Helsinki, December and climate change

Less than a week to Christmas. It’s +11, rainy and windy. I remember how people depreciated global warming 5-10 years ago, saying that “no problem, at least we’ll have decent summers here in the North”.

A more accurate term was developed since then – climate change instead of global warming. This means for Southern Finland, for example, that there will be the same windy and short summers, but winter will almost disappear, making room for the gray misery, lasting 6 months. And no, we’ll not have blossoming flowers in April like in Holland, at least for the coming tens of years.

There is still a hope. Just before Paris Climate Change Conference a march against climate change was organized in many cities. This is how it looked like in Helsinki:

There are many things to criticize about the way how the Paris Conference went and about its outcomes, but I’m optimistic about the fact that people were in principle able to reach an agreement. I hope that politics who signed the agreement fully understand its impacts and have a vision about making their own countries comply with the promises given.

General public mostly believes that the agreement is a good thing, but it seems that only few realize that it would require everyone’s efforts. Major efforts. To make climate change hit us less hardly, people must go out of their cars, they must re-evaluate their buying habits, their use of energy, their ways of doing business etc. I hope that a new kind of economy will be developed soon as well, because the current growth for the sake of growth is just insane.

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I took my camera and went to see how Helsinki will look like during many coming winters.

Rainy and windy weather will affect cycling levels, but lack of snow will have a positive impact on them. It’s hard to say yet what will be the final outcome – more cycling, less of it or no change at all.

One thing will happen for sure: the old way of dealing with icy bicycle roads and sidewalks (when they scatter granite crumbs over packed snow) wouldn’t work anymore. Most probably Helsinki will use the same techniques as are in use in Copenhagen – brushing the fresh snow away and using a small amount of salt or other substances to prevent icing. There are 2 test stretches already this winter, where a new technique is implemented.

There might be Christmas without snow, but is it possible without a Christmas tree?

There was an art installation named “A forest of Christmas trees” in the early December in Helsinki.

Perhaps one of the firs was decorated by refugees. The cards are quite touching: “I hope I’ll get a good job”, “It’s nice to study Finnish language” (written with some mistakes :), “I wish you peace and happiness”.

Sörnäinen on Sunday. Just love to see it without cars!

Loneliness of the big city.

And the climate change again. WTF, ducks are swimming in the bicycle road! Dear reader, do you still believe that climate change wouldn’t affect you personally?

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