activism, animal rights, Finland, veganism

Climate March in Helsinki (part 2).

I know this might be a bit obvious to say but… Welcome to the second part of the climate march post! As I mentioned in part 1, we had quite a big demonstration in Helsinki last month. I mean, 8000-10 000 people in one place a lot in the Finnish scale (in our culture we hate being in contact with others plus there’s only approximately 5,5 million of us anyway).

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The Finnish parliament house, again.

Whereas in the last part I focused on giving a more general overview of the vibes, this time I want to give you more detailed glimpses on the emotions and meanings that people wanted to express on that day. So here we go!

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The bicyclists’ block gathering their groups before the start of the demonstration.

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A lady holding the globe in her arms tightly.

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Well, the way things are going really isn’t okay. The climate and ecosystems are rapidly changing everywhere – but are we finally ready to act when it’s already too late and the consequences are overbearingly visible?

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‘You fucking cannot be kidding me’. Vittu (as in ‘fuck’) is an essential part of the Finnish vocabulary and very useful in every kind of phrase we use around here.

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People marching down the Mannerheiminkatu (meaning that thousands of people completely jammed the transport in the middle of the capital city for a decently long time).

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‘Climate action now <3’

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Loving the simple but yet straight-forward message!

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On the far left: ‘System change, not climate change’. In the middle: ‘Off from the fossil fuel’ with the hashtag ‘now we must’. On the right: ‘Known for 40 years, spoken for 30 years – we must act now!’

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A young child with the massive peace sign with the text ‘100% renewable’

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‘I love. That’s why I won’t destroy.’

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An interesting reference to the feminine ‘Mother Earth’ myth/symbolism.

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‘Speeches have been held – time to act’.

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‘Remember Paris’ referring to the infamous Paris Agreement in 2015.

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‘Financial support for the corporates into history; taxation for the pollution (for real!)’.

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Another example of the juxtaposition of femininity/motherhood and planet Earth.

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Since many of the current people in power are practically useless in terms of controlling climate change, I (sadly) believe that the future of a better environment is in the hands of the young people who are taking ecological matters way more seriously than the old farts.

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Demonstrators standing behind better policies for climate and the environment.

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‘Is the current government the biggest safety threat for Finland?! with the hashtags ‘now we must and ‘don’t sleep’. After all, nothing will ever change if people won’t demand the proper action to be done – now.

Yours,

Miah

activism, animal rights, Finland, Volunteering

Climate March in Helsinki.

As I mentioned in my last post yesterday, your favourite blogger is back here with a bunch of new (or old depending on the perspective you’re looking at) material!

The next couple of posts will be all about the big climate march we had in Helsinki last month. The majority of the signs are understandably in Finnish but I’ve tried to come up with as decent translations in English as I am able to. But I’m not a linguist, you know.

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The lead banner saying ‘climate action NOW!’. Notice the girl on the right who is wearing a dress that for me is similar of the native Sami people‘s costume. This is a very important aspect to remember since climate warming will effect more severely the Northern areas.

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On the left: sign that is urging people to ‘demand action from the government’ with the hashtag ‘climate election’. And on the right: ‘0 fighter planes = will cut the army’s CO2 emissions in half’.

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A young boy marching in the crowd with a lady holding a sign with the hashtag ‘now we must’.

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The long line of people who are ‘rising with the seas’; bypassing one corner of the famous department store Stockmann. The overconsumption and materialism in our society is indeed one of the pressing matters in my mind, at least.

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Quite understandably, many NGO’s took part in this demonstration. As you can see from the black skeleton flags, Sea Shepherd Finland was one of them.

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‘The atmosphere is not a landfill’. In the back of the picture you can also see a sign by the World Wide Found For Nature (WWF) demanding for ‘political backbone immediately’.

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You can be plant-based for many reasons, climate and the environment being one of them. Adopting (at least for the most part) vegan diet is surely one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your emissions.

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A view behind the crowd and a map-of-the-world umbrella to the parliament house in Helsinki.

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‘Stop the fossil fuel capitalism’. To me, the message looks like something I could carry with me next time. A sign hanging from the back and holding my camera in the front, how about that?

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The Finnish ecomodernists were promoting nuclear energy as a carbon-free solution to energy production.

The Finnish Nature League (Luonto-Liitto) with their well-known hedgehog symbol in the back.

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Young people taking a stand on the foreign minister Timo Soini’s point of view that climate activism is nonsense and over-reacting that will cause even more harmful ‘hysteria’ than from where it originated from. Sounds like a true Republican, eh?

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On the back: a lady with a sign that says ‘now quit the rambling’ and on the front a painting of a polar bear with the word ‘goodbye’ (‘jäähyväiset’). In the Finnish language the word ‘jää‘ (painted in white on the pic) actually means ‘ice’ – which makes sense in the case of the polar bears as well. They are losing their natural habitat with the loss of the melting ice bergs.

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Another big organisation prevalent in the demonstration was Amnesty International who reminded that climate change is also a matter of human rights.

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Despite of the ecomodernist view, many people were preferring purely renewable energy as a solution to produce energy without adding emissions.

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The sign above is actually in Swedish (which is the second official language in Finland); saying that ‘there’s no planet B’ – one of the most common slogans seen in the demo.

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Two ladies are asking if ‘the government is running away from the responsibility’ of taking care of its citizens. ‘If not now, when?’ is the time for change?

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And last, but definitely not least, one of the cutest members of the crowd!

More pics of the climate march, Porvoo adventures and vegan food in Helsinki coming soon…

Yours,

Miah

nature, traveling

Defying the Tides in West Kirby.

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Okay. So this is the story of my first time on a train in the UK. It is also an adventure play of two hippies walking to the nearby small islands, totally defying what Google told us about the tide waves. (Not saying that it is a smart move to do this, kids!)

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This little day trip we took to West Kirby beach side was actually one of my favourite adventures in a long time!

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The simplicity of feeling the cool sand and warm puddles of sea water under my bare feet. The sense of absolute freedom when making the journey in what in other times is known as the bottom of the sea bed.

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The colour range of the day varied from warm tones of sandy to the cold grey of the rocky cliffs:

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There’s some random significant other walking there…

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Near the horizon above, you can see the small village where we would’ve needed to stay if the rising tide would’ve isolated us from the shore. Luckily we had enough time to walk back to the town (and you should, of course, always make sure your schedule is not too tight before going for a walk during the low tide).

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I don’t agree with philosophies (not the people who spread them) which say that culture/human and nature are somehow essentially binary and opposite to each other – or that this is the case that it ought to be in order to save the planet.

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In my opinion, anthropogenic changes in different kinds of environments are probably the biggest issue that human kind has ever conducted on this planet. We are the only species capable of transforming living habitats which such a forceful speed that it’s fully in our responsibility to make a healing turn to the better, slower lifestyles. We should definitely cut down the amount the capitalist market system makes people want to consume.

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But we as mammals also are a part of the biosphere so we have the right to enjoy and use natural resources – although no more than is enough to fulfil our basic needs.

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So what I am hence encouraging you to do is to go out there, jump to the other side of the fence and pick those wild berries. Go out camping with your loved ones and enjoy an outdoor meal with an actual conversation around the campfire. Or just sit there under the same blanket as your significant other (friend, spouse, kid, dog…) and listen to the sound of the wind and the birds flying around. Living in the moment.

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So leave your (gentle) imprint on the sand. Be grateful for even the tiniest grains of sand. Breath in the evening wind, sip your tea and make a plan how to slow down your hectic lifestyle while still making a community effort to change the whole beach for a cleaner, safer place – for all of us and the generations to come.

Yours,

Miah