Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Environmental pettiness

This is an article published in the last issue of the Ovi magazine - Ovi lehti

When the green movement - I'm very careful to use the word 'movement' and not 'party' - established itself on the German political horizon back in the '70s, with Petra Kelly, it become a global environmental movement with political influence and one of the main slogans was "nuclear power, no thank you!" I'm sure a lot of you have seen the small yellow badges decorating the denim jackets of teenagers nowadays.

Petra Kelly and two hundred people around her realized that the environmental movement had started to have a voice and more people were listening, so it was time to interfere in the political system actively. This happened far before the green movement became a party that dreams of ministries and starting middle-class revolutionaries from the sofa in front of their flat screen TV. Sadly the romantic end came too early with the tragic murder of Petra Kelly.

I know that in nearly every issue of Ovi magazine, one way or another, I return to the subject of the new nuclear plant in Finland, but somehow I cannot resist. The funny thing is that the nuclear plant has become a second issue in front of the immaturely and inconsiderate behavior of the Green Party and its members.

The article I wrote in the last issue of Ovi magazine ("Green Party, R.I.P.") became a theme in a few conversations I had with Finnish friends and their attitude towards what calls itself the Green Party in Finland. My friends are not supporters or voters of the Green Party, but they are considered progressional and environmentally aware, yet they would never vote for the Green Party.

Amazing as it sounds, the Finnish Green Party seems to make all the mistakes there are in the book. Nepotism, believe it or not there are whole families as candidates with the bright example of three sisters that 'ecologically' fill Helsinki with paper posters and brochures every time there are elections; it doesn't matter whether they are general, municipality or union elections.

To support the idea of free cannabis doesn't necessarily make you an environmentalist; still, this is a good excuse to become a member of the Green Party in Finland. When you ask a member what they are doing about the landmines in Finland the answer is that this is tradition. Like the folklore dances and dresses, Finns see landmines as a tradition.

To be an immigrant is a good thing; it doesn't matter if you are as environmentally aware as George W. Bush or you just love flowers, this doesn't make you Green, especially when at the same time you are prejudice to anything that doesn't fit your measures and personal ambitions.

Green doesn't mean I say 'I am green', but everything you do contradicts every single principal of the green movement. The people who run this party have to understand that the work is collective, the decisions are collective and that quantity is not necessary quality. The number of votes that bring the ministry chair closer just makes the distance to the environment bigger.

Finally, I still cannot believe that the Finnish Green Party decided to make certain compromises for the "nation's good" and the need for energy, and in exchange for the promise to have a minister from the Green Party. As sad as it sounds, the worst enemy of the environment and the environmental movement in Finland is quickly becoming the Green Party!

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