Reader opinion Consumption habits now have to be rethought

The pressures of the crisis in Ukraine must be addressed.

Ukraine the horrific crisis is spreading its side effects all over the world. The price of energy and especially petroleum products has risen, fertilizers and, as a result, food are in short supply, and inflation is accelerating. States have been rushed to take action to prevent these effects.

That mistake should not be made.

We must remember that we were already in serious crises: the climate crisis and the loss of nature have not disappeared, although they are not being talked about now, and they are getting worse in the background.

The most effective way to reduce climate emissions is to price them at a high cost, which means that everyone has to think about their daily use of fossil fuels and strive to reduce it. Similarly, the world’s food shortage would be substantially alleviated if we reduced the supply of grain to animals and ate it ourselves. Rising meat prices would prevent a global food shortage.

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Putin’s actions and the rest of the world have thus raised the prices of things on which we should have reduced our dependence anyway, but so far our own pain tolerance has not been enough to take the necessary action.

What is needed now are statesman-level decision-makers who make necessity a virtue. They do not promise reductions in VAT on fuel but, on the contrary, say that the world has entered a permanently era of expensive fuels and that everyone should plan their own lives on that basis. When the crisis in Ukraine eases, the expensive price of fossil fuels will be secured through taxation. This crisis must address the issues that strengthen the sustainability of our society.

Due to the drastic changes, of course, adjustment measures are needed to ensure that people do not fall into the poverty trap. Let these be done, for example, in the form of income support. Even the worst unfairness for companies must be addressed selectively by means other than price compensation.

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Jouni Tuomisto

Research Director, Kuopio

The reader’s opinions are the speeches written by HS’s readers, selected and delivered by HS’s editorial staff. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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