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Can Life Prevail?: A Radical Approach to the Environmental by Pentti Linkola

By Pentti Linkola

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Extra info for Can Life Prevail?: A Radical Approach to the Environmental Crisis

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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.

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.

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.

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