Original title: Valas lasimaljassa
Author: Maria Katajavuori
Genre: General Nonfiction
English sample and synopsis
Join the journey of a whale and a woman and uncover the keys to sustainability – the Earth can be saved with tools of human behavioral biology. Humans are like a whale in a glass bowl, trapped despite our big brains.
Humans are the most intelligent of animals. We know the effects of environmental degradation, but when we have to make a living or go on a vacation, our environmental awareness is suddenly forgotten.
The intriguing book reveals the paradoxes of environmental crisis and uncovers biological and cultural patterns that lead to overconsumption. Humans are like a beluga whale in a glass bowl, trapped despite our big brains. The whale’s story does, however, offer solutions as well. In addition to information, we need incentives that appeal to our natural selfishness and reward sustainable choices. By reshaping our glass bowl, the structures of our society, we can swim to freedom, away from the destructive whirlpool.
This uncompromising statement on the state and future of nature makes even the most environmentally conscious reader admit responsibility for overconsumption. Willpower, intelligence, and all the research in the world are not enough if they do not lead to political decisions and actions in an organized democracy. Information, emotion, and respectable literary activism.
– Finlandia Prize nomination motivation
FINLAND: Atena/Otava (orig.)