Some time ago I remarked on this term, which seemed to capture so well my feelings about changes in the landscape due to global climate change. Maybe it is
catching on. As this article states, solastalgia is a neologism that Glenn Albrecht, an environmental philosopher at the University of Newcastle’s School of Environmental and Life Sciences, created in 2003.
Now there is a new term, “psychoterratic illness” that labels the psychological response to climate change, of which solastagia is one form.
“Psychoterratic illness involves the psyche or mind and terra or earth. So a psychoterratic illness would be an earth-related mental illness, where both nostalgia and solastalgia are examples of people being made “mentally ill” by the severing of “healthy” links between themselves and their home or territory.
And ill physical health due to a degraded environment is:
“Somaterratic illness, on the other hand, involves soma or the body and relates to damage done to the human body, its physiology and/or genetics, as a result of the loss of ecosystem health by, for example, toxic pollution in any given area of land.” I suppose the effect on humans of the dioxin found in mozzarella in parts of Italy recently would qualify.
Here is the part of the article that relates to what I wrote previously:
“SK: Do you see a relationship between the conquest of Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia, the state of environmental degradation and the experience of loss that we are seeing today? If so, what is that relationship from your perspective and research?
GA: The answer is, yes, there is a relationship between the two colonial cultures: the two continents were colonized only by the systematic dispossession of complex and formerly sustainable Indigenous societies.”
Read the rest to learn more.
Photo from today’s New York Times of Haiti by Marc Lacey.