psychology

What is solastalgia, this intense emotion linked to the ecological crisis?

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The ecological problem has become the workhorse of Millennials . The new generation, well aware of what is happening right now for our planet, is raising the tone. More and more people of all generations are developing depressive symptoms linked to the ecological crisis . This is what the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht calls solastalgia .

What is solastalgia?

The term solastalgia comes from the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht. In 2003, he forged this concept by observing a wave of depression sweeping away the inhabitants of the Hunter Valley (Australia). The mining industry that developed there polluted the region and transformed the landscape. It is this ecological distress linked to the feeling of dispossession of a territory and the degradation of a place of life that the philosopher speaks of.

This name has generated a lot of reactions internationally. Especially in the academic world but also at the level of political organizations. The intergovernmental group on climate change has even described the potential and actual effects on mental health . If some scientists predict a real collapse of ecosystems, some are extremely anxious and this strong emotion accompanies the environmental upheavals that are playing out in certain regions of the world. In his new book The Emotions of the Earth, Glenn Albrecht explains how current human activities on the planet (“the Anthropocene”) are opposed to the principles of symbiosis, negotiation, sensitivity and emotions towards the living.Woman and her dog in Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley, Australie

A theory corroborated by various specialists

Far from being marginal, the notion of solastalgia seems to have become commonplace . The Australian’s work was corroborated in 2009 by a study titled “The Links Between Psychology and Global Climate Change”. This study focused primarily on the emotional cost of environmental deterioration (anxiety, hopelessness, grief). One of the authors of the study is a specialist in ecopsychology (psychology of ecology). He explains that the unconscious is the fruit of ignorance of our deep ecological instincts. So solastalgia would enter into this logic. Mental health is therefore one of the victims of climate change.

What about collapsology in all of this?

If collapsology is not a science, it predicts the collapse of our civilization. In France, collapsology is represented by Pablo Servigne and Raphaêl Stevens, authors of How everything can collapse: a small manual of collapsology for the use of present generations , published in 2015. Its origins can be found in the report The Limits of Growth (The limits of growth) carried out in 1972 by researchers at MIT. According to collapsology, man clearly negatively impacts the planet. Industrial civilization could therefore collapse before 2050 if nothing is done. Collapsology is not recognized as a science. She has more and more followers who share this same intuition.

Solastalgia perhaps pushes many people to switch to collapsology when they see nature send out calls every year. And sometimes violently take back his rights.Ruins of a Cambodian temple

Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

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