Climate Talks on climate change and biodiversity loss at the libraries of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

The Climate Talks tour invites some twenty authors, writers and activists to the Helmet libraries of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area during February–May to discuss climate change and biodiversity loss with the help of literature. Climate Talks will take place almost weekly until May.

More and more new books are being published on the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and ecological lifestyles. Knowledge leads to understanding and taking action, and literature can be used to imagine possible future scenarios and to process emotions and thoughts related to the ecological crisis.

The tour will start at Herttoniemi Library on 2 February with geographer and non-fiction author Laura Ertimo. Her books are aimed for the whole family and discuss man’s place in nature in various ways. Saku Tuominen, an entrepreneur, restaurant owner, non-fiction author and public speaker, will visit Central Library Oodi on 11 February. On 17 February, Pasila Library will host journalist, author and influencer Julia Thurén, whose book Kaikki kuluttamisesta was nominated for the Finlandia Prize for Non-Fiction in autumn 2021. On 28 February, journalist Hanna Nikkanen and non-fiction author Mikko Pelttari will discuss climate literacy and media discourse of the ecological crisis at Kontula Library.

In March, the tour continues at Viikki Library with Juha Kauppinen on 8 March. His latest book, Heräämisiä – kuinka minusta tuli luonnonsuojelija, was published in September 2021. On 16 March, authors Elina Innanen and Suvi Auvinen of Lapsiperheen vegaanikeittokirja will visit Töölö Library. On 24 March, author Emma Puikkonen will visit Pukinmäki Library, and author, journalist and Finland’s leading expert on environmental threats Risto Isomäki will visit Oulunkylä Library on 31 March.

In April, the tour continues at Vuosaari Library on 6 April. The visiting climate specialists will be Docent Panu Pihkala, who is a leading expert in multidisciplinary research on climate anxiety, and Doctor of Psychology Kia Aarnio, who is a non-fiction and textbook author and climate activist. On 21 April, Rikhardinkatu Library will host environmental influencer, environmentalist and entrepreneur Saara Kankaanrinta, whose book Luonnollisia ajatuksia, written jointly with Ilkka Herlin, was published in autumn 2021. On 26 April, meteorologist Kerttu Kotakorpi will visit Itäkeskus Library. Her book, based on the latest research data, called Suomen luonto 2100 was published in spring 2021 and presents a vision of the future Finland, where the climate will be very different from the current one.

A couple of visits will be in store for May. Anniina Nurmi, expert on responsible clothing industry, will visit Rikhardinkatu Library on 5 May. On 10 May, Teppo Eskelinen, Toni Ruuska and Maija Li Raudaskoski will visit Töölö Library. They were involved in writing Viimeinen siirto – a book edited by Teemu Vaarakallio.

Remote events to start with

Due to the coronavirus situation, at least the first talks will take place as remote events and they will be streamed on the Kirjasto Helsinki Facebook page at facebook.com/ kirjastohelsinki. The recordings of the streamed events can be viewed on the Facebook page for two weeks after the talks. If the coronavirus situation allows, people are welcome to follow the talks at the libraries.

The Climate Talks tour programme will be complemented and discussions will also be organised at the libraries of Espoo and Vantaa. The updated programme is available at helmet.fi/ilmastovieraat. Event announcements will indicate whether the event in question will take place remotely or if people are welcome to follow the talks at the library.

Libraries offer information and actions

In spring 2021, climate change and biodiversity loss was discussed in dozens of climate book clubs at libraries. This spring, the most pressing issues of the day will be discussed with authors, writers and activists in the Climate Talks series. Ecology-themed bookshelves have been set up at several libraries in Helsinki, offering literature and non-fiction on the environment and climate for borrowing. In addition, Toivon kirjahylly (Bookshelf of hope) compiles carefully selected books combining hope and taking action.

“The library offers a lot of information, but now it is time to offer actions as well. By organising the Climate Talks, we want to promote active citizenship and inspire people to take action to mitigate climate change. Literature, open space and discussion – these are some of the best things libraries can offer to combat climate change and biodiversity loss,” say library technician Liisa Uimonen and librarian Johanna Juvonen of Helsinki City Library in charge of the Climate Talks tour.

Programme of the entire tour: helmet.fi/ilmastovieraat

In the picture Saku Tuominen, Kerttu Kotakorpi, Saara Kankaanrinta, Julia Thurén and Risto Isomäki.