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The Finns Know How to Green Party

Tea Törmänen

Monday, March 21, 2022

Dr. Chris Keefer  0:00  

Welcome back to Decouple. Today I'm joined by their daughter man in tears, the executive director of three planets, a new European Network of environmental organizations. There is also a biologist and a member of the Green Party of Finland. They are welcome to Decouple.

Tea Törmänen  0:16  

Thank you so much good to be here,

Dr. Chris Keefer  0:18  

you're gonna have to excuse my poor pronunciation of your name and have a number of Finnish words. Throughout this episode. I've got a poor track record, every time I talk to either, Aris Haleema. I mess it up in some way, shape, or form. I'm actually usually pretty good with languages and accents, but but for whatever reason finished just befuddles me. So do you want to say your name properly?

Tea Törmänen  0:41  

They all determine. I mean, you did really good, actually. All right.

Dr. Chris Keefer  0:45  

Okay. See if I can keep it up. So there we met in Glasgow at COP 26. In this, you know, household full of pro nuclear advocates. You were there for week one, I was there for week two, we kind of pass the baton over. But we did get a chance to chat a little bit. And I've been meaning to chat with someone from Finland, and particularly someone who works within the Finnish Green Party, because it strikes me as quite an anomaly, that there is a green party somewhere in the world that has embraced nuclear energy. I'm not sure what where it sort of currently stands in terms of the degree of support, but certainly no longer opposes it. And I think has opening attitudes towards genetic engineering as well. And also just to explore Finland, where, you know, you guys are building new nuclear plants you're connecting. And I think that Europe's first EPR to the grid, and you're probably further along than anywhere else in the world, and the construction of the of, you know, first deep Geologic Repository for spent nuclear fuel so that I've had a lot of sort of curiosities about Finland, and really excited to kind of follow up on some of those preliminary conversations we had in Glasgow. So again, a warm welcome.

Tea Törmänen  1:57  

Thank you. Yeah,

Dr. Chris Keefer  1:58  

I gave a little bare bones introduction there. So yeah, take a minute or two and tell the audience more about yourself.

Tea Törmänen  2:03  

Yes, thank you. So I've been politically active since I was 1516. My mother was very active in like the local politics. And I've also been interested in in nature and animals as long as I can remember. So I became like an environmentalist already. Before I even started school, I was writing to my notebooks that I hate people that are destroying the rainforest and stuff like that. So. So that's, that's been who I am. For, for a long time, I wasn't in a Green Party. In the beginning, because they were anti nuclear. So I've always been pro nuclear. So I never I was never anti even though I can remember the Chernobyl thing. And we be living in Eastern Finland the whole time. But my parents didn't freak about it or anything. So to me, it wasn't like a big thing. So I've always supported nuclear as an environmental friendly energy. I, I have a degree in physiotherapy, physical physical therapy, and also in animal behavior. And I used to play American football in the States for DC divas. And after I quit my football career, I was also playing for the national team of Finland. So I have two bronze medals from the World Championships, I started to focus more on the environmentalism. And especially after I graduated, I did my dissertation in my master's degree about killer whales. It's actually the population in San Juan Island. So it's right in the border of the US and Canada. So they're studying the killer whales. And I have two daughters, who are seven and three.

Dr. Chris Keefer  3:54  

This is what I love about self introductions. You're fascinating, fascinating person. There's so much there that I would have missed. So thanks. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. Okay. So let's just start with with Finland as a place that you know, what you're saying was really striking me that, you know, despite being pretty close to Chernobyl, that you'd sort of always grown up understanding nuclear as being good for the environment. A few things that I know about Finland, pretty highly educated public, understand all teachers, I think, right down to the elementary level need to have a master's degree, like in pedagogy. Part of the sort of Scandinavian social democracy experiments, I'm imagining kind of trust in institutions and sciences is part of it. But help me fill me in a bit more on on the context of Finland and why perhaps, you know, you grew up in in the beliefs that you had and also maybe that's going to help frame for us why the Finnish Green Party is taking a more open minded position towards some of these key questions of our

Tea Törmänen  4:51  

test. So we have like a high level of social cohesion cohesion in Finland, and we trust the poll And the institutions. And yes, we do have a very high level of education and Finns have always been known to adapt new technologies very easily. I mean, text message messaging was invented by a Finnish person, and we had Nokia, and so so everyone had a cell phone really quickly in Finland, and like internet banking, I remember living in the US and the UK. And I thought everything was so ancient, because in Finland, we'd had like, internet banking, since since I was 15, or something like that. And then, in the UK, they were like, Oh, we have this new thing right now. Oh, this is all music, Finland. So. So Finnish people in in general have been very pro technology, I think. And that's probably one of the reasons to support for nuclear has always been pretty high in Finland. Now. It's in record levels. Oh, it was already high before. There were some ups and downs. But it stayed right now in the record levels for like, four years in a row or so. So it's very stable to support from nuclear and Finland.

Dr. Chris Keefer  6:08  

Yeah, that's, that's really interesting. I mean, why do you think that is, you know, I've been talking to advocates from all over the world and getting a context of of the sort of rise and fall of, of attitudes towards nuclear energy. And certainly, you know, the accidents had a big impact, you know, fears about fears about nuclear weapons, etc. So why why do you think there's been a sort of pervasive positive attitude towards nuclear in Finland?

Tea Törmänen  6:33  

Well, we started the Ecomodernist Society of Finland in 2015. And right after that, I mean, just a year or year after that, I think the IPCC report came out, which was like the first very serious report saying that okay, we are in so much trouble right now. And at the same time, there was discussion that started within the Green Party in 2016, then some prominent members of the Green Party came out saying that they have changed their mind. And then there was a kind of permission for others to change their mind as well. And so it kind of started snowballing from there. And we have this seminar about SMRs by the Ecomodernist, and be invited speakers from all over the world. So we had this international seminar before these SMR were in the in the public discussion at all in Finland. And we made the evening news, like the main news in Finland, and there were several articles. So that sparked the whole public discussions about SMRs in Finland, and we realized that we could be using nuclear for heating, which is a big issue in Finland, obvious for obvious reasons. So there are many, many things that happened at the same time. So in the greens, I in this subsection of greens, called the greens for science and technology. And these were the Greens within the Green Party, who started the whole nuclear discussion started actively promoting it within the Green Party. There were other people as well. But also Sonia Barra, who was one of the founders of the greens for science and technology was one of the first ones to kind of go back on his stance about nuclear. I think the first article he wrote about this wasn't already in 2008, saying that he could consider nuclear if it was replacing fossil fuels. And not just covering the increased energy consumption. But but the turning the finished Green Party happened really quickly. It was about four years that we went from complete opposition to a neutral stance where it is now so there's no anti nuclear stuff in the principles of the party. It's very technology neutral.

Dr. Chris Keefer  8:58  

Okay. So it's technologically technology neutral, but not sort of enthusiastically supportive, or is that just is it kind of ridiculous for politically, political party to be enthusiastically supportive of any, any particular technique?

Tea Törmänen  9:09  

No, I mean, we have some members like root like our vice chair, one of the vice chairs of the party at the moment of the Haryana, who got the most votes in the vice chair elections within the Green Party, actually, he's like, the loudest voice for nuclear within the Green Party. So the so it's definitely okay to be very actively promoting nuclear within the party right now.

Dr. Chris Keefer  9:32  

I definitely want to come back and explore a little bit more, some of the characteristics of Finland and you're mentioning the the heating and district heating as a thing, I think, within within Finland to certain degree and also Finland's, you know, facing disproportionate climate impacts in terms of the degree of heating. I think, being a Nordic country. I just looking at those heat maps that come out on the news every once in a while or, you know, Finland's experiencing temperatures that are like 10 or 15 degrees higher than than what's typical or or what's, you know, their average. But before we get there, just this kind of paradox that I see within the Green Movement? You know, I've been doing a bit of research and trying to see what are sort of the core foundational principles of the Green Party. And there's, I think, a lot there in terms of social and Environmental Justice commitments, non violence, but a big one is direct democracy. And so the paradox that I see is that certainly in my own country, where I've dabbled a little bit in green politics, mostly via, you know, Facebook groups and things like that is that there's a possibility for grassroots discussion to occur and for policy to move up the frame, like it's things move upwards, rather than being dictated downwards. But at the same time, Antinuclearism really seems to be baked into the DNA of, of the Green Movement globally. And that's what's so interesting about Finland, bucking this trend, but again, that paradox between a sort of democracy, direct democracy and bottom up policymaking, and, you know, the core principles of of the Green Movement are of interest to me. Because at a certain point, if everything is open to, you know, debate, and and that kind of direct participation, then, you know, Can Can the principles standard, can anything be challenged? Not sure if I'm, I'm kind of making sense there. But I guess Yeah. Okay. Maybe you can take it from there, cuz I'm stumbling on my words. Yeah,

Tea Törmänen  11:29  

yeah. Because I think one of the reasons why you change in Finland, because the Green Party is very Democratic Party. So within the Green Party there, you have a chance to actually change everything. So you can take down these old principles that you think would be set in stone. I've been in other parties before. And I think in life within the greens, there's a really healthy discussion culture, and it's actually put into kind of the principles of the party, that we tolerate different views. And different views must be articulated on an argument for. And so this is the culture we wanted to have within the party. And that has resulted in and it's not just about nuclear, for example. Well, the current geopolitical situation in Europe, many greens used to oppose NATO. Quite a bit, like saying we absolutely shouldn't join NATO. Now, within like a week, most of the prominent green politicians have changed your mind saying that, Oh, I've changed my mind. I support joining NATO, right. So we have this ability within the Finnish greens to change our opinion. And that's okay. So I think that's one of the reasons why we were able to do it in Finland. So tolerating different views game came first. And after that, we have been able to change our position on several things, not just nuclear.

Dr. Chris Keefer  13:00  

So are the Finnish greens. Do they fit within the UK? Because there's a European an EU European Parliament's do they do they send members there to that EU Parliament's? And if so, you know, what, what is the sort of response of the EU greens to some of these new policy positions that the Finnish greens are taking? Is that does that cause tensions? Are you guys kind of being expelled or outcast?

Tea Törmänen  13:27  

We do get feed. We do get feedback. So we've been definitely noticed. And yeah, there have been some miss messages saying that, I mean, I'm sure that not all the European greens like us, because there's even rumors that I encounter in many countries when I'm doing my environmental work. People say that. No, the the Finnish greens don't really say this. This is too soon on a plot. And these are fake greens. And I've heard rumors like this. So I think we're troubling to many kind of old people that think in the old way within the greens, because we've been able to change our minds. And it's for some some people, it means that we're not really green, when in fact, the reasons why the Finnish greens changed their mind were about climate crisis and environmental reasons. But yeah, we do have, like members of the parliament from Finland who are in the green group within the parliament. So we have three people there.

Dr. Chris Keefer  14:37  

And do these changes of attitudes extend further than nuclear. I mean, you're mentioning Finland tends to be a pretty early adopter of technologies to be pretty techno optimist. And that sort of flies in the face of a lot of green aesthetics and culture, shall we say? In terms of you know, I within Canada, there's lots of concerns about genetic engineering, but also, you know, more quirky topics like 5g, etc. How do the head of the Finnish greens position themselves on these other other topics like genetic engineering or other other technologies?

Tea Törmänen  15:11  

So the greens for science and technology are very pro GMO. I don't think that's all like, the position of the whole party at the moment. I don't actually remember. Like, what, what's the current status of it, but I think like, the average green is more suspicious of GMOs than the greens for science and technology. So they are, I think we have still a lot of work to do. There's also a lot of discussion about organic farming, and whether that's good or bad within the party. So I think that agriculture discussion is still going on. And it's not as developed as the the energy of discussion we in the party?

Dr. Chris Keefer  15:59  

How like, how big is Finland? And what's, what's the population? I'm just trying to get a sense. I mean, within within smaller countries, I mentioned it's easier to have

Tea Törmänen  16:06  

we have a little over Yeah, 5 million people. Okay. So not so small, very small. Yeah, I

Dr. Chris Keefer  16:14  

was I was talking to I gonna butcher another Finnish name, Rauli, Partanen. And he was just mentioning, you know, the disappointment of seeing Germany shut down. It's in three of its remaining six reactors. And I think that equaled kind of all of the emissions of Finland, in a sense, just this sense of like, we're doing our part, we're getting the first EPR going, you're making some progress, and it's being erased by what the Germans are doing. I'm just being in a much larger country. Can you give me a, I think I'd like to get a broader sense of, again, this tension between some of the policies that the Finnish greens are taking on, and the sort of core values of the Global Green Movement, can you like, as you understand it, what makes a green a green?

Tea Törmänen  17:01  

Well, how I feel about it is that like being green, for me, is being a protector of the environment. I mean, it's about being pro human as well, and protecting the environment. And to me, it's also very much about science, and how science and technology can help us to do these things. So I don't, I don't really feel a connection to greens that wants to go back in time. So there's this section that thinks that if we, you know, we go back to nature, and we live more naturally, which to me as a biologist is a really weird concept. Anyway, because I mean, this is how we live now as a species, and it's just as natural as something that we did before. So I don't. So there's this green part of the Green Movement was like reminiscing the old times and thinking that we are falling from nature, whereas I think we're recent from nature, and we have the opportunity to do some really great things. So going back in time, to me, it's not an option. And I think there is a disconnect between these pro technology greens. And these, you know, let's just live more like more of a simple life type of greens. And that's, that's a very difficult discussion to have. Because we have this when we had the city council elections. For example, I was talking to some other green candidates who were really like pro living in in yard yurts, or something like that, and so that we must, you know, not use electricity at all and stuff like that. And to me, that's very foreign type of thinking. And I, we did try to discuss these things, but we're approaching the subjects from so like, in from very different angles, it's really hard to kind of put them together. And

Dr. Chris Keefer  19:05  

I mean, there's there's such different, there's such different angles that they don't seem that they really fit under the same tent, or if you'll forgive me under the same roof. I mean, like, yeah, and I guess, like, the ideas that you're sharing, they seem to fit under the umbrella of Ecomodernism. Like, do you consider yourself to be an Ecomodernist?

Tea Törmänen  19:25  

Oh, I do. Right now. When I'm working with replanted, we kind of changed that to being equal humanist. Because we have organizations who don't identify as Ecomodernist. So me, to me the name of the philosophy doesn't really matter. The content to us and it's about being pro science, pro technology, pro human and optimistic about the future and how we can solve these problems. And it's, it's about going forward, not backwards. So those are the main things I care about.

Dr. Chris Keefer  20:03  

Right, right. Yeah, no, I just, I find myself in a situation where I feel like a huge amount of my my energy that I'd much rather put into, you know, solving our big problems goes into fighting what I'll call sort of a rearguard action against traditional environmentalists, and really, their political political representation is generally the the kind of the Green Party. So I'm just yeah, I'm wondering about that, that tension, and whether you feel that as well, you know, being associated under the same umbrella with folks like, you know, the the Belgian Minister of Energy, who's, you know, championing the shutdown of the remaining nuclear fleet there, or

Tea Törmänen  20:48  

I don't really consider them gray. To me, anyone who's, who wants to build new gas plants, when we have climate crisis going on cannot be green. It's just, it's such a big contradiction for me. You can't you can't. I think she stated in some interview that, you know, it needs to get a little dirty before it gets clean or something like that. That's just ridiculous. I mean, we can't be investing in new fossil fuels, we cannot be shutting down low carbon energy production at this moment in Finland. Fortum, just applied for 20 years of continued continuation, to run the Loviisa plants. So that's great news. Because extending the lifetime of existing nuclear plants is one of the cost effective methods you can do for emission reductions, and then we have countries shutting down perfectly working nuclear plants. I don't know how they can think it's green. To me that I just don't get it. I don't think they deserve to call themselves green. Really. That's my opinion. And it does make me angry to be under the same umbrella. And I think other greens should kind of stand up more and say that this is absolutely not a great thing to do.

Dr. Chris Keefer  22:12  

But let's let's jump back again to explore a bit more of the particularities of Finland. So, as mentioning a little bit earlier that I had the sense that that Finland is warming faster than sort of the global average. What are what are the sort of impacts of climate change? How visible are they to to the average fin

Tea Törmänen  22:31  

vary. I'm, for example, like a big fan of winter sports. And you can definitely see, especially like November's and December's in Finland have become much warmer than they used to be. Right now, I cannot see outside because we have so much snow. And so because the temperatures are going well, it's getting warmer, so that that actually means more snowfall in certain areas of Finland, like Eastern Finland Laplanche, because we still stay below zero, so all the rain comes as snow. And then it's more rainy now, during the winter, so there's so much snow that we don't know where to put it. So some people think, oh, but we have no better winters now. Because we have some more snow, but it's actually a lot warmer than it used to be. And that's why we have more snow because when it's like minus 20 minus 30, that we still have sometimes here during winter, it's not snowing then so it's this warmer weather. It's that makes makes it snow a lot more. But you can definitely see that the winters are getting shorter. They were seen even winter like two years ago here in Eastern Finland, which is like the snow one of the snowiest, places and in Finland, that we lost almost all the snow in like December, January. And my grandfather, or he's turning 92 This year, and he couldn't remember a winter like that in Eastern Finland that we absolutely didn't have any snow at some point. So you can definitely see see it here close to the Arctic Circle and our capital city Helsinki is having really miserable winters. Right now. It's raining. in Helsinki, it's usually like above zero, so it's rain, it's not snow anymore.

Dr. Chris Keefer  24:28  

And in terms of the energy mix, right now, what does that what does that look like in Finland? And you met you mentioned? You know, this this question of I mean, your your Nordic country, things are getting warmer, but you still need to stay warm. You know, what are the options available? That are, you know, low carbon or that are classified as renewable in what's what's currently being done. Give us give us a sense of that.

Tea Törmänen  24:48  

Yeah. So electricity is pretty clean here in Finland, because we have some hydro not not as much as in Norway, for example. But we do have some hydro. We have lots of new We're, we have wind, wind powers increasing a lot in Finland, we have really good wind conditions, solar for obvious reasons, because we don't really have sun for like, three months in a year. It's not it's very miniscule in Finland. And then heating is another thing, which is much more difficult than electricity. So right now, we're still using some fossil fuels. We're using peat, we're using biomass. And there's like a huge discussion going on about how much biomass we can actually use. Because at some point, if you use a lot of biomass, then it's a threat to biodiversity. And a lot of our forest species are already threatened as it is, because of the forestry. In Finland, I mean, we use, we build things from wood, and so on. So it's not just for heating, I mean, it's mostly residue. But still, if the, if we quit using coal, and natural gas for heating, then the pressure for include increasing biomass is, of course, a lot higher. And we don't really have any good solutions. We have some like geothermal projects, but they have been delayed quite a bit. There's some potential in that. But we definitely would need nuclear heat as well to clean the whole whole heating sector without increasing the use of biomass so much that it's not sustainable anymore.

Dr. Chris Keefer  26:34  

Is there a lot of district heating infrastructure already set up? Like they'd be amenable to nuclear heat? Yeah,

Tea Törmänen  26:39  

I mean, yeah, basically, yeah, yeah, all the CDs in Finland are in district heating. And so it will be, that's why SMR will be so good in Finland, that you just replace the existing power plants with SMR. And then you basically clean the whole country country's heating system, because we do have this district district heating system. So that's, that's a benefit. Then, of course, in the countryside, we have houses that like my house isn't in the district heating system. But that's such a small amount of houses compared to the amount that we have in cities. So it's not a huge problem. And then you in the countryside, you can use heat pumps, and, and stuff like that. So

Dr. Chris Keefer  27:22  

yeah, that's that's a real challenge. In Canada, we just don't have the district heating infrastructure. So the idea of decarbonizing it as kind of happens on a one house at a time measure rather than in a more coordinated way, I guess unless, unless we're talking about big apartment blocks. And in terms of, you know, one of the big rationales for the opposition of nuclear energy is the lack of, you know, the this question of nuclear waste or spent nuclear fuel. So I Finland's ahead of the pack in terms of working on that problem, on kalo. What can you tell us about that? I mean, how it's going and also, whether or not that's a significant part of the reason why people are more open to nuclear energy in Finland?

Tea Törmänen  28:06  

Well, it's very close to finishing that the oncologist has proceeded in schedule. So it's going well, and the whole discussion went on color was planned, it was very, even the greens at the time when they were opposing nuclear, they were still Pro on goal, because they thought it's a responsible thing to do, because we are going to produce waste. So we are the ones who have to come up with a solution. So in Finland, unlike in Sweden, for example, the greens support it supported the idea of their repository, and they were like several locations competing for the site. So we had, we didn't have this NIMBY problem at all, when it came through repository. So it was a very easy process it Finland for some reason.

Dr. Chris Keefer  28:54  

And what do you mean, how do you explain that? In Canada right now, you know, there, I think 30 or 40 communities that were identified as potential good sites, I think, mostly based on the geology for a DGR. And we're down to two and I mean, it's, it there's a lot of a lot of not in my backyard sentiment. It's been, you know, very weaponized by the anti nuclear movement. You know, there's politicians in the US for God's sakes that are, you know, passing resolutions against us building a repository, you know, hundreds and hundreds of kilometers on our side of the border. So yeah, tell me a little bit more about that. I think there's probably some reasons around that, that we sort of dabbled in at the beginning describing Finland and its and its context. But yeah, tell me a bit more about that if you had more information on that process.

Tea Törmänen  29:41  

Well, it was pretty long time ago. I wasn't that involved in the topic at the time, but what I've heard it was that the they succeeded in talking to the locals and engaging them in the process. And I think that that was one of the most important things But I don't I don't really know why there was so little opposition, I think there must have been some, like, traditional NGOs being against it. I remember that. So there was some pushback from from NGOs. But not not from the political parties, as far as I can tell. And I think it's just the Finnish people trust in engineers quite a bit. And, and so there was this, you know, I, this idea that, well, they have done these calculations, and it's, it's perfectly safe, it's not going to cause us any trouble. And they will occasions they would benefit it from financially because you know, it's being built there, and you get jobs and so on. So I think that that was the reason why it didn't cause any problems in Finland.

Dr. Chris Keefer  30:53  

Yeah, that's, that's social trust seems huge. It's something that's really decayed in a lot of societies. And there's, you know, a lot of yeah, just not much respect anymore for expertise. So that that's an interesting factor. But how would you explain then, because, you know, we've been talking a little bit about Finland within the sort of Scandinavian model. I mean, Sweden's your next door neighbor, and you're describing some really different attitudes there. I know, there's, I've heard there's some tension between the two countries. But can you give me a sense of,

Tea Törmänen  31:24  

especially in ice hockey?

Dr. Chris Keefer  31:27  

Give me a sense of, you know, your understanding of what why there's that difference, despite sort of sharing a lot of commonalities?

Tea Törmänen  31:33  

Yeah. So I've been giving interviews for a Swedish media, because they're really interested why it's so different in Finland, for example, right now, what's going on in Ukraine, in Sweden? Therefore, I think some even official saying that you should take some like, tablets, you know, and in Finland, all the officials while agreed, absolutely shouldn't take anything right now is there's no danger and so on. And one of my friends from Sweden said that the Finns are always the, the adult in this discussion, being rational and calm. I don't really know the history behind the anti nuclear movement in Sweden and why that is. I would love to know why it's so different. I know that in Sweden, there's this culture of discus discussing everything, a lot like sharing opinions, and they don't think it's good to be like really surgeon of some things. And as Finns have been accused of not having a discussion about the nuclear waste, and I've heard comments from Germany as well, saying that all Finnish Finns have this solution, because they didn't discuss it. So they think that because we all agreed, it means that we didn't have a proper discussion. Because, yeah, you're supposed to have some anti arguments, even though they're there aren't any good arguments against it, but you should have them

Speaker 1  33:05  

just, you know, signifies democratic principles to

Tea Törmänen  33:08  

have like anti and Pro. And so yeah. So I think we we don't have that principle. So if there aren't good arguments against something, then why fight about it? Maybe that's it? I don't know.

Dr. Chris Keefer  33:21  

Why don't you give, give our listeners a sense of what's going on with the planet? You mentioned that you're I think the executive director of that organization? What's, what's going on with it? Why are you excited about it? I'm excited

Tea Törmänen  33:33  

because this is like the first global movement that has these values of pro science, pro technology pro human. We just had our webpage launched like a few weeks ago, we already have groups, like organizations or active groups in 14 different European countries. We have some action going on, or starting in Australia as well. So hopefully, we will go global. Right now the focus is on the European politics. And we're very focused on the taxonomy discussion. We'll have a research unit because we want to base everything on science. So we have a research unit where we can produce like studies and publications and research papers and stuff like that. And we're assembling an advisory board as well. So great things happening. And I think this is something that the the world is waiting for. The time is now for a new type of thinking in environmental issues, because we know that the old ways are kind of lacking. So we want to be in a network that gives solutions not just a network saying you can't do this and say no to everything. I think we need an environmental movement that says okay, we can't do this, but then we'll give some actual proposals and solutions that we can use. And we'll still have a energy system that works, it will be clean, and we'll have proteins available that are a flow prize to everyone, but it doesn't take all the land. And there will be room for biodiversity as well. So yeah, exciting.

Dr. Chris Keefer  35:30  

Yeah. I mean, I've been thinking a lot about, excuse me think a lot about this recently. You know, conceiving of it as a little bit of a battle of ideas, right. There's competing visions, I think, you know, in a very wishy washy sense, we, as human beings generally have similar core goals of, you know, flourishing, and prosperity and biodiversity and all these things you're mentioning, but there's big, big disagreements about how to get there. And big aesthetic disagreements in terms of, you know, whether that's a sort of eco romantic, you know, back in time decentralized approach, or whether it's more forward facing as you're mentioning, pro science, etc. And just looking at the sort of forces arrayed on this, I don't want to get too kind of militaristic with this. But just sticking with this battle of ideas framework, the forces arrayed on that, that field of ideological battle are, are interesting, right. I mean, there's very well established environmental organizations like Greenpeace, you know, a number of ones in the States, Sierra Club, Natural Resource Defense Council, you know, with global annual operating budgets in the billions of dollars. And, and so it's it to me, it sort of seems like a bit of a David and Goliath struggle, you know, on Team David on on this side, you know, it's a pretty ragtag group of folks that I think are quite regularly labeled as as shills. And there's a lot of imagination that, you know, organizations like yours might be receiving, you know, enormous funds from from industry and things like that. But in reality, it's

Tea Törmänen  37:01  

we're not, by the way.

Dr. Chris Keefer  37:05  

But anyway, yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's quite quite the David and Goliath setup, but I guess everything starts from from a small seed, and we'll be interested to see where it goes. And whether this translates into a political formation or political party or what direction it takes I'm not sure if you have a sense of, of long term goals at this point, because it sounds like it's pretty early days, but exciting, exciting sounding.

Tea Törmänen  37:29  

Yeah, I do actually have like a very good idea of the long term goals. We don't want to be affiliated with any political party. I think that's why we succeeded in Finland, because we have members from all different political parties. And we cannot solve any environmental problems. Within the greens, we need all the parties involved. And that's why we don't want to be affiliated with any any political parties. And I don't think we have to, kind of when to traditional environmental movements, because they're doing a lot of good stuff as well. And they have the same goals, we just have to convince them to be more ambitious and give, like different options for how to do that, a different vision. And in Finland, for example, we just had a demonstration a few weeks ago, against burning of biomass and peat for heating in the city of Tampa. And we were there with XR, Greenpeace and Fridays for future activists. So we gave a speech, we mentioned nuclear, they were totally fine with it. We were monitoring along with all these other NGOs. And so we were on the same side. In that demonstration, yeah. And we want to make that happen in every country in Europe. So we are on the same side. And as environmentalists that we have to realize that battling against each other is when the fossil fuel, fuel industry wins. And we cannot afford that. So we have to unite and get past our differences and work together to reach this

Dr. Chris Keefer  39:12  

goal. It's super interesting, because you know, the the angle from extinction rebellion is often we don't have a particular platform, we've identified a problem, we're going to protest against it. But we don't have the solutions. We're just going to follow this by quote unquote, follow the science and so it strikes me that you guys are stepping in very much from the perspective of offering solutions. Yes, exactly. Interesting. Okay, so we'll share in the show notes, where people can find the replay that website. If people want to follow you and your work, what's the best way for them to to follow that and to get in touch with you?

Tea Törmänen  39:47  

Well, I'm very active in Twitter so you can follow me on Twitter. And definitely from our webpage, you can contact us and we will get back to you. We have a discord channel for it. ambo with very lively discussions about different environmental topics. And you can also see like, on the website, like the different countries we have. So if you just click there you can see whether you have something in your country already going on. And if you don't, please contact me. So we'll, we can get something started.

Dr. Chris Keefer  40:21  

Wonderful. Okay, there's so much more we could talk about including your American football career. super intrigued by that introduction, but we'll leave it there for today. Great seeing you again. And take care.

Tea Törmänen  40:33  

You too. Thank you

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