the area is eye-poppingly ugly. Even the destruction of the Germans in the war in Lapland is understandable through that, he wrote to Marti. But the density of birds impressed him: I couldn't imagine that nests can be found anywhere as easily as here. Linkola calculated that there were five times more birds than in southern Finland. Lapland's, Urpi's, woodpeckers, tilhs, willow warblers. Wherever he sat, there was a nest with eggs or chicks next to it.

In the end, Linkola came to the home of Alpi Ikäheimo, Finland's last fur hunter, on the banks of the Värriöjoki, and he rented his boat to him. Alpi Ikäheimo was known as a big game hunter. He felled more bears than anyone else, 48 or 50, shot dozens of wolverines, wolves, a thousand foxes, moose, lynxes, martens, otters and endless forest birds and supported his family of seven with it, until the breeding of fur animals moved to the pens. In 1964, Arto Paasilinna wrote his first novel Karhunkaataja Ikä-Alpi based on the stories of Alpi Ikäheimo. Alpi told Linkola that he won't see the bear, but the bears do see him all the time. Linkola rowed up the river arm. He fished for grayling and grayling without permission. In Värriötunturi, he met the Ollila brothers, who had just discovered a bear nest and were planning a bear tour that they could use to make money from tourists. Even Linkolak did not return empty-handed from his wanderings after the fairytale-like Salla. He had ringed one half-wet, newly hatched little grebe, which was later found dead in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. After Penti returned the boat, Alpi Ikäheimo's son showed him the buzzard's nest.

After Finland received large war reparations to pay, forests began to be seen as "green gold lands", and they were used even more efficiently. While Linkola was looking for the nests of golden eagles and peregrine falcons, he followed the progress of logging. Even at that time, the work was done by hand; the trees were felled with a hacksaw, "the jester sang", and the logs were pulled by horses along the roads. The large forest sites employed thousands of men left idle after the wars, and people from all over the country flocked to the northern forests. In the evening, the tired forest workers returned to the camp. The old "woodsmen" were allowed to live in log cabins all year round, even in the summer, when the logging stopped, and Linkola talked to them. They had made their own observations about logging and freely shared their information. Tractors made their appearance, and forest truck roads were already being talked about – the wood processing industry needed more raw material all the time. When logging became more and more open-cut in the 1950s, Linkola's concern for the nature of the forest grew to new dimensions. "Clear felling is easy and cheap, but unsustainable from the point of view of nature - diversity disappears."

Industrialization also horrified Linkola, especially when it was connected to the large-scale exploitation of forests. When you added to that the birth rate that happened after the wars, the equation became scary. More and more people wanted more and more stuff. He began to believe that overpopulation and industrialization would lead to the final destruction of the earth. The number of cars was one measure of change for him. In Finland, there were about 70,000 of them in 1950, and already 300,000 in 1961, and almost four million in 2016.

In Nurmes, Linkola left his bicycle at Mujejärvi and from there he headed to Kuhmo Jonkeri with the help of a compass. Jonker's great Sydänmaa was mostly untamed wilderness, there were several tens of kilometers of roadless sky. In Jonker, he got to know the young Martti Väisäse, who was a forest worker and hunter and, if necessary, a carpenter. When Väisänen returned home from work, he met "a strange man who looked like Jesus' betrayer" sitting on the deck of his yard well. The long-bearded Linkola spooned the bench porridge that Väisäsen also knew, i.e. oat groats mixed with cold water. Linkola said that he runs after birds and especially looks for eagle and peregrine falcon nests. Väisänen knew two eagle nests and went as a guide for him. There was an empty nest waiting there and one of the nests was probably destroyed. Reindeer men in particular hated and shot eagles because they abducted newborn reindeer fawns for food for their young.

Deforestation had already started in Kuhmo as well. "Osara's hatchet swung at a fast pace", and large gaps were created in the wilderness, recalled Väisänen in his short story collection Karhunpesänäätä (Myllylahti 2009). In the Suolammi area, only part of the trees had been felled, and such fellings were accepted by the young Linkolak. He condemned open-cutting, so harshly that even Väisänen, after thinking about it, agreed. The men became friends and Linkola visited Väisänen several summers to make hay. Väisänen, on the other hand, went rowing to Linkola in Kuhmoinen.

Sociable Linkola enjoyed meeting people. He was genuinely interested in their lifestyle and hobbies. At the same time, he was offered the opportunity to inquire about their bird of prey sightings.


In the fall of 1957, Pentti returned to Signilskär again. The thoughts evoked by Pekka Tarka's summer meeting were no doubt running through his mind when he wrote (September 18, 1957) to his brother: You are a lucky mole, when your energy supply is so undisturbed in the absence of your father's aggression: your mail delivery is wonderful. At the time, Martti Linkola was moving around in Kuusamo, Lapland and also collected material from the Norwegian side for his research. In his free time, he fished and observed birds.

Pentti was reeling under the grip of a non-stop nerve-wracking static storm that had already lasted nine days. He too had strung his net in the water, and the catch had come: cod, a couple of great whitefish, flounder and perch, but fishing on the island was poor. The boat is dragged twenty meters into the water - because of the danger of drowning - a rock that threatens sterility, it is floated in the slimy water line out into a static wave, where the ghostly shapes of kelp and the jelly of manatees loom in the green-yellow froth.

Despite the miserable weather, rains and storms, Linkola's tire fall went well until Perkele appeared on the island. In birdwatching diaries it also appears under the names Satan and Syntymäsaasa. It got on his nerves more than anything else ever did. It was a female Accepter gentilis, the hen hawk.

The bird had gone to Pent's pigeon trap and killed one pigeon through the net. Then he had ringed the hawk. It had seemed handsome to him, but in the following days his feelings darkened. It is impossible to tell here all the stages of Satan, he wrote to his brother, and as I said, I don't want to remember them, but I will only say that for days I mended my pigeon traps, sewed protective nets and raised insoles - and above all I hoped that the one that every now and then I could detach from something from my trap, would eventually go his way. However, that did not happen, but after a few days the hen hawk killed the fourth and then the fifth pigeon, and Linkola lost his self-control. I hit it brutally many times in the face, retook and dragged and carried it to the west shore cliff and threw it in the air towards the sea so that it would pop up and go towards Sweden. But the bird immediately flew to the island and killed the sixth pigeon after only half an hour. Then, in the middle of the most precious time of migration and ringing, Linkola caught the bird, sealed it in a cardboard box and rowed it to Enskär's sea guards so that they could take it to the mainland in Storby. In the box he wrote Inneh. Djävular 1 st. – Ej-försiktigt.

The next night, Pentti slept peacefully for the first time in ten days. The morning was lovely and carefree, but when he went to his fishing gear in the afternoon, he saw the familiar humpbacked giant crouching far away. And the seventh dove dead. Mental collapse. I now have the satanic robber devil in one box (I gave it a dead sparrow hawk, which it did not touch, and then one killed pigeon, which it immediately pecked at), and I can't figure out to the death what to do: get out of here myself and admit defeat, or stop using pigeon traps, which would put a bloody wound on the whole autumn's work, or wait for Mauri Rautkari's arrival, try to support it until he leaves and bring it along to, for example, Turku... or kill it after everything." The letter to the brother ended with a request: Send me books from Helsinki immediately! My brother had already received the wish list earlier. Among the people at home, Pent's letter caused hilarity. It was read aloud and listened to with enjoyment.

That autumn, Linkola sometimes had company. After Mauri Rautkari, Olavi Hildén and then Martti visited the island. Mauri Rautkari was a keen nature photographer and had written and illustrated several books on nature and birds. Later, he worked as the Secretary General of the Finnish Department of the World Nature Foundation (now WWF). In the end, Martti transported Satan off the island. The bird had accidentally gotten free from him while he was investigating its condition near Eckerö. After the trip to Signilskär, Martti got a severe Asian flu, but sent reading tips to his brother: James Joyce: The author's self-portrait from his youth (grade 10), James Joyce: The dead (8 1/2), Turgenev: Eve (9+), Lermontov: The hero of our time: ( 10+, an unbelievably masterful work of art - I'll send it to you. It's also Pekka Putkonen's bible.) Olavi Paavolainen's Searching for Modernity: "an incomprehensibly messy and tasteless creation (2+). OP was probably an even bigger culture...danger than Kurjensaari is today. The brother had reread Tatu Vaaskivi's Shadow of Tomorrow. The Great Bird Book was also gratefully worn in my hands! And the Buddenbrooks roared the song's way forward.

Pentti Linkola's classmates and other peers began to graduate with professions and enter working life. Risto Pelkonen graduated as a doctor, Eero-Pekka Paavolainen as a lawyer, Erkki Tammisalo as a dentist, Martti Leisté as a lawyer, Risto Noponen as a doctor, Juhani Lihtones became Enontekiö's acting manager. rural police chief. and "terrible bohemian". Only Pent's future was still open. The matter weighed upon him; somehow he too had to make a living.


Linkola started 1958 on a birding trip with Risto Pelkonen in Helsinki. The sea was open up to the Lauttasaari bridges. Pentti was in a brisk mood and they went through familiar birding places: Otaniemi, Tapiola landfill, Leppävaara road to Laajalahti, Elfvik, Iso Huopalahti fields, Mäkkylä, Tali, through Munkkiniemi to Haaga, Pikku Huopalahti, Ruskeasuo. Bird sightings accumulated gratifyingly, but not a single blue tit, Linkola wondered in his diary. The frosts started on New Year's Day.

Pent's planned trip to Central and South-West Häme before Christmas had been postponed, but in the middle of January, out of necessity, it became part of his schedule. His desire to work had disappeared and his mood had changed to staring at the ceiling and desperately gritting his teeth. He had to get out of Helsinki. The trip turned out to be anything but scientific. On familiar farms in Säaksmäki, Pentti participated in the earthwork, fetched hay from the backlands, spread manure on the field and chopped trees. At Eklund, the days passed by talking about fishing. After a few weeks in Helsinki, in mid-February, he went to Central Finland and North Häme to look for osprey nests. He talked to local hosts and got new tips again.

The trips refreshed him and he got back on the bike again with a real cold on his neck. He was no longer looking for birds, but a cabin for himself. He pedaled from one holder to another on the Viitasaari - Ruovesi axis and asked about deserted houses. At the end of February, he returned to Helsinki. Pockets were bursting with bird sightings, but there was no information about the cabin.

After a bad Saturday evening on March 16, Pentti didn't wake up until half past nine. He cycled through Merisatama to Hernesaari to watch birds. Pertti Saurola and Kauri Mikkola were waiting for the lark there. "Kauri Mikkola and I had nice gear bikes, Pent had an ordinary bike, but he stayed ahead of us with it," Saurola recalls.

Spring was undeniable: the streets rippled like large fountains. All through the long winter, Pentti had been dreaming of going from one Kotka's nest to another on a spring fishing trip in Lapland with Marti. For Pent, it was part of his anti-boredom program; the all-round misery of winter had to stay there and the summer of life began. The weather forecasts promised cold weather and frost in Lapland, but Martti was encouraged to go by the meetings he arranged at Sevettijärvi. Pentti went on tours, the late arrival of summer caused him strong restlessness, and finally on April 12, the brothers boarded the Rovaniemi night train. From Rovaniemi, they continued by Eskelinen's bus to Inari's Paljakainen north of Kaunispää. Put on your snowshoes and head towards the slopes of Luttojoki. A small twinge of restlessness and fear in the pit of my stomach - being alone would undoubtedly have taken a toll. Noitakuru's kämpä: No idea about spring hangs shining in the sunlight. The eagle and great horned owl dreams also began to decay.

Less than a week later, the brothers parted ways in Ivalo. Instead of sunny spring days, they had experienced an almost fantastic, frozen – if not dead – peace and wildness of nature. Pentti continued by post van to Sodankylä, and from there by bicycle along snowy roads to Haparanta in Sweden. Four days and 760 kilometers later, in a card he sent his brother from Sundsvall, he told about his vision. ... Sodankylä - Rovaniemi mlk is as populated as the trackside H:ki - H:linna and the forests are 99% upside down... But this Sweden! Not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this country to be so naturally beautiful, large-scale, wild and varied. To see Örnsköldevik and die!… There must be unintelligent scavenger and peregrine falcon countries. On April 28, he was already in Stockholm, and two days later, after a train trip, he was in Kalmar, and after a ferry trip, he was in Öland. In the village of Timmernabben, he "lost" 10 minutes when he had to repair his bike again. The plowing and sowing work was in full swing and the crocuses were in their glory, the sea magpies were brooding in the green meadows. Oh Sweden!

The annual waterfowl counts were already waiting for him in Hämee, but bad luck slowed down the start. His boat ran away with Jänissalo's gray gull and when he tried to swim to catch it, his strength was exhausted. The boat crew that happened to be there managed to save him at the last moment. Waterfowl counts were followed by bird of prey counts: Vimmunkulma hen hawk forest, Korppivuori, osprey swamp. Linkola went from one hawk's nest to another, slept in hay in barns, until he had checked his entire wide observation area in Häme. After that, it was the turn of the peregrine falcon and the eagle inventory trip in Central Finland. On the bike and to Orivede, Kangasala, Ruovede, Kinnula Remel's heartlands, Reisjärvi, Haapajärvi, Pyhäjärvi, Pihtiputaa, Viitasaari, Saarijärvi, Jämsä, Kuhmois.

When touring Finland in his best years, Linkola couldn't wait to even stop to eat. He threw the pita bread into the bike horn and broke it into pieces as he pedaled. He drank water as a button for the fire. "There is no puddle, swamp, or ditch that I can't drink from." Sometime in the spring, when he switched from well water to natural water, he got food poisoning and passed out, but after that the body was immune to poisons. In the rain in Helsinki, he drank water from the dents in the asphalt. After camping, he couldn't wait to take off his boots. Several days could pass when he did not take off his rubber boots, even for a night. "It took time and the bird's nest could not be found. In the rubber boots, the feet were like in the mother's womb, and even the socks dry best in shoes."

At the beginning of June, he returned to Hämee to ring the young hawks. In Häme, Linkola had followed two peregrine falcons, but now the birds had disappeared from there as well.

On Midsummer's Eve, he wrote to his brother staying at Sevettijärvi: It has been a restless summer and to a large extent a sad summer. Your peregrine falcon success was fantastic - 3 occupied nests this year. I have toured the cliffs of Häme, the swamps of Ostrobothnia, and now most recently on a car trip (guided by three Swedish ornithologists) in Eastern Uusimaa and Karelia combined. approx. 22 nest sites. Result 3 inhabited nests, all others gone. A completely unexpected disaster - I don't think it's worth taking any more mitigation measures...

Birds had filled Linkola's life. His monitoring area covered almost all of Finland, except for Lapland, which belonged to Marti according to the brothers' agreement. At the end of July, Pentti made another long bike trip to Raja-Kainuu, Kuusamo, Rovaniemi, North Ostrobothnia, Länsi Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia and Central Finland. In the end, he was on his tracks from the previous summer in Central Finland. Already at that time, he had been looking at the beaches with the eye for where he could settle down to fish.

On the morning of August 14, he woke up in the tent he had set up on the shore of Lake Viitajärvi in Viitasaari. A mist hovered over the lake. He ate wild raspberries for breakfast, and pedaled 20 kilometers to Viitasaari. The purpose of his excursion had changed. Instead of eagle nests, he was now looking for a winter nest for himself. At the Viitasaari church, he asked about the prices of fishing nets and, based on the previous winter's preliminary explorations, cycled to Kalaniemi in Konginkanka. He borrowed a boat from Havusalmi beach and went rowing to Keitele in autumn and summer.

At night, he listened to the night owls' call on the mirror-calm waters. Sleep didn't want to come. The next day he rowed Lake Keitele. The water was dark and, according to the locals, also fishy. He had made up his mind. Before returning the boat to Havusalmi, he made an agreement with Ilmari Laitinen on the opposite shore of the strait on the island of Hautsalo, about renting the cottage he owns in Nurmela over the winter. Laitinen was an elderly forest technician, and only visited the island in the summer.

Linkola was full of enthusiasm. Next winter he would be a fisherman. He cycled to his home corner in Häme to set up a "jam station" in Tykölä's place. The clearings in Ritvala's forests were red with raspberries. "Nature gives consolation berries for a few years after felling, but then the berries stop."

When the jamming job was over, he still had a couple of days to study fishing under the guidance of Aatto Eklund in Tyrvännön's Mälkiäis. Aato's brother Silvon Jussi was familiar to him from the days of Kariniemi. Silvon Hilma had sold fish to his grandfather. Aato and Jussi's mother, old Eklundska, had been a laundress in Kariniemi. Now Aatto Eklund taught him the tricks of fishing, holding his hand, they counted and experienced nets together, winded and trolled.

At the end of August, Linkola traveled with jars of jam to her mother's place in Helsinki.

The farewell ceremonies for the former carefree life of a bird boy included not only a rather thorough farewell vacation in Helsinki, but also a (last?) trip to good old Yyteri with Olavi Hildén and Erkka Paavolainen.

On the evening of September 5, at 10:50 p.m., Pentti boarded the train to Äänekoski. He was ready to start as a fisherman.


The day was already drawing to a close when he arrived at his new home in Nurmela on the island of Hautsalo. On the way, he had bought fishing equipment from Konginkanga, primarily nets. The wind calmed down in the evening, it was a brave evening, but very cold and threatening frost, Linkola wrote in his birdwatching diary. The first days on the island were spent exploring places and observing birds. In addition to the cottage he rented, there were two farms on the island, with one of which he agreed on a milk deal. He drank three liters of milk a day.

The old fisherman's cabin was flimsy, but it had a baking oven and a small sauna on the beach. And most importantly, "In Keitele, you could keep quite a number of nets". He had secured the possibility to get fishing permits already the previous fall. Now all you had to do was lower the nets into the water.

Well, what do I really have to do here? Bankruptcy, he wrote to his brother two weeks later (September 19, 1958). I have cautiously invested about FIM 58,000 in my business (18 nylon nets, 7 bags of net dye, 2 plates of cork, 5 skeins of fishing line, lure, sinker, 5 lures, 2 reels, 4 lures, fishing lines, weights, state fishing license, fishing board permits). 13 nets had already been in the water for a week. Catch: 2 sopp, one fried fish; there is no talk of selling. And this region is famous for its fish season among these keepers everywhere.

Linkola missed the old Eklund. He managed only somehow to raise and lower the nets, a couple of times the neighbors helped him. Lines and threads were constantly tangled, and half of the nets he bought were too large in mesh size. In addition, there should have been long fishing lines, fishing rods, traps and bait funnels and ventilation devices.

It's funny that the death of starvation, which in recent years I've managed to stave off in a strange way, is now inexorably ahead, according to my average calculations, around January, he wrote to his relatives. He had bought fishing equipment with the money he got from translating a bird book. The per diems paid to him by the Ålands Fågelskyddföreningen during Signilskär, ten marks per day, had been extra, but now the money was gone and he had to ask his family for a loan. If he was going to catch fish, he had to supplement his equipment. His pin tooth had also fallen apart again, and visiting the dentist had become expensive.

The storm had made sure that he hadn't had time to get depressed. In calm weather, only cowbells, dogs barking, the song of the tiltalt in the yard, the mecca of red-winged sparrows on the edges of Haa and the chirping of larks from the back could be heard. The previous summer, he had rowed in the same waters with his brother, but he had not realized that the region was so wilderness and bird-poor, but also poetically beautiful.

There were signs of winter in the air. His desire to work was not at its peak and often in the evening he would just read. Signilskär's observations were waiting to be transcribed and the peregrine falcon reports had to be prepared. He asked Martti over. Think you could take a week off? (And maybe the gods aren't dead after all, even if you could still see fish).

In the end, a 37-page peregrine falcon report and a few ornithological articles were completed. He wrote a story about hunting for mate in Rural Future. At the end of September, he caught a two-kilogram salmon with a net. He felt like eating it, but he couldn't afford such expensive food. He rowed to the mainland and sent the fish by bus to the merchant Katainen in Äänekoski.

So I am finally a very poor person. Still, there is still a long way to go for Silvon Jussi jr., who does not own any nets but lives on the capital of two lures in the summer, and a few dozen pike hooks and half a dozen fishing funnels in the winter. And he calls the loan company, which he visits monthly to pay the rent in Tampere, earning travel money by calling on the train. Yeah, but I think he has his own cottage and plot - so I lost anyway.

Pentti was 26 years old. In his letter (November 6, 1958), Martti suggested to him a job as a teacher instead of a heavy fishing profession. The thought of Pent was absurd, he was not a doer of mental work. He, in turn, recommended Mart to change his major to biological subjects. The discussion on the topic ended there.

Pentti hoped that Martti would finally come to visit the island, even though he knew that he had a good reason to refuse. He was still weak from the flu. You would have come here even on your name day and to celebrate the kudu. It would have made a great matikkasopa for a festive dinner. Really: now don't expect any excess fitness, because I'm waiting for you. The merciless shortness of the days already guarantees that you will get enough chill here for any kind of recovery.

Until then, Linkola had only been alone for a few weeks at a time, but now he had a long lonely autumn, winter and a long way through spring ahead of him. For his friends, the move to Keitele Island did not come as a surprise. "There was nothing strange about it, at most it was exciting and exotic," Pekka Tarkka recalls. "Even though Pent's way of life seemed quite crazy, it was the right way to live for him. He consistently realized himself in it."


That autumn, Keitele froze late, but the currents kept the Havusalmi, which separates the island from the mainland, thawed for a long time even after that. When the strait finally froze over, the icebreaker had to keep his reserves. Antti Tirkkonen, who was doing forest work on the island, was in the houses in the apartments. When winter finally came, he wanted to move to the mainland, but because of the weak ice, he didn't dare. It was a challenge for Linkola, he had the defiance of youth and the next morning the men were on the run. The ice creaked beneath them, but held when they traveled far enough apart. After reaching the mainland, Linkola still went to the store to buy a big bag of rolled oats. In addition to the rags, he had the islanders' mail in his backpack.

When he started to cross the strait on the way back, it was already sheltered weather. He dragged behind him the long pot he had taken from the beach. When the tough autumn ice began to settle, he walked a few tens of meters further, but then the ice failed. Riuku stayed behind him, and he was up to his chest in water. Instead of putting the riu across in front of him, he stuck a knife into the ice and pulled himself forward with it. When he saw Havusalmi's host on the beach, he shouted once, but he was unable to come to help. "I remember thinking that at least you can't lose here, so it's worth trying." He stabbed again and again to stay as far away from himself as possible and pulled himself onto the ice, but always the ice broke underneath.

"I was in the water for at least 20 minutes before I came across a slightly thicker section. The ice had cracked at that point during the night and water had frozen over the crack." Finally he got onto the pole and started crawling towards the shore, but the ice failed again. He managed to get onto the ice one more time and crawl to the shore. "My strength wouldn't have been enough to pull myself any further with a knife." After landing, he felt pain in his left hand – he had stabbed himself across the joint of the little finger of his right hand.

While fighting for his life, Linkola had taken off his other boot and it got stuck in Keitele's bottom. When he reached the shore, he saw that his backpack was still floating in the opening. He fetched a neighbor from a kilometer away, and together with him he made a "raft" from the logs of the riparian forest, which they used to drag themselves to the backpack. They measured the strength of the ice. It was one centimeter. "The incident did not bring horror, but increased caution."

In December, the chaos began. Martti Linkola visited his brother during January's freezing cold. The networks went crazy, and finally Linkola gave in to its famous content and reduced the number of experiences. Let's die anyway, he wrote to his brother. Practical work did not want to go smoothly from him. He was extremely clumsy, and many chores took an inordinate amount of time.

"Net fishing is not difficult, but in winter fishing you have to learn a few tricks. The nets must be fastened so that the hauling line does not cut through the other, i.e. they must be placed in the water in the correct order."

He slowed down and started reading books. And then, of course, there is Uusi Suomi, whose level – not least in the cultural sections – is so high these days that no culture magazines are needed anymore, he wrote to his brother. With the glow of the spring coats, he got more of the guests he longed for. With his ornithologist friend who lives in Ruotsinpyhtää, Strömfors Ruukki's foreman Jarl Excell, Jalle, Linkola had agreed that they would visit each other every other year. The agreement held, and they had time to visit each other 35 times before Excell died. Excell brought a dozen plastic shallow and deep plates from the factory as gifts, which have been used by Linkola every day since then.

He heated the sauna with Erkka Paavolainen. Paavolainen cooled off outside by making angel pictures in the snow. "I had never frolicked like that before." Pekka Tarkka also went to see his friend. "After all, it was primitive." The house was cold, and the men heated it in the evening, but closed the shutters too early. "Even though the house was flimsy, for some reason it held the wedding inside," Tarkka recalls.

In his letter (October 22, 1958), Olavi Hildén promised to visit his friend: What if I came there somewhere near Nuuoor...(...) We need skimbos there. So are there any snogs? Do you have anything to screw with Valkonen's husband, or do you just have problems? I guess I need to bring some ham. Do you need tularis or fikkar?

Hilkka Linkola was worried about her son (March 8, 1959). Dear Pentti, you haven't written in ages, ... I've been waiting and hoping a lot. In your letter to Mapa, you promised to come here in March. You're welcome. Even the mother was not convinced of Pent's decision to become a fisherman. It's downright difficult to write you a soulful letter, because after such a long silence, I don't really know which countries your thoughts are rowing on... Have you thought about the farm thing? What about summer plans? M:me de E. invites you to join us in Switzerland in September. What do you say to that? What if you came to Helsinki in the fall, home, to study e.g. aesthetics, sociology, philosophy and started to become a journalist, a newspaper man, and that way take your good ideas to humanity. I would think that slow braking is a better way than sudden blasting. Even that flowing water - even a small stream - gradually digs a bed that you can't make even if you dump a ton-sized container.

Linkola left the island during the last spring ice. He transported his belongings on a ski sledge along the straightest road to the edge of the ice and boarded the Helsinki bus. He admitted to himself that he did not enjoy Keitele. "There was nothing wrong with it except that nature was too harsh and monotonous for me. The islands had pebbly beaches that grew from sedges and moss. The forest was dominated by pine trees. The landscapes were neither as handsome and rugged as in Päijänte nor as leafy as in Vanajavedi. Even the fish came modestly, pike and walleye, but no pike, which would have been a money fish."

Linkola wore a full beard, which was rare in those days, "to save himself the trouble of shaving". On his belt he had a knife, which he explains by its impracticality. "There will always be situations that you can't get out of without a knife." He also opens cans with a knife. In the city, a long beard and a knife hanging from his belt attracted attention. "Pentti brought the smell of forests to Helsinki," Pekka Tarkka recalls. "The fact that he broke away from the usual way of life fascinated people."


In the spring and early summer, Linkola again did bird counts and ringed birds in his beloved Häme. When it was over, he and his brother went on a joint birding trip to the nevos of Ostrobothnia. Pentti had never seen a swamp as a child and was confused by how deeply he became attached to them. Especially the nevas of Ostrobothnia, the Ketturahka of Pöytyä, the Heporahka of Mellilä, the gallant curd of Vaskijärvi in Yläne were experiences for him. "Special colors, vegetation, moss, rich birdlife and butterflies made them beautiful and exciting." The brothers ringed the birds of the seas together for a week and a half. At that time, there were also peregrine falcons in the marshes of Ostrobothnia, but they also disappeared there during the next couple of years. "It was mapping the last ones. After that, the peregrine falcon nested in Lapland, and there are plenty of them there."

After the swamp tour, Linkola returned to Signilskär for the last time. In his letter (September 7, 1959) to his brother in Basel, Switzerland, he regretted that he was not in Helsinki to send him something to read. I have here only two weak works, or rather embarrassing works, a whiny issue of Arina and a nonsense book called Doctor Zhivago. Pentti indulges in stupidity by reading the old German picture magazine Neue Illustrierte. He was amused by the newspaper's full-page ads, which advertised substances intended to remove sweat, breath and, of course, certain odors. The car and moped ads were equally naive: Haven't you felt happy in life? After buying Simca, your life will be complete. He believed that such factories in Finland would be laughed into bankruptcy.

Exaggeration and exaggerating things to extremes was an important part of the brothers' language game. "An outsider might have thought they were serious, but they knew how to read each other. They competed in exaggeration", recalls Hannu Linkola, Martti Linkola's son. Olavi Hildén also felt Pent's Linkola exaggeration and exaggeration and stubbornness. They drifted off on a collision course. An apparently inexorable fate (...) has meant that we, individuals and soul mates who are rarely of the same quality in most matters and in our general attitude, have to get into a bitter war of words and an adrenaline-pumping dispute every now and then because of some little things, Hildén wrote years later (February 23, 1963) to Linkola.

Pentti told his brother in his letter that he had another tantrum at Signilskär. Digging the stick from deep in the finger had taken so much effort that he had fisted his petrol jug at the end of the job and was now without petrol. Before that, he had had to suffer from the company of a homo primitivus, who had holed up in the bird station, who belched and frowned loudly while eating and sang ´Anna pois mun guitarai´ in such a disgusting phonetic costume that Pent had to try to eat at a different time or in a different place under various pretexts. The man was extremely taxing and when I was swallowing my worst tantrums, it would cross my mind that in one war I would have fought with a gun in hand: in the civil war on the side of the whites. The idea was to him a great example of human evil.

Signilskär was stubbornly beautiful and affectionate. Little raptors flew over the island at night in unprecedented numbers. In their letters, the brothers exchanged summer bird of prey information. In addition to eagles and peregrine falcons, Pent monitored 25 hen hawk and 54 osprey nests in different parts of Finland. Populations of birds of prey were rapidly decreasing. Also his own and oldest osprey, the pike he found in 1948, had left his nest or possibly even died. He had been looking for it for two days back in July: I swayed like a cuckoo in the wind in the tops of the fir trees, peering at the side of every Haukila knoll, I slept the night in the area and tried to listen for sounds at dawn. Finally, after the ringing time had already ended, he had found the bird. He had been with Pertti Saurola dragging the barn owl's rump to a tree growing on the edge of the swamp in the Mälkiäinen forest, when he had heard the hooting of young gnats. The nest was in the top of a tall cross-leaved snow spruce at the edge of a clearing.

In his letter to his brother, Linkola also told about Vahtermetsä's moss tree: the most fantastic and awesome god's ancient creation that you can think of. When he had climbed to the top of the tree in his stilt shoes to ring the chicks, tar swallows had slipped out of the holes in the tree between his legs and gnats had curled around him. The old mystical and ghostly bee hawk of the maple forest had also come to see him. He ended his letter by telling about his important insight: Here I live like in the lord's purse, other creatures suffer physically from storms more than I do. He had accepted his place as part of the animal kingdom. He was not worthier than a sea magpie, no one was. Man was a species like the magpie, as valuable as any animal.

From 1952 to 1959, Linkola wrote a total of 2,392 strips of bird reports about Signilskär in the archives of the Ålands Fågelskyddsföreningen. The lonely months on the deserted, windswept island had a decisive influence on the formation of his worldview. His idea that humans are overvalued as a species and that humans unreasonably discriminate against other animal species dates back to those times. He began to see nature as more important than people.

In those years, Finland opened up to Linkola as a whole. He cycled tens, if not hundreds of thousands of kilometers. There wasn't a municipality where he didn't look for the nests of birds of prey. He knew the state forest rangers from all management areas and sometimes visited the birds' nests with them. While moving in nature, he also saw the inevitable consequences of human actions, deforestation and industrialization. "You can read it in books, there is a lot of literature and I read a lot, even if reading less would have been enough to see the destruction. I experienced it myself, and it became my leading outlook on life.”


While cycling around Finland and fishing, Keitelee Linkola had had time to digest what she had seen and think. Questions of war and peace and the idea of nature conservation were central to him. He had already written about both before his time in the army in 1954 in Ylioppilaslehti and returned to them now. He knew how to write an opinion piece so that it touches and stays in the reader's mind. He often took the insults so far that they provoked a whistling of anger - or a burst of laughter. His texts did not leave anyone cold or even lukewarm.

At the end of 1959, Ylioppilaslehti published a series of three articles from Linkola on the state of Finnish nature. Based on his bicycle trips, he suggested that Lapland should be left alone in the same way that Northern Sweden had been left alone. The "obsessive industrialization and other development efforts of the North" were in vain for him, and supporting forestry and agriculture is a sheer waste of money: "The productivity of nature decreases sharply as you go from the south to the north." Even though it was known that the forests of Lapland, which had been cut bare as far as the eye could see, could be cut next time no more than 150 years later, the felling continued without hesitation.

The hopeless position of agriculture in the north was already a more accepted fact. The grain did not grow, and nature was also cramped for cows. Still, "little nudges every kilometer and little by little road signs to new, large, low-rise and forever half-finished looking settlements. Roads were built with 100% government support, even for already paved roads".

In Sweden, the population was concentrated in the southern parts of the country, "it is full of happy and prosperous densely built villages and factory communities, and the whole of Norrland almost already from Gävle upwards was an endless uninhabited forest. And what a forest!”

In Linkola's opinion, the population density of Northern Finland compared to the natural resources and the climate already smacked of insanity. He blamed President Urho Kekko and the farmers' union.

He believed that the best outcome in Northern Finland would be achieved without doing anything at all. "There are always people who miss the experiences of the original wilderness nature more than other spiritual influences. The German and English tourists wandering the Utsjoki fells in December's darkness have certainly not come to Finland to admire the sleek power plants, Alvar Aalto's architecture or Timo Sarpaneva's glass, but - to be pathetic - the handiwork of a greater master." He proposed that Northern Finland be saved as a large tourist reserve. For him, it was as realistic an option as the best industrialization ideas of the kingdom's planners.

It was already December, and Pentti was still at Signilskär. Dear Pena, mother wrote (2.12.59). My heart and brain were already completely full of birthday packages, just about to burst into action, when a card arrived that "it's going to be a hot day, I'll get packages..." Well, no, by force. Even though the mother's instincts are completely shaken to nothing - when I had intended to do just that - now you only get this kind of "spiritual nourishment". (…) I didn't really like that story in your student newspaper. After all, there was a point in it and a really good and right point, but it was just too much at one time. (…) Maybe it was a good writing for young, fresh and receptive brains. (…) But others, in "my circles", who already have full and strong brains, read that magazine too. But it must be taken into account. And conquerable. But more slowly, more calmly, encircling, conceding in the less important and almost secretly hijacking the more important. Not by mobbing. Be careful, my dear son, that your writings are not accepted by a shrug of the shoulders: "That's a bigoted PL" I mean old, old people here too, the young will understand your bigotedness. Mum


Autumn storms raged at Signilskär, while Linkola continued to develop the "Poem-Suomi -essay" he had started on Konginkanka. He finished the writing in the beginning of 1960 at his mother's house, and it appeared in three parts in Ylioppilaslehti, in February, March and May. The writings sparked a lively discussion, and Linkola was able to correct misunderstandings.

His message was that industrialization is not beneficial but only harmful because it led to the destruction of forests. Matter did not increase happiness, on the contrary, people became unhappy.

Linkola believed that keeping landscapes unchanged, in harmony with nature, is the most important factor that sustains people's desire for life. He found an example in the landscapes of his childhood: "The Valkeakoski wood processing factory provided work for thousands and indirectly even tens of thousands, but at the same time its disgusting smell still convulses the human stomach a few inches away; In the town itself, people live their daily lives in air that corrodes metal in a short time... But of course everything is fine when the town's well-paid workers on their vacations and summer Sundays disperse to the clear headwaters in the bosom of nature," he quips. "They drive bored along the straits with their high-speed engines, so that the non-stop noise is worse than in the factory halls..."

While cycling in Sweden, Linkola had also become familiar with other achievements of industrialization. People's lives were formulaic and standardized: "The same Volvo in the garage, the same television antenna on the roof, the same amaryllis in every window..." Is that what the Finns wanted? The claim of the "industrialists" that the agricultural society can no longer support the ever-growing population was artificial to him. He had a solution: population growth must be stopped.

He believed that the direction of development could still be reversed; "the whole idea of a welfare state had been pushed through in Finland only by a few who mostly admired American material wealth and the ease of physical life". The unemployment problem was just tragic for him. "Only mass psychosis has naturally caused a small farmer in winter idleness to sign up for unemployment... (...) The spirit of the times is said to be so merciless that a man collapses and dies without a Volkswagen and a mother without a refrigerator, even if a loaf of bread and lard is just enough."

In Linkola's opinion, development is at war with man's biological essence: "Over the millennia, man has adapted to being a seasonal worker, with large wilderness and fishing trips alternating with idle periods of soaking." The transition to an agricultural society had still happened painlessly: "The great strenuous efforts of harvesting and harvesting were balanced by e.g. the great peace of winter. But a regular, year-round job with its disappearing, unhappy annual vacation is an accident in itself. Undoubtedly, in such biological unnaturalness lie the causes of the well-known dissatisfaction of modern times, which are most often sought elsewhere."

According to Linkola, the disconnection from the rhythm of nature, which occurred as a result of the tense pace of life in the West, was especially painful for Finns, who were used to a quiet life. "A high standard of living and enjoyment of life do not correlate, on the contrary. The saddest thing of all was man's release from physical strain: Man has thus allowed himself to be deprived of one of his truest joys, the one produced by hard work."

Losing Runo-Suomen was first and foremost a mental health loss. On the other hand, it was also a necessary price for human-created spiritual culture. Linkola did not want to completely refute that objection, because it appealed to values close to him as well. "In any case, it is too terrible a sacrifice if, in the name of a high spiritual culture, we completely reject natural joy." However, Linkola was not completely hopeless. After all, the person was a "cunning rascal", who is always able to correct his mistakes. "I'll wait for the revolution of the quiet people."

Linkola's Runo-Suomi essays sparked a heated debate in Ylioppilaslehti. Even the editor-in-chief of the paper, Arvo Salo, wrote against the article he published himself. Salo's writing reflected the world of values of that time: "The ugliest thing in the world is lack, lack of food, lack of health, lack of choices, lack of education, lack of civilized people. Anything that combats these flaws is beautiful. The industry combats all these shortcomings. Industry is beautiful. For me, a working factory has been one of the greatest beauty experiences I've encountered...." Since man is a pure product of nature, in Salo's opinion, nature was also everything that man produced: "Machines, factories and cities are actual products of nature."

Matti Suurpää saw in Linkola's "idyllic" the atmosphere of the pastoral period of the 18th century: "Trying to free himself from the drudgery of the day, he resorts to an ancient method, creating an ideal from the past." Pertti Klemola condemned Linkola's idealism as a "museum piece". In his opinion, the writing remained "a lonely cry for distress and an expression of bitterness, without saving optimism." Linkola also received cautious support for his ideas. "Let's not completely judge Linkola - the nature of the imagined Runo-Finland must be nurtured," wrote Jyrki Vesikansa in Ylioppilaslehti. "It is best done by saving Northern Finland from too much industry and also from unprofitable settlement activities and by reserving there really sufficient nature conservation areas, as well as necessary camping and recreation areas in different parts of Finland."

Jorma Alanen would have liked an assessment from Linkola on how industrialization has affected the position of women. Although he had a lot to criticize in Linkola's text, he considered it to be "rhyme tearing and mostly accompanied by real insights." He would have given Linkola a bear spear and tussocks as a May Day gift, but no matches, so that he could try his own recipe.

Linkola responded to the criticism by clarifying what he said. He considered Finland's high agricultural culture of 1900–1930 to be the best option for maintaining a vibrant spiritual culture. At that time, the groves and fresh fabrics and the best types of swamps had been cleared for cultivation, but the rest of the forests were almost untouched. "There would be 2.5–4 million happy people and 80–120 million very happy animals living in Finland." He thought that many nature lovers thought the number of people was criminally high, but he couldn't get away from the "in itself difficult to justify appreciation of spiritual culture".

He replied to Arvo Salo that he did not understand the deplorability of scarcity of abundance. "When needs could be satisfied without difficulty, natural pleasures lost their charm." Linkola's own experiences of deprivation were from the war years 1941–1942, when the daily ration of bread was four thin slices, and the family had "with little success scavenged waste ears from the fields". Those pieces of bread and the news porridge had given him more pleasure than the whole week's delicious meals combined in modern times. He considered lack as a basic human need.

According to Pertti Klemola, "Linkola showed heroism when he closed himself as a lonely idealist in his Runo-Suomi cage and fasted from the benefits of the welfare state". Still, he was afraid that the fate of Kafka's Starving Artist awaited Linkola: "The people became indifferent to his art, and finally, without receiving a response and without anyone noticing, he perished in his own cage."


Before moving to Konginkanka, Pentti Linkola had planned an anti-war book with his ornithologist friend Tapio Klemola, but the book was unfinished. They had approached the question as a mathematical problem and hit a dead end. Now Klemola was professor of mathematics at the University of Oulu, and writing a joint book was not possible. After returning from Konginkanga to Helsinki, Linkola met his friends and made new acquaintances through them. The core circle was formed by a group calling themselves the active "cultural liberals" of the South Finnish branch. In the fall of 1959, the cultural liberals took over the department's newspaper, Eteläsuomalainen, and elected first Matti Klinge and then Pent's brother, Martti Linkola, as its editor-in-chief.

The young people were worried about the escalation of the world political situation. The outbreak of World War III seemed likely to them. They made it clear that if and when war broke out, the annihilation would be complete. The great powers would hardly refrain from using the atomic bomb and the whole earth would be destroyed, higher life would end at least in the area of western culture.

The idea of an anti-war book lived in Linkola's mind and he started developing it with Pehr Charpentier. Known as an intellectual radical, Charpentier had graduated as a psychologist three years earlier and wanted to find out why wars break out. Linkola's motivation for writing the book was the fear of an "inevitably approaching" war. As the pamphlet's physics expert, Linkola and Charpentier used Pentti's sister Aira's husband from Pentti Ruoho.

ESO's intellectuals: Helena Linkola, Martti Linkola and Matti Klinge at the division's annual party in 1963.

Before the World War, declarations of war had fallen on the necks of ordinary people like lightning from a clear sky, although, according to Linkola, it was ordinary people who had been preparing for war with their everyday actions and statements. He didn't want the same thing to happen again, but for the young men to stop and analyze what they were doing. The perpetrators urged young men to refuse armed service. "Above all: we hope young readers will understand that wars and destruction ultimately do not depend on a few statesmen, but on each of us: guilty of war is every young person who tends to help war and its preparations."

The authors also condemned armed service for psychological reasons: "It coincides psychologically with the devilishly right age, when (...) the pressure of the entire army, the discipline of the officers and the spirit of comradeship crush all that could be described by the words sensitivity, softness, tenderness, pity and benevolence in the male part of the nation."

Linkola didn't just blame young people for thoughtlessness. He suspected that even those who wrote clear war propaganda did not know what they were doing. He used Väinö Linna as an example, who had said that he wrote The Unknown Soldier so that people would understand the horror of war. However, Linkola claimed that Linna did not understand how people would read the book. "For sensitive and life-loving people, it was a pacifist declaration book, embittered readers, on the other hand, were satisfied by the hoses received by their superiors and all they saw was this..."

The pamphlet also labeled as war propaganda all occasions where patriotism is idealized, from speeches on Independence Day to war-themed cartoons. War propaganda is dangerous because it "prevents us from asking whether there are other means by which international crisis situations could be resolved".

Linkola proposed the creation of a world army as a solution. "True patriotism encompasses the whole of humanity equally, and then the word "fatherland" can also retain its "beautiful sound", he wrote. It required intellectual courage: you had to accept the facts and give up the ease of the outlook on life given by your upbringing and bravely withstand social pressure.

PENTTI and Aliisa Linkola in Päijänne's Tehselä.

III. MANNESS (1960–1975)


January 1960 was already over. Pentti Linkola was a fisherman without fishing waters. The nets and other fishing equipment he bought for Keitele were lying in boxes in his mother's cellar in Helsinki. His restlessness grew. He had fished one winter, and he knew he would continue to fish. "There were no alternatives. The annual rhythm of fishing went well with birding and writing." We just had to find a suitable place.

He had written the whole past winter, the peace pamphlet was on a lecture tour with a small circle of like-minded friends. The first part of his Runo-Suomi essay had already appeared in Ylioppilaslehti. He packed his backpack, took his bike and got on the Kuhmoinen bus. He was looking for a fishing farm in Häme anymore, the rugged Pohjola did not suit him.

In Kuhmoi, he went from house to house asking about deserted beach spots. On the evening of the same day, he arrived at Kissakulma and Vierula. Vierula had been left empty after the owner couple Viljo and Aino Rupa moved to the other side of Päijänne to the island of Majutvesi in front of Sysmä. The Kymi company had large logging sites in the nearby regions, and the forest workers had quartered in the deserted Vierula. It was 30 degrees below zero, but the next day Linkola still looked at the northern beaches of Kuhmoinen. When he couldn't find anything better than Vierula, he continued his bicycle tour along the snowy roads to the island of Rupa. They agreed on the rent of the space.

"A VIERULA IN MY HEART." wrote Pentti Linkola under these photos of his home album in September 1979. Photos by Jukka Kuusela.

At the beginning of February, just a week after Linkola had found Vierula, he settled into his new home. Pekka and Auli Tarkka brought him with their moving load from Helsinki. The Tarkats also fell in love with the region and rented a deserted house in Huhtlahti three kilometers from Vierula for a few summers. The writer couple Brita Polttila and Arvo Turtiainen had a summer apartment nearby, in the lower part of Unnaslahti. A new "literary circle" had been born.

In the light of winter, Linkola looked at the landscape from her window, the home strait and the opposite island of Rekisalo, gallant birches and red-green petäjikki. At the same time, he noticed a gnat's nest clearly standing out against the sky on the top of a pine tree on the island's highest peak. "I was sure that no ornithologist had found an osprey's nest from their home window."

Vierula is in a scenic location at the top of a hill, but for Linkola it was a secondary matter. The most important thing was to go fishing. Tehinselkä, eight kilometers away, was a state water body, and you could fish freely there. He bought permits from the local fishing municipalities to keep a few dozen nets in Vierula's nearby waters. A steep rocky path led from the yard to the beach. The farm, which was detached from the neighboring Keikkala farm in 1899, included just under three hectares of land, the largest part was forest, the rest arable.

The forest workers who lived in Vierula had lived from hand to mouth; there was only firewood to name a few and they were also wet. When Linkola burned burning wood, the cabin got wet and the wallpaper started to come off, the floor grew fungus. The sun did not get to dry the building located on the north side. The day side was shaded by the slopes and the high forest of Keikkala so that Vierula had its own shadow, Linkola wrote twenty years later in his autobiographical Kotitie tarina continuation story in Kuhmoinen Sanomat.

The waters of Päijänne were already unfamiliar to him. The nature was more rugged than in Vanaja, but its rugged beauty and large waters impressed him. Between Vierula and the island of Rekisalo in front, there was a narrow strait, two hundred meters long, which was 31 meters at its deepest. "It was easy to row on Päijänte. Even at the tip of the cape, he only raised one oar and let the boat sail past the island. There was no need to be afraid of underwater rocks."

The villagers followed their new neighbor curiously. "The first encounters aroused wonder," recalls Seppo Unnaslahti, owner of the Unnaslahti farm. He was ten years old at the time. "Linkola would have been a gentleman due to his family background, but his work, style and appearance did not suit a gentleman. He had a full beard and a checkered frock coat. Even though he was a high school student, he was like a workman, except that he spoke almost literary language and he received different mail than us and he had a typewriter," recalls Unnaslahti, who later received the title of home district councilor, in his Kissakulman history (Kirkonkylästä maille kaskimai, 2014).

The villagers wondered if there would be enough fish in nets from Päijänte to make a living, especially since the Kääpi fisherman's family already fished in the same waters as a profession. "Vihtori Kääpä was a great fisherman patriarch." Kääpä, who lived in Terijoki, had tried fishing in many places after the wars and finally ended up in Päijänte. Later, Käävä's sons Pekka and Juhani, also fishermen, told Linkola what old Kääpä had said about him after the first meeting: "It's not a fisherman, I thought it didn't have the hands of a fisherman." The dwarf was only half right. Linkola is clumsy with his hands, but he has earned his living by fishing. "What I have lost in dexterity and dexterity of fingers, I have gained back with hard work and extra hours."

Martti Linkola was in a hurry to see his brother's new place, and Pentti welcomed him in his card (March 18, 1960): Fortunately, I have just experienced all the networks. Today I got e.g. 6 kg of walleye weighing 300 gr; the atmosphere is the same as in Hemingway's Nobel book, so there is no temptation to crush you on the ice. At the same time, he thanked his brother for his article about IK Inha in Suomalainen Suomi magazine.

The people of Kisakumla learned to like Linkola. A talkative young man chatted from house to house on his birding trips. He also became known for his extremely modest and simple life. "We were surprised to come from a wealthy academic family in Helsinki to such miserable living conditions," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls. "At Kissakulma, everyone was trying to get ahead in life, but he stayed from dark to dark with fishing gear, rode the catch on his bike to the bus and disappeared into the bird forest for weeks in the summer."

VIHTORI Kääpä and Pentti Linkola in Papinsaari, Kuhmoinen. Photo: Helge Heinonen.

Linkola's first fishing season in Päijänte was short, it lasted from February to April. He was in a hurry to make waterfowl counts for Vanavavete and its nearby lakes and ponds. In addition to Vanaja, he monitored Luopioinen Kukki, Hauho's large ridges, Pälkäne, Roine and Längelmävesi, as well as fifty ponds in Pälkäne, Hauho, Hattula, Sääksmäki and Kuhmalahti. When that chore was done, he went on a bird of prey tour. The nature conservation supervisor had sent him new reports about the nests of eagles and peregrine falcons, and it was his job to check them. At the same time, he went through the old nests and ringed the chicks. The route was established. First the backwoods of Häme, then the marshes of Ostrobothnia, and finally the heartlands of Kainuu and North Karelia. In Perho, Linkola made a great discovery: The old, well-known, but long ago declared uninhabited Eagle's nest turned out to be inhabited!! The eagle's cawing of joy could already be heard in the distance. The bird was sitting on a high power pole, and some distance away was a nest the size of a smoke sauna inside a huge wind tunnel. The cubs had to be ringed before they grew up and turned wild. At that time, the mothers also violently attacked the ringer. More and more often there was a grim sight: the nest had been robbed. The peregrine falcon situation was bad. The nests were mostly uninhabited, but the Eurajoek was busy. First I saw the mother birds, then two eggs under a fairly tall bushy pine tree. I immediately left the place at high speed. In Jonkeri, Kuhmo, Linkola helped Martti Väisä make hay. On top of the job, they looked for the two sparrow hawk nests mentioned by Väisänen. One of the nests had only two eggs and the other had been emptied.

KOTKAN's son in Pyhäjärvi (Ol.) Riikinkanga. Photo: Juhani Rautiala.

In Keitele, Linkola had been fishing with a rented boat, but now he ordered his own boat from the boat sculpting workshop of Kalle Laulajainen from Padasjoki, recommended by the Käävä fishing brothers. Pekka Tarkka rowed the boat with Linkola to Vierula. "When I came to the Padasjoki church by bus, Pent already had a boat on the shore and a huge wooden shovel on board. Suddenly, Pena saw mushrooms growing on the grass. Or so we thought." The men gathered a bucket full of mushrooms and went rowing to Kuhmois. It was a beautiful autumn day, but when they got there and opened the lid of the container, there was not a single mushroom in the container, only a thin layer of brown slime. The men couldn't figure out what the mushroom was, "but at least it wasn't a gourmet mushroom".

Laulajainen made high-sided Laatokka-style boats, but after hearing that Linkola fished in Tehinselä, he made the next boat more rugged. On my back, the wind blew all the way from Jyväskylä and the waves hit high. "The boat had to be solid and stable, but at the same time good going. For me, the absolute requirement was that the boat must not rock and that if you sit on its side, it must not roll over." After Laulajainen's death, Linkola made his next three boats in Ensio Karone's sculpture workshop in Hattula. He took Laulajainen's finished used boat as a model. Carpenter Ossi Engblom carved the oars. For breeding bird counts, he used a shallower and shallower Savoland model boat. "There is no faster boat than that." That boat was also from Padasjoki, Aaltonen's sculpture workshop.


It was half way through August when Linkola returned to Kissakulma from his last birding trip of the summer. He pushed his bike along the home track and listened to the birds. In the middle of the village road, a young woman met him. Linkola didn't know the woman, but guessed who she was. She had agreed with her sister Aira that she would vacation with her family in Vierula with her little twin daughters Marja and Laura, and the nanny Aliisa Lummes would come with them.

The Ruohoses had applied for a nanny for their children through a newspaper advertisement, and Aliisa's older sister had called them on behalf of her "shy little sister". It wasn't until Aliisa arrived for them that it became clear, but the newcomer pleased them, and they hired her. Hilkka Linkola had also arrived in Vierula and promised to take care of the twins that evening so that Aliisa could go to the dances at Torpa in Kissakulman. Torppa was a popular dance place, frequented by young people from the neighbors. Aliisa had heard of Linkola and recognized him based on the hiking equipment. Linkola was wearing a t-shirt, binoculars around his neck and a tent attached to the handlebars of the bike. "Apparently he also guessed who I am," Aliisa Lummes, now Sinivaara, recalls. After exchanging a few words, the young people continued on their way.

Your mill inside Linkola. He thought of himself as a researcher and the research work had to be done mercilessly efficiently, map and count bird populations and their changes and publish research results. There was no room for dating girls, but in Keitele he had seen how low-class and in many ways unreasonably difficult it was to run a household for one man. In the open water season, raising and lowering the nets alone was "desperate tinkering" and he had started to rethink the matter. The only possibility left was that "a suitable girl would fly straight into the mouth", and now it happened.

"I did the calculations. Aliisa was as pretty as anything and strong-looking and strong she was. I thought it had a suitable partner for fishing as well, as it was. Many years.”

The next day, Pentti asked Aliisa if she would go with him on a boat trip to Sysmä, he had to take the rent money to Viljo Rupa. "After all, I went, even though I had never rowed," Aliisa recalls. The young people rowed in double oars, Pentti in the back, Aliisa in the bow. The day was at its best, the buzzard chicks frolicked on the islands, the loons howled in the evenings on their calm backs, the nights were dark and shiny. And what's best, my suspicions turned out to be correct: the girl had the makings of a great rower, Linkola later recalled in Kuhmoinen Sanomat.

The trip lasted four days. They spent the night on the islands with a campfire, one night they spent in a barn on Niittysaari in Majutvesi. The hay still smelled as if it had just been cut (…) Behind the Tyyne Strait, someone was playing mesmerizing folk songs on an accordion well into the morning... "We got to know each other a lot on that trip," Linkola recalls. "That was followed by madly falling in love." Aliisa was Pent's first love. He had no female adventures when he was young, he had no time for them. "It was a surprise, but Aliisa was sweet and affectionate, and Pena took her," Aira Ruohonen recalls. Aliisa turned nineteen that summer, and when school started in September, she went with the Ruohosts to Helsinki to take care of their children.

"I wasn't crazy about Pent", says Aliisa. He was from Vaasa, lived by the sea all his life, but dreamed of a lakeside place and rowing on the lake. "That was the thing for me."

In the fall, Aliisa visited Vierula, and in October, Pentti visited her in Helsinki. He had decided to propose to Aliisa and reserved a table for the important event at restaurant König on Mikonkatu. "König was the place for the mountain councils, a completely stupid choice, but yes, we got the lodge from there." Aliisa was in a restaurant for the first time and drank a whole glass of wine for the first time in her life. Pentti had ordered Tokaji from Hungary. Aliisa didn't think that the proposal would come so quickly, but "it wasn't a surprise at all". "Pentti needed a hostess and that's pretty much how he proposed. With Sysmä rowing, he saw if I could handle the oars."

The engagement came as a surprise to Linkola's circle of friends and acquaintances in Helsinki. "Women didn't even exist for Pent, he was a fanatic nature and bird person," Pekka Tarkka remembers. Tarkka and the guys had joked that they had to find female candidates for Pent, because he needed a partner: a rower and a cook. "But yes, it was at the level of speech."

On October 10, the young people went to Jyväskylä to buy engagement rings, but since Aliisa was not of legal age, she needed her mother's consent to get married. The mother, Alli Lummes, did everything she could to prevent the marriage from happening. The young people wrote to each other and visited each other on weekends. My dearest, my darling… It was so lovely to receive your letter. I wanted to kiss it, but then it would be stained. On the other hand, if I had caressed it, it would have wrinkled. So I just read it over and over dozens of times..., Aliisa wrote to Pent. Once they returned from a night out through nighttime Helsinki, accompanied by the director Peter von Bagh. This claimed they had invented the name Aliisa Lummes. It was too good to be true for him.

Pentti Ruohonen congratulated his brother-in-law (October 21, 1960): Dear groom, I have done my best to spread this news about your engagement and the reception has always been the same: regret, consternation and scornful joy. As far as I remember, I haven't reacted to this event myself, but let this letter be a sign that I have noticed your decline.

Aliisa didn't get into the nanny school, but got selected to the nursing school in Seinäjoki. He barely had time to start his studies in January 1961, when Pentti went on a "bride robbery trip". He talked Aliisa down and brought her to Vierula. When they returned home from the lake after a day of fishing, Aliisa's mother was waiting for them in Vierula's kitchen. After seeing Vierula, the idea that her daughter would start running the house and take up fishing was impossible for her. He had thought of a different kind of future for Aliisa. In the end, Alli Lummes agreed to travel with the young people to Helsinki to meet Pent's mother. Hilkka Linkola tried to persuade him by assuring him that the young couple would not die of starvation. Aliisa returned to Seinäjoki to continue her nursing studies. He and Pentti would wait until Aliisa was of age.

The matter bothered Hilkka Linkola, and he wrote (February 9, 1961) a 6-page letter to his son, in which he reflected on Pent's choices: Dear Pena, grumpy! (…) Now if you think objectively about yourself from the point of view of your mother, you will understand that for the mother, who nevertheless thinks of her son in a motherly reindeer-bourgeois way, you have caused quite a bit of concern with your preconceptions, your philosophy and your specialty. I say worry, not sadness (…) You have not produced sadness, but on the contrary – somewhere under the reindeer-bourgeois strata, I am proud of You, my son. In her letter, the mother recalled the children's chamber discussion with the children's father, Kaarlo Linkola:

Father: If only those little ones of ours would become something big!

Me horrified: Big! No, no, I just wish they would become happy people.

Father: Happy! If all people were just happy, nothing in the world would progress.

Me: If all people were happy, nothing in the world would need to move forward.

So yes, I wanted my children to be happy people. It didn't really come. (…) But now fate played tricks again: Pentti, who had been causing worry, suddenly swept a fair amount of worry into nothingness: he got engaged to an old-fashioned, kind, really sweet, ordinary (in a good way!) girl, No more worries about Pena's loneliness... Now everything is fine.

But it isn't. There is Aliisa's mother... The layout of the pieces is different, but the worry is still there.


Although Pentti Linkola had no previous experience of falling in love, it did not interfere with his concentration on literary work. In June 1960, the Peace Pamphlet was ready for printing. A small circle of cultural radicals of the Southern Finnish branch had read it, and Linkola and Charpentier had made the corrections to the text they wanted. The authors of the pamphlet predicted difficulties for themselves and agreed that one of them would take the book under their name, in which case the other would be spared possible judgments. The lot fell to Pent, who had the least to lose of the two. Of course, Linkola also had the main role as the author of the 48-page booklet. Pehr Charpentier's contribution can be seen in the book's expertise in psychology. In his preface, Linkola says that he compiled the ideas for the book "with the support of friends".

Linkola went to talk with Tuomas Anhava in Tamme about publishing the book, but he rejected the proposal. Since the subject of the book was "flammable", it should have been better written in his opinion. The authors decided to work independently and collected money from their friends and acquaintances to cover the printing costs. Paavo Heino's printing house gave the highest offer. The small press was located in the basement of the City corridor in Helsinki. The secretive press, located behind many doors, aroused many thoughts in those who exported the manuscript. "The members of the group of friends who were familiar with the history and were looking for romance identified themselves with the Russian nihilists of the 19th century", recalled Pertti Klemola of the stages involved in the creation of the book in the third edition of the book (1970). Pertti Klemola was Tapio Klemola's brother, an amateur ornithologist and Linkola's friend. The group had good connections with Ylioppilaslehti, whose editor-in-chief Arvo Salo had just started. They hoped to get publicity for their pamphlet with the help of Salo.

The first edition of 2,000 copies of the book appeared in August 1960, and Akateeminen Kirjakauppa took it up for sale immediately. The blue cross flag on the cover, designed by Pentti Linkola, and the title of the book For the Fatherland and the person - but not against anyone deliberately confused the buyers. Aliisa also participated in the mailing of the book with her sister Tellervo Lumme. "There was a lot of talk about whether the book would become a police case or not," Aliisa recalls, but the Helsinki city inspector gave up on pressing charges. Veikko Loppi, city councilor of the Progressive Party and chairman of the Memorial Foundation of the Fallen, had filed a criminal complaint against Linkola. Aaro Koskenjaakko, Linkola's mother's cousin, a young lawyer, told Pent that the deliberations of the legal circles had come to the conclusion that it was not worth bringing charges, because the law on civil service would soon enter into force, and the book would only get unnecessary attention in left-wing newspapers.

"The old patriots were horrified," Linkola recalls, but many young people received the book with great enthusiasm. "The pamphlet made young people interested in pacifism", recalled Hannu Taanila in his radio program 60-s åni ja vimma.

The authors were amused when Suomalainen Kirjakaupta contacted them and asked them to quickly deliver the pamphlet for sale to them as well. President Urho Kekkonen's wife, Sylvi Kekkonen, had read about the book in Ylioppilaslehti, and asked Suomalaien about it, but had to leave empty-handed. In the Academic Bookstore, the pamphlet was displayed in the window, but when the content of the book was revealed to the management of the store, it was removed from there. For a week, Pepe Klemolan managed to slip it secretly into its former place in the morning, but in the afternoon the book had been removed from the window again.

The authors decided to send the book to all those entering military service in the near future, and collected their names and addresses from the schools. They said that they needed information on the mailing of the South Finnish sample number. A thousand young people received the book, but when the fraud was revealed, the authors had to also mail a sample issue of Eteläsuomanen sample to young people in the winter of 1961.

Ylioppilaslehti published a critique of the pamphlet. It was written by Pentti Linkola himself, but Pertti Klemola was recruited as the author of the criticism. The tone of the writing was, as one might expect, admiring: "The book seems to aim for a kind of practical view of pacifism, war is not only understood as an ethical crime but also as a practical insanity. It is descriptive that the pamphlet unreservedly accepts the UN's armed activities - and does not require weapons to be forged into dams, plows and cauldrons." The critics also admired the courage of the authors to present Finland as the "promised land" of the salvation of mankind - even more so, with a disturbingly well-founded factual basis. The reviewer found the authors' desire to find a synthesis of pacifism and patriotism startling.

The discussion about Linkola's Runo-Suomi essays continued, but the pamphlet brought him to the center of the social discussion. Ylioppilasehti was at the peak of its history at that time, it was the country's most significant opinion magazine. Afterwards, many were of the opinion that Arvo Salo raised Ylioppilaslehti to its current status, but Linkola reminded in Ylioppilaslehti that the honor did not belong solely to Salo, but that the rise of the magazine had already begun during the time of Heikki Kääriäinen, who started it in 1956. "Arvo Salo was of course more brilliant as a person than Kääriäinen and the magazine burst into glory during Salo's time, but the foundation was created during Kääriäinen's time."

The book was also discussed in private discussions: "It was as if a bomb had been dropped in the middle of peaceful Helsinki", Hilkka Pietilä described the reaction caused by the book in her article in Ylioppilaslehti. Three years later, in 1963, Pietilä, who started as Secretary General of the UN Federation of Finland, was familiar with the European pacifist debate and wondered why the book was treated here as if the ideas and opinions presented by Linkola were unprecedentedly new and still shamelessly arrogant. "The issue had been brewing and the Linkola bomb only opened the mouths," Pietilä stated. He didn't like the fact that they tried to make Linkola a "ridiculous brat", who in his book explained his experiences of cheating during the army. In his opinion, the pamphlet was moderate and contained a factual reflection on a painful current issue. For Linkola's benefit, Pietilä read this realistic proposal of what private people and Finland as a nation could do in the name of pacifism. Like Linkola, he believed that "if we shared e.g. substantial peace prizes accompanied by powerful propaganda around the world, we would be (…) untouchable like medieval saints”. Even a major power would hardly want to attack such a "small dove of peace".

Linkola's proposal to establish a police army under the UN to secure peace received less attention. For him, the fatherland meant all of humanity, and therefore as many pacifists as possible had to acquire a good military education. Of course, the solution would only suit those pacifists whose conviction for peace is not based on a much greater than normal horror of bloodshed, but is – like the author of this – of an intellectual and worldview quality, Linkola opened later.

Matti Suurpää, Kari Rydman, Tauno Sarantola and Heikki Pesonen also participated in the Ylioppilaslehti discussion. Some of the reviewers wrote behind the nickname. One of the top ones was Realist. He had not yet seen "a single transparent and profoundly false text" and asked Linkola directly if he was a communist. Even the name of the book was pure blasphemy for him, and the "appeal to the youth" reeked of incitement. "I'm sorry. As an idealist of Poetry-Finland, you were positively amusing, as a blatant propagandist, negatively pitiable," Realisti wrote. He recommended the author to stick to problems that are not "too demanding to manage, so that there are no unpleasant penalties."

Maanpoolustuslehti Peitse compared "certain student circles selling their motherland" to the fascism of the 1930s. Kauppalehti branded the authors as "crazy neo-pacifists". The editorial manager of Suomen Kuvalehti, Heikki Brotherus, was also critical of the pamphlet in his assessment, and Linkola wrote a response in which he asked Brotherus a youthfully arrogant question: "Isn't life good?" The newspaper did not publish a response. Linkola had written it after picking up Aliisa on his boat from Kuhmoinen church for the weekend. The trip stayed in his mind: Kotisalmi's water was miraculously jet black and reminded him of the Tuonela stream. It was a full moon and the hawk started thundering deafeningly on the nearest mountain top. It was a perfect condensation of the atmosphere. In my blood, I just experienced moonlighting with my own girl and some other ecstatic experience, I wrote the equivalent. To those who saw the book as his revenge for his military punishments, he stated that there was enough substance to the accusation that he had been left with permanent shame for not having had the courage to refuse armed service.

The Isänmaa pamphlet made Linkola a political figure in one fell swoop, but it was difficult to place the advocate of pacifism and nature conservation on the party map. Until then, pacifism had been associated with leftism; the communists had their own cloak of peace. Many of Linkola's critics believed, like Realist, that he too was on the side of the communists. Kansan Uutisten and Suomen Sosialidemokraati's positive evaluations of the pamphlet supported the assumption. In his article in Ylioppilaslehti, Saarna pacifismist i communism, Linkola clearly renounced communism, but also considered the hysterical fear and exaggeration of communism degrading and dangerous: "Far more evil than communism itself has caused and is caused by the fear of communism, whose next move is the destruction of the human species." In autumn, a second edition of 3,500 copies was made. A year after the pamphlet, in 1961, Jörn Donner's book, Terveena sylsalässa, translated into Finnish by Arvo Salo, appeared. Donner talks about his civilian service at Pori General Hospital.

The third edition of Linkola's pamphlet was published ten years after the first in 1970 by the Committee of the Hundred. What was new in the book was Pertti Klemola's postscript, in which he stated that Uusi Suomi and Helsingin Sanomat had wanted to remain silent about the discussion in Ylioppilaslehti. According to him, Helsingin Sanomat was angry that talented writers - Donner, Saarikoski, etc. - were reserved space in Ylioppilaslehti, "whose current readership will eventually have to take responsibility for the fate of our nation". According to Klemola, Helsingin Sanomai's concern was increased by the bourgeois background of the young writers: "Linkola was remembered as the son of a professor, Donner belonged to the Finnish-Swedish financial nobility, Tapio Klemola, who moved to Canada, was a professor, from the academic elite." It was difficult to explain the opinions of such people as "products of cloudy reason and ignorance".

Linkola's pamphlet for the Fatherland and people has lasted a long time. In 2010, the fourth edition of the book was published by Into Kustantamo. In it, Osmo Apunen, professor emeritus of the University of Tampere, and Kalevi Suomela, the long-time chairman of the Committee of the Hundred and the Finnish Peace Alliance, evaluate the social effects of the pamphlet: The book is one of "Finland's most important harbingers of the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s." The 1960s was a turning point: "Finland then moved into modern times. The value revolution said a final goodbye to the authoritarianism of social practices between the world wars." The change was visible in youth culture, from clothing to music, but was also reflected in politics.

Apunen and Suomela had become acquainted with the ideas of the academic group, the Committee of One Hundred, which was born in the summer of 1960 in England under the leadership of Bertrand Russell. When they returned, they started to draw up the action program of the Committee of the Hundred adapted to the conditions in Finland. The young pacifists gathered in Vanha's student cafe in Helsinki. In addition to Apusen and Suomela, the sessions were attended by Jaakko Blomberg, Erkki Hiltunen, Pentti Järvinen, Paavo Lipponen, Raimo Meltti, Kati and Pekka Peltola, Markku Rautonen and Raimo Visa.

Pentti Linkola, Pentti Ruohonen and Pehr Charpentier were not at the founding meeting of the Hundred Committee, but others understood their value. For them, the pamphlet was one of the most important creators of a new, freer atmosphere that enabled the birth of the Committee of One Hundred.

"The Committee of the Hundred was much more than a protest against the Cold War", Apunen and Suomela judge. "New organizations were born from the circle of members of the Committee of One Hundred to promote, among other things, development cooperation (Tricont), gender equality and sexual liberation (Yhdistys 9 and later Sexpo) and the social rights of the marginalized (November Movement)."

The fate of Kafka's The Starving Artist that Pertti Klemola described to Linkola in Ylioppilaslehti did not befall him. Vice versa. The pamphlet and the Runo-Suomi writing series made him famous, and he began to receive requests for lectures all over the country. The radio commissioned presentations from him.

MARTTI Linkola.

In September 1960, the "pamphlet cop" received an invitation to come to Oslo to discuss the reduction of nuclear armaments. The invitation had come to Pentti Ruohonen, who was the only one of the trio to attend the meeting.

The pamphlet was important to Linkola, he felt that he succeeded in it. He had included in it and in his Runo-Suomi essays all of his current thinking. He reprimanded his brother (October 10, 1960) for the shortcomings of this previous letter: I found it shocking that your letter did not contain a single word about the 'Motherland' pamphlet - a matter which is and should be considered much more important than your Sodankylä trips and my fishing and engagements combined. Pentti hoped that Martti would continue the polemic around the book with his friends Matti Klinge and Kari Tarkiainen. Without any worries, you could ignore good manners, throw yourself on the barricade line and advertise a pamphlet in an absolutely outrageous way in Southern Finland. At the end of the letter, he asked his brother to come and experience the nets with him on the mystical ridges far away from Ruolahti.

Kari Tarkiainen was Martti Linkola's friend, bird enthusiast and later director of the State Archives, now the National Archives. When they started their university studies, Ylioppilaslehti published their joint article, in which they stated that "a person who is in a hurry cannot be civilized". Martti Linkola implemented the idea in his own way. "It took Mapa eight years to complete a bachelor's degree in humanities and another eight years to complete a bachelor's degree in philosophy. Although he occasionally wrote books and hosted congresses."

Matti Klinge was Martin's peer and friend and worked in the Southern Finland department. Klinge, like other friends of Martin, also became friends of Pent. "Few people know that Klinge is a great humorist, terribly funny...", says Linkola. His sympathies lie with Klinge, as he is the defender of a vanishing life form. "The rituals of the old civilization and the university are important to him. In that sense, he is a loser, as is a nature lover."


The winter of 1961 was exceptionally short. The big backs didn't freeze until mid-January and threatened to melt already at the beginning of March, but then back winter came, and the fishing season was of normal length. Because Aliisa was a war orphan – her father had died in the war when she was two – the state paid for her nursing studies. The condition was to finish school or the student had to pay back the grants he received. Aliisa wrote to Pent (12.2.1961), who was admiring her: Kultamuru! We have read in psychology about people who burn themselves from both ends and are usually geniuses. Would you be like that? Then I could very well understand your restlessness.

Aliisa spent the weekends in Vierula. Pentti met him on his bike at Jämsä station, and on the way home Aliisa sat on the pole of his bike. The distance was forty kilometers, and sometimes they slept in a hay barn on the way. They went to experience the nets together, leaving in the morning and coming back in the evening. They only had sandwiches for lunch. The trips were tough for the unaccustomed Aliisa, and after returning home, Pentti fed her raspberry jam with a small spoon. In April, Aliisa found out she was pregnant. The options dwindled. Mothers of illegitimate children were not tolerated in nursing school; they were expelled from school after the birth of a child. “I knew that if I married Pent, I would have to miss school anyway. I had to help him in the cabin and fish, and I wouldn't be able to go to school. It was a stalemate."

Linkola considered going to school to be pointless in general, it was a waste of time and he hoped that Aliisa would rather focus on taking care of the healthy so that they wouldn't get sick. The third volume of Maxim Gorky's memoirs of his youth, The Universities of My Youth, had made a deep impression on him. After his graduation papers, he had carried the book as travel reading in his backpack and realized what he had lost by "cramming the Expensive Years with church history, algebra formulas, etc." Ten years later, in Suomen Kuvalehti's edition of Oppi ojaan kaataa, he returned to the theme. He was strongly of the opinion that the efficiency society had crushed its vigilant radical youth. "It has masked the only real purpose of raising the level of knowledge, that the business world would have its need for efficient and humble servants satisfied." He quoted the writer Pentti Holappa, a left-wing radical, who had written that he could distinguish which table was occupied by vocational school youth and where working youth. The latter played and had fun, while the schoolchildren sat slumped, full of boredom and world pain. Linkola continued Holapa's idea. He believed that "the thoughts of an uneducated person fly in the most diverse ways, but in the formulas of a universal uniform education, they are compressed into a fairly consistent scientific rational standard thinking". The matter had wider implications: "Only a well-educated person can strip the earth clean of natural resources, and only education can create sufficient new needs for people that guarantee the sale of technological products."

In the early summer of 1961, Aliisa accompanied Pent to Häme doing bird counts, and then helped him ring birds of prey in the last untouched wilderness of Nurme. In Jonkeri, Kuhmo, they raked hay with Linkola's friend Martti Väisänen, on the banks of Vuolijoki, they picked buckets of jam. On Midsummer's Eve, in Perho's Koirajokivarre, Linkola made a rare observation of the summer: a ground warbler was singing at the edge of an untouched primeval forest. Aliisa learned to identify birds, she was already good at finding nests. In the spring, they also went to the nets together. "I thought it was just wonderful. I didn't mind being tired. Cooperation and division of labor worked well for us," Aliisa recalls.

Aliisa's 20th birthday on August 14 was approaching. After that, he didn't need his mother's permission to get married, and the young people started preparing for the wedding. At that time, nursing students only had a one-month summer vacation, and Aliisa returned to Seinäjoki even after the vacation. During the wedding, on the first weekend of August, his and Pent's paths crossed. Aliisa was indignant after coming to an empty Vierula, and managed to leave before Pentti returned. He heard about Aliisa's visit from a neighbor and was startled that the bride was canceling the wedding.

My little fool, he wrote to Aliisa on the beach meadow. ...I came to an empty Vierula yesterday, Sunday...However, the greatest of all was my dismay when I couldn't find a single line of greetings from you, even though I looked for doors, floors and beds. And the girl would have had time to write for three days. My relatively good mood was... - and for the umpteenth time - completely ruined, thinking how unhappy you had been waiting in vain, and above all, thinking that you had some change in your wedding plans, which were now all too late ruined - and generally thinking about the stupidity of my little girl. Linkola hadn't slept all night, he was afraid that he would tear Vierula to the ground in his anger. He had already been waiting for the mail, and thank God Aliisa had a letter.

Now, in heaven's name, come here with new luck for Thursday, and come once and for all, because these messes are starting to be enough - if you're still traveling between nursing school, you'll have nothing more as a groom at the wedding than a human ruin who has raged to the end of himself, and who is disgusted to the core of his whole life. Get rid of that goddamn rat hole right there and don't dwell on that filth even during the day. And welcome - I feel that your presence still puts me in a better mood...

WEDDINGS Aliisa Lummes and Pentti Linkola.

THE WEDDING was celebrated at Hilkka Linkola's home on Merikatu in Helsinki.

Aliisa Lummes and Pentti Linkola got married on August 20, 1961 at the Helsinki registry office, with two strangers witnessing the delivery. The wedding was celebrated in the mother's Merikatu apartment. There were relatives and especially the groom's friends, the capital's young cultural elite: Pentti Saarikoski, Pekka Tarkka, Matti Klinge and Linkola's ornithologist friends, Lasse Sammalisto, Olavi Hildén, Pertti Klemola, Pertti Saurola, Erkka Paavolainen. "Kuhmoi were most powerfully represented by the sahtitonkas." The boys went to cool off outside, and brought an unknown fisherman they met on the street at the end of the evening to celebrate with them. Since Pentti couldn't dance, Aliisa danced the wedding waltz with her soulmate Olavi Hildén. "Penti has no ear for rhythm at all. Once when he was drunk, he tried to dance, but it was like jumping a colt." When the orchestra started performing Hiski Salomaa's Lännen lokar, some of the older relatives left. During the evening we also heard Linkola's favorite songs, Reino Helisma's Kaksi olda tukkijättä and Matti Jurva's Savotan's Sanni. As a wedding present, the young couple received "everything necessary", linen and bedding. Pekka Tarkka sensed "something strange" at the event.

The day after the wedding, the married couple went on their honeymoon - to Signilskär. Their days were spent in the hustle and bustle of work. Pentti was ringing birds. He placed tree branches in front of the fella's mouth so it wouldn't look like a trap, and when the bird flew in, it fell into a narrowing "bag" with a glass end. Sometimes the birds he drove to the fella to be ringed flew in distress towards the glass and died. Aliisa plucked and gutted them and made food from them. Aliisa also helped Pentti in catching birds from the fella. "I got to hold all kinds of birds, even horned owls." Later, they also had a hawk fur at home in Vierula. When Pentti was fishing on the ice in the winter, Aliisa caught the birds and took them to ring for him, and when Pentti returned from his birding trip, Aliisa delighted him with her nest finds. Signilskär was often visited by birders on weekends. Juhani Rinne, an amateur ornithologist working at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, "meteornithologist" among his friends, asked Aliisa to cook him a hippie dish. Aliisa agreed if the man would clean the little bird himself. Pent's amateur ornithologist friends Ilkka Stèn, Pertti Saurola and Mauri Rautkari also visited the island.

Aliisa wove baby clothes, hats, jackets and trousers. Sometimes he picked sea buckthorn berries and made a jelly out of them. The sea guards used him at the counseling center in Storby, Eckerö. "All their chivalrous instincts were awakened when the bird boy had a bride, a young wife who was pregnant," Linkola remembers. Aliisa trusted herself and her body. "I knew that I would be fine, and the h-moment wasn't until mid-December." Towards the end, the constant roar of the sea began to burden him. "It was never quiet, the sea roared day and night, even when there was no wind." Even in early autumn, the island was teeming with vipers. "You always had to keep your boots on, and according to the station's bylaws, you weren't even allowed to disturb them."

HOME ALBUM text: "This ugly Chinese boy likes Aliisa girl terribly, nothing is possible."

Pentti got sick at Signilskär. He had a high fever for many days and couldn't even get out of bed. Aliisa was already in trouble, and the sea guards visited the island only every two weeks. After seeing the patient, they retrieved a thermometer from the pilot station. "The bed was no longer hot, but the meter still showed 39 degrees." Linkola thinks that he had tick-borne encephalitis. Aliisa accused her husband of the buns he brought with him from Helsinki, which he used as decoys in the fella. Linkola was pale and weak for a long time, it took time before he got stronger.

"Pentti was terribly kind and nice," Aliisa recalls. "He knew a lot about everything and was a good story teller. It was good to discuss and talk about all things with him. And he had a funny twinkle in his eyes." Linkola told Aliisa about this strange world. "Only he didn't talk much about his childhood, he just stated that he had always been sick. His father had been distant, commanding the children. After eating, father had pressed a kiss on mother's forehead and returned to his study. Pena told more about the botanical garden and what they had done there as children." The couple left the island only at the turn of November and December. "It was a farewell autumn for Signilskär." The sea guards gave them a ride all the way to Mariehamn. A raw wind blew from the open back and the boat swayed in the high waves.


Christmas and the time of Aliisa's birth were approaching. The villagers noted that new life had come to Vierula; the fisherman had taken a wife. Aliisa was also a city dweller, but the people of Kitsakulma were pleased to know that his father's mother was born in the neighboring Padasjoki farm and was descended from crofter families. He was one of them.

At three in the morning on the night before December 19, Aliisa woke up to contractions. The maternity hospital was ten kilometers away at the Kuhmoinen church, but the journey along the ice was two kilometers shorter. Paijänne had frozen just a few days before, but Tehinselkä was still thawed. Pentti put Aliisa on board the propeller and started kicking along the shores. The journey would have progressed very quickly if there were no katiska openings on the shores. They were marked with sticks, but although the travelers had flashlights, the sticks were difficult to spot. Suddenly the katiska opening was right in front of them, and they were already sliding into the black water when Pentin managed to make a sudden turn. It was getting closer to seven, and the contractions were getting stronger. Aliisa had to catch her breath many times before she got from the beach to the maternity hospital in the old main building of the farm. Pentti believed that the birth would go better when the father is not involved in messing around and left Aliisa's midwife Sauvonsaari to take care of.

"Sauvonsaari was a qualified midwife, she had delivered all the people from Kuhmo into the world for decades." When the birth started, Linkola cooled down with her propeller along the ice to her fisherman role model Vihtori Käävä in Papinsaari. Kääpä was a cheerful Karelian and knew how to calm the future father. On the phone, the father heard that the child was a girl. "It was a liberation. If the child had been a boy, we would have taken him directly to an orphanage. I said that the boy is not to be liked." Linkola remembered what he himself had been like as a little boy, "absolutely impossible compared to girls, in all stages". She could see in her mind how the boy would date her in puberty, and she didn't want that. "Until the end, the male gender is clearly more difficult. The female gender is just secretly awkward."

When Linkola reached puberty, she no longer had a father, her memories were from an earlier age. “Even though Dad wanted to avoid being troublesome, and he wasn't, his whole being made me rebellious. I didn't rebel, but the feeling was there. There are fathers and sons who play together in all stages, but the relationship between son and mother is always unusually good and warm." Aliisa didn't believe that Pentti would have given the boy to a children's home if he had come to the truth, "even though he said that in all seriousness". "He didn't want a child like he had been. Pentti's mother also said that Pentti had been a troublesome child. Pentti had been a 'heavy burden' for him, and when we got married, he handed that burden over to me."

Vierula's cottage was small and cold, and Aliisa was allowed to stay with the newborn for a week at the maternity hospital. Linkola had already thought of a name for the child. She became Mirjami, according to Eino Leino's song Mirjami. "It's such a beautiful name that no other name was needed." The father did not participate in the care of the child. "When I was alone with Mirjam, I couldn't do anything." When Aliisa stayed in the neighbor's house longer than agreed, Pentti went to pick her up.

During the first winter, Aliisa took care of Mirjam at home, but already in the summer, when Pentti did bird counts in the nearby lakes, the child was with them in the boat. Mirjami slept in a basket on the bottom of the boat. When the fall fishing season started at the beginning of August, Aliisa put Mirjam in the bow of the boat, and she could sleep and play. In the rain, he pulled a tarp over the bow to protect the child. On Lehtinen island, they had a permanent tent where Aliisa went to feed the girl and change her diaper. When hunger surprised Mirjam in the boat, Pentti moved to rowing and Aliisa warmed the milk bottle between her thighs, where the milk barely warmed to 30 degrees.

"When the autumn got colder, I thought that the child got used to the cold as well," Linkola recalls, and they left Mirjam in the tent while they experienced nets in the nearby waters. "At the end of October Mirjami obviously started to die", and they had to come ashore. Linkola admitted that he had made an assessment error regarding the child's frost tolerance. Aliisa does not remember the incident as being as dramatic. "Mirjami was sick, she had a urinary tract infection", but it had come from when he had fooled the girl in the water while changing a diaper, and in October the water was already very cold. In the end, they got Mirjam into daycare for the landlady of a nearby farm.

Many times a day the Linkolas changed their places in the boat; one moved to the back to experience the nets and the other to row. Linkola lowered the five-meter nets from the sitting pool. Aliisa became a "competent network expert". "She was strong - you need strength to pull high nets all day - and Aliisa had better arm strength than me." As a rower, Linkola was unbeatable, although Aliisa was also an excellent rower. "Keeping the boat exactly in place in waves on a shoreless ulapa requires such a feel for the wind and the movements of the boat that many people never learn."

"In the beginning, Aliisa was much more enthusiastic about fishing than I was and said that this is a great life." For him, Linkola's ascetic lifestyle was not as repulsive as it would have been for most. Linkola was worried that Aliisa lacked caution. Once, when they were returning late at night from experiencing the nets, the wind picked up and Pentti listened to the sounds of the waves: "Every eighth or ninth wave was high and then the bow of the boat had to be turned towards the wave so that the water did not get inside the boat. Even then, Aliisa didn't know how to be afraid, but we made it to the shore."

They had different temperaments. Linkola had difficulty getting used to the more even nature of her spouse, where the joys did not seem to be strong and the sorrows were not as deep as I thought they should have been, she wrote in her follow-up report to the local newspaper. The differences in their characters had already made her think during their engagement. Once they had been watching a film about German concentration camps, where bucket loaders were pushing piles of corpses. Linkola had been "pretty much out of it", but "Aliisa seemed to have an attitude that what about those". Linkola also remembers one of Aliisa's winter coats, which had dropped shoulders, "Aliisa looked like a gray mouse in it".

At the lake, the couple discussed the world. "I completely agreed with Pent that there are too many people, and that is the biggest problem." They also agreed on issues of war and peace. Aliisa's father had been in the medical corps during the war and fell in the battles of Inari. Aliisa was one and a half years old at the time, and she has no memories of her father. His mother had been left as a single parent of four daughters. Even Linkola's most radical statements did not frighten Aliisa. "I have taken them in such a way that Pentti is deliberately provoking in order to make people think. That it is."


In the spring of 1962, Linkola did his last official bird of prey census. After that, he wandered around occasionally ringing young eagles and hawks, but he didn't write reports for the nature conservation supervisor about them. When official bird counts stopped, Linkola focused on hawks and owls. Only with the scoundrel did he not become comrades. It is "too cruel". Among the owls, his favorite was the barn owl.

When Ruokola's old larch tree, rotten in the middle, fell, Linkola had "pölönpönttötalkoot" with Pertti Saurola in the manor yard. They cut down the spruce and removed the rot with a chisel and mortar. "The bottom and roof, just the top and the side air vent and the nest box were ready," recalls Saurola. "Pentti is not the pinnacle of practicality. The smallest nail that stays in his hand is four inches, but he built the houses.”

Now that there was time, Aliisa and Pentti took a cycling trip to Sweden and Denmark in the summer. Grandma Alli took care of Mirjam. "Stockholm's traffic scared me and I drove so close to Pentti that no one got between us and the lights didn't change," Aliisa recalls. In Skåne, the travelers blessed the "wretchedness of the population", even the cows there were black. In Copenhagen, they enjoy the bike lanes.

Nobody had too many guests in the remote village of Kissakulma, and Vierula's guests were also guests of Keikkala and Unnaslahti and vice versa. Martti Linkola was impressed by the home museum that Seppo Unnaslahti founded when he was less than 10 years old and went to see it when he visited his brother. In the fall, Pentti and Aliisa took the boy with them to Helsinki.

"I learned a lot about writing from Pent. The highlight of my life was in October 1962, when I got to Helsinki with Penti, Aliisa and baby Mirjam for the first time in my life," Unnaslahti recalls.

The second edition of Linkola and Olavi Hildén's Suuren Lintukirja was published around the same time, seven years after the first edition. They had completely rewritten the most important part of the work, the species descriptions, and added and specified factual information. In the second edition, they also took into account birdwatchers traveling in different parts of Finland, and added local special features to the book. Most of the information in the work was based on their own observations. Linkola knew the birds of the entire country, from the archipelago to the inland, but for the birds of Lapland they used Martti Linkola as an expert. The text inspired many young people and parents to devote themselves even more deeply to their birding hobby.

On the eve of Independence Day, Hilkka Linkola and Penti's sisters Martti and Aira arrived with their families to celebrate the book, Independence Day and Penti's 30th birthday. After the party, the severe frosts fell silent in Häme. The linkolas had raised their last nets on the last sweet day of protection before this unexpected wave from Kamtshatka. They fetched sweet jams from the cellar and birch logs from the shed and listened to Bruckner on their battery-powered record player. Pentti ordered Beethoven and Brahms from Marti based on Stockmann's sale announcement.

The problem with Linkola and Hildén's bird book was its thickness; The 860-page work did not fit in a birdwatcher's backpack, let alone in his pocket. It also didn't have color pictures to make it easier to identify birds, and the authors started dreaming of an all-encompassing bird handbook that would compile current Finnish bird knowledge. They had contacts in Otava, and the publisher was happy to take on the project, but required that the work be illustrated with color bird paintings by the von Wright brothers recently acquired by Otava. Linkola was not enthusiastic about the picture boards, but agreed to the condition. "They weren't terrible, but Otava had bought them with a lot of money and wanted value for money." In addition to the Wrights, the book was illustrated with the paintings of the bird painters Bror Hallberg and Sven Ekblom. In addition to Hildén and Linkola, the most respected professional ornithologists of the time, Rauno Tenovuo and Lars von Haartman, participated in the making of the book. The editorial board was headed by Paavo Suomalainen, a member of the Otava supervisory board and bird enthusiast. When the men divided the tasks, Linkola was given the most extensive bird distribution and migration information.

Olavi Hildén constantly found new information and wanted to make additions to the already final agreed upon text. Once, in such a situation, Linkola's surface burned and he threw his Facit typewriter against the wall with such force that even the male and female markings he had made to describe the sex of the birds were destroyed. "Yes, we sometimes argued, a lot. That is the hallmark of friendship." Paavo Suominen brought a new Triumph typewriter to Linkola.

Pohjola's birds was a heavy task for both of them. The work appeared as a 12-volume booklet series between 1963 and 1972 and finally in 1972 as two thick books. For the book, twelve EP-45 audio discs were made, on which 110 bird songs were recorded. The 1284-page work has 192 color bird paintings. The book sold well, and the authors were well compensated. For many years, Linkola's copyright income approximated the income accumulated from the sale of fish. He used the money to buy more nets.

For the reader, the work was an endless source of information, and its vivid descriptions of birds made many deepen their birding hobby. The Ministry of Education awarded the authors with the state information disclosure award in 1973. Olavi Hildén accepted the award on behalf of the authors, Linkola protested by staying in the background at the event. "The then Minister of Education, Ulf Sundqvist, who presented the award, was not my favorite." Birds of Pohjola with color pictures is still considered by many, including Linkola, to be the best and most thorough work that has been done in that field in Finland. "We haven't had time to start doing anything new." When the work finally appeared in its entirety, Linkola was full of writing. The book makes sure that every extra letter from my hand causes a vomiting attack, he wrote to his brother. The work was praised in the press. "It's Pentti Linkola's opus magnum", sums up Pekka Tarkka.


The 1960s was a time of environmental awakening. One important wake-up call was the American biologist Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, which appeared in the summer of 1962 first as a series in the New Yorker magazine, and in the fall as a book, the Finnish translation was completed the following year. Carson's book was a huge sales success everywhere, and became a topic of conversation in Finland as well. Carson talked about the harmful effects of chemicals used in agriculture and pest control on nature. The most attention was given to DDT, a fat-soluble chemical that moves up the food chain, to birds of prey and also to humans. The title of the book referred to the death of songbirds. Carson's revelations shocked Linkola. They confirmed his suspicions about the effect of environmental toxins on the collapse of the peregrine falcon population. The book also supported his ideas about the dangerousness of technology and the brutality of the efficiency economy, and proved that the concern about the applications of nuclear power and the explosive increase in the use of synthetic chemicals after the Second World War was justified.

"Plant protection and insecticides have already caused a disaster in nature and in the human nutrition situation, which seems to pale in comparison to the better-known consequences of atomic tests," Linkola later wrote in Suomen Kuvalehti. Carson's book led to the fact that the use of DDT was banned in Sweden and Norway in 1970, in the United States in 1972, and finally also in Finland - in agriculture in 1972 and in forests in 1975. The book was the starting point for the modern environmental movement. Before that, nature conservation had been more about the protection of landscapes and the establishment of nature parks.

Pentti Linkola took his stories more and more often to Suomen Kuvalehti. "It was the only newspaper for the general public that had some kind of level," he says. However, a new assistant relationship was not created unconditionally. Leo Tujusen, who started as the magazine's editor-in-chief in 1960, had to promise Linkola that his texts would not be processed in the editorial department. The following chief editors also had to make the same promise. "Linkola's writings started the discussion of environmental issues in Suomen Kuvalehti, and only later did the magazine start doing its own journalistic articles on the subject. Linkola played a big role in opening up a new topic to readers," states editor-in-chief Ville Pernaa, who is deeply involved in the magazine's history.

1971 Linkola even had his own column in the magazine, Vasamia Päijänte, which was first a page, then a spread, but when he couldn't fit his message into that, the magazine started buying longer texts from him. Linkola enjoyed the prestige brought to him by Suomen Kuvalehti, and Ylioppilaslehti was less so. The cooperation benefited both parties. Mikko Pohtola, who started as the magazine's editor-in-chief in 1974, considered stimulating discussion to be an important task for Suomen Kuvalehti, and the polemical writings of a dissident like Linkola met his wishes. Multivocality increased the magazine's street credibility. "Pentti wrote well and a lot, and even though his writings were often violent, I don't remember that the readers barked at him", later editor-in-chief Pekka Hyvärinen states. "He went to the delivery with his backpack. He was a dissenter and knew how to startle, he was a good writer and suitably confused people," recalls Tapani Ruokanen, who was the editor-in-chief of the magazine.

"I thought about fishing trips and birding trips, and I always found the time to write somewhere. I usually wrote early in the morning when the rest of the family slept. Although the writings were originally magazine articles, I put effort into them and tried to write well. I changed the order of the songs, I fiddled with them a lot," says Linkola.

In addition to Suomen Kuvalehti, he made his case known by writing in the Suomen Luonto magazine of the Finnish Nature Conservation Association and Molekyyl, the youth magazine of the Nature Association. He wrote about his bird studies in Luonon Tutkija, Lintuveisti and Ornis Fennica. He also received Uusi Suomi, Ylioppilaslehti and the literary magazine Parnasso. First he read the packages. His favorites were Pentti Saarikoski, who wrote for Kansan Uutisi, Uuteen Suomei and Ylioppilaslehti under the pen name Nēna, Johnny Walker aka Pekka Haukinen of Ylioppilaslehti, and Olli, Pekka Nuorteva's father Väinö Nuorteva, who wrote for Uuteen Päivä, Uuteen Suomei and Ylioppilaslehti.

In 1963, the peace movement brought young people together. In April, 70,000 people protested against nuclear weapons by marching in London. In August, the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union signed an agreement banning nuclear tests. On August 5, the Finnish peace organization Sadankomitea was founded. On August 28, there was a large protest march in Washington, where the civil rights fighter Martin Luther King gave his famous speech I have a dream. In November, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning all forms of racial discrimination. On November 22, US President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas.

Linkola pondered the significance of Kennedy's assassination in his essay in Ylioppilaslehti Sivistyneistö ja rauhanike. The effect of the murder could have been positive, because Kennedy "was almost being made a martyr of pure pacifism". People, other than the active peace marchers, longed for world peace and forgot Kennedy's intransigence towards, for example, Cuba, Linkola interpreted. In the changed atmosphere, the squeamishness of Finland's most enlightened circles towards peace seemed surprising to him, and he tried to come up with explanations for it: the boring lifestyle of the middle class, the decline of men to remember the male vigor of the army days in their reserve officer clubs. The bourgeoisie did not trust the peace work also because the left had owned the movement. For Linkola, peace work was also a fight against prejudice. In the end, communist pacifism was a more positive phenomenon for him than "a bushy and openly disagreeable, although otherwise enlightened and civilized person".

World politics interested Linkola, but he had enough to chew on in his own country's affairs. For him, the 1960s meant, above all, "the collapse of Finland": "Forestry took power." Logging became "frantic" also in his Häme, and the sadness about the forests began to dominate his life. "It was tragic to look at him and see how he suffered because his beloved forests were shaved and the beautiful agrarian landscape was ruined," Pekka Tarkka recalls. "Even though the heart of Hämee was not yet as extensive clear-cutting as in the north. In the old culture holders, there were still limits to what could be done. Still, his bird lands were cut down and his brick marshes were drained."

The statistics supported Linkola: it was precisely in the Päijänne area that over-cutting was the greatest. "There wasn't even any information about the old forests anymore, there was only a low ridge." As a fisherman, he was hurt by the fact that during the felling of islands and beaches, trees were felled into the shore water and ice, and "the fisherman had to tear his nets from the tops of the beds". Another nightmare was the drifting of timber: "The bundle rafts carried nets worth thousands of marks, and the law was on the side of the forest companies."


The family's second child, Leena, was born one year and nine months after Mirjam, the "damaged child", in September 1963. Since there were no other children nearby, the parents thought that as many children of the same age as possible would be friends for each other when they were fishing and the girls would have to be alone at home.

Linkola was still talking about an orphanage if the child was a boy. "I thought to myself, then I'll leave too," Aliisa recalls. On the other hand, he did not believe that Pentti would carry out his intention "as long as he spoke". Linkola had taken Aliisa to "the world of midwife Sauvonsaari" by taxi, but returned home on foot. The last tiltalts of autumn were singing in the roadside willow tree. "I was successful in choosing a chromosome again. The desired girl was even smaller than the previous one, and therefore suitable for a poor cottage."

He took a bouquet of flowers to Aliisa and later a big maté to the midwife. When he visited, he read Tolstoy's War and Peace to Aliisa, and often the midwife came to listen to him. Aliisa had read a lot, but not as much as Pent thought he should have. On Saturdays, when the family was at home, because it was not possible to send fish to the broker on Sunday, Aliisa did the housework for the week, did the dishes and cleaned. "Pena thinks I should have preferred to read even then."

Linkola opposed child benefits. "I thought that if you make children that the world doesn't need, you shouldn't give them support from society, but we, in that unspeakably poor economy, needed that money."

After Leena was born, Aliisa's mother Alli Lummes came to take care of the girls for a few weeks. Sometimes the parents took the girls with them to the nets. Once they were caught in a heavy storm. Leena was safe in the bow, Aliisa was rowing, but Mirjami kept standing up and every time the oar hit her on the head. "The girl fell down, but after a while she got the oar again. If you relax even one stroke of the oar while casting the nets, the boat will turn sideways." There were no worse accidents with children.

The life of the fishing family was tough. They had to leave for the lake early in the morning, and before they had experienced all the hundred nets, it was already dark. Working days of 10–12 hours were common, but 18-hour days were not uncommon either. After returning from the lake, Aliisa prepared the food, Pentti weighed the fish, recorded the information in his fish diary and packed the catch into boxes. The next day, in the early morning twilight, he loaded the fish boxes on his bike's luggage rack either ten kilometers away to the bus going to Kuhmois in Jyväskylä, or five kilometers to the intersection of four roads to the Lahti bus. He chose between Kalaliike AK Penttinen from Jyväskylä and Hämeen Kala owned by Forsblom from Lahti, depending on which paid better.

Many times the weather was unforgivingly slippery, and Linkola often had two days' worth of catch in the boxes on the bike rack, but when the rear weight came to the bike, he had a full time going forward. If the boxes fell, their lids opened and the fish were along the road to Kissakulma. "The record was ten stomach upsets with two boxes of fish." After such adversities, Linkola found it difficult to control himself, and once when he got home, he threw his belongings through the window in such a way that the glass broke.

"Pentti worked at the limits of his endurance", Pekka Tarkka recalls. He was sometimes helping his friend with netting. "Calculating a long line from opening to opening with bare hands using long pots was a wild job." Sometimes Linkola tried to offer Tarka raw shells caught in the web, but Tarka refused to eat them. Pentti popped the raw shells into his mouth as morsels of taste. They tasted like summer and cucumbers. "Raw muikku is also good, but the crust is delicious."

LENA Ilona 1968.

The sympathy of the guests was on Aliisa's side. They wondered how this lasted. The villagers also felt sorry for Vierula's young wife and children, who had to live in such primitive conditions. Although the fish catches remained small and the price for the fish began to decrease, the couple did not consider other options. During the melt water, they went fishing together. In autumn, when the water was cold, the nets did not have to be experienced every day, and by December they had already raised most of the nets. In the winter, Linkola fished alone, Aliisa fished and fixed nets at home. When the ice began to melt, Linkola left the nets in the lake, but they pulled them up together from the boat to catch one more. One year, when the fish was really low, they lowered the nets to less already in September and picked lingonberries for sale. There were hundreds of liters of berries.

There were often dead and already partially spoiled fish in the nets, but Aliisa made sure that they were not offered to guests, but that the host people ate them themselves. "We also ate fish whose breast meat near the stomach had already gone bad," Aliisa recalls. He cut off the spoiled parts and took the rest to eat. "You can't get food poisoning from fish." Unlike Pentti, Aliisa didn't even get sick from old muscle. When thirst struck them, they drank water from lakes and ditches, and did not get upset stomachs. "We had what we had for dinner and everyone ate it. There were many kinds of fish, arranged in many different ways. On a fish sale trip, someone doesn't buy walleye because they have just eaten fish, fried herring or a box of herring. They are as far apart as sister sausage and Karelian roast, but for many fish is one concept."

Sometimes birds got into the fishing nets. "They were put as food just out of pity, so that those scraps wouldn't go to waste." Linkola caught gannets from the bird board, and Aliisa fried them. He made fox soup from the fox. The descendants of the rabbits Jökö and Söpö, sent by Satu Waltari, Pentti Linkola's classmate Leena and Mirjam by bus, also ended up in the cauldron.

"Mirjami was an energetic girl and took care of her own eating even at the age of one," Aliisa recalls. There was no electricity in Vierula, and he kept ready meals under the bench in a drafty corner. Mirjami took food from there herself. "Sometimes when the food was ready and I asked Mirjam to eat, she said that she has an awful lot of 'work', she doesn't have time". There were long rows of five liter jars of raspberry and blueberry jam in the cellar.

In the early summer of 1964, when Linkola returned from his birding trip, the ironwood behind Vierula's cottage was marked. Viljo Ruppa had decided to turn the birches into money, and Linkola rowed over to Sysmä to discuss saving the stamp. After making sure that he would get a loan from his mother, he offered to buy the house and the land. Ruppa accepted the offer, and set the price at one million old marks. Linkola was satisfied with that, but before he could make the payment, Ruppa dropped the price on his own initiative to FIM 850,000. "He was a good-hearted person." In the same summer, a log cabin was built as an extension of the cottage. Hilkka Linkola helped his son by giving another 850,000 marks. Linkola felled a few pine trees from his plot, "of course it would hurt, but not so badly, because the main tree on the plot was birch", and the local woodworker built a hut out of them. Aliisa and Pentti invited the cat neighbors to a housewarming party. "The red-painted building was a typical main building of the farm," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls. "The landscape just started to fill up when Linkola didn't cut down the trees."

Doubts related to the profitability of the fisherman's profession and marriage had vanished from Linkola's mind. Now that the house was his own, he bought a horse, a 7-year-old Tuli mare from the owner from Nasto. "It was an experienced mare, a wonderfully human-loving horse," Linkola recalls. The Tuli-mare spent the summers in common pastures with the Kuhmoinen horses, but in the fall she was taken home.

"A horse was equivalent to a snowmobile on ice and a tractor in the forest and was better than machines in all of them. A society that became hateful stopped working horses. It was a terrible mistake. That's where the culture should have ended." Money was tight in Vierula, and sometimes Linkola had to go to weak ice to lower the net. "I rode a horse on three-inch ice. Nowadays, I hardly dare to go on such thin ice myself." The villagers mourned Linkola's horse. "It was updated that it had to stand all day in frozen water," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls. In winter, the Linkolas went on sleigh trips with their horses to Brita Polttila and Arvo Turtiainen's in Unnaspohja and to writer Juhani Konka's in Vehkajoki in Kuhmalahti.

The path leading to Vierula ran through Keikkala's yard. It was rocky, narrow and winding, but extremely beautiful. A special feature of the glorious home road was the large, lanky gray alders grazing the road, whose personal problem was staying upright. In winter, they bent over the road in rows from the weight of the snow, on both sides, and formed an almost unbelievably fine vault: In Vierula, you could ski or walk under dozens of the gates of honor, Linkola wrote in the local newspaper.

PENTTI Linkola and the "hugely human-loving" mare Tuli.

Because of the horse, the path had to be widened and straightened, but Linkola made sure that the vault was preserved. The neighbor, Arvi from Holm, helped with the work. Arvi helped all the residents of Kitsakulma with practical chores. For Linkoloi, he built a net sauna from felled logs under the hill to the beach.

To the sorrow of the villagers, Arvi from Holm committed suicide in 1965. Brita Polttila wrote a poem in Arvi's memory: Arvi, why did you do this to us? Many, "probably a dozen" in Linkola's circle of friends and acquaintances have come to the same decision. "Yes, people's lives can be in a knot once and for all. There are disproportionately many sorrows, not always, but on average more than joys."

Traveling was in Linkola's blood, and the family spent the hearty summer of 1965 in Lapland, Kittilä and Enontekiö. Ornithologists Jarl Excell, Ilkka Stén and Pertti Saurola were with them for the first two weeks. For Pent, the trip was a vacation from writing the book Pohjolan Linnut. The Kulleroni meadows glowed yellow, but on July 8 the air cooled and it started to snow. When the snow melted, the nests of birds nesting on the ground were submerged and the chicks drowned. When Linkola climbed the trees to ring the young hawks, she was met with the same destruction, the young were frozen. Along the way, he stopped by houses to ask about the nests of the Eagle and the hawks. "Pentti is not a recluse at all, everything else," states Aliisa. Linkola didn't become Lapland crazy. "The most exciting thing there is the birdlife. Otherwise, I don't like Lapland at all, it's the kingdom of death."

On winter evenings, by the light of an oil lamp, Pentti and Aliisa read books aloud to each other. Now it was the turn of Veikko Huovinen's new collection of short stories, Kuikka, sent to Martin Pent as a birthday present. Hannu Salaman's Midsummer Dances had appeared the previous autumn and Pentti had watched it as a Christmas present for his brother, but ran out of money to buy it. As a Christmas present, Pentti received Huovinen's collection of short stories, Talvituristi, from Marti. He wrote (December 25, 1965) to his brother that he especially liked the short story called Karkuri, even though the critics had slammed it: When I read it, I had the greatest literary experience in at least a few years. (…) I cried and laughed at the same time, so excitingly close was its subject and the description of the Finnish hinterland and heartland. And of course, the glow and coldness of both winters is, of course, very topical when read today. The book also had ... a few unstylish pages, but those are Huovinen's quality mark.

While reading Winter Tourist, Linkola began to dream of a pilgrimage to Sotkamo, he wanted to shake hands with "a handful of Huovi". Another object of Morjen's lust was Martti Rapola, a poetic describer of Häme's nature. Rapola's work Koivuporras, old idyll from years ago had once again brought Linkola to tears. Rapola was an academician and professor of the Finnish language at the University of Helsinki in 1930–1957. He studied Finnish dialects and the old literary language, which were also close to Linkola. Summer wasn't summer if he didn't get to the heartland of Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and Savo for a few days to listen to dialects.


In Vierula, Pentti Linkola felt that he was living a real life. He was convinced that it was only possible in the middle of nature. "Life in a crowded place is not humane, no matter how full your stomach is." The same true feeling was also sought by Henry Thoreau when he left everything and moved to live in the wilderness on the shore of Lake Walden. Thoreau's experiment lasted two years, but Linkola's experiment had turned into a way of life. Vierula was his "Poetic Finland"; the family lived in a natural economy in harmony with nature and worked hard.

Aliisa Pentti would not have given idle moments of chatter even with the neighbors. On bird trips, he made sure that his fellow travelers had something to do all the time. "Pentti was terribly careful not only about his own use of time but also about other people's time," recalls Pertti Saurola. "When he had a problem with riu´u, he tried to find something for me to do, not so that I would do something for him, but so that my own time would not be wasted."

You couldn't give in to the desire for comfort. It is "man's greatest curse", Linkola declared, "the reason why millions of people in the world die every year leaving behind a limp, event-poor, meaningless, empty life". For many winters, Aliisa ran the Kaleva youth club on the farm in Kissakulma, organized children's parties and rehearsed fairy-tale plays. He participated in the activities of the youth club and performed himself in two plays, Susisaarelaiset and When the ladies doubt. The Linkolas represented Kissakulma in the keeper's sled skiing, and since Pentti was a "special person", he was asked to be the wood speaker for the village's little Christmas and New Year's party. "Pentti spoke without paper in a fast-paced style, and people listened to him without flinching. He was funny and wise at the same time," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls. "Life at Kissakulma would have been much grayer and more monotonous without Linkola."

In the dead of winter in 1966, the frost reached record highs. In Häme, the mercury dipped to 40° degrees and the residents of Kitsakulma thought that they had already received enough snow. Fishing has been tough, Pentti wrote to Marti (January 28, 1966). 10–11-hour days at Tehli on the borders of Padasjoki and Sysmä. Twice this winter I have already seen people there and even more fish: yesterday I grated seven tons of fish from there (there was also a 6-kilogram walleye calf and the salmon was eaten... ) Sahtikests have also been held and Mapa is just babbling when she's away..."

At that time, Martti Linkola wrote the book "Last Wildlands", in which he presents Finland's national and nature parks. In his later letter (April 15, 1966), Pentti thanked his brother for the unusually exciting appearance of the book, but in his opinion the book was outdated.

Linkola was tired. He had written a three-part "outburst of despair" series for Suomen Kuvalehti and his "mental state of distress was complete again". The hopeless final cry of Pohjolan Lintuj has blurred my eyes into a blood mist. Even though Pentti scolded his brother, he trusted him as a writer. Now he sent the eagle writing he wrote to Suomen Luonto magazine for him to improve: The writing was born with three months of lack of inspiration and millions of curses. It will be my last spiritual work.

Many lumped Linkola and Jörn Donner together because they opposed armed service in their works. Donner's Uusi Maammekirja, published in 1967, interested Linkola because of its subject matter, but was disappointing. Donner's Finland was foreign to him, like a report from Tulimaa, he stated in Parnasso 1968. Donner's Finland was "inconsolably gray and boring", but his was "unbridledly beautiful and exciting". When Donner announced in his book that he doesn't want happy people, but searching, restless people, Linkola felt that he was left behind. To him, Donner's characters were pushy lunatics, and he couldn't understand what made even the cool and kind Pekka Tarkan enthusiastic about the book. "Is our current world, with its spring, summer, daisies, lovely wives and cozy social evenings, really so unbearable," he wondered. After all, Linkola and Donner agreed on one thing: Finland was a province, a periphery.


Relations between mother-in-law and son-in-law remained bad, and Alli Lummes did not like to visit Vierula. Pentti called him witch-aka. "He was like Juha Tantu's drawing: I hate men to death. He hated all his sons-in-law.” Once the mother-in-law attacked her son-in-law. Leena was already a little bigger when her father tried to grab her over the dining table, but the girl dodged so much that she fell off the bench. The mother-in-law thought that Pentti pushed the girl to the floor and got angry. "Mother grabbed Pena by the hair with both hands and held her tight. Pentti was so surprised that he couldn't say or do anything," Aliisa recalls. The incident stuck in Leena's mind: "Grandma Alli was the only one who dared to stand up to her father."

After growing up a little, the girls stayed home alone while their parents went fishing. Before that, they had spent the autumns in care in two neighbors. "It felt terrible to leave them alone, but it went on like that for a long time," says Aliisa. During the day, the girls play in the forest. Their playmates were two imaginary sisters, Päivi and Paula. The autumns were especially harsh, it was cold and dark, and since there was no electricity in Vierula, the girls had to light a candle on a metal tray. When the parents noticed that they had burned the corners of the postcards, they forbade the burning of the candle. Dad bought the girls a flashlight, but its batteries ran out in no time. "In the end, Pena didn't agree to buy new radiators anymore and Grandma Hilkka sent them to the girls," Aliisa recalls. Despite their father's prohibitions, Mirjami and Leena timed their visits to the neighbors according to their mealtimes. "When I got my first bicycle and learned to ride it, Leena sat on the fender, and we were driven three kilometers away to eat warm läski sauce", Mirjami recalls.

LEENA and Mirjami.

Sometimes Aliisa and the girls accompanied Linkola on her bird counting and ringing trips. The boat trips lasted from one to two weeks. It was boring for the girls to sit at the back of the boat. "Sometimes I dozed off there, sometimes I slept and woke up, and always I just slept," Mirjami recalls. The rings of birds of prey took them on long bike rides. "We sat in the cab with our rear end tender." The girls also remembered the Sopu tent and moldy sandwich bread, but "if you didn't eat bread, you didn't eat anything". Especially on boat trips, there were rarely opportunities to buy fresh bread. When Linkola went on bike trips to ask the roadside residents about birds and nature, Mirjami was troubled. "I felt that we were a smelly bunch of Russians. Dad just went in, assuming we were welcome, and usually we were." Once in the summer, the father took both his daughters separately with him to ring baby birds in the nearby woods. Those trips from Leena were pleasant. Mostly, Linkola traveled alone or with his ornithologist friends. "I think Aliisa was happy too. We spent autumns and winters so intensively together, in the same boat."

The atmosphere at home was often oppressive, and the daughters were afraid of their father. "Pentti mourned terribly if something had happened to the birds, a hawk's nest had fallen or a chick had died. Or if he had heard that some master had cut down some really nice trees. Pentti took the destruction hard and dumped it on us," Aliisa recalls. As a child, Leena did not understand her father's crying and tantrums, even though her mother tried to explain to her that all the bad things that happened in nature tightened her father's face. "Sometimes my father just sat there petrified and tears rolled down his cheeks," Mirjami remembers. The daughters watched their father's return home from the window of the hut. "You could tell from him if something bad had happened at the lake or elsewhere. Then it was wisest to go quickly to the chamber and be quiet there," Leena recalls. "Sometimes Mirkku got angry and said something against his father. I grew up behind Mirjam's back. Mirjami acted as a lightning conductor between me and my father. I had a happy childhood despite my father."

Linkola did not hide his shortcomings. "I am one of those fathers who do not have enough time for their children at all. And I can hardly socialize and play with children. I prefer to read books and magazines, a book a day in the winter", he stated in an interview with Eeva magazine. In the same article, he said that his psychologist acquaintances told him that his heightened opposition to authority is due to the fact that his father had been a strict, somewhat intimidating gentleman. "Maybe there is something commanding and authoritarian in my nature, because I feel that my daughters follow when I'm in a bad mood and when I'm in a good mood. It is clear that I have bad nerves," he stated.

Although Linkola was a strict father, he could also be gentle. "The best moments were when dad pretended to be childish and played hide and seek with us." For many winters, the father built his daughters a large snow castle next to the front door. "The castle had caves, stairs and towers. Father built it several evenings, it was his own business, we were not allowed to participate in the construction, but when the castle was finished, we were allowed to go and see the wonder. Light was provided by an Aladdin lamp. Those were nice moments and then father was in a good mood," Mirjami recalls. Often the girls would have wanted to stay inside and draw, but dad ordered them out. "That's how we became outdoor people."

VIERULA's host in the snow castle construction site.

Even during his school days, Pentti was known as a boy whose face burned easily. Age did not bring change. She asked Aliisa not to show it or laugh when she was angry because she couldn't control herself then. "In his anger, Pentti could have thrown the net into the water, but losing the net only increased his frustration. The oars, cap and gloves flew next, and you couldn't pick them up." The first few times, Pent's outbursts of rage made Aliisa laugh, "I thought that you can't behave like that, but I learned to keep my face with basic readings. When Pentti had calmed down, I lifted the things out of the water." If Pentti tried to reach out, Aliisa threw herself on her back at the bow of the boat and kicked so that he couldn't get close. "I had learned it from my sister Tellervo. He defended himself that way when I bullied him as a child."

The worst was in the fall, when the couple's night's sleep was limited due to work. Pentti woke up at three or four in the morning, took the fish to the bus by bike or horse, after which they left for the lake. They often experienced the last nets by the light of a headlamp. At home, they weren't until ten in the evening, they ate and Aliisa still prepared fish soup for them for dinner the next day. "I didn't have time to sleep at all," Aliisa recalls. Once they had had a bad day at the lake and even before going to bed Aliisa went to get the horse to the stable for the night. "I wanted to be alone, it was a wonderful little breather", but even then Pentti was already facing her.

"Pentti was not a stranger, he could lose his temper even in the presence of guests," Erkka Paavolainen recalls. "He didn't say the guests were in the way, but he implied you could leave."


After retiring, Hilkka Linkola always came to Vierula at harvest time at the latest and stayed until the first frosts. It was autumn 1970, Leena was in the second grade and Mirjami went to the third. Mirjami had started school a year later than her age after the school board accepted Pentti Linkola's postponement request. "It was the father's jubilant victory, which he always laughs at. I was now a demonstrably low-intelligence girl." In reality, there were practical reasons behind the postponement of starting school, Mirjam had to spend one more autumn with Leena, so that she would not be left alone.

Especially for Mirjam as a child, it was clear that they were in poor conditions, "we had bad clothes and because the nets were dried inside, we smelled of fish and kerosene. It was mixed with the smell of mold; mushrooms grew inside the walls.” The girls weren't bullied at school, but when Mirjami was already an adult, she could hear in Kuhmoinen's sobriety that "crazy Linkola's crazy girl". Once Hilkka Linkola brought a gas stove to Vierula, but when Pentti returned from his birding trip, he carried it outside. The second time, Grandma Hilkka brought an oil stove, but Linkola declared it forbidden to use. Running water, electricity, television, telephone and all other household appliances were humbug to him. The electric wires and their poles would have broken Vierula's sweet and flawless courtyard, and in his opinion, a civilized person always put beauty before comfort.

Grandmothers were different. Grandma Alli was calm, she was with the children and prepared the food, but grandma Hilkka was busy all the time, picking grapes, juicing berries and making desserts, putting a big pot of sauerkraut, preserving cucumbers and cooking jams. "Grandma Hilkka was busy, and in her own way also distant. You couldn't show weakness, you had to be a well-behaved gentleman's child. Grandma wasn't a badass," Leena recalls. "I don't remember that we were in Grandma Hilkka's or Dad's arms either. Closeness with my father was that we wrestled. I attacked him, and it would have been fun, but dad couldn't control his powers. He was too harsh and I started to cry," Mirjami remembers. "My lap was the forest and the water and the boat. I don't remember my parents' voices or touches, but I remember the sound of the boat and the water and the wind.”

Many guests visited Vierula all the time, Pekka Tarkka often in the early days. The men discussed literature and drank red wine late into the night. Aliisa was often so tired that some of the men's conversations went over her ears. Alcohol didn't suit Pent, even in small amounts, he got a bad hangover from it, and stopped completely. More and more often, Tarka was accompanied by his spouse Auli and the family's daughters. "Contrary to what one might conclude from the cruel writings, Pentti is an incredibly likeable, funny and warm person," describes Tarkka. "He is also an excellent writer. Both as a writer and as an oral narrator, he has a very good sense of humor. It doesn't come out in his serious writings, but when he writes about nature, birds or his own trips, his humor is unleashed. As a nature photographer, he is one of the best."

MARTTI and Helena Linkola by the fire in Muotka, 1963.

In Helsinki, at the end of the 1950s, many young people interested in "arts of all fields" gathered in the student booths of Auli Kostioja and Liisa Pitkäpaa on Helsinki's Merikatu. Martti Linkola, Pentti Saarikoski and Pekka Tarkka visited there often, Pentti less often. Samuli Aikio and Heikki W. Virolainen, known for the primitive statues he made in Saarikoski, also visited there. Later, in the home of Auli and Pekka Tarka on Kapteeninkatu, in addition to Linkola, many cultural radicals of the time, such as Kaj Chydenius, Kalle Holmberg, Marja-Leena Mikkola and Pentti Saaritsa, stayed. "Mapa and I were rival suitors of Auli", Tarkka recalls. "Martti was wildly cultured, on the one hand an urbane, on the other hand a wanderer in the forest. We talked with him about Dostoyevsky and Lapland."

When Tarkka was already a family man, he went to Vierula with Auli and his children. They also have two daughters. "The children played, we went down the hill, we made snow castles with the children, we had fun together."

Pentti Saarikoski visited Linkola from time to time. The men got along well with each other. "We did not discuss matters of opinion. Saarikoski wanted to hear about our life in Vierula and fishing. He was a nice guy to me, very friendly, but I knew he was a laughing stock in Helsinki circles. Scared people in the university dome with his knock-down and nasty characterizations." Linkola envied Saarikoski's ability to have a positive attitude towards all kinds of publicity. When he found an article written about him in an old magazine in Vierula, he stated with satisfaction that they were writing about me here as well. “He was having fun, and it was genuine.” Linkola was annoyed by the publicity. "I would have liked people to have learned from my writings. I stirred up a lot of discussion, but I wasn't satisfied. If I had heard that some have begun to live as I recommended, I would have been satisfied. I looked at Saarikoski, and I thought that's how I should position myself; to be happy when people write about me. "

Saarikoski also visited Vierula with his spouses, first with Tuula Unkari, "Tuula the first" and then with Tuula-Liina (now Varis), "Tuula the second". Aliisa sewed dresses for herself and the girls from the Marimekko fabrics brought by "Tuula ykkönen" for Seppo Unnaslahti's wedding. The dresses were left unused when Linkola, who had returned from the birding trip, got depressed in her chair and did not let the women leave either.

Once, Linkola took Saarikoski and this short-lived femininity, Maiju Vauhkonen, on a fishing trip, but left them on a nearby island. He gave them two buckets and promised to come get them only when they are full of lingonberries. Saarikoski had experienced movement in the forest and got used to picking berries as a child, and it didn't take long for the buckets to be full. Once, Saarikoski went to the beach with Linkola to fetch water. "He barely made it up the hill, not to mention that he was carrying something. Physically, he was completely fine, he only ate raw eggs, but he was still a pleasant conversation partner."

Arvo Turtiainen went on his motorboat to talk with Linkola. The boat's engine worked flawlessly, but every time Turtiainen left Vierula, the engine stopped. "It was my magic, I was able to turn off the engines with my remote vision."

From the beginning, Vierula also became familiar to Pent's ornithology friends Olavi Hildén, Erkka Paavolainen, Ilkka Stén, Pertti Saurola, Teuvo Suominen, Juhani Koivu and many others. "Fair, brisk and nice ornithologists were more to Aliisa's liking than writers who smoked cigarettes and drank wine," Linkola recalls. Aliisa didn't particularly like Olavi Hildén. “I was angry with him for the way he treated his wife. He was worse than Pena.”

Once, Ilkka Stén, then director of the University's Tire Office, and Teuvo Suominen, editor-in-chief of Suomen Luonto magazine, brought Stén's Swedish colleague to meet Linkola at his request. Pentti was fishing with Aliisa, but Hilkka Linkola kept the guests company by the light of an oil lamp. When the guest wondered how the elderly akka of the cottage spoke such elegant Swedish, Suominen revealed that she was the daughter of the university chancellor and the widow of the university rector. The next morning, Aliisa harnessed the horse in front of the sleigh and Pentti took the guests to the side of the road. "It had snowed lightly during the night and the landscape was like a postcard. The guest was taken. Pentti thanked the visit and said that I hope you all die on the way back, especially that rich Swede. It was Pena's humor. He might have said badly, but not angrily. He is so empathetic that he treats every person seriously," recalls Suominen.

The first time he went to get this report from Linkola about the collapse of the raptor population, it made him beat the hell out of him. "Pentti forged ice like a sewing machine, with enormous strength and tenacity, with fury. In the time I got one hole, he got several.” Contrary to his custom, Linkola saunaed Suominen. "Pent's fat percentage was zero. If his meat were to be fried, it would be worth adding fat for the sake of taste." At that time, according to Suominen, the birders were arguing with each other, but Pentti was outside of arguments, he was only interested in birds. "He was a wanted guy and no one dared to risk their relationship with him. He could walk and cycle. He did everything with incredible efficiency, much faster than anyone else.”

Risto Valjakka also often visited Vierula with his spouse, the opera singer Taru Valjakka. Valjakka worked as a natural science teacher at Helsinki Normal High School and was still interested in birds. "Taru Valjaka's song echoed from Kalliosalmi all the way to the kitchen. It was wonderful," Aliisa recalls. Martti Linkola often visited his brother. "He didn't want to go to the lake because Pena thought he was lazy and a bad rower," Aliisa recalls. Aira's spouse, Pentti Ruohonen, received the additional name Vätäs from his son-in-law. "Martti and Pentti ordered their mother and the mother did everything the children wanted, later even washed Pentti's clothes, but she didn't think it was bad." When there were guests in the house, Mirjami and Leena could listen to the conversations until they fell asleep. "Mirjami had a good imagination, and the very next day she had some new game related to the conversation," Linkola recalls.


Linkola's reputation as an advocate of original nature and an opponent of industry and consumerism spread, and he began to be spoken of as the "voice of conscience" and the "prophet of Kuhmoinen". Newspapers made stories about him and he was interviewed on television. He was also a sought-after guest speaker, he created electricity in panel discussions with his direct speech. He received admirer mail and was in correspondence with dozens of his friends and acquaintances, but "there was no way I had time to answer letters from strangers".

In the beginning, Linkola agreed to almost all interview requests, but when "the journalists emphasized irrelevant issues and wrote poorly", he tightened his line. He only gave interviews anymore if he had time from fishing, and that was becoming less and less. But when he agreed to be interviewed, the journalist didn't have to be disappointed: Linkola's escalation made headlines. In a panel in the summer of 1967 in Jyväskylä, Linkola was able to talk face to face with industrialists and more moderate nature conservationists. Arvo Salo and Arvo Tuominen made a television program about him. Until then, nature conservation had been understood mainly as the protection of bird nests, but now it became an ideological and social point of contention. Finland had quickly changed from an agricultural society to an industrial country, and the mild phenomena of development were not known and not always wanted to intervene. "The most important thing for Valtaaptäv was that the industry, and especially the wood processing industry, which had become the cornerstone of Finland, was doing well. Extensive clear-cutting had ruined the northern landscapes for many generations. The wood processing factories built along the ridge watercourses polluted the watercourses." Many admitted that the water law passed in 1961 was already old when it was born: before that it was possible to pollute water bodies without a permit, now with a permit. Haarla's cellulose sulfite factory in Laukaa Lievestuorea had pumped concentrated soup liquor into the adjacent swamp, from which it flowed into the surrounding waterways, and in 1967 the company had to close the factory. At the beginning, it was not understood that abundant fertilization of forests also increased the amount of nutrients flowing into waterways. Bladder poisonings were just beginning, but in the 1970s they became a common practice. Nature conservation organizations became active and thanks to their campaigning, large-scale poisonings remained a passing phenomenon.

In 1967, a new term came alongside nature conservation, environmental protection. Linkola spoke in favor of nature conservation, it aimed at curbing the competition in living standards, protecting nature from human influences. "Environmental protection, on the other hand, aimed to secure the raw material of the forest industry." It contained the idea of man's domination that was repugnant to Linkola. The differences of opinion of nature conservationists came out well in the Jyväskylä summer panel discussion. Pekka Nuorteva, chairman of the Finnish Nature Conservation Association, was of the opinion that the development could no longer be stopped. In a rejuvenating way, the Nature Conservancy demanded that in scenically important places, on beaches and on hills, logging should be carried out as carefully as possible while preserving the landscape, and in Northern Finland extensive clear-cutting should be refrained from, and large enough wilderness areas would be preserved as such for future generations. In Nuorteva's opinion, the new rationalization program for forestry, or MERA, could not be scrapped just to protect the landscapes. The commercial forest he planted was "tolerably beautiful", especially when deciduous trees could grow among the spruce seedlings.

Linkola did not enjoy the forest, which was a "mathematical colonnade", and the deciduous trees were killed by sprays, he reminded the panelists. He got a good laugh from the audience when he proposed that industry would be set aside "reservations where it can clear, fertilize, build power plants, dig and dredge until the land is covered with black soil and the waters are so cloudy that you can walk over them like Christ".

The Jyväskylä panel discussion was led by Reino Kalliola, who had been Finland's only nature conservation official since 1939. Linkola had sent him his bird of prey report. Kalliola also edited Suomen Luonto magazine (1941–1968). Kalliola's task as a nature conservation supervisor was not enviable in the post-war reconstruction atmosphere. Almost all of his presentations stopped at the Ministry of Agriculture's reluctance to promote nature conservation.


In May 1967, the Committee of One Hundred organized a demonstration march in Helsinki, the aim of which was to draw the citizens' attention to the position of conscientious objectors in Finland. At the end of the march, a small group of participants burned their military passports. Linkola did not participate in the event, he was in Vanaja doing his spring breeding bird count. When spring came, there was nothing holding him back. "I was unspeakably passionate about bird watching. Getting into the woods was essential.”

The people of Kisakumla wondered why Linkola missed the spring spawning of fish, which many considered to be the best time for fishing. He had a valid explanation for that: "In May, the fish was so cheap that it was not worth it for the netman to compete on the market with the wretched men of the sea bays, who at that time filled the boat with pike and bream. In June, net fishing was prohibited due to the relaxation of walleye, and in July it was difficult to get fresh fish to withstand transportation. And yes, a penny from the birding trips was blessed for the family as well - through the sale of books."

Hilkka Linkola mourned Aliisa and Pent's enormous workload and wrote to Pent: Go have fun and buy Aliisa a dress and send the bill to Hilkkamummu! Wishing your mother from the bottom of her heart. PS Aliisa has not bought a single dress for herself during her six years of marriage. Where can you find another b. a city woman and a beautiful young woman who can say the same. So, yes, even for this reason, you should now take a few summer days with your wrists loose. "Aliisa was a huge noob herself," says Linkola. Once he bought a camera for Aliisa, but she managed to take only eight pictures that summer and another eight the following summer, because the development was so expensive.

The fish catches decreased, and Pentti and Aliisa decided to try fishing in the nearby Mallasvedi. Linkola volunteered to be a test fisherman for the local fishing association, he would report the catch to the fisheries research office of the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Kalle Klemola, chairman of the fishing association, accommodated the newcomers in the farm's old community hall.

Linkola knew the lake based on his annual nesting bird counts. During the fishing season, there were plenty of bream in Mallasvedi, only bream in abundance in Päijänte, and the change was refreshing. On May Day 1968, the family returned to Kissakulma. The "crushingly cold winter" was behind us, but the real reason for the return was the envy of the locals. There had been no professional fishermen on Malasvedi until then, and no tradition had been formed. Even the principal of the local agricultural college had pointed out to old Klemola that he had taken under his wing a pirate fisherman. In the end, Klemolakin started to get angry with Linkola, but the son of the farm, 19-year-old Olli, who attends fishing school in Virolahti, helped Linkola whenever he had time off. The men became friends, and Olli Klemola went to lighten Aliisa's burden in Vierula as well. Sometimes Aliisa and Pentti wrote to him and asked him to row.

The nearest fishing nets were seven kilometers from Vierula. When they got to the tip of Rekisalo island late in the evening after a heavy fishing trip, Pentti announced that "the long side of the world begins here, and started singing hymns", Olli Klemola recalls. Kallisalmi was long and there was still a long way to the home shore. "Pentti spoke with his original voice. He sang loudly and sometimes stayed on the note. Finally, he announced the stream number. Pentti is a good-hearted and warm friend, but he also has another side that is not so nice," Klemola describes. "He is a strong person, and his nervousness is also more severe than others. If a job didn't work out, there were freaks, but when the nervousness discouraged him enough, he returned to his usual state."


When students rioted in Paris in May 1968 and took over the Old Student House in Helsinki in November, Linkola only intervened that the student movement did not talk about nature conservation. For him, it was the foundation of everything. At the winter days of the Nature Association, he declared to a young audience of several hundred that a person cannot have all the good things at the same time, even if "good-faithful child-people" believe so. "As a multi-billion-dollar mass, we can no longer have both the song of the walleye cook, the peace of the primeval forest, and the cry of the wretch in the salt marsh, as well as a private car, a luxurious lunch, and the backlog of consumer goods that are constantly being thrown away. They are mutually exclusive products. We have to make a choice. (…) Personal sacrifices are needed. Without them, everything spins with its former weight towards disaster."

That summer, Linkola visited Soviet Estonia for the first time. He took part in a bus trip there with Estonian zoologists. Estonia had a huge number of cattle and a shortage of shepherds. "I thought that when I got here I would become a shepherd and never have to return to rude Finland."

CONFERENCE OF ORNITHOLOGISTS in Estonia 1968. In front of e.g. Kalevi Raitasuo and Leo Lehtonen, in the second row Ilkka and Leena Stén, Aliisa and Pentti Linkola.

It had been years since Linkola's university studies, but he still had a reputation among biology and zoology students. In the fall of 1963, Jukka Pakkanen, who began his zoology studies at the University of Helsinki, listened in the university cafeteria to admiring speeches about Linkola, who had spectacularly finished his biology studies and had gone to become a fisherman. He had turned into an almost mythical figure among the youth. In the spirit of Linkola, Pakkanen drew up a strategy for the survival of the human species in the work group of Kriittinen högålö.

In January 1969, he drove with radio journalist Raimo Luoma to Kuhmois to meet Linkola. "It was late in the evening, two little girls were sleeping on the bed, the parents were still at the lake." The meeting had a profound effect on Pakkasen. Aliisa fried fish for them and she talked with Linkola about nature and nature conservation. "I accepted everything Linkola said. His personality was charismatic, he calmly spoke beautiful Finnish and had a powerful look, he took over a person. I had a strong feeling that I had to follow him," Pakkanen recalls. "I burdened my wife with Linkola like a believer burdens a pagan with Jesus," Pakkanen wrote in his diary. Later, he told about his encounters with Linkola in his autobiography Muisaaksen (Like 2008). When Linkola came to meet his acquaintances in Helsinki in the spring of 1969, Pakkanen, who worked as a science reporter for Yle, made him the program "Pentti Linkola in Helsinki". He also visited Linkola later. "He was interested in the environmental disaster and got in touch. He was mainly a conversation partner", Linkola remembers. Once, other writers were visiting Vierula, and they participated in making hay. "Jukka Pakkanen was the only one who didn't go to the hay field. And he never came to the lake to row and there was no need. He was not a country person.” Pakkanen knew it. Already during his first visit to Vierula, he understood that he would not become a country dweller. "I am a city boy who has no relationship with nature. I hadn't moved in nature, I was a theoretical biologist."

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was still the talk of the town. Svensk Ungdom had published a polemical booklet inspired by the book, and Nalle Valtiala had published a harsh pamphlet Varning för människa. In February 1969, Jukka Pakkanen delivered the nature conservation pamphlet Where the Flowers Have Gone to Tammen Huutomerkki series. Linkola is one of the book's ten authors.

He stated that he was not satisfied with any of the "nature reserve areas", protected nature reserves, which organized nature conservation prayed to save, but he wanted to spend weeks in the same endless marshes, as he had done in the 1950s in Ostrobothnia. "From rut to nevus and from nevus to leto, sometimes roaring abundant birds, sometimes solemnly deserted pine groves, where only a pair of cranes sounded their trumpets to a distant neighboring couple behind the forest cover, and a lone peregrine falcon patiently toiled away in its meager meadow ax hunt." Nature was an endless source of experiences for Linkola, and brought content to his life. "The standard of living is that we can afford to keep natural resources also unproductive, for the joy of life," he wrote. For a large number of people, nature no longer meant only a store of raw materials.

When Linkola wrote his 1960 polemical Runo-Suomi essays in Ylioppilaslehti, Albert Schweitzer's philosophy of respect for life was lively in the audience section of the magazine. Then Linkola followed the conversation from the sidelines. In Pakkanen's pamphlet, he wrote that not all problems could be solved based on Schweitzer's principle of respect for life: "Man is only one animal species among the countless ones for which the world exists. If we trample these others under our feet with human self-righteousness or ruthlessly deprive them of their living space for ourselves, we are at most a little bit ahead of the US Vietnam general or apartheid ministers in respect for life."

Linkola's idea of man as one animal among animals shaped by Signilskär is the key to understanding his thinking. Based on that, he saw all major problems of humanity and society, from wars to unemployment, as fundamentally biological.

Hilkka Linkola was also enthusiastic about nature conservation (November 8, 1968): Rakas Pena. While walking yesterday on my lonely, beautiful taxi road behind the stadium, I came to think not only of your mercury affairs, Sammalisto's performances on the radio, "Soundless Spring" I read, etc. once brontosaurs - and after them how many species. And - as dark as it seems from the point of view of humanity, behind it flashes a bright thought: no one misses us!

Nature conservation was still the reason for many young people to study biology. Yrjö Haila, who has since worked as a professor of environmental policy at the University of Tampere, was inspired by Pentti Linkola's bird books. After a year and a half of studies, he spent half a year at the Signilskär and Lågskär bird stations ringing birds and then helped the ornithologist Pertti Saurola in preparing a survey of the laughing gull. Like Linkola, he was inspired by Henry Thoreau's book and wanted to see if there was anything in common between his and Linkola's lifestyles. Saurola arranged for him to be Linkola's rower for the autumn fishing season of 1969.

In Haila's opinion, Linkola had reached a dead end with his way of life. "He had chosen his profession because of the idea that life inevitably becomes self-centered. The family had remained a statistic. Everything was done on Linkola's terms." He could not be compared to Thoreau. "Thoreau's experiment lasted two years, but Linkola's choice did not offer the possibility of giving up - or at least he did not use that possibility."

To Haila's disappointment, nothing but fishing was discussed on fishing trips. "It was hard work. I squeezed the oars so that my fingers stiffened into the hook and only straightened over the years. In the evening I was so tired that I couldn't talk." Linkola's pacifist writings and pamphlets had also impressed him, and he applied for civil service that fall. "At that time, pacifism was common among natural science students." Pekka Nuorteva, who started as the first professor of environmental protection at the University of Helsinki in 1974, was also a pacifist. In Vierula, Haila lived in an online sauna. When Pentti and Aliisa were unplugging the pipes late in the evening, he was playing the recorder in the sauna room.

CATCH processing on Vierula's porch.



The year 1970 was a turning point in Pentti Linkola's life. The couple's life together began to fall apart, and Pent's writings became harder. Especially in late autumn, fishing started to be almost overwhelming for Aliisa and she got tired. His back hurt and he couldn't row like he used to. "Päijänne is a terrible lake because it freezes much later than the Gulf of Finland", but to the shock of their guests, the Linkolas went to the lake regardless of the freezing temperatures. "It was tough, but more fish came out than under the ice."

In April 1970, when they had lifted the last nets from the lake, Pentti surprised Aliisa. He had booked a two-week trip to the Canary Islands in Spain for them, the purpose of the trip was to revive the relationship. Keihäsmatkat, founded five years earlier by Kalevi Keihänen, owned two DC-8-32 planes, Härmän Jätkä and Härmän Mimmi, and the Linkolas flew to the southern sun. "In right-wing circles, Keihäsmatko was disparaged because they were cheap trips for lower social groups. They were considered shameful and we were also ashamed of the trip, but it was a reconciliation trip when life together started to go downhill." Aliisa also went on the trip hoping that their relationship would improve there.

The trip became as wild and unconventional as the destination was conventional, Linkola wrote in his birdwatching diary after returning home. Since he had booked the trip at the last minute, there were no more accommodation options, and they had to take a room at the People's Bible Society hotel.

They got to know the island on rented bikes. Linkola had a full beard and was wearing a green-yellow marigold shirt that he got from Saarikoski's wife, Tuula Unkari. "We drove through the villages, and everywhere the little boys ran after us and shouted something," Aliisa recalls. Linkola was looking for a canary, but all he could find were "shredder-tilts", even in Las Palmas. Once, when they were still far in the mountains, darkness overtook them, and they spent the night in a shed. That night, in their hotel, intercession was held for them.

"The relationship didn't recover, but we had a good time," says Aliisa.

After the trip, I had to adjust to home life again. The spring of 1970 was long, 61 days of sleet. The sun shone only on four days in March and April. Spring started with a bang. Storm winds were a problem in autumn. Linkola was constantly tense, he fought with his teeth gritted against the nets. Fish were scarce, and he began to look for a new fishing spot.

1970 was the European Nature Conservation Year that Linkolank had been waiting for. MA Numminen's Vesioikeustango, Nature conservation jenkka and Wastewater definition are playing on the radio. Carola sang Oh shit, and Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki Smile Miss Universum: "Because the world is drowning in shit, we just read magazines". Kirka wondered why the fish die and the leaves of the trees turn yellow already in July in her song Varrella virtan. Linkola felt that the conservationists also betrayed him. "The farcical nature of nature conservation dawned on me once and for all during that year. Tractors were painted green at the time, ironically speaking."

Three years earlier, in the summer of Jyväskylä, Linkola had clashed with Pekka Nuorteva, the chairman of the Finnish Nature Conservation Association, because "the association had joined the chorus of industry" and did not oppose forestry rationalization programs. Programs had been drawn up since the beginning of the 1960s with the sole purpose of increasing wood production, Linkola pointed out. For him, the position of the Nature Conservation Union meant a violation of organized nature conservation. He was afraid he wouldn't be able to take it without breaking down mentally. According to his calculations, the MERA program meant that 70 percent of Finland's surface area would lose the rest of its naturalness. Swamps would be drained and forests would be turned into timber fields. The transition to intensive forestry also meant a "forced transfer" of the population from the countryside to the cities. Linkola compared it to Stalin's population transfers in the Soviet Union.

Even at that time, the membership of nature conservation associations included many foresters. It hadn't been long since they had spoken in favor of forests, but now they had moved to support the cultivation of forests and intensive forestry. Dissident forestry men were rare. One such person was Jaakko Kangas, advisor to the Pälkänee forest management association, with whom Linkola often discussed issues related to forest management. Kankaa had the largest collection of woodpeckers in Finland and he was fond of birds. Linkola also listened to Erkki Lähdet in forestry matters. "The source was a stump among forest professionals, the number one enemy of clear-cutting. He was a professor at the Forestry Research Institute when his long research series on clear-cut logging was interrupted by the authority of Kullervo Kuusela, who was the director of the station. The spring should have been cleared, but he is in favor of thinning."

Even the nature-allied youth were not the most radical: 84 percent of the clubs had placed small birdhouses in the countryside and practiced winter feeding of the birds, but other forms of activity were rarer. The young conservationists were honored by Linkola at the winter days of the Nature Association in 1970. He had prepared a long and scathing lecture for the occasion, in which he accused the young conservationists of complacency and called them sheep, vätyks and lallus. "Only when the nature allies hold demonstrations in city markets, not just politely talking with city councilors, but burning luxury goods from department stores and when teenagers and high school students conquer the Keskusmetsäseura Tapio headquarters and destroy the forest drainage and forest highway plans from there, only then can we talk about efficient and organized about nature conservation", Linkola preached.

After the speech, the participants of the winter days gathered according to the program for an environmental demonstration at Hämeenlinna's market square. "The demonstration escalated into a mild riot," recalls Heikki Simola, who participated in the event and later served as chairman of the Nature Conservation Association. "The reason for the riot was not so much Linkola's speech, as the afternoon newspapers claimed, but some motorists pushing into the protesters when they were already leaving the market. Even the police didn't really know how to act, because the demonstration was the first since the May Day parades. Some of the young people rocked cars, and the police took them to the tube. The police removed the films from the cameras of some demonstrators," Simola recalls.

Linkola's speech, especially his own disconsolate experiences of the destruction of forests and the disappearance of birds, confirmed the thoughts of 14-year-old Simola: "Reconstruction after the wars had reached its peak. Industry took it for granted that it was their right to pollute waterways, and logging was only aimed at efficiency, economic policy did not care about the environment." However, Simola did not become an anarchist, he studied biology and worked as a paleoecology lecturer at the University of Joensuu. Sometimes on his bird-counting trips, Linkola spent the night in the yard of Simola's Pälkänee villa, "he refused to stay indoors".

Two years later, in 1972, at the Luonto-Liitto winter days, Linkola continued to rob the conservationists. He thought it was an irony of fate that nature conservationists and nature lovers in general were by nature "easy-going, agreeable and very pro-social public ethicists. (…) They are great worriers, but bad logicians and bad men of action".

Calling himself a former whiny pacifist, Linkola recommended them to use violence in nature conservation. "Only that is true nature conservation. Only when strange steel objects get into the rollers of paper machines in Valkeakoski, Kaipola and Kauttua in an unknown way, when swamp drainage caterpillars and forest tractors fly into the air at night in forests and cars burn like torches in parking lots, only then can we talk about nature conservation."

The ball was now in the hands of the young people, there were no more parents to handle things, Linkola stated, referring to himself. "...then in their thirties or forties, they wake up to notice that nature conservation cannot be promoted with words or writings, but by then they are already too old to make and use explosive charges and hand grenades". Linkola turned forty that year, but "the Arab guerrillas in Munich were all in their twenties". At the end of his speech, Linkola, who calls himself a nature conservation veteran, summarized his spiritual testament: "Never believe the majority, the people, the crowd, it is always wrong, it never knows what is best for itself. At least make it clear to yourself that the nature conservationist always belongs to the losing minority. And if you hear words like democracy, solidarity, society, then remove the safety from your pistol." Linkola's faith in democracy had evaporated. The people did not know their best and therefore needed a strong leader.

A revolution broke out in Luonto-Liito, the youth association of the Finnish Nature Conservation Association. In the same year, 1970, it established the Environmental Committee 2000, which started from the fact that society needs profound reforms. It would not be worth trying to operate in a system whose basic goals are opposite to nature conservation. In Luonto-Liito's magazine Molekylsi, there was a strong polemic about the effects of the economy on nature, environmental toxins and their effect on human health. The talk about environmental protection accelerated. The media also became interested in the new idea. Jukka Pakkanen edited the magazine program Pyöriäinen on nature conservation topics. Biology students Risto Nurmi and Hannele Pohjanmies made a program that appeals to emotions You can't shut up now.

From Linkola's point of view, the discussion got sidetracked. He spoke for nature conservation, not environmental protection. To him, environmental protection meant protecting nature with human needs in mind. In it, man was placed above the rest of the animal kingdom, but for Linkola, man was an animal among animals. He had already figured out the difference between the concepts three years ago in the summer in Jyväskylä, but it still seemed to be difficult to tell them apart.

"Nature conservation was what it was, but it was still a time of searching. Biologists joined the discussion and we began to talk more widely about the possibility of an eco-catastrophe," says Linkola now. He participated in the conversation as much as he could from fishing and picking berries.

The nature conservation year was an ordeal for many other nature lovers as well. The writer Pekka Suhonen returned to that year three years later in his book Dolphin and other essays (Delfiinikirjat, 1973). He presented Linkola's list of the "achievements" of the nature conservation year: "Not a single patch of forest or salt marsh has been pacified, the rapacious road plan has been canceled, the coastline has been protected." What Linkola had feared had happened: nature conservation had turned into "technocratic nature management"; "pollution fighters" were not talking about natural beauty.

"...nature independent of humans, grasses swaying in the wind, the drumming of the fire tip, lights on the lake banks and a badger hissing against the forest path were no longer the deepest meaning of life for them, but without a doubt they had good information about society," Linkola wrote. In his ideal, knowledge and the ability to experience aesthetic experiences were equally important. The basis of his thinking was formed by strong subjective nature experiences and they did not come for free. "You have to make an effort to achieve the experiences, because otherwise they are not authentic and powerful enough."

Linkola's concern about the future grew, and he repeated his old thesis in his writings: only a radical reduction of the population and reduction of industrial production would preserve our species. However, he did not believe that such a thing would be done. "Not even natural scientists can recommend a return to previous economic forms, because it is written in human biology that it must adopt all new inventions, even the most destructive ones."

Pekka Suhonen, like Linkola, believed that there is only one path for the human species, the same one that lizards, mammoths and many other animal species have taken.

At the same time as the environmental debate, the public debated about the abortion law being prepared. Opponents of the right to abortion were loud, but for Linkola, even the idea of denying the right to abortion was against reason. Why doesn't Finns worry about the earth choking on human flesh? he blessed. The claim that there is still room in Finland was groundless to him. "Whether you look east or west from here, almost no one lived in the corresponding climate zone, except for the mining communities." In his opinion, population densities could only be compared to climate and natural resources.


While walking in the woods, Linkola felt excruciating pain when he saw the amount of destruction. The nesting trees of his birds had also been cut down, "the woodpeckers were piled up on the side of the road", and it became increasingly difficult for him to go into the forest. He was waiting for winter and snow, which would cover the tracks of the rapists of the forests below.

1971 The fall fishing of Linkoloi started on August 25. They counted 156 nets for one call. The last fish of the year left for Jyväskylä in the morning of December 28. The next day, Linkola spoke at a marketing seminar in Dipoli under the title Menevä mies. "A departed man is best dead, for the sooner he is departed, the less damage he will cause to mankind," he declared.

When the reporter of Eeva magazine wondered in an interview at the event why Linkola didn't have a car, even if it would have been helpful in chasing the fish, he laughed: "There has already been so much talk about the negative effects of the private car and its unfitness for the planet that I would like to burn and kick and hack them to pieces cracked. Sometimes when I look at the night traffic and see how those ugly beasts with glaring eyes rush for a hundred kilometers, I think that I should commit suicide, it can't be in this world..." Rumors about the problems in the fisherman's private life had spread to the capital, and Linkola couldn't help but admit to the reporter that there were problems .

Linkola channeled his disappointment and anger into writing. In the early 1970s, he wrote more diligently than ever. Pessimism finally took over his thinking and hope disappeared. In the forests of Häme, he was only crying. After effective fishing winters, he decided to take a sabbatical from fishing in the winter of 1971-1972 and organize his osprey archive. It was a huge undertaking, and he didn't want to sacrifice his summer for it. He went through all the gnat nests in Häme, their history, the annual number of hatchlings and ringings. The result was a five-centimeter-thick typewritten A4 puma mask. The report contained twenty years of material, the compilation of which had required him thousands of working hours.

In the summer of 1973, at the age of forty, Linkola did his last mosquito observations. In the fall, he added the information to his report and sent it to Olavi Hildén to read. This was excited (April 9, 1974). Hello, my friend! I just read your osprey history (…) It has both a fun and exciting story and very valuable scientific material. But who would publish the report, Ornis Fennica? Birdman? Hildén thought. He suggested that Pentti shorten the text, which would make it easier to publish, but he no longer had time for that. In the end, he handed over the report to Pertti Saurola, who had his own mosquito monitoring area in Hauho in the middle of the Linkola area. At the same time, he bequeathed to Saurola the gnat nests he had been monitoring. Saurola understood the value of Linkola's work and started a nationwide mosquito survey based on it. "The archive was unique. Linkola is a pioneer in mosquito research."

When handing over his archives to Saurola, Linkola thought that the number of gnat nests in Finland would soon be counted by hand, but thanks to conservation work, there are now about a thousand of them. Later, in collaboration with Juhani Koivu, Saurola wrote the book Sääksi (Kanta-Hämeen lintumiehte 1987), which received a state award.

Since 1963, Linkola had also studied the nesting biology of barn owls and especially barn owls and drew family maps of them. In 1974, he also stopped studying owls and handed over all 80 of his owl nests to Pertti Saurola, whom he named the king of ornithologists, as an addition to this extensive network of owl nests. "Pentti said that he can no longer continue monitoring birds of prey. He couldn't go into the forest. The state of the forests became an obstacle", recalls Saurola. When Linkola started his mosquito research in the late 1940s, it was a matter of honor for the houses in Hämälä that the money was obtained from the fields and the forests were an emergency reserve, and even then wood was only taken as needed. After the wars, the situation changed.

Linkola had already started ringing mother owls in the 1950s. Catching nesting females was a challenging task. With a sweater tied around the end of a long stick, he blocked the mother's nest, from which he climbed to take it in his hands, or put a wound at the end of the stem in front of the nest, which the mother jumped into when frightened. If the catch failed, the bike man's busy schedule usually did not allow for a retry. Linkola also had difficulty getting to the nest on his bike at just the right time, because the mother was not allowed to touch the chicks when they were small or the mother abandoned them. Usually he managed to catch only female barn owls. The male birds were troublesome, and Linkola announced a competition to see who could figure out how to control the barn owl dogs. 1973 Saurola solved the problem with Kalevi Eklöf.

"Pent's owl roosts were in good forests between Kissakulma and Sääksmäki, but as time passed and we entered the 1970s, the forests started to disappear along the roost trail. There were also stilt trees cut down," Olli Klemola, who helped Linkola with the ringing of the birds, recalls. "The felling area could already be seen far away, and Pentti got so depressed that he didn't even go all the way to the nest box - he couldn't. He changed completely in an instant. He didn't say anything, or if he did say something, his voice shook like he was crying. You just had to pull yourself together, but when you went a little further, the same sight was in front of you." Logging expanded until the original forest was no longer left. The fields were near the yards, but now the forests also started to be cut down around the farms.

As he got older, Olli Klemola also started to feel strong sadness at the clearings, like Linkola. Now 60 hectares of his own forests have been protected. There are also beaches. "They are no different from other beaches except that they are undeveloped."

After giving up on terns and owls, Linkola focused on finding out the population dynamics of herring and back-billed gulls. He also studied gray gulls and terns. He was enthusiastic about population research after learning about Lars von Haartman's study of the rainbow catcher. Using the same method, he also studied woodpeckers, woodpeckers, woodpeckers, and woodpeckers, and he is a pioneer in that as well. He had at most 800 birdhouses in "control".

"Pentti is an old-fashioned researcher. He worked systematically and understood that accurate notes are vital," says Saurola. "ATK was an abomination to him." When Saurola, as the new director of the tire office in 1974, used the IT system designed for the university's mainframe computer to record tires and tire finds, Pentti Linkola and Olavi Hildén demanded that he be fired. "At Pent, the things he drives go beyond friendship", but the men's relationship withstood it. "When I was young, Pentti was like a big brother to me, we mostly talked about biology." Saurola was also often a rower when Linkola lowered whitefish nets on Päijänte. "We left in the dark and returned in the dark, and in between experienced a large number of nets. We ate on the way out and then on the way back.” Once, Saurola impressed Linkola by eating two plates of unsteamed oatmeal with milk and berry jam. "Pent thought it was impossible, oatmeal swells in the stomach, and he said I would explode."


On Epiphany Eve 1973, Pentti and Aliisa traveled to Helsinki. Pentti had invited his friends to his mother's Sibeliuskatu apartment, he had reason to celebrate, he had turned 40 in December and his collection of essays, Dreams of a Better World (WSOY), had just been published. The beloved Pohjola birds with color pictures also appeared that year as a single publication, while readers had been content with separate booklets until then. The following year, the authors received the state award for information disclosure for their work. Pekka and Auli Tarkka, writer Hannu Mäkelä with his spouse Maik, poet Matti Rossi, writers Pekka Suhonen and Jukka Pakkanen with their spouse Elena, Martti Linkola and many others participated in the Sibeliuskatu party. Theater director and cultural personality Jukka Sipilä disappeared immediately after arriving at the party. When the others had already left, Linkola found him sleeping in his mother's bed.

"We probably drank a lot of wine because I don't remember who all were at the event," says Hannu Mäkelä. He too had received a green revival in the early 1970s and believed, like Linkola, that the world would end with the current trend. "I even argued with Pekka Suhonen about it," Mäkelä remembers. He performed together with Pentti Linkola at a few nature conservation events, among others at Svenska Teatern. "After the event, Pentti was of the opinion that I am a worse mouthpiece than he is. Pentti has never been over the top in his speeches, but he writes fiercely and provokes. And he writes well. It can already be seen in the work of Pohjola's birds in color," states Mäkelä.

Linkola had agreed on the publication of his collection of writings with Hannu Tarmio, the CEO of WSOY, his peer. Pent's younger cousin Anto Leikola, then head of the non-fiction department, got the texts to read at the last minute. "I was hoping that Pentti would remove the imaginary essay he wrote at the beginning of the collection, Huhtikuuu diya Haapasilla, because I don't think it reached the level of the other essays." Linkola did not agree to the request. He had written it for a collection, it was his first fictional work since his teenage years. "In it, I show what kind of human life has value, and also the future." In Haapasilla, we live in a rural idyll, in a self-sufficient economy and in the rhythm of nature. "The laborious efforts of harvesting and harvesting are balanced by the great peace of winter." In the Haapasilla of his dreams, there was no knowledge of the harmful effects of industry, clear-cutting of forests, atomic bombs, or overpopulation. And there were no cultural radicals.

When he started writing for Ylioppilaslehti, Linkola had enjoyed himself in the company of cultural radicals, but he quickly realized that the latest modern trends did not interest him. He understood those for whom "Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner were enough for a lifetime, and they didn't need Schoenberg or Stockhausen". He was among those who "never had enough time to read Dostoevsky and Turgenev as much as he would have liked." He was not enthusiastic about Veijo Mere's style, where "the text flowed fluidly like saliva from the mouth and human beings drifted mechanically". Theater was not for him play and experiment. His radicalism was pacifism.

Linkola had picked the texts for his book from Ylioppilaslehti, Suomen Kuvalehti, Uuesta Suomesi, Helsingin Sanomat, Rauhaa köhti magazine and Parnasso from the past ten years. His radio speech on Finland's 50th anniversary on December 6, 1967 was also included. Instead, he had left out his latest articles, including his harsh lectures to the young listeners of the Nature League's winter days. Why? "On purpose," he answers in the preface to his book. "I'm still more attracted to the glimmers of optimism of earlier times (and who doesn't have ideals in their youth) than the black hopelessness of the present years."

At the beginning of the collection, he returns to his themes of the early 1960s, disarmament and differences between generations. He had also qualified to participate in his old presentation, the "interim report" on the reception of the pacifism pamphlet. The change between its author and Linkola, who spoke in favor of violence in nature conservation during the winter days of the Nature Association, is big.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Linkola still believed in man, the basic principles of the UN and the Declaration of Human Rights and saw no reason for "an embittered generation to believe in the irreversible malice of man". In his Runo-Suomi, people are "cunning rascals" who are sometimes able to correct the mistakes they make, but now he had begun to fear that the mistakes made by people were indeed fatal. He suspected that atomic war could "in a weak moment even attract people as the easiest and most painless option". Also visible was "another ghost at least as big", population growth. "It is already threatening our grandchildren with starvation and has already destroyed the possibilities for a full-fledged human life in most parts of the world."

Linkola was not the only one who believed that the population explosion would lead to total destruction, no matter what he did to other things. The population explosion was at the center of the seventies ecological revival in other parts of the world. He was familiar with the US population guru, biologist Paul Ehrlich's call for a coercive restriction of birth control. At the beginning of the 1960s, UN experts had argued about whether there would be enough food for the then three billion population. In the 1970s, it was feared that the world's population would increase to 20–30 billion.

The spirit of the times drove development away from Linkola's values with all its might: "The unproductive had to be made productive, every acre had to be used to build the national economy and run factories."

As a naturalist, Linkola felt like a wolf or a wolverine, galloping from one shore to another, being chased. "Clear-cutting, salt marshes reduced to rubble and forest streams gutted" had forced him to flee from the heartland of his home region to Karelia, but the situation there was even sadder than in Hämee. "I got into an even worse situation, I got tangled in the ash-dense network of straight forest roads like a fly in a web." Even in Lapland he was not safe. There, too, there was "the all-consuming roar of the giants".

He dreamed of "a golden-yellow sea with eerie crane figures bathed in mist", but would he find one yet?

Was Linkola just a fanatic, old, bitter and disappointed impivaaraan? Or a misfit artist who got his inspiration from nature? Certainly, he was a lover of beauty who wanted future generations to enjoy the beauty of the original nature as well.

The attitude towards Linkola was complicated by the fact that it was impossible to position him politically. He denied being left-wing, but was he also right-wing? He declared that what society most needed at that moment was a boldly conservative popular front: "what can be saved must be saved", but many of his demands were at odds with right-wing politics. He wrote against the dominant values of the time. He believed that "the ideology of productivity growth collapses with the change of generations into its own impossibility, and industrialization into unsolved pollution problems". Continuous growth was not part of his vocabulary.

The collection of writings also included the "life protection program" he sketched in Suomen Kuvalehti during the 1966 elections. In it, he proposed that half of Finland's forest area be reserved for efficient wood raw material production and the other half for multiple uses, primarily for mental health and beauty experiences, exercise and camping. Areas from different parts of Finland and two large wilderness reserves in Lapland would be reserved as national parks completely outside of economic activity. When reserving the road network, power lines and plots of land, the starting point would be soil conservation and scenic amenity factors.

A lot of books about the environment appeared in those days, and it was hardly a coincidence that Linkolak also published his first collection of writings in 1972, says paleoecologist Heikki Simola. “He was a wake-up call; nature conservation was still unknown to the general public at that time."

Time was on Linkola's side. The book was printed three times and sold almost 10,000 copies. "What Linkola had in the 1960s as protest, dissent, cross-talk, was no longer in the same sense and in the same way in the 1970s", analyzed Anto Leikola later. "Now he was seen as a pioneer: he had already said things five or ten years earlier that others were saying now."


Linkola suspects that his collection of essays would have been missed by many if the academician Matti Kuusi had not written positively about it in Suomen Kuvalehti. Now the book became a topic of conversation. Kuusi, known as a conversation starter, believed, and also hoped, that the next wave of youth radicalism would be "Penttilinkolaism".

He predicted that if the "people's front for life", which Pentti Linkola dreamed of, begins to consolidate in the 1970s, its most Linkola-like features may be the idea of a voluntary lowering of the standard of living, neo-asceticism. "The symptoms are visible at least in the student world," Kuusi stated. He believed that the attitude towards nature conservation will change more broadly than just among young people: "One and another is starting to realize that (...) the view of the value of animals, plants, seas and fells as only man's game will be revealed as primitive and also destructive species discrimination from the point of view of man himself. The right of the Norpa of Saimaa to Saimaa is only more controversial from the point of view of the human-centered racist chastity theory than the right of Savo Sellu or Juutas Käkriäinen," he wrote.

Kuusi had met Linkola once after the 'Finnish landscape week' panel in 1965 in Helsinki and remembered him as "bearded, bear-like, as if a child prophet from another planet". He had demanded that Linkola compile his scattered articles into a book, but he had rejected the request. In the end, however, he considered his issue so important that, as a nature lover, he could "make a notch in our forests the size of the amount of paper required for a book", Kuusi quoted Linkola. In reality, he did not believe that Linkola would return to Helsinki to make a revolution. "For years, he has been a mythical marginal person: an anti-social scar, opposite-to-the-other-of-us, the son of a university rector who refused an academic career, a literary talent without literary ambition, the most mercurial man in Finland..." Kuusi did not hide his admiration for Linkola, he was under the guidance of the Kuhmoinen prophet. "Even though Linkola's strangely unlikely conviction is that every thinking Finn fundamentally agrees with him, something in me is prone to the same optimistic, futurological delusion," he stated in his writing.

Pentti Linkola was not enthusiastic about Pentti Linkola's declared Kuunen, but labeled it as wishful thinking. "This is what we say when we imagine that there is still some hope in the youth. If some do go to the country, they are exceptional individuals who will not change the direction the human species is going in the slightest," he stated in an interview with Katso magazine.

Linkola's decision to leave out his pessimistic latest writings from his first collection was a successful decision. When you could sense hope in the book, it was easier to approach it. Linkola, the herald of the end of the world, became known to the general public only seven years later in 1979, when his second collection of writings from Toisinajattelija's diary was published.

Dreams of a better world were evaluated in 44 magazines. The reception was laudatory. Only for Erno Paasilinna, a dissident known for his socially critical books, Linkola's first collection was a disappointment. "Linkola is right about the price being too high," Paasilinna wrote in Parnasso. He did not believe that people were ready to return to the old-fashioned country life. "Does Linkola imagine that Bruckner's records grow on tree branches. To achieve them, more technology is needed than what is produced from faceted wood carvings." Linkola's "amazing selfishness" also annoyed him. He felt that the Päijänne fisherman thought all those who had not made the same lifestyle choices as him were crazy. In his opinion, the book ultimately said more about its author than about the things: "Linkola has no other options but to leave the world. The only problem is that you can't separate yourself from the world, and that's why he stands against the world all the time, is irritable, restless, painful and neurotic, all the things he declares others to be."

Paasilinna had followed Linkola since they had met in 1960 when Linkola was selling his pacifism pamphlets in Helsinki. At that time, Linkola wrote about internationalism and building connections, but now he had changed, in Paasilinna's opinion, "to a narrowly authentic Finn: his stance towards individuals and groups he perceives as strangers is racist". Although Paasilinna was disappointed with the book, he admired Linkola's writing style, "turbulent, effervescent and nature-based tossing, the blurriness and freshness of the text". The admiration was mutual. Linkola considered Paasilinna a "dazzling master of style". He had read this recent satirical collection Alamainen's tears "almost devoutly". Based on the book, Linkola understood that Paasilinna had lost faith in people, but now he accused Linkola of lacking human love. "Once a person has already trampled an immense number of other forms of life under his feet, the world would be utterly depressing if a person's own life was completely poor and worthless, tinged with suffering and ill-will on the winning side. In other words, we owe it to the creation we destroyed that we have to get something out of our lives," Linkola replied to Paasilinna.

Columnists and campaigners drew from Linkola's book. Pertti Hemanus admitted in his Keskisuomainen column that he appreciated Linkola because he had managed to outline an alternative to the current way of life. "Only a few are capable of that", but "he doesn't have the means to get people to experience things the way he does." That's what Linkola thought about and mourned constantly himself. He did manage to stir up a loud conversation, but when the conversation subsided, everything was the same as before, nothing had changed.

Linkola didn't want a business around him. He emphasized the individual's own thinking, "copying thoughts leads nowhere". Still, many people talked about Linkolas and put a lot of things in his mouth that others had said or written. Thirty years later, in 2003, Linkola answered journalist Mauno Saare in the Minun uskoni TV series what Linkolaism is: "Many people write about the threat of an eco-catastrophe, but leave the matter to that. I'll take the chain of thought to the end and then you can't say anything other than that if you don't get rid of the human species, the whole world will be destroyed."

The fourth edition of the collection Dreams of a Better World appeared in 1990 as a paperback version. "And it still wasn't sold for a mark", stated Simopekka Virkkula in Aamulehti. Literary researcher Vesa Karonen read the collection as "a polemical satire about the 1960s, its belief in social and economic progress, to which nature was sacrificed. Metsä did not fit into the square of sociologists," he wrote in Helsingin Sanomat.


"The mercury shock tightened my father's face even more," Mirjami Linkola remembers. 1972 Linkola participated in the occupational health institute's mercury studies and the country's record amount of methylmercury was measured in his hair. Only one old engineer living on the beach of Päijänne had a higher blood mercury content measured, but Linkola was superior in hair. All possible things were investigated, he was even made to ride an exercise bike. The testers increased the resistance, but from Linkola the bike was just as easy to ride all the time. His condition approached that of a top racing cyclist. "It happened to be in my field and of course I was in good physical shape all the time."

You still shouldn't eat old pikes more than once a week, but Linkola ate them constantly. "Mercury had no effect, even though it was supposed to be lethal. In Finland, not a single person has gotten sick from mercury in fish. It's all just slander."

The Finnish Nature Conservation Association, under the leadership of its chairman Pekka Nuorteva, participated spectacularly in the mercury war. Linkola's position came as a surprise to nature lovers. Even the eyeless roaches found in the waters polluted by the Kemira titanium oxide factory in Pori did not make him change his opinion, and many were of the opinion that he only pursued his own interests as a professional fisherman. “Since the mercury shock I have been immune to all additives and poisons; I haven't paid attention to them. It's enough to know that if you eat, you stay alive, and if you don't, you die. Humans can withstand an amazing amount of poisons.” The mercury shock pushed down the price of fish, and Linkola already looked like he was going to lose his job. Pikes were taken from Helsinki's markets to the landfill.

When WWF's Finnish branch was founded in October 1972, Linkola made headlines again because of mercury. The crowd at the Hotel Marski saw him drag himself up the stairs with the support of the railings, and many said that Linkola was ravaged by mercury. His legs were "hempulana", but that was because the day before he had participated in the first ever Impivaara run from Nurmijärvi to Pirkkola. The distance was 30 kilometers, and Linkola ran from the cold without training, but so did many of the other 2,000 runners in the event. Many were reluctant to travel and were picked up by an ambulance. "I was in great shape, and I overtook Pertti Salolainen, MP and the newly elected chairman of WWF's Finnish Foundation, from the start, but I had thin-soled sneakers, and when I reached the finish line, there was almost nothing left of the shoes, and I was lame for several days."

In 2007, Linkola participated in the cesium 137 measurement as an example of a person eating a lot of fish in the Chernobyl fallout zone. Compared to the average of 200 becquerels for the people of Helsinki, Linkola's radiation amount, 1662 becquerels, was high, but he thoroughly lost to the reindeer herders of Lapland, who had a maximum of 50,000 becquerels of radioactive radiation measured in the 1960s. The reason for the reindeer men's high values were the above-ground nuclear tests conducted by the Soviet Union on the island of Novaya Zemlya.


In the early 1970s, the YYA agreement tied Finland to the Soviet Union's sphere of influence more tightly than any other Western country. At the winter days of Luontoliitto in 1972, Linkola declared to his young listeners that even a little commitment paralyzes thinking. He saw that the socialist and capitalist economic systems are converging towards a general mixed economic system. Also, the goal of socialism was to spread prosperity regardless of the population and the earth's resources, which made it, in Linkola's opinion, the true death religion of today.

In summer 1974, TV2's film crew arrived in Vierula, accompanied by bank manager Raimo Ilaskivi. A conservationist and a technocrat discussed economic growth in the Ollaanko tuhon titel program. Ilaskivi believed that economic growth is also a solution to the problems of nature conservation. Linkola, on the other hand, believed in the economic theory of Thomas Malthus, who was influential at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, according to which no endless growth can lead to anything but destruction. "Nature is only safe when about 100,000 people live in Finland", he stated. The men's views were too far apart for a real discussion to occur.

Before Linkola and Ilaskivi's TV debate, Erno Paasilinna and Raimo Ilaskivi had a marathon debate in Parnasso, which Linkola had also joined in the end. The TV conversation between Linkola and Ilaskivi was continued in Luonto-Liito's Molekyli magazine, when the nickname Phtirius attacked Linkola with his article Linkolalaiusen vararikko.

Who was the author? He fired his sentences from behind a misspelled moniker. Spelled Phthirius means Satian. The Teiniliitto had already become politicized, and now the militants also took over the local associations of the Nature League and they were already in the editorial office of the Molekyyl magazine. It was generally assumed that the author was the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Seppo Hannus, but he did not admit it. "At least the author was possessed by militancy," says Linkola.

Phtirius urged the Nature Association and all nature conservationists to disassociate themselves from Linkola and his ideology. The fact that Linkola was considered a leading figure in the nature conservation movement was, according to the author, a departure from his thinking in the 1960s, when he strongly advocated pacifism. Now his thoughts were "in deep conflict with the idea of nature conservation." Phtirius found Linkola's anti-democracy and indifference towards the poor children of Biafra and Vietnam to be particularly reprehensible, and the nickname accused him of defending Nazism and elite thinking. In Phtirius' opinion, Linkola was no longer to be taken seriously: "The loud-mouthed and bushy-bearded Linkola has become the court jester of the consumer society, who is always invited to entertain bored people."

The nature allies watched with their breaths, holding back the conversation. Linkola's counterpart appeared in the next issue of Molekyl. He considered Phtirius's claim about his publicity-seeking as gallows humor. Journalists did visit him, but despite promises, he did not get the manuscripts to check, and the sensational story appears in this style: "There, that Linkola is blubbering, beating his children, eating wolf meat and drinking snake blood. You will definitely save yourself from promoting yourself, Phtirius!”

In response to Phtirius's claim that he only pretended to be a man of the people by declaring his profession to be a fisherman, and lived in a cottage bought with inheritance money, Linkola told the harsh result of his calculations: the family lived below the poverty line, their income was 20 percent of the income of an industrial worker. They barely made it to a daily wage of a mark. Linkola also accused Phtirius of mixing up concepts: "Don't talk about nature conservation when you mean something completely different, e.g. environmental protection, the fight for income distribution, etc." He also reminded that his worldview was biological and according to it man was a new and soon disappearing species, and human equality had nothing to do with biological thinking. In his accusation of Nazism, he stated that "Nazism and biology have a common cornerstone, Darwinism, regardless of the fact that the Nazis attached many whoredoms to the insight, including racial mysticism."

Phtirius' claim about a "wealthy home" was considered slander by Linkola. "...horrifying autumn rushes, hauling in hay, cutting down oats, no knowledge of winter firewood in the shrinking countryside, not even money. All the time, high fishing season, rowing for at least 12 hours in a bunch of whiting - lingonberries and mushrooms should be picked. The gnawing financial worries in this new crisis of the fisherman, nets and fuels have risen by more than 200 percent in a year, the price of fish by 4 percent. Then the obligatory fall cleaning of 800 birdhouses and filling in the summer bird ringing for those damned damned new computerized forms. And the engine is still in summer clothes. Every mechanic who moved to Sweden or Helsinki; the permanto of the stable has collapsed, and the horse is threatened with spinal failure, the floor of the residential building has rotted to dust, a foot through the floor with every second step. And the eukko is barking and the children are bawling - all in all, things are as hellish as they could ever be." Linkola explained the change in his thinking by the accumulation of his ecological and social knowledge. "Many types of youthful hypocrisy and loose idealism have disappeared and, above all, the desire to please the public has disappeared - the ugly word is said as it is."

The friends cheered for Linkola, who had knocked out Phtirius. Dear Nazi thug! Olavi Hildén started (April 19, 1974) his letter. You can't imagine how gratifying it was for me personally to have your excellent answer to that odious Phtirius! I happened to get my hands on it at a moment when I was even more depressed than usual, bored, numb to everything. I don't remember such an exhilarating reading moment, sometimes I shouted out loud in my room and bent my knees with excitement. In my opinion, Vastine is your best writing of all time, both in terms of style, impact and message. My admiration for your personality went up several notches again. And of course, above all, I was happy for you that you were able to so masterfully outwit your opponents and clearly build your own, solidly justified world of values for the reader.

Martti Linkola, who started as the director of the Kuopio Cultural History Museum, was worried about his brother's ability to cope. He knew that Molekyl was important to nature people, but now the magazine seemed to have fallen into the hands of leftists, and for them nature conservation meant environmental protection, too. Martti Linkola also believed that Phtirius' attack on his brother was connected to the rise of leftism. He had discussed the matter with his friends and wrote to his brother (October 5, 1974): Apparently, J. Savola, Urpo Häyrinen and I are already old sclerotic when we thought of writing to you that, good brother, don't respond to Molekyl's Phtirius' trashy attack anymore. But oh my dear brother, it's good that you answered - even so. After all, it was exactly the level of Donner's coverage and it was definitely a good thing, how you did it!

Since Linkola's thinking did not follow the traditional right-left axis, it was difficult to position him politically. Most recently, the Päijänne fisherman had announced that he had decided to vote only for "phenomenally beautiful women", regardless of party, stated the writer Pekka Suhonen in his two-part Parnasso essay in 1975, which opened up Linkola's thinking. Linkola could not fit into other ready-made pens. Linkola's ideas were neither Rousseauian, even though he admired Rousseau's pastoral, nor Tolstoian, even though there were many points of contact with Tolstoy: pacifism, poverty program, an attempt to explain the world intellectually, subordinating one's life to the service of the idea, Suhonen stated. He believed that Linkola's thinking arose entirely from his own starting points; this had a personal basis to understand the change from a different perspective than usual. Linkola's father had been a naturalist, and had also written about nature conservation issues. Pent's school, Helsinki Suomalainen Yhteskoulu, was a school for nature enthusiasts thanks to the biology teacher Jorma Sover, and already during his school days Linkola had been an almost professional ornithologist and continued field work as a fisherman. "Developing industrial Finland remained at a distance and he began to criticize it."

Suhonen saw that Linkola's thinking hardened as his amount of information grew and the natural disasters became more and more obvious. Finally, he realized that the western way of life as a whole destroys the foundations of human life and began to criticize nature conservationists as well. "Pessimism took over, and the ray of hope faded," Suhonen stated.

He also explained Linkola's pessimism with the change in his thinking from human-centered to nature-centered, where man is just one animal among animals. But had the Darwinist Linkola banished the pacifist Linkola once and for all? Suhonen's answer remains open. He did not consider Linkola to be a builder of an overall intellectual system or even a theorist; he was "too anarchist" for that. Rather, Linkola was a "happiness seeker" who sought the environment best suited to the human mind. "In part, he is also a hedonist, for whom aesthetic nature experiences give pleasure, another source of pleasure is sensible work in primary production." In Linkola, Suhonen saw Colin Wilson's sidekick and Herman Hesse Arosude's Harry Haller, a man possessed by contradictions, for whom suffering was an essential part of life.


Known as a strict ascetic, Linkola showed that he also knew how to party, and at the time of crane migration at the end of April 1972, before the bird counting round, Pentti and Aliisa organized a two-day Crane Festival in Vierula for the benefit of nature conservation. The original idea of the party was Erkka Paavolainen's then-spouse Minnami Paavolainen. "We were at Pent's and Aliisa's place in the village, when Minnami, on the spur of the moment, told Pent that when you have a place like this, let's gather here as a group, and then it started to happen," Paavolainen recalls.

The host of the cucumber party was neither irritable nor painful, but a great companion who amused his guests by laughing at himself as well. The guests included biologists, ornithologists, journalists, writers, musicians and other cultural people. Aliisa baked dozens of yeast breads, cooked pea soup in the water cauldron of the beach sauna, salted fish, made mushroom salad and pot rooster. They had also saved Muikunmäti for their guests. The drink was strong sahti, which was a nasty surprise for many who were not used to it. The programmatic part of the event took place in the barn loft of the neighboring farm Keikkala, where the guests watched the program, speeches and musical performances lying on the floor. Local Leif Kindberg paced the dancers with his accordion: jenka, masurka, polka, waltz, tango. Jukka Pakkanen remembered the football tournament on the muddy meadow. Linkola's fisherman colleague Juhani Kääpä and Lasse Sammalisto, curator of the Helsinki Zoological Museum, argued about whether the guests of the occasion were gentlemen. In Käävä's opinion, they were - except for Pentti Linkola. The participation fee for the party went to WWF, the World Nature Foundation, without a refund. In addition to the Linkolas organizing the party, the host donated 3,000 marks of his 10,000 mark income to the foundation "because I don't ride with such tricks", he pointed to Käävä's snowmobile. A reporter from Helsingin Sanomai was also there, and the newspaper soon had a photo report about the event.

CUCUMBER FESTIVAL in Vierula 1972.

The following year, the Linkolas organized the Kurkijuhlat at Pirttikulma in a deserted farmhouse on the outskirts of Kuhmoinen. The party's reputation had spread and there were a lot of guests, Pekka and Marianne Tarkka, Pentti and Tuula-Liina Saarikoski, Arvo Turtiainen and Brita Polttila, Matti Klinge, Ilkka and Sesse Koivisto, pakinoist Origo aka Jouni Lompolo, writers Eeva Kilpi, Pekka Suhonen and Jukka Pakkanen, journalist Olli Alho, publisher Hannu Tarmio and a large group of conservationists and ornithologists, Teuvo Suominen, Urpo Häyrinen, Ilkka Stén, Yrjö Haila, Pertti Saurola, Risto Nurmi, Hannele Pohjanmies. Mauri Antero Numminen and Hannu Taanilak participated in the spring bacchanals. On Pekka Suhonen's recommendation, Linkola had also invited Sirkka Kurki-Suonio, Tamme's publishing editor, to the party. The last name alone would have been enough of a reason for the invitation, but the guest turned out to be, as Suhonen had praised, a competent person of literature and a good conversationalist, and Linkola found that he enjoyed himself excellently in his company and they agreed to exchange letters. This time, Aliisa had prepared baked bread and baked bread for the main course of the party. "I cooked for two days, I didn't sleep for a couple of nights before the party, and when the party was on the weekend, I didn't sleep then either." When the last went to sleep, the first woke up. Dinner was available all the time and then it was time for breakfast. "At night, I once had time to dance. Saurolan's Pera was a good mover, it didn't matter if there was rock, sand or gravel underneath, it always went just as well." Jukka Pakkanen watched from the sidelines when a drunk Pentti Saarikoski took his wife Elena to a quick dance on the floor of the big room and "kissed my wife with his skinny limbs shaking". "Gives his wife a poet's kiss with joy," Pakkanen writes in his autobiography.

MARTTI Linkola opens up his voice at Kurkijuhl; played by Leif Kindberg.

Matti Klinge returned to the 1973 Kurkijuhl even in his memoirs. He had given a festive presentation on the occasion and represented humanism by reciting a stanza from Schiller's cucumber-themed poem Die Kraniche des Ibykus. At the next Kurki festival, he will give a presentation on the Finnish Kurki family. In his memoirs, Klinge admits that he "even played kickball at parties. At some of those (parties), I remember being assigned to a team of humanists, which, under the leadership of Pekka Tarka, adopted the slogan ``yes, man always wins over animals,'' to the annoyance of the biologist majority, but our team certainly didn't win, because at least I didn't even know the rules of the game." At the later Kurkijuhl, Klinge presented the foundation of Savo's Liberation Front, SVR, and the presentation ended with the battle cry: "Down with the oppression of Ostrobothnia and Häme, long live Savo", to which the audience agreed.

The guests of Kurkijuhli were united by a sympathetic and understanding attitude towards Linkola and his concern about raping the motherland, Klinge writes in his memoirs. However, no one wanted to become a fisherman or adopt his entire ideology.

Still, Klinge thought Kurkijuhli was significant: "Some became supporters of the green movement and even the party that formed at the end of the decade, but the green movement that formed at the end of the decade was a project of a younger generation than us and much more doctrinaire."

Risto Pelkonen also participated in the party "in the name of old friendship" with his wife Kristiina Pelkonen. In the 1950s and still at the beginning of the 1960s, Linkola and Pelkonen had met, visited the National Theater together and went on birding trips. Once, Linkola had asked Pelkones what he heard. "I said that I had gotten engaged, to which Pentti replied that oh yeah, that's interesting, what kind of teeth does it have? I replied that it has teeth in its mouth. Well, what does it do, Pentti continued. I, that he is a pharmacy student, to which Pentti said that I'm sorry, I have the same problem, I don't meet anyone but saleswomen. It was Pent's humor. He understood things quickly and paid attention to details, hair and eyes were important to him. When he was young, he saw a lot of comical things in life, but now as an older man, he saw a lot of harsh things."

Risto Pelkonen did not feel at home at Kurkijuhl. "There were young intellectuals who were hard at work." There was a program going on all the time, and Pelkonen asked the host of the event, "why do you have to be busy here all the time, why can't you be in peace?" Linkola answered that you always have to be on the move. "If I stop even for a moment, the horror of the world oppresses me."

They stayed up late at Kurkijuhl, but when the Fearfuls started looking for a place to stay, all the places were full, and they drove to Aulango. "I had just got a credit card and we spent the night in a hotel." In the morning, the couple left their car further away from the party venue so they wouldn't be made a number. "When Pentti asked how the night went, I answered that it was very nice, but I didn't dare to say that we stayed at Aulango."

The venue for the third Kurkijuhli in 1974 was in Rahtijärvi kämpa near Evo's forestry school. Aliisa had already started preparations for the party well in advance, baked 80 yeast breads, and the warm food was stuffed pike. There were more guests than last time, old and new. The party committee had also sent an invitation to Neste's CEO, the "enemy of nature conservation", but instead of Uolevi Raade coming to the event, he had put money into WWF's account. The event, which brought together public figures, also interested the press, and the event made it to Mata Hari's social circle section in Apu magazine: "The program was full of hysteria, bag running and poetry recitation and accordion playing. The writer Jukka Pakkanen read a short story from his forcibly republished book, and the poet Pekka Suhonen presented two of his poems about landscapes. The night went wildly: there was plenty of fun.” Former Linkola rower Yrjö Haila, who later worked as a professor of environmental policy at the University of Tampere, thinks the party was fake with all the celebrities. "It was a club event where people got involved."

After the Kurkijuhli in 1974, the attraction responsibility of the event was transferred to WWF, and Linkola passed the scepter to his little cousin Anto Leikola. After him, parties were organized by Sesse and Ilkka Koivisto, Hannu Tarmio, Taru and Risto Valjakka. Once the Kurkijuhlat were at Ritva and Paavo Haaviko's summer place in Kirkkonummi. "There, too, Haavikko was devastated, because he didn't think he got enough attention," Linkola recalls. WWF's 12th Kurkijuhlat 1984 in Sipoo was far from Vierula's party. The event had shrunk to one day and the date changed to autumn. "When the foundation started to make itself important, the original idea of a party in the spirit of intellectual cheerfulness dried up," writes Matti Klinge in his memoirs.


"I've been sociable since I was a little boy," says Linkola, but he felt most at home in the company of his ornithologist friends. He called the crowd an inner and social circle. In autumn, the ornithologists usually organized the Olympics on the grounds of the Zoo in Helsinki. Families also participated in the events. Later, the "club circle" also gathered on Midsummer at Ilkka Stén's summer place in Tiusala on the shores of Saimaa to renovate the farm's old log buildings.

"Although Pentti was at his best in endurance sports, long-distance running, skiing and orienteering, he participated in all sports at the Ornithology Olympics. He was a permanently hopeless case", recalls Erkka Paavolainen. Linkola's high jump record was a meter and the pole vault record was 85 centimeters, after which the pole dropped the bar. "The puck and shot put were Hebrew in technique for him, as was the high jump. He was completely incapable of running fast. Pent's running was clumsy, he had strength but no agility at all. But even though he was clumsy, thanks to his tenacity he succeeded on long distances and ran quite good times."

"I was the most unfit as a bench athlete," says Linkola. He couldn't bear to follow other people's sports, but he had to join the track or the result was "merciless boredom". "The mathematicians in the group calculated senility curves, i.e. how much the results have deteriorated over the years, until it went to zero - and no longer lasted at all."

Linkola amused his friends with his endless stories. His own chapters were his jokes related to the university world, which he had heard either from his own father or from Olavi Hildén, whose father was also a professor. "Penti has an extremely good sense of humor," praised Ilkka Stén. "If nature were in order, I would be dangerously happy by nature," Linkola thinks.

ORNITHOLOGY OLYMPICS 1972: Shot put was not Linkola's parade sport, Erkka Paavolainen, who took the photo, testifies, but he was successful in long-distance running. In the bottom picture, Linkola is leading, Mauri Rautkari is firmly second.

Linkola and Stén's friendship dates back to the early 1950s, when they had hiked in Vanajanselka and met at Signilskär. "As a young birdman, Linkola was an idol for me," Stén said about the beginning of winter 2016. In the fall, he died of a serious illness. Ilkka Stén was Mikkeli county's first environmental protection inspector, and was involved in founding Linnasaari and Kolovesi national parks. Although Stén had experienced being active in nature, he too had a hard time on joint birding trips with Linkola. "The length of the trip was determined by the situation, when we left we didn't know the time of return," Stén recalled in Lintumies magazine on the occasion of Linkola's 50th anniversary in 1982. "In the summer, Linkola chose a place to stay, a hay barn, according to the song of a thrush." Apart from the night, only a break for food and the chatter of familiar hosts interrupted the trip. Not just any place was suitable for him as a place to eat either, aesthetic values were important. "Finally, a salt bream usually appeared from the bottom of the backpack. Even at the end of the week-long excursion, we always found new and increasingly tasty breams." At the end of the meal, Linkola wrote down his bird observations. Writing the observations could continue with the stern of the boat, but if the rowing pace was not to Linkola's liking, he stopped writing and grabbed the oars.

A couple of times, Ilkka Stén and Linkola happened to be on a beach messed up by hikers. "I would not have thought that such messes could be cleaned up so quickly. Bonfires to burn and rags to fire. After the cleaning operation, neither a cigarette butt nor a bottle cap was found on the beach." Linkola also cleaned the illegally built summer houses from staining the beaches.

As ornithologists, they talk about birds and everyday things. "We avoided touching on his most radical positions so that there would be no contradictions." Linkola did not want to discuss his ideology. "If the conversation slips into the realm of outlook on life, I turn into an evasive nod: so, so and so so...", he wrote. "I cowardly avoided offending another person's convictions in a friendly conversation." That's why he sometimes had to vent his mind on the typewriter.


Aliisa was tired and it hurt her when the Käävä brothers drove past them on their new motorboats on the lake and waved as they went. He began to propose to Linkola the purchase of a motorboat. "Rowing was hard, and even Pent often felt bad. He was lying on the bed and eating chocolate," Aliisa recalls. The guests were worried about Aliisa's ability to cope, even though Pentti was often completely exhausted, "but no one ever asked me how I was coping".

Before the start of the fall fishing season in the summer of 1973, Linkola bought two motorboats, Alice Gustafsson's from Taalintehta and Fiasco's from Kasnäs. "Buying boats from my father was embarrassing, but he gave up when my mother could no longer row," Leena Linkola recalls. One of the boats had a good engine and the other a good hull. Fiasco had electric ignition and was easy to start, but Alice Gustafsson had a two-stroke engine and was started by turning the crank. Aliisa started the boats and drove them. Maintenance of the engines was also his responsibility. Linkola were not practical people. If something needed to be fixed or nailed, Aliisa fetched a hammer. It was so natural to children that later they wondered how other men knew how to use a hammer. After reaching the nets, the couple moved to the rowing boat they pulled behind the motor boat. "There was no use for motorboats, you couldn't fish from them. The anchors stuck to the bottom and we had to cut many anchor lines. A birch seed was enough to clog the fuel system and we had to constantly go get oil and fuel from the church," Linkola recalls. He was even more convinced of the uselessness of technology. In the spring of 1975, he put the motorboats up for sale. Aliisa hoped that Pentti would not be there when the buyers came to look at the boats. "Pentti started the sales pitch by barking at boats, and many prospective buyers had already left."

In the summer of 1974, when the divorce started to seem obvious, the Linkolas took a seven-week long sea trip on a rowing boat. The idea of the trip was Pentin's; when he was tormented, he could not stand still. For Aliisa, the trip was "the last dawn". The trip was supposed to revive the marriage, but it turned out differently. The trip started in Salo and ended in Pori's Tahkluoto, after rowing around Åland, the trip totaled close to a thousand kilometers. For the first three weeks, the couple traveled alone, after a week's break the daughters came along – Leena was ten at the time and Mirjami was twelve. Juhani Kääpä towed the Linkoloin's boat with his trailer from Kuhmois to Salo, and on June 11 the couple set off to row along the Salojoki towards the Hiittine archipelago. It is an interweaving of two thousand islands and islets, the uniqueness of which is enhanced by kari and innumerable secret islands. They rowed from islet to islet and Linkola ringed birds, mainly seagulls. While he recorded his bird sightings and ringing data in the boat, Aliisa rowed. On the longer stretches of open sea, Pentti grabbed the oars or they rowed in pairs. They listened to the weather information on their little travel radio.

"It was already a long way from Salo to the sea, but Pentti had got it into his head that they would go around the whole of Åland", recalls Erkka Paavolainen. There were big backs in front. The couple rowed across the Hiittinen archipelago and stopped at Hankoniemi as well. Linkola usually didn't fish on his vacations, but this time he lowered his net into the sea, and Aliisa fried the fish over a campfire.

On June 25, they landed at Kasnäs in Kemiö, left their boat and boarded a bus. Aliisa returned to Vierula to participate in the rehearsals of the youth club's play, Linkola continued by train to Oulu and from there by bus to Kuusamo in Suonnansaari, Kitkajärvi, for the futurology conference organized by his friend, journalist-writer and conservationist Reino Rinne. The Posio conference was attended by a core group of nature conservationists.

The great sea voyage resumed after a week's interruption on July 2. They rowed through Rosala to Holma and Vänöhö and back south to the open sea to Öröhö, Jurmo, Utöhö and Kökar. For the girls, long rowing journeys were an ordeal. They would have preferred to collect flowers and stones on the islands, but that particular summer was the wettest of the century - it rained almost every day. After reaching the beach, the parents forced them to run to the rocks, but they were wet and cold and would not have wanted to move anywhere. The mood was not high. "Dad had tantrums. In Utø, he rowed us inside the Draken, an old shipwreck, even though we were scared to death," Leena Linkola recalls. For Pent, Kökar was a difficult place: on the south side of the island there are islands and islets so dense that he had a full time staying on the map.

In Kökarsören, the travelers turned to Åland. The waves hit high, and the boat went up and down. At the wave crest, they checked that they were on course. Linkola was afraid that the storm would come and they continued their journey all the way to the island of Algersö below Sottunga. After the wind died down, they headed for Lemland, but the fog prevented them from trying to get out to the Lågskär bird station. They also passed Mariehamn and finally arrived in Eckerö Storbyhy. From there it was only ten kilometers to Signilskär. The route was familiar to Linkola, but now he was on the move in a rowing boat and he had not only his spouse but also his daughters with him. "It was exciting."

It was almost calm, but the wind was blowing high winds off the coast of Poland. When they were already there, the wind caught up with them, and they stayed at Signilskär for two days. They continued to the north, following the shores on the mainland. At Mellanö, in the narrow strait, the wind gained new strength and in the downwind the travelers stood up - they themselves were the sails.

The distances were long, but they proceeded according to Linkola's plan. In Geta, he fell in love with what he saw. "Northern Åland is Finland's largest wilderness." It was deserted from the days when herring fishing was still important. The roofs of the fishermen's cabins had fallen in, and the rickets had nests of woodpeckers and crows, the people were just a memory.

From the north of Åland, they set out to straighten over the ridge of several pennies long, when the wind broke from the shore contrary to the weather report and was finally in their favor. "The waves were terrible, it would have pushed us to the edge of the Back Sea before long, but we pushed against the waves." On the way, there were under-surface rocks that attracted the boat, and the parents ordered their daughter to the bow to look for rocks. "If I had driven for them, the game would have been clear. The boat would have capsized." At last they saw the islet and started rowing towards it as hard as they could. "I admit that I was really scared. It was near death. Although Aliisa was not afraid in the air, she lacked the ability to be afraid, I think she was afraid then too." Finally, they found a sheltered cove on the Pacific side of the islet and disembarked. Only now they located themselves on the sea chart, they were in Sparvharu.

The journey continued in the morning. "We weren't in a hurry, we came to Salgöh on time." There, Linkola abandoned the sea chart and took the compass direction to Kustavi, he wanted to see Volter Kilve's home. In Uusikaupunki, they stopped by only grocery shopping. It was a "long throw to the east", but Linkola didn't count miles, only the birds mattered to him.

They passed Rauma in the distance, but detoured to Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse. In front of Rauma, they were going to get under the cargo ship, because Linkola was well aware that at sea a faster ship will give way to a slower one, but when the high bow of the cargo ship was already almost caught in the boat, they started rowing. Mirjami screamed out loud, and Aliisa was afraid that the girl would jump from the boat, but she couldn't stop rowing to calm her down. "I have never rowed as hard as I did then", he remembers. From Yyteri they rowed to Tahkuluoto. It was July 25, Juhani Kääpä was already waiting for them at the harbor with his car and trailer. Iltapäivälehti and then also friends criticized the Linkolas for not wearing life jackets on their rowing trip.

"Who would have saved us there. Vests would have only prolonged death," Linkola replied.


The atmosphere of the archipelago had filled Linkola's mind and it was difficult for him to adapt to being a "land crab". The sea and thousands of islands had been seven weeks of his life, he had visited hundreds of islets and ringed more than a thousand birds and recorded 150 different species. There had been days when they hadn't seen any other people, there were no boaters at all in North Åland.

A month after their return, the couple started fall fishing in Päijänte. Before that, they had picked buckets of berries and jammed them, and the autumn mushroom harvest wasn't bad either.

A rainy summer was followed by a rainy and windy autumn. For fishermen it meant bad times; catches remained small. When the weather started to get colder, they changed the whitefish nets to made and walleye nets. The winds picked up. Attempts to try nets in stormy winds, terrible fishing trips on muddy roads. Nothing went right. 12.12. A hopeless attempt to lower the nets. 13.12. Hopeless waiting while the storm howls, ineffective attempts at temporary work. 14.12. from 8:50 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. terrible boring fishing. 15.12. Hopeless weather again.

While in normal autumn the wind blew from the east for three days at most, by the end of January 1975 it had been blowing relentlessly from the east for a month and a half. Because of the east wind from Navaka, you couldn't fish on the western edges of Tehi, there was more garbage in the nets than fish. The wind tore the nets into bundles of leaves, twigs, lake ore, bundles, shock hooks and flower bouquets, and when they were able to untangle and lower them into the catch again, the wind did the same work of rape again.

And above all, the shoals of fish, both walleye and whitefish, have disappeared from here under the wind so completely that the catches are just a shaking mockery. Yesterday we caught two pikeperch in the nets (five days apart), Linkola wrote to Reino Rintee (January 31, 1975). The family's income shrank. After September, Linkola had not even once reached the hourly wage of a mark.

It hadn't been easy for them until then either. ...survival had been difficult on the cursed overhang, overdeep, and low-yielding Päijänte, but now it seemed impossible for Linkola to get over the roof fall. Besides, my own attachment to this home region of 15 years has definitely broken this frustrating autumn, that moving elsewhere feels absolutely certain in the near future, he confided to Rinte. He had already looked at new fishing waters from Kirkkonummi and Nauvo. In his opinion, the family also reacted to the difficulties in an incomprehensible and boring way. I would really like to leave the whole group as well as Kuhmoinen, he continued in his letter. Everything was basically going to hell because Linkola had not been able to buy firewood at a reasonable price, and after returning from the nets, they had had to look for firewood with lamps on the beaches. Of course, the wood didn't dry out in that hurry, and the fire burned sizzling.

Meeting Reino Rinnee in the middle of the sea trip in Posio's Suonnansaari had been important to Linkola, even though they had only had a short time to talk to each other. Linkola had given a presentation on population overgrowth at the futurology conference organized by Rinne. In the evening in the sauna, he had debated with Teuvo Suominen and Urho Häyrinen about whether the world could fit 5 billion ecology better than 5 billion economics. The difference in favor of ecologists was small. Meeting Rinne had already been on Linkola's mind since January 1972, when he had written to her for the first time. He had figured that they wouldn't have much to say to each other since their outlook on life was so similar. However, it has often occurred to me that what if I sent that Rinne Reino a little greeting, with nothing more to say than: thank you for fighting, thank you for standing by my side in the front. After all, people's feelings still mean something, and my emotional life - which, Lord forbid, cannot be spoiled much in this world - does feel a warm glow every time I hear your speeches. I don't think anyone here is such a strong superhuman that they wouldn't need an ally. Yes, even the "mutual praise club" has its own meaning.

Linkola told of his fear of becoming an even more hopeless pessimist than Rinnett. The final descent into hatred of people is haunting me more and more seriously.

In his reply letter, Rinne thanked Linkola for his two population policy articles in Suomen Kuvalehti. However, Rinne did not understand why Kainuu and the Northeast were the worst threat to the future of humanity in Linkola's vibrant and wide-ranging world of thought. Families in the Northeast region are no longer as 'calf-rich' as in past years, the statistics from which your perception seems to be based on. Linkola answered immediately. Even though Rinnee's comments were valid, he hoped that as a fellow writer he would understand that many reservations, arguments and explanations only water down the message. All the same, the basic problem in everything about the earth is definitely the too large number of homo sapiens, everything else is secondary.

"If someone is looking for an idol, I could probably say that it is Reino Rinne," says Linkola. "I didn't get my ideas from Rinte, but I noticed the similarity. He impressed a lot of people.” Many times later, Linkola wondered how two people coming from such different starting points could come to such similar conclusions: he came from the scientific elite, the Rinne family of small farmers. When he was younger, Rinne wrote, in Linkola's opinion, moderate collections of short stories and later pamphlets, the most famous of which is Anna melle atomommi. His last was the novel This is how Koilismaa was created (1995), which Linkola considered to be the best novel of that and many years to come. Later, in his dissertation, Pentti Sillanpää assessed the differences in Linkola's and Rinnee's views: For Rinne, nature conservation was the protection of life, for him man played a more important role than for Linkola.

Since the previous summer, Linkola had dreamed of skiing in Kuusamo, and in his letter (February 23, 1975), he inquired whether Reino Rinne would accept him and Aliisa in mid-March. They were supposed to get rid of their winter sorrows in Oulu's Tervahiihto, after which they could visit Suonnansaari. Linkola was a skier. He had participated with Pekka Tarka in the Tahko skiing and with Pertti Saurola twice in the 90 kilometer Pirka skiing and the previous winter in the history's first 75 kilometer Finlandia skiing from Hämeenlinna to Lahti. Oulu Tarvahihto would have completed the series, but it was bombed. The soles of Aliisa's skis cracked on the jagged ice and she couldn't ski on them. They met Rinnee in Kuusamo, but missed Suonnansaari.

PENTTI Linkola and Reino Rinne in Suonnansaari in the summer of 1993. Photo: Wesa Rinne.

Friends describe Linkola's skiing style as peculiar, but he was happy to compete as long as the distance was long enough. He skied in the fishermen's team in Kuhmoinen's wooden skis. His ski times there were pretty good, even though he skied with hand-made snow boots. In connection with the pole skiing, Linkola had an informal personal competition with the keeper, vicar Hannu Lehtipuu. Linkola won, skiing was his passion.

Linkola continued to look for a new fishing farm on the coast. He and Erkka Paavolainen went from farm to farm asking about the possibility of renting fishing waters, but the bigger fishing waters were owned by trade associations. In Tenhola, he would have been welcome to fish in the waters of the Lindö manor, but the condition of the farm's owner, the free lord Gustaf de la Chapelle, was to establish an apiary in his apple orchard. "They had a lot of water, but they were shallow bays", and Linkola continued his search, now in Porkkala. He knew Johan Standertskjöld, who hosts the Hirsala manor, through WWF, he had served as chairman of the foundation for a short time, but even though Standertskjöld lived with his wife Kristina and two daughters Eeva and Carola in the stately main building of the estate, he did not own the space. The farm was owned by his two old aunts, the Misses of Sauren, Brita and Ruth, who lived in the manor's apartment. They agreed that Linkola would become their tenant and start fishing in the manor's waters at the Porkkala cape. Linkola liked the place because the house of Erkka Paavolainen and her husband Minnam was nearby. Minnami was Pekka Herlin's sister and Herlin's manor was not far either.

Martti Linkola thought about his brother's decision. Your departure to Hirfsala is probably a good solution. Although it's a pity because the group of people who can survive here behind Toijala is only getting smaller. (…) Matti Haapasaari and I are reciting Juhani Siljo's poem in känn: Upstream rises the salmon family. And in the future: (roughly like this) shoals of whiting sink down, stealthily, only salmon rise upstream. But de facto: Hir(f)sala could be a good solution in many respects. After hearing about it, however, I am obliged to post the sensitive information about Ernst Palmén's offer of help, now heard through Mathias Klinge." Martti Linkola had met Klinge on his scholarship trip to Paris, and "Mathias" had run him through the mazes of the city of a million people, with the cultural-historical-visual-geographical scale stretching from Riemukaari, Notre Dame and the Sorbonne to the alley milieu and slums of the whore quarters of the Marais. At the same time, they had discussed Pent's situation. Born in 1916, Ernst Palmén, professor of zoology and then rector of the University of Helsinki, knew the backgrounds of Linkola's boys. According to Klinge, Palmén was "very clearly" a friend and supporter of Pentti Linkola and would have accepted Pentti's studies of birds of prey as a degree, as long as he made a summary article about them and took care of the connections to the secondary subjects. There is no doubt about P's competence, and it is fortunate that there are university students who have the courage to recognize it, Klinge wrote to Martti Linkola.

When the papers for the bachelor's degree in philosophy were in order, Palmén promised to arrange for Linkola a ringing agent, etc. position at the Animal Museum. Would Germanic have the strength for such a thing, even if it felt like self-humiliation? In any case, the tire consultant at the museum would have enough travel, etc., so the dog's leash would be relatively light to carry, I think. Of course, there are livelihood concerns of a non-natural economy here, but many others have survived them as well, especially with the writing and presentation resources that our Vikings have..., Klinge wrote to Mart. Martti recommended his brother to take the offer: The wise person would be the one who jerks the fil.kandi when it's offered and then still goes to Hirsala and fishes... Oss bättre folk emellan, but the famous "friends support" ideology still plays...

Pentti Linkola rejected the offer. In December 1974, he replied to his brother: Ernst Palmén's jubilant offers and his susceptibility to risk-taking and scandals, which shows Ernestine-like boundless civil courage, are of course heart-warming, but it seems that the target of the plans is too hopeless in the case.


At the turn of April-May 1975, Linkola wrote his last essay in Vierula. The article Tehkää something that appeared in Suomen Kuvalehti was a distress call for nature conservationists. Linkola had lost his last hope, his life had lost its flavor. He didn't believe that there was anything more that could be done to save nature, "even though I'm writing". Writing was like a narcotic for him, it helped him to forget for a moment how irrevocably the real values had been forgotten. Until then, he had believed that being aware of things would bring about practical changes, but not anymore. "A person is not capable of any kind of denial or even braking, other than at the level of theory. Finland's forests had been sold out, beaches had been built, and peregrine falcons and kestrels had been wiped out."

He was ready to give up his clothes, his cabin and his family if he could get the 1930s back. Even then "Finland had a rich and diverse nature, trees were still standing in the heart of the hinterlands, and we had a genuine and self-sufficient, ecologically sustainable business life dominated by agriculture". He wondered if man really wanted all natural resources for himself? "At the end of the day, will there be anything left here other than a human population of tens of billions and human parasites: rats, sparrows and intestinal bacteria - until they also disappear."

The writing was Linkola's masterpiece, he told about his overwhelming sadness in it. He mourned the indifference and greed of people, and the destruction of his beloved forests in such a way that it hurt the reader.

"If I were young and crazy, I would say: go all over the world and act so that the population decreases, child benefits are abolished, salaries are reduced by a quarter, pensions by a fifth. And to the Finns, I would say above all: Don't buy any useless stuff, don't grow a single kilo of wheat, don't shoot a single bird, and don't fish any more than you need to stay alive." If he had been a bitter middle-aged man, he would have said: "At least go to hell with your Ministry of Nature Conservation, your education leaflets, don't deceive and pretend so wickedly. Once you strip the earth bare so effectively…. so at least do it honestly and with a conscious brain.” But he knew he wasn't human for that either. "When the end of the last person is at hand, when the pollution deposits finally reach him from the deepest cavity of the civil shelter, when he has barely had time to rob the last of the previous deceased's gas mask, asbestos suit, oxygen tank and other property for himself, he dies with an eternal diarrhea of explanation and self-deception on his lips: I was always wise and well, I loved and protected nature and my neighbor - what a bloody injustice that this should happen to me."

Reino Rinne sent Linkola a thank you card: What would I say at the end of your great speech? I just say amen. "The writing was brilliant prose, which can only be achieved by a deeply pessimistic writer," Pekka Suhonen stated in Parnasso. "One could imagine that the gentle Schweitzer and the bright Russell, Linkola's former leading stars, had been replaced by the relentless Schopenhauer".

PEKKA Sundell and Pentti Linkola in Hirsala in the fall of 1977. Photo: Eero-Pekka Rislakki.

V. LOST (1975–1978)


On July 28, 1975, Linkola made the last entries in his fishing diary at Kissakulma: 3 salmon, 1 rotten salmon, 1 walleye, 1 pike, 13 whitefish, 1 rotten whitefish, 74 shells. Two weeks after that, on August 13, he opened a new page both in his diary and in his life in Hirsala on Porkkalanniemi in Kirkkonummi. After a long period of heat, the day was cool and the wind gusty. He lowered 20 bream, 4 perch and 41 pike nets into the sea.

Vierula was now deserted. He had believed that Aliisa and the daughters would also move to Hirsala with him, but on the day of the move, two cars drove up to the end of the path leading to Vierula, Kiminkinen's truck and Olli Klemola in his Saab. Linkola packed his fishing equipment and small personal belongings on the truck bed. Finally, he led the Tuli mare on board, for which he had made a stall between the bookshelf and the edge of the stage. "From there, it looked alertly around." The mood was low. The parents had told their daughter about their separation in the form that Aliisa and the children were moving to Helsinki.

"It was a terrible shock, it came as suddenly as it can," Leena Linkola recalls. Many of her classmates had moved, but Leena had told her friends that "at least we will never leave here". Mirjami was also down: "It was terrible to leave Kuhmois, but we all left at the same time, father to Porkkala, we to Helsinki. It was obvious that Leena and I went with mom." Aliisa was relieved to know that Pentti Linkola had another woman, Sirkka Kurki-Suonio, whom he had met at another Kurkijuhl. Aliisa wasn't bitter or angry, just tired: "Sirkka came to the rescue just in time."

Linkola tried to joke that there was so much to do in Vierula that one woman couldn't possibly get through it all. In his ideal, one woman would have been at home, cooking and taking care of the children, another would have accompanied him to work and fish, and with the third he would have gone to the theater and discussed literature. "That's what he said," Aliisa remembers.

When everything necessary was finally on board and Linkola made sure that the doors were locked, he got into the truck. Olli Klemola drove Aliisa and the girls to Sirka's empty apartment on Kuusitie in Helsinki. This one had left there a moment earlier with a moving load to Hirsala, he moved together with Linkola. Sirkka had felt guilty for messing up Pent's marriage and agreed with Aliisa that she would move with her daughters to her apartment on Kuusitie. Before the move, the women had met each other. Considering the circumstances, the meeting had been warm. Aliisa had said to Sirka the same way Penti's mother had said to her after she and Penti got married: "You get this burden." When Aliisa and Pentti broke up, Hilkka Linkola thanked Aliisa for taking care of Pentti. For the daughters, the father's move to a different address was only a relief. "We met Sirkka in Hirsala, he was excited to meet, but we had nothing against him. After all, he was a savior," Leena recalls. Mirjam thinks their parents should have divorced a long time ago.

SIRKKA Kurki-Suonio in autumn and summer 1979. Photo: Olavi Linkola.

For Pentti Linkola, leaving Kuhmois was difficult, even more difficult than the sale of Kariniemi in the history of his losses. He refused to accept the move as a divorce, he believed that Aliisa abandoned him. "When the money ran out, so did the love."

"In those years, the lives of many small farmers turned upside down. All over Finland, hundreds of thousands of small farmers were driven from their farms, some to Sweden, some to our factories, and a smaller part to Australia and America. It was like in the Soviet Union, where villages without perspective were emptied and people were moved to large centers." For the people of Kissakulam, the departure of the Linkolos came without advance warning. "The breakup between Aliisa and Penti was a surprise, a sad thing and we were worried about it," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls.

For the first three months, Olli Klemola became Linkola's fishing buddy at sea. When the salmon nets became bream, they tried hooks and sinkers. When the first catch was a pike over six kilograms, they looked at each other: should we stay here or stop? Big pikes were cheap, but there were plenty of them in the coastal waters of Hirsala. They had been allowed to grow in peace during the Soviet Union's lease of Porkkala, when fishing was prohibited in the area. Later in the fall, they started catching flounder. Linkola knew no days off. He had to pay child support for two children, new equipment, sea trout and other nets had to be bought and Olli Klemola had to be paid his share of the income. Only when the autumn storms started after the Kuhmoinen's potato picking trip did he pay off his sleep debts.

He had a contract with Helsinki-based Kalastajain Oy, formerly Åvall fish wholesaler. Once a day, Wickström's bus turned around a kilometer away at the corner of the Hirsala bridge and he didn't have to transport boxes of fish any further. Linkola only knew Åvalli by reputation. He had been a fair trader, in his time other traders had had to adapt to the fact that fishermen were not "slaves".

Publishing clerk Sirkka Kurki-Suonio traveled back and forth between Helsinki and Hirsala with the Manuscripts. The initial journey by bike, then two different buses to Hämeentie to Tamme's premises. When he returned home in the evening, there were fish waiting in the kitchen sink. "I had to learn how to cook fish dishes." "What have I gone to do", he thought, and he cried. In a weak moment, he called Aliisa and asked her to take Pent back, but Aliisa didn't care. Pentti tried to comfort Sirkka. "Once he had looked for a poem in a poetry collection and put it on my pillow. It was a beautiful and encouraging poem.”

Sirkka didn't go fishing with Pent, but sometimes on his days off he accompanied him on the boat. They lived in the former apartment of the butler of the Hirsala manor, in the building next to the manor's main building. The owners of the farm, Saurén's sisters, Brita and Ruth, lived in another side building. The yard was beautiful, there were old oaks and maples.

When Pentti came back from fishing in the evening, he looked from the boat to see if Sirkka had returned from work. If there were lights in the window, he knew he didn't have to come home empty-handed. Often, even after a fishing trip, they went out to sea together to listen to the sounds of eels. "We had a great time together because we had so much in common through literature," Sirkka recalls. "At Kurkijuhl, Helsinki's intelligentsia ran a bag race on ice - Pentti made them do almost anything. She was mesmerizing. I fell in love with his verbal talent. He was funny and a good story teller. He moved among the people and told the stories he heard. The content of the issues and the seriousness with which he spread his ideas also made an impression."

I'm coming to Helsinki next week, can we meet, Pentti wrote to Sirka from Vierula. Once he called and asked her to the opera to see Aulis Salline's Horseman and later the Red Line. Sirkka took Linkola Joonas Kokkonen to the opera about the life of Paavo Ruotsalainen, the leader of the awakening, The Last Temptations. Music was important to Sirka, he had played the piano and later in life sang in Tapanila's church choir. His father, Erkki Kurki-Suonio, had served as vicar of Iisalmi and later of Helsinki John's parish and assessor of Kuopio and Helsinki judicial chapters. After getting his doctorate in theology, he had studied hymn texts and melodies.

"Penti has the same absoluteness that my father had. Both were fierce. My father was a preacher and a preacher, just like Pentti."

My father's father, Ilmari Krohn, had been a composer. His spouse, Sirka's step-grandmother Hilja Theodolinda, from her family Haahti, was one of the most famous and prolific writers of the early 20th century. The best-known of Haahte's Finnish translations, the song Maa on nii kaunis was included in the hymn book in 1986. Hilja Haahte's mother was the first Finnish-language female writer, Theodolinda Hahnsson.

Sirka's father Erkki Kurki-Suonio and Pentti Linkola never met each other. Sirkka didn't want to, "but Pentti came to the church when my father was blessed in 1983". Sirka's mother didn't meet Pentti either. Sirkka wanted to keep the relationship a secret because she knew her parents would not approve of it. "I don't think that father, as a person of faith, would have abandoned us, but I didn't want to make him feel bad."

In Tamme, Sirkka Kurki-Suonio had been promoted to head of the domestic fiction department. Before that, he managed the children's and youth book department. He often went out in the evenings, and since Aliisa and the children lived in his Kuusitie home, he rented a small studio apartment in Haaga. Pentti also stayed there when he went to the movies or the theater with his daughters. The arrangement was temporary. After a year, Sirkka returned to her apartment on Kuusitie, and Aliisa and the girls moved in as tenants of Hilkka Linkola, Pentti Linkola's mother, in her new apartment on Sibeliuskenkatu.


When leaving Kuhmois, Linkola had felt that "life was at an end". He couldn't even imagine continuing in Vierula alone. Apart from Aliisa, she also lost her daughter, her home, her familiar circle of life, the fishing waters and the community of Kissakulma. The losses brought back to his mind all his previous losses and the grief multiplied. After getting some distance, Aliisa applied for an official divorce, but Linkola disputed the matter and the process dragged on. He sank deeper and deeper into the depths of his mind. When he saw what had been done to his forests, "chopped into stumps and turned into seedling thickets", he fell into despair. "Adversities came in bunches."

"It was not a question of short mood swings, but of real depression, where a person becomes incapacitated. It never came out of the blue, I always knew what it was about."

Sirkka Kurki-Suonio had never seen a deeply depressed person before and was startled. Linkola couldn't get out of bed in the morning and couldn't cook for herself. Sirka was in trouble: "Pentti was desperate and there was a wall in front of everything." He contacted Olavi Hildén, but he promised to come only when Pentti was in better shape. In the end, Sirkka found psychiatrist Katriina Kuunen, and Linkola went to talk to her. "I wasn't afraid of harming myself, but of dying because I couldn't eat or live at all." Kuusi ended up writing Linkola a referral to Lapinlahti Hospital. "He stated that my problems are so existential, not personal, that it is difficult to come up with any other medicine."

"One week, a little more than two, there was a rescue in the hospital. You didn't have to answer for the life that had gone to waste, but others did." Linkola believes that his recovery was based on institutional care. "Outpatient treatment would have meant abandonment." He listened to Sibelius, there were also crafts, but he didn't participate. He talked to the "hearty and wonderful" nurses. "The atmosphere was encouraging and made me forget the problems at home."

"Pentti recovered amazingly quickly. A week after he came to the hospital, he was already ringing birds in the bushes of the Lapinlahti hospital," Sirkka Kurki-Suonio recalls. Shortly after that, he was discharged, according to which he received medication.

Usually, moments of clairvoyance are brief flashes. For Linkola, depression meant a prolonged moment of clairvoyance. "I saw things clearly then, unreserved optimism was not confusing my thinking. Although there is no reason for optimism and a bright mind, it is in our nature. Only when depressed do you see that things are not good, but really bad. That's my definition of depression.”

Sirkka made sure that Pent had enough reading. Until then, he had declared new domestic fiction as his hobby, but now he also started reading translated novels, Isaac Bashevis Singer, György Konrád and later José Saramago, who became his favorite author. Brother Martti recommended James Joyce to him. Linkola also tried to read William Faulkner, but "I couldn't get into his text".

Olli Klemola had become Klemola's host and he didn't have time to go fishing as Linkola's friend after the first fall. This person applied for a rower with a newspaper ad in the Helsinki Region Ornithological Society's magazine in Tringa: "There will be blood, sweat and tears."

Linkola selected rowers based on applications. He usually hired young men who were birders and pacifists. They worked for a living wage, but received a commission for the catch and a place to stay. "Many professional fishermen fish alone and tear their nets when they catch on the bars and the bottom. I'd rather pay the rower than buy new nets."

"He was unbelievably fair," recalls Pekka Sundell, Linkola's rower in the fall of 1977. "Half of the proceeds from the sale of fish went to maintain the equipment, the rest was divided equally. Pentti was an equal wage earner with the rowers."

From May until well into July, Linkola did bird counts and ringing in Häme. Even though the family had broken up and moved from Vierula, the farm was still jointly owned by Aliisa and Penti. Linkola cultivated potatoes there and grew hay for the horse. Hilkka Linkola made a huge amount of juice from grapes. At the turn of July and August, Linkola lowered whitefish nets in Päijänte. Mirjami and Leena later spent their skiing holidays in Vierula. Aliisa studied to become an assistant nurse during her first winter in Helsinki and started going to work. Linkola met her daughter at her mother's house. The daughters were also worried about him. If only someone could help dad. I wish my father could get treatment, Mirjami wrote in her diary. He visited his father in Hirsala."I realized that father really didn't want a divorce."

After coming home from the hospital, Linkola traveled to Kissakulma to hunt vultures. "Everything was not right," but he persevered until the "long-simmering collapse" got hold of him. Forest machines had blocked Vierula's yard road and he had to escape by rowing to Kuhmois and from there by bus to Helsinki. Sirkka was abroad on a business trip and neither mother nor Airaka were at home. "I would have relied on them." In the end, he went to Lapinlahti Hospital on his own, and as a former patient, he was admitted without a referral.

"I received too much medication." It backfired at night when he went to the bathroom in the medicine cabinet - he fell and hit his head. The night nurse found him lying unconscious on the tiled floor and he was transported by ambulance to Meilahti Hospital. He had a fractured skull. In the beginning, Linkola's legs could not support her, and she had to move around in a wheelchair. The strong "Amazonian nurses" bathed him. Linkola saw the comical nature of the situation: "The women threw me on the washboard first on my stomach and washed my back, then they turned me on my back and quickly washed my front."

Linkola's friends Ilkka Stén and Erkka Paavolainen, sister and mother visited him in the hospital. He had a long conversation with Risto Pelkonen. His zest for life was basic reading. "There was a rumor in Kissakulma that Pentti had killed himself," Seppo Unnaslahti recalls, but after a few days it became clear that the rumor was not true. "He was strong in his opinions, and I thought myself at first that there might be some truth to the rumor."

MIRJAMI Linkola.

From the hospital in Meilahti, Linkola returned to Lapinlahti for another week and from there to recuperate at Sirka's in Kuusitie. He had never had a headache before, but now the pain was unbearable. When the dogs barked outside at night, the pain became unbearable. "There were moments when taking my own life seemed like an option." Once he even climbed to the upper balcony of the house with the intention of jumping, but quickly returned. The second time he looked at Sirka's seventh floor window, and wondered if he could get down from it, but "the life force was stronger than death". Eventually the pain eased and the only permanent damage was the breaking of the olfactory string. "I no longer have a sense of smell. I can no longer smell the smell of the storm or the siren. For a nature lover, that's a disadvantage, because I remember the smells."

Linkola did not talk about his depression to his friends. "Pena is not a trusting sort. Or maybe it's easier for him to talk to women like men in general. He just complained, endlessly and about everything," Pekka Tarkka recalls. Hilkka Linkola was worried about her son, she hoped in her letter in the summer of 1977 that he would have the patience to stop, even for a moment: My dear son, haavanlehti. … Why are you always in a hurry? Already at the age of 2, you were crying in the toilet when "even this kind of thing takes so much time". Then you fell so passionately first into building brick towers, then into playing with my postcards – and then gradually into the little cars you drew (…) and further into newspaper deliveries, stamps, etc. Until the birds came. And you were always in a hurry, hard to stop, to meet the demands of everyday life. As a man of time - well, you know your own rush. You would really deserve a proper vacation, not even strenuous trips, which are probably a vacation for your soul, but not for your body. Can't you imagine some kind of cultural vacation, sleeping for a long time, regular good meals, literature, concerts, maybe some so-called sights: art, museums, theater in peace, not just in hasty sips? I would offer the external setting for this, i.e. my home. Of course, from my own point of view, I would be happy to have conversations with you, but you could be quiet...

Later, Linkola went to the Deacon Institute in Helsinki to find out what it would cost to live there, but even if she had only lived there for the summers, it would have been too expensive. "Winter always goes when all the monsters are under the snow." The institution's psychiatrist stated that Linkola had been given too strong drugs in Lapinlahti, and that it was a treatment error, but he could not bring himself to file a complaint.

That autumn, Linkola had two rowers. He had forgotten that he had already hired one, Jokke Turunen, when Pekka Sundell reached him from Sirkka Kurki-Suonio and Linkola washed him too. There was enough work for all three. The young people were at sea with Linkola during the day, and the one who stayed at home cleaned the nets of kelp for the next morning. They worked 10-12 hour days.

Linkola kept accurate records of his expenses and income. In the autumn fishing season of 1975, he earned 3.13 marks per hour, 1820 working hours were accumulated during four and a half months. The spring season of 1976 was even better: 1547 working hours and hourly earnings of 7.33 marks. It was usually late in the evening when they returned from the sea. Linkola had nets in the waters of Hommanskär, Bredskär and Brändö. He avoided going to the open sea and did not tend to fish for herring.

When Sirkka was not at home, the men ate cold food for dinner, and refueled themselves in the morning with "Linkola's special", oatmeal mixed with cold water or milk and jam. At sea, Linkola popped raw herring into his mouth. Twice or three times during the autumn they heated the sauna. Talking about Linkola was a waste of time, he'd rather read that time. In the sauna, Sundell watched Linkola. "You rarely see such a wonderful body of a working man. The muscles had been acquired at work and not by working out in the gym. When he grabbed the oars, the boat jumped into motion." Sundell was active in nature conservation organizations and knew Linkola from his past based on his writings. "He was a surprise. The picture I formed based on the writings did not correspond to reality. He is a wonderful person, knows how to take others into consideration." Many strangers, familiar and less familiar, still came to Linkola's place, and he received them in the net shed, where the men sorted out the nets. "He asked about the stranger's work and hobbies and quickly entered the other's world. Everyone got the feeling that the conversations with him were meaningful," Sundell recalls. Old Åke, the manor's former butler, who is now retired, also went to talk with Linkola. They talked about fishing, because Åke had also fished in his time as a farmer. Sundell tested Linkola on worldview questions. "The discussions were good as long as they didn't talk about particularly difficult topics, such as the use of violence as a means of influencing society." That's where Sundell disagreed with Linkola. From time to time, the peaceful life of the manor was interrupted by the singer's daughter Carola, who visited her parents Johan and Kristina Standertskjöld. He ran in the park and called his little terrier who followed at his heels. "Johan Standertskjöld used to say that my daughter, she is crazy, but she had a very beautiful voice."

Linkola recovered slowly. Autumn was mentally difficult for him, but it did not affect his work efficiency. "His work ethic was unbeatable. Rather, depression was visible in his thinking," Sundell remembers. "Linkola blamed women both in his speeches and in his writings. He generalized his personal experiences in an unvarnished way." The presence of the cricket alleviated Linkola's symptoms. "Sirkka brought lightness to our entire male community with his personality. When he was there, the atmosphere was different. Sirkka is good-natured, that was a characteristic he and Pent shared." The next time Sundell met Linkola was in the fall of 1981, when Eero-Pekka Rislakki wrote a report about their fishing trip in the magazine Kansainällinen sotahuuto, which appeared only once and was edited by Dan Steinbock. In the story, Linkola complains about people's lack of courage - there was even more opportunism. "I myself am a good example of that. I've never dared anything real. I just have this wheezing fishing. I'm going to cry quietly here and die."

After more than a year's break from writing, in the fall of 1977, Linkola once again gave the readers of Suomen Kuvalehti something to think about. He wanted to comfort his "loser brothers", but also those whose sense of self-worth forbade them to reveal themselves. "There has been a lot of discussion about eradicating death from sight in today's society. In the same way, real despair is pushed aside, the more there is of it. How many people even admit to crying? How many people even admit to their friends that they cry? Who can say how much we cry in Finland? I'm signing up to guess: hundreds of liters of grown people's tears every day." In the same article, Linkola stated that he had failed in his life, "100% as a nature lover, as an entrepreneur of social influence (a lot of wood, no fluff), as a writer, lecturer, dreamer - and finally, inexorably also in his profession and private life".

Of course, he too had "fumbled" with his confession, whether to tell or not, but after reading the memoirs of the Hungarian poet László Nagy, he had realized that he was not the only one to blame for his depression, but the reasons were in the reality surrounding him. Nagy's sentences "My nerves were shaken, giving birth to ominous thoughts. At first I naively believed that the fault was in me, then it turned out that it is outside, in reality” made him make up his mind; he would tell everything, he would become a "loser's advocate".

The winners' statement that we are living in a period of transition, with all the problems associated with adolescence, only raised ironic questions in Linkola: "Transition period - for what? For the better? In which area of life can that better future be imagined? Are there a lot of unused natural resources waiting? Is there a lot of living space and spaciousness? Is a new wave of love and harmony in human relationships dawning? Or is there perhaps an exciting rise in the area of culture? How many composers greater than Sibelius, master writers greater than Kive, Haanpää and Sillanpää are coming?" he wrote in Suomen Kuvalehti. His answer was disconsolate: "Yes, this is a transitional period—toward final wretchedness and strangulation, toward hell."


Hilkka Linkola was supposed to visit her son in Hirsala at the beginning of 1978, but her brother Pyry prevented the trip. He would have liked to talk to Pent, but the letters went. I wish you a BETTER YEAR 1978 than 1977 with all my heart! Well, my boy Pombö, I must try to approach you again with a letter; it has helped this autumn: at least you have called - I think you even visited once after receiving my letter. (…) Say warm greetings to Sirka; I'm happy he's there. As I already told you: yes, your men's various relationships are okay compared to us female polos!

It was only in her next letter that Hilkka Linkola got to the issue that was pressing her, the article in Suomen Kuvalehti about Pent's women. Mother didn't like the writing, she had also received feedback from her friends. My dear boy. Lovely morning sun, fresh gentle air, quite calm too. But you remember what the people say: the morning's brown, the day's p----. Perfect for my pessimistic son. (…) Your pessimistic writing in the picture magazine made me very happy. Namely because you stopped writing again. So you are refreshed after your illness. It takes strength to be angry (I've had too little of that strength all my life; even my older brother scolded me for it!) and it takes strength to write. Your pessimism is so familiar to me that I couldn't bear to cry. (…) Then a question for you: where would you like the wheel of time to stop?

(…) You must have read Ahon Papi's daughter, where the mother says that it is already a great happiness if you can tolerate the man you are forced to marry. Hilkka Linkola had also waded through Simone de Beauvoir's memoirs in the original language, and found in them things in favor of women's liberation. He was particularly impressed by the fact that Beauvoir had been in Paris to establish a women's shelter, where women could escape the cruelty, abuse, and sexual violence of their husbands, fathers, brothers, and lovers at all hours of the day. So, we don't understand the women's movement. Now stand and "vain con amóre" Mother H.

The spirit of the times had changed, and even Pentti Linkola's old mother had understood it. People had become more liberal, and there had been significant improvements in the position of women in particular, but Linkola found it difficult to endure any kind of change. He was a man not dictated by women. Raised by women as it was, his mother, grandmother, aunts, nanny, sister. Two years passed, and she accused women who follow the spirit of the times in her Suomen Kuvalehti article, Enlightened liberality: "Sexual liberation and the liberation of women are huge mistakes. They break the family, which is the only true institution of human intimacy. (…) In place of lasting, lifelong relationships is freedom and change, in other words, nerve-wracking restlessness, the repeated pain of contact breaks – and mostly humming loneliness and crying.” It seemed to Linkola that Finland was full of lonely fathers separated from their children. "The wife has listened to the advice of the times, set out to fulfill herself, deprived herself of the children and the home with the support of society - the husband has a few years and months of suffering in front of him in the midst of insurmountable maintenance payments and temporary housing, an alcoholic sanatorium or a mental hospital." Linkola understood that all loser men could not take part in the social discussion and instead curled up in themselves, but he considered it his duty.

Martti Linkola was also aware of his brother's prejudices, but for reasons of mental hygiene, he did not want to go deep into the other's suffering in his letters. He wrote to his brother that he had heard from Sirka about various fingers of fate, that is, your extra misfortunes, but since they do not change by talking, I will not interfere with them.

Life in Hirsala felt temporary to Linkola from the beginning. He didn't feel like home and didn't feel comfortable there. Still, he would have fished there maybe even longer, but the "sink rich grinder" bought the manor's fishing waters and islands. Fishing gear was also stolen from him, tried secretly, and even destroyed. The county government of Uusimaa had granted him police powers to monitor order and security in the land and water areas of the Hirsala manor for two years starting in April 1976, and sometimes he guarded his fishing gear at night. "There was an outdoor recreation area of the city of Helsinki nearby and gangsters used to hang out there." Even the ice men did not always distinguish a stranger's fishing gear from their own.

Once when Linkola was in Helsinki, Pekka Sundell and his friend saw an unknown boat crew with its nets. They rowed to the spot and pulled the boat ashore, whereupon one of the men hit Sundell's friend on the head with an oar so that the oar broke. One of the men pushed Sundell's head under the water, but he managed to save himself and call an ambulance and the police. The case went to court, but Sundell did not identify the suspects with certainty.

In the summer of 1978, Linkola toured the coast looking for a new fishing spot alternately with Pekka Tarka and Erkka Paavolainen, without success. He also had the help of experts familiar with the archipelago, fisheries officials, department heads of ministries, you name it, but even though they bifurcated the coast from Kotka to Turku, they could not find a large enough fishing area. "Trade unions and large companies had rented water bodies to their members or employees as recreation areas."

On the first day of July 1978, Linkola knocked on his friend Olli Klemola's door on the shore of Lake Mallasvesi. Klemola heated up the smoke sauna, and the men began to consider different options. Until then, Linkola had believed that he would still move back to Vierula, with Aliisa. He had contested the divorce, but the court's decision was unequivocal: the divorce was official. "I listened and brought up my own views," Klemola recalls. "Purchasing a piece of land on the shore of Vanaja in Ritvala came up as a viable option," but Linkola rejected the idea. It was difficult for him to see that the little wooden shed of his youth, which had served as a base and warehouse for his birding trips, his summer residence, would now be turned into a field of work. "We continued to go through the facts and existing obstacles. If Linkola were to move to Ritvala, he would have to build new buildings and he was not a practical person. But buying fishing waters was easy in Vanaja."

When the smoke sauna was ready after twelve hours, the men closed themselves in "black hell", and Linkola made his decision. "Moving to Sääksmäki was the last emergency solution."

The mother was waiting for a letter from her son: My son Pentti, I haven't heard anything from you here at the mother nest lately, but I hope as an incurable optimist that inga Nyheter = goda nyheter...

KITTILÄN in Särestöniemi 1982. Photo: Juha Saltevo.

VI. RETURN (1978–1985)


The landscapes were familiar. He knew the woods and their trees, or what was left of them. The beaches and the stones on the beaches were also vivid in his mind. A good kilometer away was the paradise of his childhood, Kariniemi, and half way there was the base of his youth birding trips, a small hut he had built on a piece of land he rented from the old master of Uotila. Now he bought a hectare of land for a house from the young owner of Uotila, a little forest and a little field. The Lehtimäki local road ran close to the plot, and the village's shared beach was not far away either. He took his boat there.

He looked at the aquifer. "Vanajanselkä is not a very scenic lake. It's a lowland, not islands. Only the back of Säaksmäki has some high cliffs. The biggest ridge, Tyrvännön's Hattula region, is very low and rocky on the beaches. There are many more beautiful places in Pälkänevedi. For example, Jouttesselki has absolutely wonderful landscapes. But Vanajanselkä is rich in birds in all its corners. The lake is beautiful because of the birds."

PEKKA Tarka's family in the village. "Ulla showing Lydia. Showing him the shady forest." From the guest book on 6 April 1985. Reku-runa, Pentti Linkola, Ulla and Pekka Tarkka.

It took two months to get a building permit, but after that things started to happen. Two, sometimes even three local carpenters were building a house. Olli Klemola participated in the construction work whenever he had time from his own work, and literary editor Vesa Karonen, the "talkoo man", Linkola's acquaintance through Pekka Tarka, did the groundwork. Linkola painted the outer liter with red clay. "It was the only thing I knew how to do." In early autumn, he lived in a tent at a construction site, but soon moved to his cooled bird base. The house, cellar and well were completed in two months. At the beginning of November 1978, he got under his own roof.

Pekka Tarka Linkola wrote that he had chosen barbarism. "Even though this is an unusual countryside, it is still close to culture. Säaksmäki's church village is an artist's paradise."

Sirkka moved from Hirsala back to Helsinki. The commute from Ritvala would have been too long, practically impossible, but he often came to Pent's for the weekend. During Sirka's summer vacations, they went on long bike trips, first in Finland and later in different parts of Europe. For Linkola, the trips were mental health care. "In the rest of Europe, the trees are upright and not in a horizontal position like in Finland", but in the "debt prison" of Sääksmäki's first years, he had no money to travel. And not really strong either.

He took out a regular bank loan for the construction. "Eighty thousand marks, I was up to my ears in debt." With Aliisa's consent, Vierula acted as collateral. Linkola applied for a low-interest loan to buy new fishing equipment, "for the first time in my life I tried to benefit from society". The decision was positive, but the money had been spent by the end of that year. Sirkka would have liked running water, but it's pointless from Linkola, after all, he had a well.

Fishing permits were arranged based on familiarity. In Vanaja, fishermen pay annual rent for their fishing right and it is not tied to the number of catches. However, the best winter fishing waters are on the side of the neighboring fishing municipality Lahine, where pike spend the winter in its depths. After long negotiations, Linkola got permission for 60 networks there.

Vanaja is one of Finland's oldest professional fishing waters. Back in the 1960s, sixty professional fishing families lived on the shores and islands of the lake, and when Linkola started 14. However, only half of them were full-time fishermen. In the old days, every beach dweller also had shallow pike fishing rods in the spring at the bottom of the bay, when the pike came to the shore to spawn, but Linkola did not become a pike fisherman. "It's just as bad."

Old Eklundin Aatto, whom Linkola knew from childhood, fished with him for a few more years. On his bird-counting trips, he had kept his boat on its shore. Ritvala's fishermen Uuno Heritty and Veijo Henriksson were also old acquaintances, in whose company he enjoyed himself. After moving to his new home, he organized a housewarming party for his fisherman friends and villagers in his two-room, 50-square-meter house, painted imperial yellow, in Vähä-Uotila. The following spring, he planted 6 apple trees and 18 currant bushes in the yard.

In Kuhmoinen, Linkola had initially had difficulties with the villagers, not the immediate neighbors, but no one had destroyed his nets there. In Porkkala, his nets had been destroyed and stolen. In Säaksmäki, some of the villagers were of the opinion that Linkola had first emptied Päijänne of fish and would now also empty Vanaja. "The same people updated that I only fish with a rowboat and in the winter with a horse and not with a snowmobile. However, they were of the opinion that with these games I will catch so many fish that Vanaja will be empty."

In the beginning, Linkola transported the fish to the bus using his bike's luggage rack, just like in Kuhmoinen, but there were too many fish here for a bicycle ride. The distance was too much, twelve kilometers in each direction, and both the fisherman and the horse already had a long day's work. Linkola had to give up two principles that were important to him: buying a car and running electricity to his house - because of the car. "Purchasing the car was a huge concession." He had used the car as a symbol of evil in his writings, it was the worst user of natural resources, and now the devil was standing in his yard. "But I didn't use the car for anything other than transporting fish."

The Aladdin lamp in the room was allowed to give way to electric lamps, even though "their light is miserable compared to an oil lamp". When his mother brought him an electric heater, he carried it to the storeroom. That was the limit. He had an oven and a stove that provided heat quickly. It would have been easy to run the water lines at the same time as the electricity, but Sirkka couldn't get his way through. He dragged Pent's dirty laundry to Helsinki to be washed by bus. Hilkka Linkola also worked as her son's laundress. At the same time, he mended her clothes and ironed her socks. "Trust Sirka too, you'll get your laundry clean," Sirka's relatives told Linkola in their Christmas card.

Before purchasing the car, Linkola had attended a driving school. "Fortunately, the inspection engineer was a passionate fisherman and we talked about the muikunkudu the whole drive and he didn't pay attention to my driving. At Valkeakoski, I always turned in the wrong direction, but I got a driver's license." He had three hours to buy the car, but less would have been enough. Valkeakoski had only one van for sale, an old Toyota Hiace, and he bought it.

Car man Linkola did not come. He had the car for five or six years, early in the morning he used it to take the fish to the bus, which transported them to a fish wholesaler in Helsinki. During those years, he only passed another car once, and that too was standing on the side of the road in Park. “Usually I waited for the car to start and I didn't have to pass it. I was always scared when I drove." The fear was justified, because Linkola suddenly fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a ditch.

In the end, he nervously got into the car, "it was a terrible wreck". Once Pekka Tarkka met him kicking the engine of his car in his yard. The car hadn't started, but when Tarkka pulled it onto the road, it roared into motion on the downhill. The battery had run out.

In the end, Linkola found a taxi that handled the transport of the fish at a negotiated price. "I rented a van and got two and a half sacks of oats for the horse. One of the happiest moments of my life was when the back of the van disappeared from sight. Technology has never brought happiness to mankind."

The Hiace consumed 15 liters of fuel per hundred kilometers, and Linkola calculated that even though he paid a taxi to transport the fish, he got by with a third of what it cost him to keep his own car – now that it didn't take time to charter the fish, he could leave for the lake an hour earlier.

Surviving the bank loan seemed unlikely and the initial uncertainty increased Linkola's restlessness, but he fished as efficiently as he could. During his years in Hirsala, waste water from the Valkeakoski paper mills had entered the waterway and the dirty water had flowed with the current under the Sääksmäki bridges into Vanavavete. The big back of the lake smelled like lye and dead fish were floating everywhere. The problem was solved when the gates of Lempäälä were opened and compressors were installed under the bridges of Sääksmäki to circulate the water so that the sewage could no longer spoil Vanaja. Now Vanajanselkä was clean.

At the same time, the salt pulse of the North Sea into the Baltic Sea gave birth to a huge "cod age group", which wiped out zander and perch from the Gulf of Finland. The fishermen of the archipelago stopped fishing for walleye and switched to cod, and the price of inland walleye remained good in Helsinki.

"We have to thank the cod. Without it, I wouldn't be here now. Kuha produced so much that I was able to pay off my debt - in the end ahead of schedule." Cod had already been a problem in Linkola's last year in Hirsala. "Even though the cod is normally attached to the lower part of the net, it spins the net into one rope when it starts to be pulled up." In Vanajavesi, his problem was junk fish.

On the first day of December 1978, Linkola laid the first four nets in Vanajanselä with his friend Juhani Tallinen. Tallinen was half farmer and half bus driver. He had a farm 15 kilometers from Vähä-Uotila on the shore of Lake Vekurinjärvi. Vanaja had frozen far back only the night before, but they went onto the ice after the icemen. The frosts continued and there was hardly any snow - the best netting conditions for years, maybe ever, Linkola wrote in his fishing notebook.

Then the accidents started: Olli Klemola had a seizure on a fishing trip, and Linkola injured his thumb. On Christmas day, when he had already caught more than 200 nets, a nail came off his thumb and his right foot was frostbitten. There was also too much fish, 107 pikeperch, 76.5 kilos. "Pena's foot was frostbitten because he had accidentally put his shoes on the wrong feet in the morning," Olli Klemola remembers. Linkola slept with the help of a sleeping pill and his awakening was delayed.


Hilkka Linkola visited Vähä-Uotila during Christmas. I had a great time, he thanked his son in his letter. The heart was just convulsed by Your superhuman bravado. After all, a person should rest, sleep, relax! Doctor of Technology Eero Paloheimo was one of Linkola's first guests. He had jumped on board with a familiar journalist after hearing who he was going to interview. Paloheimo wanted to meet a man who had similar ideas about the state of the world as he did. Linkola knew Paloheimo based on this book, Maailma: preliminary sketch, published the previous year.

"I was positively surprised. Based on Pent's writings, I expected to meet a gloomy man, but he turned out to be a much funnier guy." The men sat at the table in the living room for a long time. "The demand increases when engineers also start to address issues related to nature conservation," Linkola stated. They agreed on the perniciousness of population growth, but differed on the importance of indigenous peoples. "Pentti was of the opinion that they are the same gang of thugs as we are: ever since man invented the stone axe, it has destroyed the world." Paloheimo explained to Linkola that man had made his own tools, which had become more complicated all the time, and that now we are at a stage where the tool, i.e. the entire technology, must be changed in such a way that it does not cause great damage to future generations. Linkola did not agree to discuss the technology. Paloheimo, on the other hand, refused to believe that people would agree to live a Linkola-like life in other than exceptional circumstances. Once Paloheimo asked Sirkka Kurki-Suonio why Pentti wanted to live and live so primitively. "Sirkka replied that it was a certain type of challenging nature. One winter, the freezing temperatures approached 40° degrees, but Pentti continued to visit the nets. I know from experience that even 15–20 degrees is hard, because you have to remove the fish with your bare hands and the only way to warm your hands is to push them into the opening. Then I thought that Sirka's answer was correct, Pena likes to take on the challenges of nature. It is also a logical consequence of his thinking. If you think that humans are a disease of the earth, as Linkola and I are, you have to live under nature's conditions as if you were a part of nature yourself. Otherwise, you will lose your credibility.”

The disagreements did not affect the men's relationship. Once they were working together in the forest: "Of course, the trees had to be sawed with a hacksaw and the owls pulled by a horse. When the horse neighed, Pena had terrible fits of rage, cursing and kicking it in the ankles and threatening the sausage factory. He showed the horse who was the master. But overall, he had a very caring and friendly relationship with his horse. Pena had a love-hate relationship with the car." He kept it in the second stall of the horse stable during the winter, and in the spring, when the weather warmed up, the car had sunk to the ground halfway up the tires. After returning from the forest work, Paloheimo and Linkola tried to pull the car out of the stable with the help of a horse, but when it failed, "Pena said that a stupid vehicle like a car needs nothing more than an iron bar on its side. In his opinion, the car was exceptionally poorly designed if it sank into its own garage."

Once, when going on a birding trip, an authority dispute arose between Linkola and Paloheimo. Paloheimo had bought beer, bread and sausage for dinner, but Linkola had cooked a pot of pea soup and wanted to load the lidless soup pot into the trunk of Paloheimo's new car. The men discussed the matter for a long time, "Pena thought the car was poorly designed and I was a coward, but when he was delivering his errands, I took the cover to cover the boiler."

They toured the small lakes in a boat loaned by Linkola without permission, counted the birds' nests and the eggs in them, and Linkola recorded the information in his notebook and compared them with his observations from previous years. When they couldn't row in the thick reeds, they rowed with oars and sang the song of the Volga ferrymen as loud as they could at Paloheimo's suggestion. The trip lasted three days. They slept in their own tents and when Paloheimo drank beer in the evening, Linkola opened a can of milk. "I've stayed the night at Pena's many times, we've sat and drank wine because Pena doesn't drink beer. Basically, Pena is very sensitive - she is good at reading people's non-verbal messages. And you can talk about anything with him, he is not ashamed to talk about even difficult things. Still, he doesn't trust himself easily, or maybe to women."


When the spring fishing season was at its best, a group of nature conservationists gathered at Koijärvi on April 21, 1979. Linkola followed the course of events in newspapers and on the radio. Lintujärvi had already partially grown over in the 1960s, and the landowners had applied to the court for permission to drain it completely, but the permission decision was delayed, and they began to deepen the lake's drainage ditch on their own accord. Word of the drainage works spread, and conservationists took countermeasures. They built a dam in their ditch, and when the landowners brought bulldozers to demolish the dam, they chained themselves to them. The police forcefully separated the protesters and blew up the dam together with the contractor, but conservationists built new barriers. Linkola was just visiting Koijärvi, he didn't have the chance to stay because of his busy fishing schedule, "and I wasn't even asked". Even his visit was enough for conservationists. "It was an important spiritual support for us", Pekka Sundell recalls.

In Linkola's opinion, the patrons should have continued to build the dam. "He would also have supported tougher measures, but we were under constant observation," Sundell states. "Men from the security police visited the place repeatedly, we were filmed, we couldn't take any risks. Someone wanted to put sugar in the tank of the tractor, some had cannabis and alcohol, but we directed them outside the camp. We had decided that violence or even offensive words would not be used." One evening, a large drunken man with a knife burst into the protectors' camp. In addition to Sundell, there were 14 activists in the camp at that time. "When a man tried to separate one of us from the group, we formed a protective wall around him. If we had been provoked, it could have gone badly for us."

The conservationists received fines. After the verdict was pronounced, they gathered for dinner at the Kappel restaurant in Helsinki, "the main dish was Linkola's walleye."

Koijärvi went down in history because conservationists took direct action there for the first time and Koijärvi's leading figures, Ville Komsi and Osmo Soininvaara, rose to the top of the green movement. Linkola was impressed by the activities of the people of Koijärvi, but not completely satisfied: "There were not as many naturalists and ornithologists in Koijärvi as there could have been. The operation was in the hands of red-green tolerance."


Linkola's second collection of writings from Toisinajattelija's diary was published in the late autumn of 1979. In the sleepless hours of the morning, he had chosen 31 of his newspaper writings from the last ten years, mainly from the Kuhmoinen era. Although most of the texts were previously published, few knew them from before. Linkola's message had hardened to the eyes since the previous book. The work begins with the presentations he left out of his first collection at the Nature Association's winter days in 1968 and 1970. Personal sacrifices are needed. Without them, everything spins with its former weight towards disaster, he had agitated the young audience of the winter days of 1970.

Too many children were born, the population grew at an uncontrollable rate, and there wouldn't be enough food and living space for everyone. Therefore, reproduction had to be limited, perhaps very strongly. Population overgrowth leads faster than any other single thing towards an eco-catastrophe, he repeated.

Linkola looked at the world purely through the eyes of a biologist. To him, man was just another animal among animals, and a rather boring animal at that: "Human inheritance lacks the ability to curb production and reduce consumption. It is simply not human to work with austerity flames, and that is the path to destruction." For him, the diversity of living nature, biodiversity, was many times more valuable than the lives of endless human masses. "The faster we get rid of all of humanity, the more other species can be saved alive on Earth. That's why it might be better to speed up rather than slow down the current catastrophic development."

Equality and democracy in Finland, it was impossible for many to accept his idea about the destructiveness of economic equality. In his opinion, environmental damage is greater the more evenly wealth is distributed. "The Earth can withstand a few pohatas Fun boats and swimming pools, but not the high standard of living of the broad population," he wrote and declared himself a supporter of income inequality. He announced that he wanted to secure the privileges of ´20 families´ with a special license. Because the people did not understand their own best interests, but grabbed more stuff and accelerated the eco-catastrophe, he could not be a democrat as an ecologist. In his opinion, the people needed strong leaders who could stand against the people if necessary.

It was too much. Linkola was an elitist and did not hide it.

The concluding essay of the collection of writings, Uuunee worldview, became a topic of conversation for years. In it, he stated that he believed that only an ecological, total revolution could save the earth, because none of the words seemed to be getting through. The selection had favored the most technologically advanced, industrious, and greediest ghouls, and it was clear that they considered those who warned of eco-disaster to be nothing more than obnoxious. "A person only listens to what he wants to hear. Even Hitler came to power only because he proclaimed the excellence of his own people and the praise of others, promised prosperity for himself, (...) destruction for others." Linkola believed that only the most stubborn would succeed even in the world of the end times; "man would become a wolf to man, and the world hard and cold. In such a world, love of neighbor had to be limited to one's own family circle, and those worried about population overgrowth had to harden their hearts when they heard about the starvation of Biafra's children. The Red Cross with its blankets and tents will definitely be missing from that future." He was sure that some kind of "world stripped of the syrup of ethics is the future, but as long as technology is able to extort the last natural resources enough to keep the iron-fisted administration and police force standing, everything is speculation".

A sense of reality is a rare human quality, he wrote, but there are even fewer people who risk their lives and lives for humanity without the support of the masses. He had recommended the use of violence in nature conservation as early as 1970 at the Nature Union's winter days, and in 1973 he had told his young listeners that he admired the Arab terrorists who performed at the Munich Olympics. In the end, anything that merely delayed the final destruction was worth it to him. On the other hand, the example of the German terrorist duo Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof was, in his opinion, "the most daring that human history offers. They will still be the guiding stars of humanity, not Jesus of Nazareth and not Albert Schweitzer". Linkola also dedicated his book to them, "to their absoluteness and to their few brothers-in-arms".

The raising of Baader and Meinhof as models caused a huge uproar. At the press conference organized by the publisher after the publication of the work, Linkola clarified the part of his book that had sparked discussion: both Baader and Meinhof represented the university intelligentsia, they had explained and talked about their time, but realized that it had no effect. After that, they had risked everything, killed several industrial leaders and eventually themselves, if not killed in prison. Linkola did not see their struggle as a class struggle because they did not kill right-wing politicians but industrial bosses.

Two years later, Linkola appeared even more defiant in his article in Suomen Kuvalehti Suojele elämää - even with violence. He hoped that elite groups even more skilled than Baader-Meinhof would be born, who would be able to save even a million by sacrificing perhaps billions of people.

Linkola was called a madman, a Nazi, an eco-terrorist and an eco-fascist. Huvudstadsbladet's Pia Ingström went the furthest, who stated in her book review that "it is kindest, for all parties involved, to consider him crazy". Even those who accepted Linkola's conclusions distanced themselves from his violent line. Ilta-Sanomie's Martti Niemi stated that Linkola had made a complete turn: "The pacifist of the 1960s had become the eco-terrorist of the 1980s." For Osmo Lahdenperä of the new Finland, the book was proof that a nature conservationist can become a misanthrope. Kansan Uutisten's Jukka Parkkari defined Linkola as a nature conservationist who wanted to destroy man.

Many of Linkola's friends and supporters redefined their position on him at that time. Irma Kerppola, a doctor and writer, a friend from school years, in her article for Suomen Kuvalehti, wished that she would have kept quiet about the issues she brought up in her book, "so that young people wouldn't get scared or depressed". Just half a year earlier, Kerppola had elevated Linkola to a nature god in his book The Voice of Ihmisen: "Living in intimate contact with plants and animals, he has transformed into a nature spirit, an ancient Finnish pagan god of nature, a bird god, a fish god." But now... Linkola replied that he thought he was depressed when he was like Kerppola, but in the end "respect for people and humanity" had won him over. "I don't accept as worthy of a person a blind drive towards destruction, an optimist's dull grin on the corner of his mouth: yes, this will still turn for the better... Such a person is not a person, but a slaughter."

At that time, Jukka Pakkanen also distanced himself from his idol's thinking. He announced in an interview with Kotiliede that he does not accept the activities of terrorists. Even Risto Pelkonen, who followed his old friend's life from the sidelines, found it difficult to accept his most extreme positions. "Once I wrote to Pent that such talks are quite inhumane, but he replied that that was the intention. Afterwards, I've thought about how much it is seriously thought out and how much there is bitterness related to the death of my father and the failure of my own life and the pursuit of publicity, but I can't answer that." The contact between Pekka Tarka and Pentti Linkola also became less frequent. "I didn't accept his hard thinking, but it was never discussed. The whole thing was kept quiet and twisted."

Linkola gained understanding from among the intelligentsia. In Dan Steinbock's opinion, Linkola was hugely ahead of others in terms of time when talking about the irrationality of economic growth. "Economic growth and flamboyant consumption are considered progressive because they keep money circulating, but they lead to the destruction of the human species, even Hitler and Stalin swore by the name of progress. Therefore, progress is actually regression," Steinbock wrote. But the fact that Linkola "in his opposition to totalitarianism ended up promoting totalitarianism, a power stronger than the Nazis and did not distinguish between organizations that use terror as a weapon", he did not accept either.

Anto Leikola, who was immersed in Linkola's thinking, saw double moralism in the speeches of his critics and proclaimed intellectual honesty in his writing Parnasso. He was almost amazed when he read Linkola, when he realized how the ideas of democracy and equality had gained a dominant place in Finland after the wars, and they were not allowed to be questioned. "When Linkola rejected them as non-biological, because they burden nature, he was accused of being a fascist." Leikolakin believed that "life recovers more easily from the Cadillac of one mountaineer than from the Volkswagens of a hundred workers", "to be intellectually honest". He found many other things in the book that "few people dare to admit publicly": "We ordinary, virtuous people show our sympathy to the starving by updating why no one does anything, perhaps by sending a hundred or two to the collection". In practice, in Leikola's opinion, our attitude is the same as Linkola's, without his harsh honesty. "Of course, there would be enough food and money in the world at any time for a few million Kampusians, but there is no more room in the world for the tens and hundreds of millions of children that are born into the world every year."

Leikola would also correct misunderstandings related to Linkola. Linkola had not lost his mind: "He can only be called crazy by someone who, in general, would like to drive critics of the system's foundations to the insane asylum." He wasn't a cynic either: "If Linkola were a cynic, he would let things go and be content with the part of an observer. But (...) his text speaks of human need and suffering." Although Leikolaka did not believe that the world would be run more ecologically under the control of people like Baader and Meinhof, he urged the readers to think about whether Baader and Meinhof's crimes against nature and fellow human beings were much greater than those of many respected heads of state, prime ministers and CEOs.

Helsingin Sanomat's columnist Eero Silvasti agreed with Leikola: "You shouldn't be knocked down by the blow of a thought... Or is our mental endurance already so bad that only pleasant or insignificant thoughts feel right?"

The publicity mill was spinning furiously around Linkola. Matti Kuusi confessed in Suomen Kuvalehti that he still listens to "futurological senses enchanted by Linkola's wild prophecies". He considered this "a continuation of the Russian national juródivyj tradition". He quoted the Russian writer Solomon Volkov's definition, according to which "Juródivy have the gift of seeing and hearing things that others know nothing about. He pretends to be weak-minded, but is actually a living reminder of all evil and injustice. Juródivyj is an anarchist and individualist, who in his outward appearance violates generally accepted moral laws of behavior and mocks traditional customs."

At the Pen club meeting, Kuusi had listened when Linkola had talked about the humanists. "After the witty, deep-seated cultural discussions, his speech was like the screeching of an owl in a hen house." Linkola's mistrust of the rulers of the country and the world had culminated in his statement that Kekkonen should also be chopped into small pieces and fed to the bullies. For Kuusen, the Koijärvi movement and the general sympathy it enjoyed were proof that Linkola's radical reevaluation of all values was progressing from words to actions.

Matti Kääriäinen brought the book reviews together in Kanava. Linkola's terrorist sympathies were too much of a shock for most reviewers. His ideas about overpopulation and man's status as a part of nature also raised strong resistance. "Many reviewers started to be unscientifically disgusted, nauseous, disgusted, etc. They hoped that Linkola was wrong. Linkola, on the other hand, presented himself in his book as a pure observer, a scientist, an ecologist, a biologist who logically drops his observations, draws conclusions from them and presents the means to change the situation, with the only guiding principle being the preservation of as diverse a life as possible on our planet," Kääriäinen stated. In his opinion, the criticisms reflected "the enormous pressures that were applied to deviant thinking even in Finnish society". In Consensus-Suomi, dissidents were tolerated poorly, if at all.

However, the critics were unanimous on one thing: Linkola wrote exceptionally well.

"Linkola knows how to tell his most painful feelings in a way that makes the reader sympathize," said Raili Rytkönen in Hämeen Sanomat. Jouko Tyyri was also sold: "Linkola's prose is strong, pure bile, a typological open pit...", he stated in Kanava. Even Linkola's fisherman's profession was "a long essay, a parable in the biblical sense" for him.

Thanks to Linkola's book, the future was really discussed at that time. He received several letters from readers a day. Readers also sent him gifts. "I have wool socks to give to all nature enthusiasts in Finland", but the gloves he received were "constantly the wrong kind", tight on the mouth. "The fisherman's gloves have to be open at the mouth, because they have to be taken off and put back on the hand dozens of times a day."

Reino Rinne thanked him in his New Year's card (December 20, 1980) If I said "Happy New Year", it would be ironic. There is nothing else to hope for than that the departure of the majority of the human race would not be horrible - after all, they are innocent who cannot think.

Linkola considered himself above all a thinker. He was an ornithologist at heart. He was a fisherman because the profession allowed him to focus on birds when the time was right and he had to earn a living. It is not easy to predict or notice changes even when they are already starting to appear, let alone see where the development will lead, but Linkola believed that he would. He estimates that he has exceptional abilities to think synthetically, pull things together and draw conclusions. The vast majority of people don't have it, regardless of education or genetic inheritance, he stated. The majority of people don't even like thinking, "thinking is boring to them".

"The tendencies of a scientist are innate in Linkola", Anto Leikola stated years later in his Linkola essay The mirror of Ylösalainen totututen peili (Scientists and nurses of the Fatherland, Gummerus 1982). "In his boyhood years, he had directed them to observing and ringing birds and to the precise measurements and weighing of fish, but also to investigating the population ecology of Elanto's transport trucks. Now he reasoned how to prevent an eco-catastrophe. (…) His core qualities are a strong ethical pathos, an exceptionally deep feeling for nature, and the pursuit of coherent scientific thinking," Leikola wrote. Linkola experienced many things very emotionally, and therefore it was only possible to look at his conclusions based on knowledge rationally. "Along with ecology, the cornerstone of Linkola's biological worldview is ethology, the science of animal behavior." As an ethologist, it was clear to Linkola that "all the big problems of humanity and society, from wars to unemployment, are basically biological, not caused by social systems or government measures". And reason could not overcome human nature.

Although Linkola's prophecy was based on intellectual reasoning, it reminded Leikola of the Trojan princess Kassandra, to whom Apollo had given the gift of divination, but at the same time ordered that her predictions should not be believed. "Is Kassandra's curse on Pentti Linkola too? And am I one of the Trojans myself when I think that humanity still has a chance to turn its course? Or are we all waiting, like in the Greek drama, for some god from the machine, something that would unexpectedly intervene in the course of events, whether that something is called God, socialism, electronics, common sense or something else?"

Leikola was still of the opinion that criticizing Linkola had a flavor of false piety. "The vast majority of people accept large-scale violence when it is used in the name of common ideas such as freedom, socialism, nationality or religion. What if Linkola had dedicated his book to Khomeini or Gaddafi? Or to Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev? (…) The questions about the limits and justifications of legal and illegal, violent and non-violent activities are so old and so difficult that they cannot be solved simply by labeling Linkola's line as creepy, disgusting and inhuman. What if that is the actual line of humanity?” Leikola asks wisely.


Hilkka Linkola had heard by chance when Pentti had been interviewed on the radio about this book and picked up a pen the next morning (1979): My dear boy (…) Well, you can always hope that the program will turn out well - You, dear pessimist, don't hope for much. Why doesn't anyone simply suggest that every literate person make a list of all the "luxuries" they would be willing to give up in order to keep the world on its feet and our Tellus sphere to remain a green star in the universe? That's the point. Mother's letter was long, four A4 strips handwritten from edge to edge. I have – of course – as a mother – thought about you a lot. And wondering how I, the world's biggest hare pants, got such a brave boy. Do I have to start believing in the theory invented by your grandfather, that certain heredity factors rest for one – á – two generations and the better you sleep, the more refreshed and powerful you wake up.... At least that's true for us, because truly all the bravery genes are in a deep sleep in me. All my life I've been - basically super selfish - afraid of hurting someone's heart. (…) Of course, my wise parents also realized this cowardice of mine: I remember how my father thundered: Hilkka, one must also dare to hate. And mother: Hilkka, yes, I mourn that laziness of thought in you... And then a comment from Kaarlo: Hilkka is always on the side of the one who spoke last. And then You, my son, the complete opposite! Makes you smile! As a small consolation to my despised self, I think that, after all, has there been any harm to you children from this hare-pants mother?

The brothers' correspondence became less frequent and Martti did not comment on the book of his "ideological writer brother" in his letters. He had his own busy schedule, there were now two children in the family, and he traveled around giving lectures and continued his research among the Koltsa Sámi. Pentti sent him and his mother and his sister Aira's family some chickens with Sirka or took them when he visited.

Mother was deeply worried about Pent and she did not give up her hope of seeing him more often. He hesitated to use the phone because he didn't want to disturb his son, he could read the letter when it suited him, the call could come at a bad time. When Pentti didn't answer his mother's letters, he wrote her again to Rakkaaa Keisarinpoja. It's been a while since I last corresponded with the Emperor's son. "It was mom's humor. The emperor's son was the love object of Erkki Tantu's cartoon character, the maid, from whom he waited in vain for mail. Mom always saw the humorous side of things, but she didn't like it when Marti and I sometimes got excited to disapprove of other people. My mother's standard answer was: Yes, everyone is needed."

"On January 22, 1980, there were distinguished guests in Vähä-Uotila." Pentti and Hilkka Linkola.

Mother was an important figure in Pent and Marti's life. "I never became a terrorist because I had such a good mother," says Linkola. Martti, on the other hand, could not commit suicide as long as his mother lived. He also suffered from depression, and increasingly sought relief from alcohol and medication. "It was a prolonged suicide," states Pentti Linkola. Martti, on the other hand, said that Pentti managed to transfer even his depression to intensive forestry.

Amid the spotlight, Linkola focused on fishing. The Postibank loan kept him busy, but hard work was also part of his nature. When he added up his winter 1979-1980 fish catch in the spring, he was almost laughed at. 200 kilos of trout, 3,749 kilos of pike, 658 kilos of pike, 794 kilos of bream, 488 kilos of whitefish, 109 kilos of bream, 60 kilos of perch, 9 kilos of rays, 9 kilos of eels. A total of 6,067 kilos! He had fed many mouths. Since a large part of the nets had been in coastal waters, he had caught a lot of pike. At that time, the pike was still almost the price of a walleye, made by far the most expensive. "Even in the 1980s, the price of fish encouraged people to try, even bream was in the price of pike. Nowadays, you can't get anything from bream at all." He had fished for whitefish and trout in July from Päijänte. There is only a short entry in the fishing diary about the Vierula fishing trip. It felt strange to try with only temporary rowing buddies, after fifteen years of Aliisa's permanent partnership.

Bird sightings in 1980 remained modest, 141 species, especially when he compared it to his active days in the 1950s and 1970s. "However, the number was still reasonable compared to the ever-deepening decline of later years." The only ones missing were the spinner, white-backed woodpecker, woodpecker, barn owl, barn owl, little tull and black-throated tern. Ringings were also modest compared to previous years, 1390 birds. "I was only able to take care of the little things properly."

The following winter was harsh. In the 1980s, there were hard freezing winters, and Linkola often had to thaw his fishing needs in the hut, and the cabin didn't want to stay warm either. The fish had to be covered in the hall so that they wouldn't have frozen during the night. He probably got blood poisoning many times after a walleye's dorsal fin stung his finger. Some days he decided to restrain himself because of a sore finger or shoulder, but by the afternoon at the latest, his pace of work was once again Stahanovian-like. He couldn't save himself. He could not tolerate laxity in himself or in others. As he measured nature, he also measured his body, and the body had not yet failed him.

In fall fishing, Linkola had help from oarsmen, but winter fishing was more lonely. On Christmas Eve morning 1980, he escaped his loneliness to Kuhmois, went to chat with his former neighbors, and spent the eve in his former close neighbor in Keikkala with the old owner of the farm Sulo, his "top friend" and his spouse Helvi. In the morning they went to the Christmas church. There were enough village places in Kissakulma even for Christmas Day, but already as Tapani he was experiencing the nets. Mirjami and Sirkka arrived in Vähä-Uotila and Pertti Saurola picked them up to welcome the new year.

The year 1981 started with severe frosts and winds, the snow came in torrents. Tuli-mare was afraid of gusts of wind, and sometimes Linkola had to pick up a foaming horse even from afar. "It hated the strong wind as much as its master, although otherwise it was an infinitely perfect horse, standing like a cast by the opening."

Heimo Roselli, the head of the Jehovah's Witnesses living in Kuhmoinen, had made a habit of going to Vierula to talk with Linkola. Roselli had been a professional fisherman in Längelmävedi and the men talked about fishing and old times. In Vähä-Uotila, other Jehovah's Witnesses became his friends. "I always accepted jehova, but I immediately turned the conversation from matters of faith to other things. The belief of Jehovah's Witnesses is twice as fantastic as that of Evangelical Lutherans. They are absolute creationists, believing that all living things were born in a creation event. They also remain in their faith, unlike the evangelical Lutherans, who stated as soon as the washing machine was invented that there was no need for homemakers, but they would be accepted as priests." A few times Jehovah's Witnesses took Linkola to their conventions. "They talk about wood and hay, the message is foreign to me, but I listen to them because they speak well." He reads the Awake and Watchtower magazines of Jehovah's Witnesses from cover to cover - to find typos. "There are never any mistakes in those papers."

In Säaksmäki, Linkola rediscovered the hobby of his boyhood, table tennis. "Pentti was a bit clumsy, but better than you could have imagined. He was terribly enthusiastic about playing as he was about all other sports activities", his teammate Olli Klemola recalls. The men played on Juhani Tallinen's homemade ping-pong table in his garage. Sometimes the carpenter Pentti Lahtinen, who was building the house, was involved.

They went to the movies in Tampere. "I couldn't think of a field that Pentti wouldn't be interested in. He is also interested in all people," Klemola continues.

The long distance affected the relationship between Pentti Linkola and Sirkka Kurki-Suonio. The relationship was different than if they had lived together, but the basic conditions of Vähä-Uotila did not attract the working woman from the city to move to the country. Sirkka thought about her relationship with Pentti. He had noticed a "buzz" around her, and finally wrote that he was ready to move in with Pent, maybe even get married. Pentti rejected Sirka's proposal. He believed that Sirkka would get bored with him and they ended up continuing as before.

Two years after the house was completed, Linkola partially built a sauna and a sauna chamber with the advance inheritance money given by his mother, but he still did not run the water pipes. The sauna building has almost as many square meters as the house, 30. The chamber served as a guest room and network storage. He dried the nets in the sauna. In mid-October 1980, the sauna was ready except for boards and exterior painting, and when Juhani Tallinen got the stove stones in place, they, Sirkka the third, celebrated the inauguration of the sauna. Linkola had grown the potatoes in both Vierulas and Vähä-Uotila, and Tehin's potatoes were already in better shape. It was time to catch my breath.

Linkola rarely took a sauna. "I have better things to do than sit on the boards, puffed up red." According to him, taking saunas is a national vice of Finns – it takes energy and produces emissions. "I am a bare-skinned person who walks upright - what would grab me. The dirt falls away and the sweat evaporates first on the skin and then into the air." His goal has been to take a sauna only twice a year, at Christmas and Midsummer, "but sometimes I have to do it more often".

Suddenly starting autumn fishing in Vanaja seemed difficult for Linkola. Despite his strong desire, he did not get used to being alone. In Vähä-Uotila it was the worst thing he knew.

Without a fishing buddy, I longed to go to the lake alone in good weather, but after various comparisons of interests, I ended up staying home with many busy yard and construction chores, he wrote in his birdwatching diary. Garbage fish gave him a constant headache. There were often several times the number of unsaleable fish in the nets compared to marketable fish. The record was more than a thousand bream and small bream per day. At first, he brought trash fish to his home's compost, but then started burying them on uninhabited islands.


At the beginning of October 1980, Linkola had an emergency situation - he did not have a rower and was unable to try the nets alone. He called writer Erno Paasilinna in Hämeenlinna and asked him to be his fishing buddy. This appeared on Vähä-Uotila's door the next morning. The men had met each other for the first time 20 years ago when Pent was distributing his pacifist pamphlet in Helsinki. Paasilinna had already given up his dude's sweater at that time and switched to a dark suit, but Linkola still walked around in a saraka jacket. "He was considered original, but with an accepting and admiring tone. He seemed like a man who brought the smell of forests to the city, just like a fur hunter from the wilds of Alaska in Jack London's novels," Paasilinna writes in his essay in Syiskala with Pentti Linkola. He included the writing in his literary collection Yksinäisys ja uhma (Otava 1984). The book brought him the first Finlandia prize in history in 1984.

After 1960, the men had mostly met in newspaper sections, the previous summer at Hämeenlinna station and now in Vanaja. In public, Paasilinna and Linkola were often combined, they were considered anarchists and enemies of society. Paasilinna didn't like rowing or big lakes. As a person from the north, he didn't like the greenery of Häme either. Linkola, on the other hand, hated the barrenness of the north and wanted to live in the green. "The rain forest would be the best place for me. The forest is only exciting when you don't know what to expect five meters away. Landscapes can only be admired at the edge of the forest or swamp." Even the yard land of Vähä-Uotila could be afforested in peace.

"It wasn't a long-term and deep friendship," says Linkola. "Since I was young, I admired Paasilinna's texts. He was a shockingly good writer, a brilliant satirist." Paasilinna's intention was not to conduct an interview, and Linkola does not remember that such a thing was discussed even afterwards, the essay in the book came as a surprise to him. "Now Linkola is fighting alone and desperately against almost insurmountable difficulties. The world has gone fast in exactly the direction that he has opposed for three decades. All around is ruins and death. Idealism has been destroyed almost to the last thread. What remains is the apocalyptic defiance of standing to the last," Paasilinna writes.

He saw Linkola as an exceptional individual, and exceptional individuals never had it easy. "It is difficult for an exceptional individual to get justice, even if his ethics are many times higher than those who tried to restrain them under the protection of institutions. An exceptional individual is condemned, he is made impossible, uncooperative and crazy. Linkola has been made like that in a very general way."

Linkola told his oarsman about his divorce, the logging near his home in Kuhmoinen, his experiences in Porkkala, the residents of Vanaja's villa, who tried to pressure him out of their fishing waters. They also talked about the wilderness of Lapland and their nights under the sky. Paasilinna didn't see "the slightest aggression" in Linkola, he didn't even scold his ex-spouse or his enemies. However, he saw the light in only two things. Another was the pacifism of young birders; 80 percent of them refused weapons, and the other ordinary people, among whom he had made many friends.

When they had experienced more than 50 nets, the guest became concerned: there were no life jackets in the boat. Linkola popped small shells into her mouth. After a few hours they were eating worm soup on the island; fished for pieces of fish with sticks and took turns scooping the broth from the side of the pot. Paasilinna's hands were wide open and she wanted to stop. Linkola rowed him to the deserted island of Variskutter "to put heart problems on the fire", and experienced the remaining twenty nets alone. The fishing trip lasted thirteen hours. In the evening, the host fried a walleye for them and boiled the potatoes he grew. As an appetizer, he peeled the whiting and sprinkled salt on it. On a group trip with Timo K. Muka, Paasilinna had eaten a couple of hours old raw fish and even now took a few pieces.

"Go to hell and write," he said to Linkola. "You are the masters of factual prose in this country, but this way you're driving yourself crazy." Already at the lake, he had spoken to Linkola about Järnefelt, who "used a cobbler's knife, a plow and a pitchfork in turns, and did not compromise his principles, even though he sometimes wrote books." Linkola replied that he got a cramp when he saw the typewriter. He didn't want to influence "outside" anymore, he had lost his faith in the change of direction. He was just reading. It had remained his only hobby, but he didn't have much time for it, Paasilinna wrote.


Linkola's December 1981 planned as a big network installation day was reduced to twelve networks installation. The ice sagged and howled, and the fisherman backed away. It was 20 degrees below zero. He felt guilty that he had wandered off in Kuhmoinen on his owl trip, had read long into the evenings. Jouten couldn't be. He condemned both his own desire for comfort and that of others. Next, he had the writer Matti Pulkkinen, whom he commissioned as a mood lifter for the general appeal, as his guest. Pulkkinen also lived in Hämeenlinna and they counted 17 nets the next day.

"You don't take the fin on the ice. When we are thirsty, we drink the water of the opening from the shovel steel", Pulkkinen described their fishing trips in an article he wrote for Apu magazine years later. Pulkkinen's job was to cut the openings. Unaccustomed, his body "was trembling with fatigue" in the evening. Linkolak was often so exhausted after returning from the ice that he bumped into the door's pincers in the dark. For dinner, there were cold boiled potatoes, cold boiled mate and salted whitefish.

Pulkkinen's first novel, Ja pesäpuu itki, had been published four years earlier in 1977, and the second, Elämän herrrat, the previous year. The first is, in Linkola's opinion, Pulkkinen's best novel. Now he was writing his third, The Death of a Novel. He had been to Africa and wrote about what he saw. The men agreed that nothing but condoms should be taken to Africa. Although Linkola had presented harsh solutions to the world's population problem, he was in tears when Pulkkinen told him about the conditions in Africa. He was of the opinion that "false pity only leads to an increase in suffering, just like the actions of well-intentioned fools in life in general". For someone who loves, not mindlessly and instinctively, like some Mother Teresa, but with understanding, development aid is cruelty and extermination of the worst kind, Linkola wrote later. Matti Pulkkinen visited him more and more often, he was interested in Linkola's lifestyle, he too planned to move to the country.

ANTTI, Tuuli, Vuokko and Matti Pulkkinen in the village. The picture came as a Christmas greeting and on the back it says: "What would a family be without a family friend?" – P. LINKOLA

On Christmas Eve, the northeast wind and weak ice drove Linkola home from the nets again, but the misery was forgotten when Mirjami and Leena arrived at their father's for Christmas. When the ice got stronger. Linkola beat the openings so that the stem broke off. Hirvisaari network line, Keso and Oit lines, Ruissaari line. The stunning ice-breaking lasted for hours. Each blow of the hooves shook the whole body and was felt up to the top of the head, the arms shook. Tuli-mare followed next to her. It was starting to get too old for winter fishing, almost 25 years old. Some of the villagers resented the fact that Linkola did not cover her horse in the cold, but Tuli-mare grew a long winter coat for herself.

REKU in Vanajanselkä 10.3.1984. Photo: Markku Bärman.

The long frosts grated on the fisherman's nerves and the guests were even more welcome than usual. Geologist Aimo Kuivamäki had a strong awakening to nature after reading Linkola's Toisinajattelija diary. "The book immediately changed my thinking." When he came to Linkola for the first time as a fishing buddy, he got off the bus at the wrong stop and had to walk 10 kilometers. While waiting for Linkola, she cleaned his room. It was a mistake. Especially many of his female guests were guilty of the same reprehensible act. They did not understand that the piles of papers and folders filling the room were in order, the order of the master of the house, and that he was more comfortable in disarray than in a sterile archive. Kuivamäki was only able to join his idol on the nets the next day and often helped him later as well.

Pakkanen also demanded a lot from fishing equipment. The uittoriiku, which Linkola used to push the string used to lower the nets under the ice, broke again several times. In the end, he managed to fix the pot, but his nerves got the best of him, and Linkola and Sirka made a trip to Turku to "rest the arms and nerves" to his architect friend Ola Laiho and his spouse Raija. They sipped wine and discussed architecture. The built landscape also interested the esthetician Linkola, although it did not offer as strong experiences as the native nature. While cycling around Finland, he cursed the new flat-roofed brick houses that spoiled the landscape. Flat-roofed houses were practiced especially in the east, in Savo and Karelia. "In the rest of the world, it is obvious that flat roofs do not hold water. Alvar Aalto is a black name to me, even though the Säynätsalo town hall he designed is really beautiful. Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva ruined the forks - they are almost like spoons."

In Turku, Sirkka bought the first edition of Pentti Haanpää's book in an antiquarian bookstore.

Haanpää was one of the top three writers of Linkola. FE Sillanpää had always been close to him, but the number one was Aleksis Kivi and his Seitsemä's brother. Linkola and literary researcher Vesa Karonen, Haanpää's special expert, often discussed Haanpää's short stories late into the night. Karonen read them aloud to him. The favorite of both was the sinking of Päntä's dude. The conversation often continued in Tapanila at Sirka's or her cousins' writer Leena Krohn's or printmaker Inari Krohn's. Karonen was married to Leena Krohn at the time, and Inari Krohn's then-spouse was Pertti Lassila, a researcher of Finnish literature. "When Pekka Tarkka joined the group, the literature discussions were very high." Linkola calls himself a friend of traditional literature. He can't stand Veijo Merta and Sofi Oksa at all. Among contemporary authors, he likes Sirpa Kähkönen, Heikki Turunen's rural depiction is also close to him. He has always thought Saarikoski was great.

Once, on the way to experience the nets, Linkola let Karonen row, dug out Sillanpää's novel Nuorena nukkunat from his backpack and started reading it aloud. The men rowed in the same waters as the writer Joel Lehtonen once did. On his bird-counting trips, Linkola stayed many times in a tent on the lawn of Lehtonen's empty villa, Lintukodo, on Vähä-Vohl island, north of the Sääksmäki bridges. Karonen also often rowed for Linkola on her bird ringing trips. They spent the night in hay barns and on the open porches of summer cottages.

Karo was interested in Linkola's humor. "It's humor of great lines. Once Sirkka said something about Pent's clothes, to which he stated that a man this old should be allowed to keep the same clothes until the end. There was pessimism involved, but Linkola turned it into humor."

Linkola's mental health problems were not visible on the outside, except that he was very pessimistic. "Nothing wanted to go well, everything ended hopelessly," Karonen recalls. "When things got difficult on the fishing trip, he stated that nothing would come of it and cursed mercilessly. If I hadn't known him, I might have been afraid." Once, when Linkola was depressed, they traveled together by bus from Säaksmäki to Kuhmois to do owl nests. "Pentti praised the terrorists so loudly that all the passengers surely heard what he was thinking."

In the early summer of 1982, Linkola did maybe a little more diligently than the previous summer on birding trips, "pivot trips, not much else", but he skipped the Vanajanselkä bird counts.

According to the diary, he felt more even and deeper than the previous summer, his work efficiency was decidedly worse, especially in clearing the nets and making firewood. Vierula's visits didn't have the same flavor anymore either. However, the summer program was more colorful than in previous years thanks to the 10,000 mark library compensation grant he received. In haymaking in Vierula, in addition to Sirka, three future professors helped him: Pekka Tarka's ex-husband, professor of domestic literature Auli Viikari, his new husband history professor Matti Viikari and sociology professor Risto Alapuro. They made the hay from scratch.

Ever since Linkola left Helsinki and became a fisherman, many wondered how he was able to give up "so much". What did he finally give up? pondered Anto Leikola in his elaborate Linkola essay. "I have actually left very little", Linkola had stated in an interview. He still had his circle of friends from Helsinki and the same hobbies as in his time in Helsinki. "The only thing I've lost is, of course, the pay grades, if I had been able to study, I would now be either a secondary school biology teacher or a university assistant."

"He would undoubtedly have become a doctor, even a docent, but there was no indication that he had a particularly brilliant university career ahead of him," Leikola stated. He hadn't given up much: "When he gave up systematic study, he didn't give up biology, and when he gave up some hallmarks of civilization, he didn't give up civilization. Only as a fisherman did he develop into a true cultural critic."


In July 1982, Linkola heard uplifting news from the northern Reino Rinnee countries: The people of Lapland were rising to defend their free flowing rapids from the power plant companies. Linkola checked his condition, he was still not feeling well, but decided to participate in the Ounasjoki ski race organized by Rinne from Enontekiö to Rovaniemi (July 15-26, 1982). He skied his heavy-duty fishing boat for 350 kilometers of rapids and waded the boat off at least five hundred rocks. I was already thinking that I would have a bunch of juniper arches when I returned, but miraculously the boat lasted. His traveling companions were Finnish journalist Hilkka Hyrkkö and Olli Klemola's brother Pauli Klemola, who became blind as an adult. At the evening events of the rowing event, Linkola listened to the threats of the Lappish hosts; they had decided that the international competition of the south would not allow the industrialists to get the river. The owners showed Linkola with their hand how many meters above the chimney of their heritage house the water level was drawn on the power company's maps, and swore that they would not give Ounasjoki and its villages. The industry of the south had already taken everything else from Lapland.

The experience was worthwhile – once again in the old days! Linkola wrote in his birdwatching diary after returning from the trip. The harnessing of the northern rivers proved to him once and for all that the enemies are in his own country. A year later, in his Independence Day speech in Toijala, he named the culprit for the destruction of northern Finland's most productive livelihood, salmon fishing: "The biggest culprit, the biggest criminal who ever affected Finland, whose scepter and whip swung and waved loudly in everything that plunged Finland into the upheaval that began in the 1950s, was the old man and mafia boss from Tamminiemi .” President Kekkonen had already reached an "undeserved peace" when his official career had ended due to illness the previous year. The goal of the Ounasjoki movement was realized one year after the rowing event in 1983: the river was protected from power plant construction.

Linkola was also interested in "alternative youth". Komposti-lehti, one of Suomi-lehti's predecessors, wanted to know what she thought about feminism today. The question saddened and amused Linkola. He found it tragic that basic things, such as the status and tasks of the sexes, which had become permanent, wanted to be changed. "Even in the West, a man has been a ridiculous pawn, a puppet molded one hundred percent by mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, brides, wives, nannies and female teachers. And now the feminists are still trying to take away from this fool the last sheltered jobs in the administration and business life, which have given him some apparent meaning and desperate posture." When asked if Linkola himself would dare to become a power user, he answered that not in a society like the current one, because it is irreparable. "But after the revolution, I'm ready to be a dictator without hesitation."

On December 7, 1982, Linkola spent his 50th birthday alone in Vierula. He made props in the backyard forest, saved pines and birches from spruces, which forestry had made the dominant tree in Finland. Pekka Tarkka had interviewed him a couple of days earlier for Helsingin Sanomat and described Linkola's journey in his van to Kuhmois. This one had finished open water fishing a few days earlier and was now running errands, negotiating with Erkki Syrjä about a new horse and with Oiva Lemojärvi about collecting junipers from his felling for sticks. "Puikkari are the only thing I know how to make myself." In exchange for the junipers, he gave Lemojärvi, who loves philosophy, von Wright's book Humanism as an attitude to life. The men discussed interpretations of Chekhov's Three Sisters, Marjatta Kapar's recently translated John Steinbeck's novel for the Unknown God, and Urho Ketveli's "great" horse book. At the end of the interview, Linkola answers Tarka's question, how does it feel to grow old? "Perceptual ability in nature is the same as before, but the territory has started to get smaller. The observation wants to stay in the vicinity of the two housing sites."

Vesa Karonen brought Linkola a gift from friends, graphic work by Inari Krohn. In addition to Karone, the hero was congratulated by Inari and Pertti Lassila, Matti and Marketta Klinge, Pekka Tarkka, Matti and Carita Salo, literary scholar and aphorist Markku Envall and Auli and Matti Viikari. Markku Envall belonged to Linkola's "outer circle" of friends. "He wrote book reviews for Helsingin-Sanom for ten years, and was even better than Pekka Tarkka."


Linkola's Toisinajattelija's diary persistently remained a topic of conversation. Four years after the publication of the collection of writings, in 1983 the Eino Leino Society awarded him the prestigious Eino Leino prize. A good, lively language was important to Linkola. He had gone to great lengths to write the essays for the book, and now he was being rewarded for it.

"In a world where language is crippled, the way in which the classic clarity of the saying and the rhetoric that does not overlook even the most daring hyperbole overlap in Linkola's essay style is exemplary. The fanaticism of the declaration is tempered by a sardonic self-irony, the conceptuality of the reasoning is complemented by the concrete, precisely presented observations of a nature lover," the award committee reasoned. Surprisingly, it also took a stand on the content of the book: "The search for a crippling consensus and softening greenness in Finland, the book is a distress call that reminds us of the fundamental facts - hopefully not too late."

The awarding of Linkola did not please everyone. "A poster on the wall of the ascetic Kalamaja in recognition of literary works - a more ridiculous sight cannot be imagined," said Karri Kokko in her Ilta-Sanomie column. Kyösti Salovaara of the Social Democrats condemned the awarding of the award to Linkola even more strongly. He wondered who could be the next year's Leino award recipient. "Where can you find an equal for Linkola? A. Hitler's Battle seems to be already out of the competition. Or is it?"

Professor Matti Klinge also considered Linkola a "Hitlerist and a preacher of the end times" and wondered in Helsingin Sanomat about his award. "Hitler was also a Social Darwinist," he reminded. In his opinion, preaching the end of the world was "the bread and butter of priests and an ingredient of the whole so-called to the old Finnish culture, which raised its condemning finger against waste and immorality". Klinge also criticized Linkola's linear conception of time, which was "characteristic of the Jews since ancient times: development develops from development, the world is a big train whose only mission is - at an accelerating pace? – thank you, through the intermediate stations towards the Suurta Tepetepäsäkki". The opposite is the Greeks' cyclical conception of time. "But - what does this have to do with Leino?", Klinge asked.

Linkola followed the conversation as much as he could from his fishing rush. He replied to Klinge in the audience section of Helsingin Sanomai by titling his text Kaino anotus Matti Klinge and other stampers and typesetters: "I have not read Adolf Hitler's Taisteluni, which I know by name, and I have not read the works of other philosophers either. I have observed life even more closely. The thinker I quote and respect is Pentti Linkola. JK. A little bit more for Matti Klinge. His conception of the history of ideas is cyclical, while his conception of economic history is linear. According to the previous e.g. the time to reassess fascism is inexorably coming."

Journalist Maarit Niiniluoto brought the discussion together in his Uuu Suomen article Onko Hitlerin Taisteluni next. He had heard that even Eino Leino's company was buzzing about Linkola's award. The chairman of the society, Juhani Salokannel, washed his hands by stating that "the award committee chosen by the annual meeting decides independently on the award". The chairman of the award committee, Matti Suurpää, on the other hand, did not want to comment on the matter and hoped that the committee members Vesa Karonen, Kristiina Alapuro and Markku Envall would not comment either. "According to the rules, the selection decision was unanimous and the reason for the award is clear from the award criteria," Suurpää stated.

It was Anto Leikola's task, once again, to defend Linkola - and freedom of expression. "Pentti Linkolaa, the recipient of the Eino Leino award, has been speculated to be a neo-Nazi... Anyone who bothers to compare the programs of Linkola and Hitler immediately notices that they do not fit in the same party at all. For Hitler, the hardly Aryan person was just a species among species," Leikola stated in Helsingin Sanomat. At the same time, he wondered "aren't screams and frenzy, life's anxiety and despair no longer part of the literature that should be appreciated publicly? Is it more important than the use of the word itself that the user of the word is guaranteed to be a man of the right doctrine - the one we accept? Must those who are rewarded be those who politely join the chorus: the government is good, let society be praised three times over?" Of course, Leikola also found mistakes and inconsistencies in Linkola's texts, and Leino also had them, "but as wordsmiths both have been unparalleled, and if our society doesn't know how to appreciate such wordsmiths, then its foundations have become weak."

Pekka Lounela elevated Linkola's New Finland to "national literature as one of the most advanced essayists of our time." In 1985, the Writers' Association accepted Linkola as a member. "Someone suggested me, even though Erno Paasilinna wrote that I'm a non-writer because I haven't written a fictional text." The association's board included a number of leading writers of their time, such as Alpo Ruuth, Eeva Joenpelto and the poets Jarkko Laine and Kirsi Kunnas. At the union's meeting, Linkola suggested twice that writers take a stand on more than just fees. "These issues should not be written by butchers and clerks, but by writers who know how to write," he reasoned, but did not get support for his proposal. In the Soviet Union, the writers' union had even succeeded in reversing the direction of the river, but in Finland the intellectuals are not interested in ideas, they only fight for grants, he criticized.


In the parliamentary elections of March 1983, the greens had their own candidates for the first time. Their 45 candidates received almost 44,000 votes and two representative seats. Kalle Könkkölä from Helsinki and Ville Komsi from Uusimaa were elected. After that, the Greens founded their own magazine Vihreäni lanka. Linkolak had also participated in the election work of the Greens. Although in his opinion the Greens were "relaxed and agreeable", a number of Koijärvi residents had also risen from the crowd: Komsi, Osmo Soininvaara and Pekka Haavisto. In 1983, partly as a result of Lake Koijärvi, an environmental administration was established in Finland. SDP's Matti Ahde started as the first Minister of the Environment and Lauri Tarasti as the first head of office of the Ministry of the Environment. Linkola did not believe in the Ministry of the Environment. "The Ministry of the Environment can cause a lot of trouble. It is deceptive to trust it when the other main categories of the budget at the same time continue to destroy the environment," he stated in an interview with Aamulehti. He did not believe that the solution to nature conservation could be found even in the green movement. The Greens' procedures were far too soft for him. It didn't matter to him whether there were two or twenty Greens in parliament: "The Greens' smiley line doesn't help." He predicted that the protest of the greens will quickly turn into a "cool part of the machine".

That spring, Linkola did not do waterfowl counts, only ringing in midsummer. He didn't have time to go fishing, he was in a hurry to get the bank loan paid. Finally, there was a gap of more than ten years in his unbroken streak of waterfowl counts.

He also left spring fishing. He didn't have the strength to continue it. He watched in shock as the logging operations of his next-door neighbor Uotila approached his yard. Already the previous winter, the young owner of the farm had cleared the big hill of his childhood into almost a fell. Now the two old aspens, a large spruce and two large bushy lindens, whose feather-soft leaves had caressed his cheeks as he cycled to the home yard, fell down.

The felling of trees paralyzed Linkola. He just stared without getting up from the couch, he felt like he couldn't live anymore. "It wasn't, and isn't, any more a question of tears or self-pity, but an ice-cold reckoning with life," he wrote in Suomen Kuvalehti. He confessed that he had never had other really strong points of interest in life than nature: "Forests, islands, capes, bays, swamps, mountains, streams, trees, birds and flower beds teeming with insects. Everything else, relatives, friends, books, thinking, finding out how the world is going have also been necessary, but their cultivation has gained its strength from the experiences of nature, which are the basis for everything." The writing is exciting. Linkola did not hide his pain.

When he arrived in Vierula with his whitefish nets at the beginning of August, there was a new shock ahead, the worst destruction in Vierula's history, the revolution of Keikkala's cows in his hay field: 35 packed sticks of the most glorious hay of all time, eaten upside down or empty, maybe 800 kilos and most of the sepia still broken. The incident added to his depression. Only in the summer weather and the berry harvest there were no complaints. He felt that he was in danger of becoming completely bored with life. The depression already affected his work pace: the mesh and firewood stoves were not finished. After all, I made the hay in Vierula practically alone in the scorching heat.

Before making hay, after a break of many years, he made two attempts at bird watching, first with Juhani Talline a trip to Inarinjärvi and then with Sirka to Hailuoto, but they didn't help in the long run, rather probably the opposite, he wrote in his birdwatching notebook. Tallinen was Linkola's favorite travel companion. He was interested in nature and birds, and commented on what he saw sufficiently, but not too much. "The trip will be ruined if the other person talks all the time." They had been to the north together once before. Then they had rowed to Reino Rinnee in Suonnansaari, Kitkajärvi. "Jussi was a campfire romantic, but at the same time the potatoes were boiling." In Inari, Tallella had a sack of potatoes with her, Linkola didn't even have matches. They rented a boat and set off towards the end of Lake Inarinjärvi. "It was a fairytale region." From a couple of houses they bought salted fish. "The whitefish in Lapland don't have the same sweet taste as those in Päijänne, but they are also edible. The whitefish of Inarinjärvi, on the other hand, are better than the whitefish of Ounasjoki. There aren't many differences in Kusha, it doesn't taste like anything at all."

At Inarinjärvi, Linkola ringed the few birds they saw. Sea eagles were still rare in Lapland, but "now the sea eagle population has gotten out of control". The nature was harsh, many islands were almost bare, but grew bridges.

Before Päijänne's whitefish hunting, Linkola visited Helsinki as a guest of Sirka and Mirjam, who lives with her, and made a regular tour of the city. He bought a new coat and two pairs of trousers from Hakaniemi's hall, went with Sirka to the Ateneum and checked the fish tables in Kauppator: almost only rainbow trout was available. "With his last strength" he took three of his "swan song stories" to Suomen Kuvalehti. The essays appeared in consecutive issues in August and September under the title Silent Autumn. Although Linkola was paralyzed, he was able to compose himself while writing.

In the first essay of the series Finnish agriculture harakiri, he stated that he made a wrong diagnosis when he blamed foreign countries for the death of bird populations. The biggest culprit was intensive agriculture, the ruthless sowing of toxins, PCBs and dioxins on the fields. "The starling had already disappeared almost completely, as well as the bush pocket, the former runner-up of field birds. The plover and the plover had already disappeared earlier, and after them the plover and the laughing gull had also turned to swoop down. The wood pigeon and yellow wagtail had also decreased to a lesser extent. The rock pocket and field cricket were the last of the victims." When Linkola cycled through Finland's oldest fields in Sääksmäki's Ritvala, "the deathly silence of the kilometers of open fields is broken only by a flock of crows, some crown pigeons and larks, that trio of last veterans that still remains from the bubbling bird abundance of a few years ago."

In the second essay of the series, Itke rakaktstu maa, he discussed the logging of his neighbor Uotila's young owner. She had lost her life force as a result of his hacking. He explained his predicament with an analogy: "Let's think that someone draws his life force from books, books are everything to him. He reads for hours every day, he makes discovery trips from his home and on all his travels to bookstores, libraries and antiquarian shops, he exchanges borrowed books and discusses them with all his friends. Little by little, libraries start to be closed, books are used as waste paper and burned. Bookstores are closing, magazines are stopping book reviews, friends are losing their home libraries, load after load of his library is being confiscated from him. In the end, he has half a dozen of his favorite books from childhood. One day, during a house search, they are unearthed from his mattress and taken away."

He also told about his summer escape to the north, to wonderful places where life was stored. The return had been overwhelming. Sadness oozes from his every sentence. His bird research, recording observations and ringing had been nothing but a blur. Under their cover, he had been able to walk in nature and live in nature. The reasons that led to the disappearance of the birds did not interest him, but only horrified him. He no longer wanted to register the loss of bush pockets. "I don't want to be part of this anymore. I want, I wanted to walk in the meadows, where the bush pockets fly like arrows after the flower flies, click and buzz."

He felt that he no longer had a handle on writing, "...the heart was empty when anger and hope were gone, and there is no text out of mere sadness..." Writing for him was no longer just a thrill, which prevented him from suffocating, he stated, but he still wrote. He hoped that writing would act as a healing therapy for himself, but also for everyone else who experienced the same way as him. He wrote, "because underneath it all, stupidly and desperately smouldered a faint hope that the world would become a little softer because of his writing." He hoped that the writing would also end up in the hands of his friends and acquaintances, because when he talked to them, he was just pretending. He felt that he couldn't talk about such things, but in face-to-face interactions, he had to trick himself into being at least as brisk and cheerful as possible, talking about wood and hay.

His dream was proof to him of his powerlessness. When he was young, he had often had nightmares, and they had always been about reality, and that was the case now. In the dream, his home district had fallen into the grip of a steel storm. "I woke up drenched in sweat and shivering, but waking up didn't bring relief. My home district was in the grip of a steel storm." Forestry machines ran rampant in his nearby forest.

In his third essay of the silent autumn series, Why, he told about his meeting with Ville Komsi, the green MP, during the recording of the TV show in Tampere. He thought Koms was a sweet child, a charming and honest person, but toothless. He hoped that there would also be tougher people in the greens, or that somewhere there would even be a small, extreme minority of extreme greens that would really take a measure of technotyranny, would still try to overturn the legalities of sociobiology. In the program, they had thought about the convictions of modern people, but the TV2 censors had cut what Linkola thought were the most important five minutes. He had removed the part where he had stated that modern people lack spiritual courage and that conviction has disappeared from Finnish society. The part where he assessed the green movement's relationship to violence was cut from Koms's part.

Finally, Linkola lowered its whitefish net in Päijänte. He gave in to his desire for comfort and made exceptionally long strings of 25-30 nets. Part of the charm of fishing in Päijänne had already disappeared the previous summer. Now fishing felt like a rush to him, but he kept himself under control. He couldn't give up after the preparations and investments he had made: the ice he collected in the winter was in the basement and the new 3,000 mark boat was in the shed, in the boathouse. Last time he