Pentti Linkola

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Pentti Linkola
Pentti Linkola in 2011
Pentti Linkola in 2011
BornKaarlo Pentti Linkola
(1932-12-07) 7 December 1932 (age 87)
Helsinki, Finland
SubjectNature, ornithology, environmentalism, deep ecology
Notable worksCan Life Prevail?: A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis
Notable awardsEino Leino Prize

Kaarlo Pentti Linkola (born 7 December 1932) is a radical Finnish deep ecologist,[1] ornithologist,[2] polemicist, naturalist, writer, and fisherman. He has written widely about his ideas and in Finland is a prominent thinker.[3][4]:271 Linkola was a year-round fisherman from 1959 to 1995. He has fished on Keitele, Päijänne and Gulf of Finland, and since 1978 he has fished on Vanajavesi.[5]

Linkola blames humans for the continuous degradation of the environment. He promotes rapid population decline in order to combat the problems commonly attributed to overpopulation.[4]:271


Linkola grew up in Helsinki, spending his summers in the countryside at the farm of his maternal grandfather, Hugo Suolahti. His father Kaarlo Linkola was a botanist and phytogeographer and the Rector of Helsinki University, and his paternal grandfather had worked as the chancellor of that same university. Pentti Linkola chose not to continue his zoological and botanical studies after his first year.

Linkola is considered one of Finland's most famous ornithologists, but gave up his research career to live an austere life as a fisherman.[2]


Linkola believes that democracy is a mistake, saying he prefers dictatorships,[6] and only radical change can prevent ecological collapse.[2] He contends that the human populations of the world, regardless if they are developed or underdeveloped, do not deserve to survive at the expense of the biosphere as a whole.[7] In May 1994, Linkola was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal Europe.[8] He said he was for a radical reduction in the world population and was quoted as saying about a future world war, "If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating, if it meant millions of people would die."[9]

Linkola's writings describe in emotional detail the environmental degradation he has witnessed. He dedicated his 1979 Toisinajattelijan päiväkirjasta (From the Diary of a Dissident) to German far-left militants Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, stating that "they are the signposts, not Jesus of Nazareth or Albert Schweitzer".[2]

Mika Merviö, Professor of International Relations at the Kibi International University, contends that while most environmentalists in Finland have distanced themselves from Linkola, those concerned about the environment avidly read his writings. Merviö asserts that Linkola represents "a very Finnish and dark version of 'an inconvenient truth'."[2]

In 1995 Linkola founded the Finnish Nature Heritage Foundation (Luonnonperintösäätiö),[10] which concentrates on preserving the few ancient forests still left in southern Finland and other nature conservation. The foundation receives donations from private individuals and companies, then purchases forest areas deemed unique enough to deserve protection.


  • Linkola, Pentti & Olavi Hilden: Suuri Lintukirja. Otava 1955, renewed edition 1962.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Isänmaan ja ihmisen puolesta: Mutta ei ketään vastaan. Fourth edition. Helsinki: Suomen sadankomitealiitto, 1981 (originally published 1960).
  • Linkola, Pentti: Pohjolan linnut värikuvin: Elinympäristö. Levinneisyys. Muutto. Otava 1963–67.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Unelmat paremmasta maailmasta. Fourth edition. Porvoo: WSOY, 1990.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Toisinajattelijan päiväkirjasta. Porvoo: WSOY, 1979. (In 1983 Linkola received the Eino Leino Prize for this book.)[11]
  • Linkola, Pentti and Osmo Soininvaara: Kirjeitä Linkolan ohjelmasta. Porvoo: WSOY, 1986.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Johdatus 1990-luvun ajatteluun. Porvoo: WSOY, 1989.
  • Vilkka, Leena (ed.): Ekologiseen elämäntapaan: lead article. Helsinki: Yliopistopaino, 1996.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Voisiko elämä voittaa. Helsinki: Tammi, 2004.
  • Linkola, Pentti: Can Life Prevail?: A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis. UK: Arktos Media, 2nd Revised ed. 2011. ISBN 1907166637 (English translation of Voisiko elämä voittaa).


  1. ^ Mika LaVaque-Manty, "Arguments and fists: political agency and justification in liberal theory", Routledge, 2002, p. 159.
  2. ^ a b c d e Harris, Paul G. (2009). Environmental Change and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice. Routledge. p. 125. ISBN 9781134014811.
  3. ^ Henry Minde, Svein Jentoft, Harald Gaski, "Indigenous peoples: self-determination, knowledge, indigeneity", Eburon Uitgeverij B.V., 2008, p. 100.
  4. ^ a b George C. Schoolfield, "A history of Finland's literature", U of Nebraska Press, 1998, p. 271.
  5. ^ Turtiainen, Pekka: Kalastaja. Sääksmäki: Voipaalan taidekeskus, 2015.
  6. ^ "Pentti Linkola: Ecofascism and Deep Ecology". Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  7. ^ Linkola, P., "Humanflood", trans. H. Heinonen & M. Moynihan. Originally published in Apocalypse Culture II, ed. A. Parfrey (Feral House, 2000). pp. 436–451. ISBN 0922915571
  8. ^ Neuhaus, Richard John (1997). The best of The Public square: selections from Richard John Neuhaus' celebrated column in First things. Institute on Religion and Public Life. p. 61. ISBN 0-9659507-0-0.
  9. ^ Milbank, Dana (24 May 1994). "A Strange Finnish Thinker Posits War, Famine as Ultimate 'Goods'". The Wall Street Journal Asia. p. 1.
  10. ^ Linkola, Can Life Prevail?: A Radical Approach to the Environmental Crisis (Budapest: Arktos, 2011).
  11. ^ "Eino Leinon palkinto" (in Finnish). The Finnish Book Foundation. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kämäräinen, Kauko: Linkola, oikeinajattelija. Tampere: Määrämitta, 1992.
  • Alén, Eero: Linkolan soutajan päiväkirja. Turku: Sammakko, 2006.
  • Turtiainen, Pekka: Kalastaja. Sääksmäki: Voipaalan taidekeskus, 2015.

External links[edit]