Fisherman and deep ecologist Pentti Linkola died at the age of 87.
Kaarlo Pentti Linkola was born on December 7, 1932 in Helsinki to the family of Kaarlo Linkola and Hilkka Suolahti, a professor and lecturer at the University of Helsinki. Both parents represented Finnish cultural families.
Linkola attended the Finnish Joint School and enrolled as a student in 1950. Born and raised in Helsinki, he already had a strong connection to the countryside at a young age. The family spent the summers on the mother's family's farm in Vanajavesi in Häme.
He began his studies in zoology and botany at the University of Helsinki, but dropped out in his first year. Theoretical studies did not interest Linkola.
In the 1970s, Linkola settled in Vanajavesi on the farm of his mother's family to fish. The deforestation that changed the landscape was always a big shock to him.
Pentti Linkola has often been called Finland's most uncompromising, if not the only real dissident.
At first he was known as a pacifist, then as a conservationist who, at least in theory, was willing to use violence to achieve goals.
Pentti Linkola in 1968.
Image: IS archive
Linkola's core message has not changed over the decades. According to him, man is driving the earth towards disaster, and the end is near.
The climate change debate made many people think more carefully about his message. The message wasn’t light, even less comfortable, but it turned out - unfortunately - timeless.
Linkola met his future wife, Aliisa, when she was only 19 years old and she was 28 at the time. Linkola was anxious about the state of the world and wanted to live a simple life on land.
Fishing in Kuhmoinen on April 20, 1969.
Photo: Kaius Hedenström / Lehtikuva
- I'm calculating. Aliisa is pretty like what and strong looking and strong it was. I thought it had a suitable partner for fishing as well, as it was. For many years, Linkola herself told Riitta Kylänpää 's book Pentti Linkola - Man and Legend (Siltala). The biography was awarded 2017 at Tieto-Finlandia.
The biography written by Kylänpää sheds light on Linkola's sometimes turbulent private life.
Linkola supported himself as a fisherman, whose career he began as early as the late 1950s.
Linkola at home at his desk in Kuhmoinen in 1969.
Photo: Kaius Hedenström / Lehtikuva
Linkola had been married to Aliisa for a long time, and they had two daughters. Because Linkola lived a hermit life, he was a difficult partner and an irritable father.
Read more: The new book reveals Pentti Linkola's popularity among women
Pentti Linkola - a man and a legend says that the marriage finally failed in 1974 on a seven - week rowing boat trip around Åland. The whole family was involved. Sometimes there was a danger to life due to the sea. The divorce was also affected by Linkola's relationship with publisher Sirkka Kurki-Suonio. According to the biography, the information about the relationship was just a relief for Aliisa.
Later, Linkola had other feminine relationships.
Linkola was sometimes hospitalized for her severe depression.
Although Linkola’s father died when the son was only ten, his mother remained an important influence in his life until he was almost 70 years old.
In 1971, Linkola published a collection of essays Dreams of a Better World. In essays written in the 1960s, he justified his view of the ecological way of life. Other topics were the idea of peace, emigration, the brotherhood of the people, and the future.
Fisherman Pentti Linkola speaking at the dea-72 days at Espoo Dipoli in November 1971.
Photo: Jarmo Hietaranta / Lehtikuva
At the beginning of the essay collection is a chapter that aims to “banish unwanted readers, cultural dudes of Helsinki taverns and other logheads who fear sincere naivety more than elegant cynicism”.
The ideal of Linkola’s essays was a society where people and their families live as far apart as possible in order to love each other.
Linkola said in an interview with Yle in 2007, after the Madrid bombing, that “any action that disrupts the development of Western culture that destroys life on Earth is a positive one”.
In an interview, Linkola marveled at the news uproar over the Madrid attack, which killed 200 people.
"These deaths, if we wanted to see human tragedy in them now, are insignificant compared to the so-called legal wars of these societies," he said.
- It's not even newsworthy.
The reporter asked why Linkola himself had not become a terrorist if he once considered acts of terrorism a positive thing.
- Lack of both courage and ability. I can’t build any bomb at all, I’m not a handy person at all, Linkola replied.
At the same time, he also spoke about his position on immigration policy. According to Linkola, no refugees or migrants should be admitted to Finland from countries with a low standard of living. It would increase consumption, which is already at a fatal level.
In 2015, Yle made a comprehensive portrait of Linkola. In it, Linkola compared democracy to a “market kilometer hall where a person has been allowed to rage and realize himself. Yes, you can already see from the door that a person has no future. ”
Linkola was filmed for HS’s 80th anniversary interview in 2012.
Photo: Rami Marjamäki
The dictatorship was preferred by Linkola because it had other values than consumption and burden.
In the same interview, he also commented on the discussion he had caused himself.
- It has bothered me to always be comforted that yes they have provoked a lot of discussion. I do not want to stimulate discussion, but I've wanted to for advice, how should the people live.
Exploring the network.
Photo: Rami Marjamäki
In June 2016, Helsingin Sanomat's Monthly Supplement went on a birding tour with Linkola. Linkola's oldest bird diaries date from 1949. According to the Monthly Supplement, he conscientiously and systematically recorded his bird observations in booklets, according to the manual of the German ornithologist Ernst Hartert.
In the same interview, he also recalled a moment when he bowed to car dealerships. First, of course, he had to go to driving school, in his fifties. Earlier, he had exaggerated cars into resource-like beasts like the beast of Revelation. So only the old Toyota Hiace appeared in the yard of Lincoln.
Linkola raising potatoes on his home farm in Valkeakoski in September 2012.
Photo: Jarno Mela / Lehtikuva
Something about Linkola's interest is also shown by the fact that when Helsingin Sanomat asked a total of 175 cultural and scientific figures in 1989 and 2002 who are Finland's number one intelligentsia, only three Finns rose to the Top 10 on both occasions. They were philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright, diplomat Max Jakobson and Pentti Linkola.
In 2017, HS wrote that many foreigners would not understand the love of Finns for Linkola, because outside Finland, Linkola is seen with completely different eyes. According to HS, “Linkola is, for example, a cult figure of neo-Nazi districts of international militants”.
Even worse happened. The biography written by Kylänpää mentions that in June 2014, Linkola received a letter from the American ecoterrorist Theodore Kaczynski, known by the nickname Unabomber.
In 2018, IS published a story in which Linkola said he still kept a nature diary, even though his own mobility was already weak. Linkola suffered from diabetes and dizziness.
Read more: Pentti Linkola, 85: “I recently went to the sauna and decided it was the last sauna of my life”
- I don't think there's anything left. I am quite unable to move, he said at the time.
Recently, Linkola also had time to comment briefly on the coronavirus pandemic. He shared his views on the matter with the online publication Cultural Journalism, which specializes in cultural journalism.
The interview was published just a few days ago, on Thursday.
In Valkeakoski on November 15, 2012.
Photo: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva
"The coronavirus may slow the destruction of the earth a little, but once it has been discouraged, the same way of life will continue," Linkola said, and continued:
- As long as economic progress and development are key human goals, saving the planet is lost.