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Can Life Prevail?

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1907166006
ISBN-10: 1907166009
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kaarlo Pentti Linkola was born in Helsinki in 1932. Having spent most of his life working as a professional fisherman, he now continues to lead a materially simple existence in the countryside. A renowned figure in Finland, since the 1960s Linkola has published numerous books on environmentalism. Today, he is among the foremost exponents of the philosophy of deep ecology.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Arktos Media Ltd (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907166009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907166006
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,063,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pentti Linkola is a controversial ecophilosopher, well-known as a deeply committed environmentalist in his Finnish homeland, but fairly unknown outside Scandinavia. That is, until now. "Can Life Prevail?" is the first book by Linkola in English and consists of articles and shorter essays spanning more than a decade of radical environmentalist thought. The topics range from childhood reflections, food hygiene, and bird watching to deforestation and terrorism. Pentti Linkola is a man who has lived and seen the things he talks about. He's not just another trendy green trying to cash in on a political trend; Linkola lives environmentalism. He's protecting a heritage, or as he puts it himself: "Fighting for forests means fighting for Finland. If the forest is flayed, Finland is flayed."

The essence of Linkola's ecophilosophy is conservationism: the whole of our biodiversity carries an intrinsic value. That means protecting ancient forests and rare species is more important than driving an SUV to work, buying every new shiny product from the supermarket, and throwing trash where it suits you. Linkola's plan to stop ecocide is simple: roll back human expansion to sensible levels and return to a local, practical and simpler lifestyle in harmony with nature. Linkola, to be fair, is cynical about the situation. He recognizes that a society too focused on individual desire will always satisfy special public interests instead of looking at the cold reality. That is why he proposes radical solutions to radical problems.

Most of what Linkola says, although it would force even the most radical green-leaning liberal to back down, is close to what many of us would call traditional common sense. We only have one planet. One life.
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Format: Paperback
If you're concerned about our environment, you have two options. You can be an "environmentalist" and support optional purchases of green products and laws that passively encourage pro-green actions, or you can be a conservationist, and favor setting aside natural spaces without humans in them.

But, as time goes on, it becomes clear that nothing will stop us as a species because we keep expanding, and each individual wants what the others have, so our needs always increase. Linkola offers a solution: drop our pretense of humanism and letting everyone have what they want, and recognize that the cause of our environmental catastrophe is the corrupt, selfish and lazy behavior of individuals. Money talks, and most individuals will sacrifice an old growth forest for a few hundred dollars.

As a result, this book breaks every taboo known to humankind and in doing so, tells us the truth that we so vigorously deny. Because we deny this obvious truth, we can never fix our biggest problems, as the last century shows us. If we summon our maturity and bravery, and peer around inside Linkola's head, we can see possible solutions.

This collection of essays works well for me as a reader because the essays chosen and the order in which they are presented works us gently into Linkola's thought, and shows us the breadth of his vision in terms of its practical applications -- this is not airy theory, but boots on the ground observations backed up by sound reasoning. If our species survives, the kind of thinking that exists in this book will someday be the norm, where today is it violently denied.

It seems the publisher had a few problems with layout in the production of this book, but they are small and easily bypassed.
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I have been interested in Pentti Linkola for the past few years. His writings are interesting...they are thought provoking, and they are brutally honest. Is he always right? No. Is he usually? Yes.

This 'book' is really a collection of Linkola's essays over the years. The translation appears to be quite good, with what minimal Finnish I know.

Linkola approaches things from a combination of the Schumacher 'Small is Beautiful' approach with a Fascist approach. In other words, like Schumacher, Linkola favors the local, the rural, the ecological. From the Fascist standpoint, Linkola is in favor of forced sterilization, population control, and the like.

Let the reader beware...if you are a left leaning environmentalist, there is much here that will 'offend the senses'. However, those are the people who should read this book. Environmentalism does not make sense when approached from most angles. Linkola's version makes perfect sense. Scary, but logical.
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I stumbled across this book surfing Amazon for books on the environment and was intrigued by the background and provocative quotes given in the book write-up and reviews. Further research on the internet revealed additional details of the author, who, amongst his attributes seems to have a deep love of nature and distain for what man and his rampant materialism is doing to it. He is well known in Finland for his controversial views, has been writing books and articles since 1955, and as a proponent of deep ecology has been labeled an eco-fascist. This is latest book and the first to be translated into English. Not surprisingly, this all sounded quite interesting so I took the plunge and bought the book. Whilst the book and author didn't quite live up to my elevated expectations, it was in many respects an interesting and thought provoking read.

So, what do you get with Can Life Prevail? The book is just over 200 pages long, and is divided into five chapters. It has 37 short articles, most of them dating back to the 1990s. They are grouped under the following chapter headings:

Chapter 1: Finland (six articles)
Chapter 2: Forests (six articles)
Chapter 3: Animals (eleven articles)
Chapter 4: The World and Us (eleven articles)
Chapter 5: The Prerequisites for Life (three articles)

These chapter titles are somewhat bland indicators of the fascinating articles they feature. Most of the articles are relatively short and concise. This has the benefit of that you get clear, to the point article content and that the range of topic matter per chapter is wide. However, it should be noted that Linkola is very much a man of Finland, and his frame of reference and experience is derived from that country.
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