Nature is the place where we live.

Do we want to live in a stone, concrete and asphalt under our feet, or see something green and alive from our window? Do we want clean water to drink and clean food to eat? I also enjoy the fact that I can go to walk in the diverse nature of Finland, swim, hike, ski, bike, dive and fly a kite. Probably most people appreciate nature at least to some extent. Instead, there are different views on means and goals. For some, the goal is to build a dense city so that nature is preserved elsewhere. I personally believe that Finland is a country over 1000 km long and if you look at it from the observation tower of Linnanmäki, our capital is quite small and there is plenty of nature outside of it without having to condense Helsinki. So let's preserve the nearby nature, parks and seashores that we still have. For example, the central park should not be narrowed, Laajasalo's Nallenkallio or beaches should not be built and, for example, the Malmi field is a very valuable natural and cultural site. The area of the Malmi field has remained one of Finland's largest grasslands since the 1930s, rare plant species, thousands of butterfly species, flying squirrels, birds have accumulated there, and even trout grow in the stream that leaves from there. Most of the area is grassland with a clayey bog underneath. The field is also listed on the list of the 7 most endangered European cultural sites. An entity like this cannot be replaced by planting meadow plants in front of the Parliament building or saving only the air traffic control building.

In general, nature and human activity must be reconciled.

Finland must have its own agriculture and forests are still our treasure also in an economic sense. In terms of nature conservation, a lot has already been done in Finland to reduce emissions, by reducing clear-cutting and by making protective areas on the edges of fields in order to reduce the entry of nutrients into the sea and lakes. This work must continue. I don't really believe that a very significant part of Finland's forests would be completely excluded from economic use. There are some areas where it makes sense, but on the other hand, it is part of the natural cycle of forests that large trees are removed (albeit by burning), making room for fresh growth. The Baltic Sea is in quite bad condition. If you go diving right in front of Helsinki, you won't even see your own fingers. However, already in Pihlajasaari or Porkkala you can see the beautiful underwater nature of the Baltic Sea, for example beautiful kelp of different colors and two species of needlefish, fish related to seahorses. When the municipal wastewater has been cleaned, agriculture remains the worst eutrophicator in the Baltic Sea. In agriculture, it is apparently possible to reduce nutrient runoff further by, for example, crop rotation. I'm not an expert in agriculture, but it seems logical to think that fertilizers are quite expensive and it's not in the farmer's interest to use them wastefully. We should find solutions, which at the same time protect Finnish agriculture and nature.

Animals are thinking and feeling

Man's relationship with animals has varied over time. It's hard to know what the Stone Age man was thinking, but he probably hunted animals for food and to get furs while wandering in the Finnish nature. However, he probably valued animals and especially his hunting dog, if he had one. In the Middle Ages, Rene Descartes made statements about the intelligence of animals, and although there may be different interpretations of what he said, he at least showed that the internal organs were quite similar to those of humans. The Church has tried, at least in the past, to elevate man into the image of God and the only one with a soul. I won't go into soul questions in more detail, but it's clear to me that animals feel pain, different emotions and think. From an ethical and moral point of view, I think animals should be valued and respected. Offer animals the opportunity to live a valuable, species-typical life without unnecessary suffering. In this sense, I oppose, for example, fur farming. I stopped eating "blood pancakes" when I was about 4 years old, when I realized that the name was not just an image. At the age of 17 years, I stopped eating red meat and chicken, because I decided that I didn't want to be involved in animal production where the animals couldn't see the sun, move freely or breathe clean air. I'm no saint here either. I have continued to eat fish, for nutritional reasons, and I have thought that at least the fish grown wild in the seas has been allowed to live in a species-typical way. I've still bought organic milk and eggs, although I've also gradually tried oat milk, at least for coffee. As a researcher, I have avoided doing animal experiments, tried to use cell cultures instead, and developed genetically engineered antibodies. I would like to influence animal welfare as much as I can. I have to be realistic though, preaching just annoys people. The best thing here too is to set an example and try to find good solutions for everyone. One good idea of the Basic Finns is that we would demand the same animal treatment standards for imported meat as for domestic meat.