Monday, 20 January 2020


Julia Hertell thinks climate change is the most hot-button issue of our time. So does her husband. When they got married they started right off by asking their wedding guests to bring presents that were old. They decided to only have two children. Thought about adopting, but decided they were too old. The couple doesn’t own a car, instead, they use electric bikes with big boxes to transport their kids, take public transport and car-share. Julia gave up flying for one year, except for two business trips.

Their apartment is furnished with lots of old and used things. The family's diet is mostly vegan. For the girl's birthday parties, they ask the parents to chip in 3 to 5 euros each and buy only one present. Their friends love the idea and have copied it. Gifts to family and friends are concert tickets, vouchers for spas, organic food. They use old-school cleaning products: soda, black or linseed soap, bio-detergent for the dishwasher and the washing machine. They buy clothes made of natural fiber. Avoid plastics. They don't have a dryer (emits more carbon dioxide than air conditioning). Their frig is small, with a top freezer.

Julia and Samuli are architects. They try to include energy efficiency in their work. When Julia designed her father’s house* in Hanko, her goals were to make it beautiful, functional and eco-friendly. The house is built on a rocky site. It's heated and cooled thermally – two drill holes, 230 m into the rock, do the trick. The wine cellar isn't heated or cooled. It takes energy from the surrounding rock and is the same temperature year around. Julia says the energy efficiency regulations for insulation are geared to keep the heat in. The 450 mm insulation in the walls and roof is too thick. The house is warm in winter, but it can get hot in the summer. Open windows and a sea breeze make it comfortable.  Julia and Samuli are not alone in their efforts to lower their imprint on the climate. Millennials, especially, are on board. They know that for their future and their children's future, it's imperative to cut their CARBON FOOTPRINT. But we better all pitch in to avert ‘a climate apocalypse’**.

* Joni Hertell’s house was featured in a Danish TV program.

**Greta Thunberg. (Time magazine Person of the Year). She and Donald Trump get star billing at the World Economic Forum in Davos the week of January 20. The theme is climate change:  Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.

Source: Julia Hertell

Next week: Eki & I have a BET: who will the DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE?


When it comes to climate change, individual choices matter. Even tiny changes create a huge impact when we multiply the individual choices by the eight billion or so humans on the planet. Larger changes, like reducing meat consumption, limiting unnecessary travel, and most importantly, having fewer kids make much bigger an impact. Doing all this is applaudable.

Yet it's not enough. Not by a long shot.

The thing is, we really need to get to zero emissions in the long run, sooner the better. That means structural changes in the society and the near-complete elimination of fossil fuel use. And this cannot be done on the level of individual humans, not even on the level of individual countries.

The prisoner's dilemma from game theory
** forbids this. Making choices that would be best for everyone can be disadvantageous to an individual unless everyone cooperates. And in this case, this means everyone on the scale of our planet.

So, international treaties are the way to go - cooperation on a global scale.

The mere idea of this world-scale regulation, as well as the lost profits, are poison to some. They are powerful, well funded and prepared to do anything to stop global regulations from happening. And i think it's a crime.

I would not be surprised to see something like the tobacco trials waged against the most powerful climate denialists in the future. Or, even Nüremberg-like trials. They are committing their crimes against humanity after all.




Saturday, 4 January 2020


"Showdown" © Little Margie Productions 2019.

The  2020 US presidential election will make Cage Fighters look like toddlers in a playpen - Trump digs Down & Dirty.  The dirtier the better. And he might win*.  The Dem lineup looks limp. We need a Captain America to beat the pants off this Joker.  Or four more years of a wannabe dictator. Trend-trackers say the liberal democratic system has taken a hit: Trump's rule is a text-book example.

The news from Finland is more upbeat. The Shark tells me that the young (34), smart, glamor-girl Prime Minister, SANNA MARIN, has the whole country tuned in to politics. Eki said he's happy with the fresh wind that blew into parliament. The fake-named 'True Finns' party is the biggest, but other parties, all headed by women, out-gun the TFs.  Sanna Marin got worldwide attention when she was elected. A terrific image for the country.  Now we'll get to find out how this matriarchal government preforms.

The media, legit and fake, especially in the US, are giddy with glee about 2020. They see a banner year for scandal and skullduggery. The New York Times and the Washington Post have had big subscription jumps. Reporters, commentators, bloggers, media-rats have had a blast bashing Trump, or pumping him up. Littlemargieproductions got into the act. Eki and I made three VOTE 2020 videos***. 'SHOWDOWN' stars Trump. The reaction has been love it or hate it. Anti-Trumpers send fanmails. Pro-Trumpers aren't talking to me. Eki has set me off in a new direction.  Our next VOTE video has the working title: 'HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN'. Let's hope.

* Battleground states Trump won in 2016 that clinched his election. Even though Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes. The Electoral College ain't fair, but it's the US system until Americans go to bat to change it, so that every vote counts.

Must win states: Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, No. Carolina

** FOX  News, Tump's right-wing propaganda outlet has the most viewers (apprx. 2.3 million in Dec 2019). One bright Fox-spot: commentator, Chris Wallace, who has the nerve  and intelligence to ask tough non-partisan questions.

*** VOTE videos: ABE LINCOLN Tweets, WE NEED YOU 2020, SHOWDOWN 2020

Sources: New York Times. Washington Post, internet, the Shark, Eki

Next week: JULIA HERTELLL & SAMULI WOOLSTON: how a Finnish family cuts their CARBON FOOTPRINT

Note: When it comes to US elections and Dems, both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are good candidates - old, sure, but not senile, like the front runner candidate seems to be. They would also beat Trump quite easily, i think. Despite being touted to be too far left, their policies are actually supported by the majority of Americans. And of course, from the North-European point of view, they are more centrists than leftists - the US perceived center is our right-wing ;-)

Well, not really. 

We unfortunately do have alt-right wackos too, and right now they do well in polls. Sanna Marin's party, the Social Democrats, is the largest party in the parliament.
But the True Finns do lead the polls right now. Which is horrible.

Oh, I think i explained the situation badly to Maggy, so to re-iterate: currently True Finns are *NOT* the biggest in parliament, the Social Democratic Party is.

But as said, the "wannabe-nazis" raise their ugly heads in current politics, and their 
favorite party has a large support in polls.

Luckily, there's over 3 years to the next election, and their bubble will likely burst before that. I do not believe that almost a quarter of Finns would really support their racistic, xenophobic, misogynic and anti-science policies. I'd say the success in polls largely stems from people falling for the easy populist rhetoric, without actually understanding who the party they say they root for actually stands for.

That's going to change, the information will get out. So far, the True-Finns have gotten off easily, as they have been perceived as a fringe movement. With this kind of poll success, that will not fly anymore. They will be challenged, they will be exposed for what they are.

One interesting side note - as the alt-right-wing's noise has become frequent, loud and annoying enough, it seems that the population at large has gotten enough of it, and is now finally standing up against them, or at least contemplating it. 

Even the current Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö highlighted the issue on his New Year's address to the nation. And he's as conservative and bland as a Finn can get, no strong opinions about anything really.

Also, there's a brand new Baltic Herring Movement, which is an anti-racist, pro-science non-partisan movement to fight against the alt-right fringe's nonsense. The members try to keep gates on the flood of trash talk from the right fringe that has poisoned the online discussions, and also do peaceful demonstrations etc. In just two days, the Herrings Facebook group grew to over 20 000 people. That is a lot in a small country like ours.

I said to Maggy that this time i will not have the time to write an essay for a comment... well, i wonder how long my comments will be on the day that i do ;-)

- Eki