How does climate change cataclysm make you feel?

Is there even a word for that feeling in English?

Environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht says there wasn’t a word in English that describes the sadness and pain he’s seen people experience when they lose land, water and air quality to climate change. So he invented a word: solastagia. Etymologically, it combines the melancholy of nostalgia with the comfort of solace to express the loss of what once gave us comfort – the land we live on, the air we breathe, the flora and fauna that once surrounded us.

Albrecht also advances two new medical concepts, psychoterratic and somoterratic illnesses, that connect our mental health to the state of the land.

Can you find the peahen in this tree?You can read more about these ideas on Albrecht’s blog. In the meantime, I’ll be out looking for that peahen who used to live in this tall evergreen overlooking the freeway near my home. I haven’t seen her in at least a month now, and it’s making me feel solastalgic.

My thanks to reader KAT for sending the solastalgia link.

8 Responses to How does climate change cataclysm make you feel?

  1. Cheryl says:

    Oh no, the peahen is missing?! Let’s hope she’s gone to India to pursue a career in show business.

  2. blog52 says:

    Yeah, it’s amazing how much I miss her. She kind of gave me hope for this insane city of ours. If she could survive here, maybe I can too.

  3. Hi there, thanks for picking up on my concept of solastalgia … it was developed to help explain why people in distressed environments (eg in areas affected by mining) feel a form of psychological distress related to that desolated landscape. However, I also appreciate that seemingly small changes in a loved environment (the loss of a garden, a bird or a favourite tree) can cause solastalgia as well.

    Fighting solastalgia might mean direct engagement in healing local and regional environments that are suffering from ecosystem distress.

    Glenn Albrecht.

  4. vbonnaire says:

    This was so poignant. I linked to that blog, right next to you and Common Dreams under all things Green. It’s hard getting swept up by the day to day when of course this much larger thing looms large over us all. Been looking at land for sale in rural places.

  5. […] My green friend Blog52 has a post up about “nostalgia” that is a must read.  […]

  6. […] of the peacock Earlier this month I mentioned in a post on solastalgia how sad I was that the peahen living at the top of a giant fir […]

  7. […] is the study of: ”the interplay between human beings and their natural environment.” Albrecht’s story struck me because the condition of solastalgia is as important to understand as […]

  8. PiterJankovich says:

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

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