And warming up to Finnish sauna
So today I went to a Finnish sauna at the Museum. Sauna at the Museum? Well, this is Sparta! I mean, Finland. There’s sauna everywhere. Who would think that sitting in a steamy room at 75 degrees Celsius then submerging into a lake at 5 degrees Celsius would be fun? But it was better than I expected. Then I went out for a walk in the forest as the sun came out later on.
Last year I was in Sweden for a month, exactly in the worst of winter (January), and I wrote a lot about it (you can find it in the archives starting here). It was mostly a very nice experience. And of course I lived in Canada for years. So I am used to VERY LONG AND VERY COLD WINTERS. I generally dislike them — I much prefer the Mediterranean climate — but well, at least I am used to them.
But it turns out that Spring can be sometimes more depressing, because it doesn’t look like Spring at all, at least as I understand it. It is more like a very slow de-icing with lots of clouds and rain and occasional sunny days, until suddenly one day, Summer comes.
Yet, for weird some reason, Sweden and Finland (together with Germany, and perhaps also Canada), seem to be among the countries most obsessed with global warming. I find it very odd. If there are countries which would benefit immensely from a global increase of a few degrees in temperature, wouldn’t they be the Scandinavian countries? African countries might boil, and people in Sardinia and Sicily might fry, but what are Swedes and Finns worried about? Fewer ice hockey fields? Ruining the sauna experience?
My theory is that global warming is a kind of pagan religion, and the Scandinavians haven’t completely forgotten their old pagan traditions. They did worship trees or forest nymphs, after all, and Nature is still pretty much sacred in all of Scandinavia.
But does global warming really exist? I am no scientist, so I can’t say anything from a scientific perspective. But speaking from personal experience, I can’t really say that it has affected my life, or anyone’s life, very much. Say what you want about Covid, at least it caused a visible impact, even if most of it was because of the bad policies.
As far as I can remember, the fear of global warming, later called also more generically climate change, started being promoted already in the 1980s. By the 1990s they were already promising the end of the world in 20 or 30 years. Yet 30 years have passed and things look pretty much the same. Sure, there are minor variations in the climate every year, but I can’t really say that I have seen anything catastrophic in my lifetime.
In the 1980s, they used to talk a lot about the “hole in the ozone layer”, and supposedly they closed it, or at least, no one talked about that hypothetical problem anymore after they banned CFCs. Could it have been yet another fake, and they banned CFCs for some other, probably commercial, reason? Who knows. But that’s the only real change I remember.
Maybe winters have become less rigorous in some parts of the world (but not in Canada), maybe it is a bit warmer everywhere on average, but the world didn’t end, the polar ice caps didn’t melt, the oceans didn’t rise, even the polar bears are still around. So I find it hard to worry too much about the new apocalyptic theories.
Even if climate change or global warming were real, none of the proposed solutions make any sense, except as a form of tax to make people poorer or breed less. That’s not to say that there are not a lot of very serious environmental problems, from forest burning to the pollution of the oceans to the extinction of species to micro-plastics all over even in our food. But climate change or global warming doesn’t seem to be one of them.
Greenland used to be green — that’s why it’s called “Greenland” and not “Iceland” — so the Earth has been warmer before. It has also been much, much colder. So big global variations in temperature are not something new, and they are probably caused by the sun. If there is some anthropogenic influence, it can’t be more powerful than the sun.
The sun — that’s something that you occasionally miss up here in the North. I for one could do with a bit more of it.