Thursday, January 3, 2008

Polar Bears in Finland?!

I have always thought the National Geographic is an interesting and reliable magazine. I am a subscriber to the Finnish edition of the magazine since it started a couple of years ago. Yesterday I was totally astonished and even angry about this video which was submitted to Mixx by one of my friends. The title is Warming hurts Finnish Animals.

EDIT: the title has been corrected. Now it is Video: Warming Hurting Arctic Animals (Corrected)

The whole story is full of very bad mistakes.

The first animal hurt by global warming is polar bear. That is true and the video shows a researcher from Oulu telling about the facts. Even though Oulu is in Finland we DO NOT have polar bears here. I have heard this misunderstanding before but I thought that nowadays most people do know where polar bears live or at least that Finland is not in the North Pole.

The second animal they introduce is European Mink and the story tells that it has vanished from the Finnish nature and that they are breeding them in order to someday release them back to the nature. That won’t be possible in Finland. Whether warming harms the European mink or not is not known because of its powerful enemy, the American Mink farmed for fur, got rid of the rival before that. A trend in recent years has been the release of farmed minks into the wild by animal rights activists. The result of the introduction of the American Mink into the wild in Europe has been disastrous for the European Mink, who occupies almost the same ecological niche but is outcompeted by the larger and better-swimming American species. Attempts are now underway to introduce the European Mink to islands too far from the continent for American Mink to swim to, in an attempt to prevent the species from becoming extinct.

The third news is about migratory birds. The man in the film tells that birds have started nesting a week earlier than 20 years ago because the trees get their leaves earlier. Last spring they did not. It was so cold that the leaves were late, at least two weeks.

The last unfortunate thing on the video is the speech of the original Finns. The first researcher is not originally Finnish and the two others are. Their pronunciation is so awful that the video has subtitles for other than Finns to understand what they are saying. Well, that is not actually the fault of National Geographic. All those who have heard our Formula 1 WDC-winner Kimi Räikkönen speak can probably understand what I mean.

From other pages of the same website you can find examples for Finnish music. I am not giving you the location since the music is something that is not popular in Finland. Maybe original, but very marginal. I just wonder where they got those as examples. I have heard about two of them and the other one is a pathetic effort of making funny songs. The average Finnish people do not listen to music like that!


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Kristie said...

Its so cool that you found my blog :) Thanks for stopping by!
I do a regular aritcle on my blog where I interview people who live in countries other than their home country. Its really fun to hear everyones different stories.
I was just wondering if you would be intrested in doing a short (through email) interview for my blog to share your story! I would love it. Either way let me know (and either way I will be coming back to your site :) ).
If you want to check out the other interviews I've done, here they are...
Ms. Adventure in Italy
La delirante
I am looking foward to hearing from you!
Love, Kristie!

Gil said...

small population countries tend to be misunderstood. I am sure there are many who still think Israel is populated by Camels and covered with sand. That's just how it is with people - once a certain reflection of reality is "burned" its very hard to make it change. I am quite surprised about National Geographic, though. I guess they might not be what most of us think they are :)

Everymatter said...

nice article

I am a lover of children's literature said...

I'm a bear lover and the last thing I want to see is any bear that is hurt or threatened in any way. Thanks for posting this.

Polar bears, black bears, Panda bears, Sun bears, they all need to be appreciated and protected.

As for all of the mistakes, that is very unfortunate, but sometimes that happens. We all make mistakes, but that was really something... so many mistakes... how can that be?

Oh well, nice post and nice blog.

minäjahän said...

Thanks for this. I had this question in my Finnish for Beginners book,

Suomessa ei ole jääkarhuja.