29 June 2022

Finland and Sweden invited to NATO - but what about Kurdish people

Today was a big day for Finland and Sweden as they were invited to join NATO. It was also an important day for Turkey´s wannabe sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, who most probably obtained a promise from President Joe Biden of obtaining F16 fighters from the USA. 

A day was a bit less great for Turkish minorities. That was very clearly pointed out by a member of Swedish  parliament, Kurdish Amineh Kakabaveh, who did not accept the deal by the Swedish Social democratic government, and said to her compatriots that a "vote for the Social Democrats is a vote for Erdogan". 

The reason is that Finland and Sweden agreed on actions against terrorists. And terrorists in Erdogan´s understanding are more or less synonyms for Kurds. 

Already now Finland and Sweden are considering PKK as a terrorist organisation, due to an obvious reason that PKK has been guilty of terrorist attacks. On the other hand, the two Nordic countries do not consider other Kurdish organisations - including Syrian YPG - terroristic organizations, but neither do they support them. 

Therefore, the agreement between the Nordic countries and Turkey - as far as is possible to figure out based on the available public information - will not change the current political practices considering Kurdish people. 

It is also clear that neither Finland nor Sweden will send a single Kurd to Turkey if that would be against their own legislation. That means no one - who is not a terrorist according to Nordic laws - has a fear of being sent to Turkey for a trial. 

25 June 2022

G-index challenges the theory of the global climatic change

There are many kinds of estimates describing the development of the global temperature. You may follow statistics based on adjusted temperature measurements from worldwide network of stations, satellite data or - my favorite thus far - melting of arctic sea ice

Here I will introduce you - my respected reader - to a G-index developed by a Finnish teacher Simo Ruoho. I know, it sounds ridiculous to compare a school teacher´s achievement to those of huge scientific organisations like NASA - and that is what I thought myself, when I heard about him for the first time some half a year ago.

Now, after following his G-index thereafter, I have become highly interested due to its accuracy. During this time its prediction of the becoming global temperature has failed only once. And no, the prediction has not been changed afterwards. 

In addition, the G-index of Mr. Ruoho has also predicted amazingly well the annual mean temperature of Finland. That is, more accurately than the prediction of the governmental Finnish Meteorologial Institute

These evidence are impressive enough for me to share this information in this blog. However, only the accuracy of the future predictions will show, whether he has only had good luck with his index - or whether he has made a major finding on the mechanisms of the global climatic development. 

If the latter, the global atmospheric development does not follow from the carbon dioxide and other emissions due to human actions, but is driven by the exchange of energy between the oceans and atmosphere. In other words, if G-index-based predictions will hold also in the future, the current climate theory developed to explain the warming of the global climate will become falsified. That is, shown to be wrong.

As the global climatic change has a major effect on politics in the EU and elsewhere, that would probably be the greatest scoop ever. But also a sad example of scientists losing their objectivity after the big money became available for the climatic research. 

Therefore - as a professional scientist - I am not sure, should I cross my fingers for the success or failure of Simo Ruoho´s G-index. The fact, however, is that the position of my fingers does not affect the outcome. And therefore the only thing I can do now, is to continue my follow-up of his predictions and their accuracy.  

24 June 2022

Did police have the right to strip women

In Finland an interesting case has been taken to the court. Police are accused of stripping women of their hijabs. The stripped women were in Finland illegally, as no need for an asylum was shown, but they had refused to leave the country. 

Thus far it has been clear that police has right to ensure the identity of any person in the country. Now the case - taken to the court not by the women themselves but by the office of the prosecutor general -  questions this practice.

If the court decides the case for the women, it will open doors to many tedious visions. After such an outcome anyone could wear a religious clothing to remain unidentified, irrespective if they are illegally in the country or if they are suspected for a crime. And of course, they could participate demonstrations anonymously, although according to law that should not be allowed due to the possibility of a kind of misbehavior that has been seen previously

The question arising here is the motivation of the office of the prosecutor general? Is his aim to complicate the work of police in the country? Or does he want to have a prejudice - to loose his case - for the future needs to help the police? 

That we do not know, but it is very clear that the number of serious crimes has increased in the country since the international migration wave in 2015 although the numbers are still low compared to previous decades. I hope, that after this court case, its outcome will help to reduce the crime rate in future.  

20 June 2022

A new justification is needed for environmental activists

Biodiversity crisis is one of the big environmental issues today. Although the problem is worst in the low latitudes, the topic is intensively discussed also in the European Union, which is in a process of preparing a stringent legislation to save the environment. 

In its current form EU biodiversity strategy would have serious effects on the Nordic forestry, which in Finland gives work to almost 100 000 people, and forms the basis of almost 20 percent of the export value. Despite these economic facts, a considerably higher amount of wood is growing in the Finnish forests now than was hundred years ago.   

One of the keystone species for biodiversity in North-European forests is bilberry. It is a valuable berry that many people are picking in forests, but it also is an extremely important source of food for many wild animals, especially birds - but also the king of the forests, bear. 

The environmentalists have for decades claimed that current forestry practices are reducing the amount of bilberries, and through food chain many other animals (example). The scientific basis supporting their claim are old investigations that showed bilberry area to have reduced between years 1950 and 1995. 

Now a new investigation is ongoing and its first results show that the forest area covered by bilberries has not reduced since 1995, but in contrast it has increased. Therefore the bilberry does not suffer from Nordic forestry, which has intensified between all those years, but may even have benefited on its current practices. 

Neither will many birds suffer from the lack of bilberries, but their reducing numbers result from some other causes. And those may or may not be related to forestry.  

In my opinion this little example demonstrates extremely well the problem typical to fanatic single topic movements. They have decided beforehand - based on their ideology - what is the problem they are opposing, and thereafter they search for evidence supporting their view from wherever that can be found. 

Therefore I do not expect truth about bilberries in Finland to change the opinions of environmental organisations towards commercial forestry. Instead, they will find other issues that seem to support their ideology. And use them against economic activities, that they have decided to oppose. That is, the Nordic forestry.

18 June 2022

Microbial solution to malnutrition?

According to Unicef, more than 10 million children are at risk for starving in East Africa. The causes include drought, increasing food prices and escalation of armed conflicts.

That is not anything new, as probably we all remember previous episodes of famine in eastern Africa. What is new, however, is a finding of new means to reduce the consequences of food shortage. 

That development was reviewed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the USA. According to that, a unique mix of foods such as peanuts and bananas supported the growth of age-appropriate microbes and helped to restore the health of malnourished toddlers—and the outcome was more effective at improving their health than standard supplements.

The review also reported that offering plant-based diets high in fiber, and diets high in fermented foods such as kombucha and kefir to kids - and also their microbes - had positive effects to their health after periods of serious malnutrition. As an outcome, they increased the growth and intellectual development of children.

Most interestingly, when the researchers fed malnourished toddlers with a special food supplement twice a day for three months, the children gained height and weight in patterns similar to their healthy peers. That was different form the standard treatments.

Overall, the recent developments are encouraging, and may lead to new ways to save children´s lives in eastern Africa and elsewhere where malnutrition occurs. That could probably also reduce the number of people searching for better life in western countries in Europe and North America, and therefore help in avoiding risks of instability caused by a collision of different cultures seen e.g. in Sweden.

15 June 2022

Will an attitude lead Ukraine into EU?

The European Commission has taken a positive attitude towards granting Ukraine an official status as an EU candidate, according to Politico. The solution roots itself in Ukrainian requests for an official recognition as an EU candidate country as that would provide a morale boost to their soldiers and other citizens. 

An anonymous EU senior official said that "the Commission does not forget that Ukraine is the only country in Europe where people died, where people were shot at because they were on the streets carrying EU flags... Now, we cannot tell them, ´sorry guys, you were waving the wrong flags.´"

As having a great sympathy towards Ukrainians in their desperate defense against Russian invasion, I definitely would like to provide them a membership in the Union. Despite that, I urge that during the becoming negotiations EU will not loosen its demands and economic conditions to be fulfilled by a member country. That includes also getting rid of the wide and deep corruption known to have flourished forever in the country.

Good hope can be seen in the attitudes of Ukrainians. That was expressed by the deputy head of Ukrainian President office, who said that "when you ask Ukrainian soldiers fighting somewhere in the Donbas or in the south of Ukraine against Russian aggression, ´Do you want to be a part of the European Union family?´ They say, ´Yes, definitely. Because that´s what I’m fighting for. I´m fighting not only for Ukraine, I´m fighting for European values. I´m fighting against aggression in Europe.´"

I hope this attitude will make impossible a viable option, and help Ukrainians to turn their country to an acceptable and successful member of the European Union in near future. 

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
A new route for the Ukrainian crops
Afghanistan now and in the future
Tractor course for Ukrainians

13 June 2022

A new route for the Ukrainian crops

Ukraine is one of the most important producer of crops. Therefore the Russian attack to Ukraine might have a major impact on the food availability in some countries - especially in the Near East/North Africa.

Today it was reported by the Helsingin sanomat that a new route has been established to Ukrainian agricultural products. That goes via Poland and Baltic sea. Using that route, the first ship managed to bring 18 000 tons of corn to Spain. The ship - named Alppila - was sailing under the Finnish flag.

This news was of extreme importance taken that hunger is understandably the strongest force causing instability in the developing world and pushing masses of people towards north to look for better life. And that will - ultimately - cause many kinds of problems even in the receiving countries as seen e.g. in Sweden

Therefore it was important that the cargo managed to make its way to Spain, and will have successors in the near future. At the same time, it reduces the effects of Russian actions to stop export of Ukrainian products and its attempt to put pressure on western nations to stop their military support to the attacked nation. 

9 June 2022

A popular hobby risks ecological balance, private property and human health in Finland

Ticks carry bacteria and viruses with them. The bacteria are causing Lyme borreliosis, which is a serious disease but can be treated with antibiotics. In contrast, some viruses may cause Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), which is a serious tick-borne disease in Europe that can only be avoided by vaccinations.

Today it was informed that the number of TBE cases has increased considerably in Sweden and Finland due to the climatic change and and COVID-19 pandemic, the latter of which has brought people for outdoor activities. At least in Finland one of the main causes was not mentioned. That is the dramatically increased number of white-tailed and also roe deer, both of which act as hosts to ticks, and therefore enable higher population sizes of disease causing agents.

Deer populations also cause major damage to young forests by eating hardwoods and pines, which result in direct losses to forest owners as well as directs forest owners to plant spruces, which in Central Europe have been attacked seriously by beetles, and the same has been predicted to happen also in Nordic countries if the climates continue warming as predicted.

Hunting is, however, a popular hobby in Finland, and people involved are bringing huge amounts of food to the deer in wintertime, which increases considerably their population sizes. That maximizes the amount of animals for hunting but also their effect on the spread of tick-borne diseases and forest damages. 

For anyone looking from the side, it should be imperative to end the feeding of deer due to the vast problems they cause. And the common sense says, that white tailed deer should be removed from the country due to its nature as an alien invasive species. It simply is not sustainable to jeopardize ecological balance with an aggressively reproducing alien animal, put the health of lay people at risk nor damage their properties because of a hobby - no matter how enjoyable that may be.