Friday, August 11, 2006


Finland is experiencing the driest summer in a hundred years. A central Helsinki measurement station has apparently measured 3,4 millimetres of rain this July. The corresponding figure for 2004 is 177 millimetres.

Crops are failing, not only those planted by man. Also our usually-abundant forest berries are virtually non-existent this year. Mushrooms, my favourite - don't even mention them, not a sausage. A large number of students and other people from Ukraine are in danger of being stranded here with no money and no way of getting home - they had come to pick forest berries, which usually gives a fine profit. We have pickers from Thailand, too (I am not making this up), but apparently they have come better prepared (i.e. with enough funds to allow them to hire a car) and are managing to find something to pick.

A hundred years ago we would have starved next winter.

There are numerous forest fires raging close to the border, on the Russian side, as well as in Estonia, across the Gulf of Finland. The south-easterly winds this past week have been bringing the smoke all the way to Helsinki, obscuring visibility and causing anxious citizens to call up the emergency services. You can actually smell smoke.

Well, kiddies, I think the climate change is upon us.

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