Thursday, 29 November 2012


Our children don't have a form of amnesia about the environment. They have no relevant eco-memory to forget about the way things were. What they have is a form of negativity which deprives them of that which they need to know.

The negativity is like retrogression in evolution where things become less complex and less diverse over time. Some call it the path to extinction.

Therefore, our children are suffering from socially induced ecoretrogression which is the disturbing idea that the current generation is less ecologically literate, less ecologically attuned, less ecologically aware and less ecologically emotional than previous generations. As a consequence, they are unable to respond to the enormous risks posed by ecosystem distress and global warming.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Terraphthora and Terranascia

The whole of the psychoterratic drama can be circumscribed within the poles of :

Terraphthora (earth destroyer)  (tera for ra)
(Terra, from the Latin “earth”, the Greek φθορά (phthorá) or “destruction”).

Terranascia  (earth creator) (tera nas cia)
(Terra, from the Latin “earth” and the Latin nātūra, “to be born”).

The drama between terraphthora and terranascia is now on! In all walks of life we can now evaluate what is going on, what are the motivations of people and what actions lead to one type of outcome or another?

Come on ye artists, craftists, dramatists, songwriters, musicians, composers, poets, novelists, filmmakers, , singers and rappers. Now is the time to line up ... what side are you on?

Perhaps academics and policy makers could also tune into this new language for and of the Earth.

Trebbe Johnson, Lily Yeh, and Glenn Albrecht Discuss Solastalgia November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012
Summary: Ecological degradation can strongly effect our emotions. How can we react to the negative feelings that arise when a favorite place is impacted by mining, logging, or pollution? Author Trebbe Johnson joined us to discuss her essay “Gaze Even Here,” published in Orion's November/December 2012 issue, and shared her thoughts on how to retain a love of place during such times. She was joined by an expert panel including artist/activist Lily Yeh and Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht, who coined the psychological term 'solastalgia,' which describes this phenomenon of ecological sadness.
Author: Orion

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


 An ecobiography is the discovery of the seminal influences on your life from an environmental perspective. 
Who were the people in your life that tuned you into nature and life? 
What special places profoundly affected the way your personality was shaped?

The inner landscape of the mind is shaped by the outer landscape.

See if you can construct your own ecobiography and share it with others.

Sunday, 2 September 2012


That moment when you experience sudden and traumatic environmental change ... your favourite tree being cut down, the bulldozer is demolishing your loved streetscape or you witness an oil spill that smothers all life on ‘your’ beach. This is not post-traumatic stress disorder; this is not chronic solastalgia, this is acute earth-based existential trauma in the here and right now.
We need a word for this gut feeling, this mental anguish. I think Tierratrauma is a good first effort and it can be contrasted to Eutierria, a concept I have already offered as a catch all for "that oceanic experience" or the feeling of oneness between self and nature. If we can have eutierria, then we can also have tierratrauma.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Rio+20 a Huge Success!

After Rio+20 we can now all celebrate the great success of defining a global state of non-sustainability. For over 20 years, people have been telling us that sustainability was too hard to define and an impossible state to achieve, but now we have not only managed to define a state of non-sustainability ... we have actually achieved it.

The leaders at Rio+20 who bothered to turn up all implicitly agreed that non-sustainability means to deliberately do something which cannot logically or practically continue indefinitely into the future. Non-sustainability means that no matter how much we would like it to be otherwise, the very thing we would like to do cannot continue without massive contradiction. As we consume or pollute the very thing we desire ... our ability to continue doing so diminishes with every act of consumption and pollution. In a world of finite resources and waste sinks, logic will ultimately rule over desire.

It clarifies the issue for everybody when leaders are presented with important data on indicators of non-sustainability and the finitude of this planet yet they then all agree to continue with business as usual. Such policy bravado is no better exemplified than with the amazingly successful global agreement to continue increasing our greenhouse gas emissions and massively change the world’s climate.

The Rio triumph is one where we ignore all the indicators and agree to continue to do the very things that achieve a state of non-sustainability. We not only agree to continue them, but also to ramp up the kind of economic growth that is the primary cause of the non-sustainable end state.

What our leaders have starkly demonstrated is that non-sustainability for the time being, is so much easier to achieve than sustainability. By failing to act, they have clearly defined what non-sustainability is for all of us.

Now, I wonder what sustainability means?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Adult Artefact Overdose Disorder (AAOD)

Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) in children has been graphically described by Richard Louv in his Last Child in the Woods. I contend that NDD is in part caused by AAOD. With our attention directed by the digital we miss the many opportunities for stimulus from the world that surrounds us and that we are a part of. We fail to live in the symbionment when wired and wireless for stimulus. Our children then have no idea what utility and beauty there is in our relationships to the living world, both human and non-human. They have a form of sensory deprivation that causes them to live in a world that could be called Myopia. It is no wonder the generations of children being raised by adults with AAOD have no idea about the importance of ecosystem services, ecosystem health, nature’s cycles, nature’s beauty and a stable climate that supports all life. When the machine stops (E.M. Forster), we will all be made acutely aware of the importance of the symbiocene and the obscenity of the anthropocene and its AAOD in adults and NDD in our children.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sanity Disruption

The combined effects of somaterratic disease (bodily illness from environmental causes) and psychoterratic disturbance (mental states generated by our relationship to the environment) delivers sanity disruption.

A sanity disruption epidemic is occurring because we can now more clearly see the links between endocrine (hormone) disrupters such as fungicides, other ‘cides’, plastics (phthalates) and other forms of environmental pollutants (heavy metals such as lead) that are entering our bodies via the air and food chains – and mental health. Epidemics of autism, bipolar syndromes, depression, anxiety and suicide speak loudly here, especially in young people.

In addition to being smothered by environmental mind pollutants we are changing our home environments at such a pace and scale that the positive psychoterratic states (biophilia, ecophilia, topophilia, endemophilia, eutierria) are being overwhelmed by the negative ones (biophobia, ecophobia, solastalgia, ecoanxiety). Both urban and non-urban home environments are being rendered toxic by global forces (urban sprawl, slums, large-scale development) that are deeply implicated in social dysfunction.
The combination of negative somaterratic and psychoterratic conditions creates sanity disruption. World-wide, we are experiencing mental health epidemics on an unprecedented scale. The WHO, have stated:

An estimated 450 million people worldwide have a mental disorder. At any given time, approximately 10% of adults are experiencing a current mental disorder, and 25% will develop one at some point during their lifetimes. Mental disorders are found in all countries, in women and men, at all stages of life, among the rich and poor, and in both rural and urban settings.

Mental disorders account for 13% of the global burden of disease, and this figure will rise to nearly 15% by 2030. Depression alone is likely to be the second highest contributor to the global burden of disease by that date.

Mental disorders also are associated with more than 90% of the one million suicides that occur annually. In reality the number is likely to be far greater, due to common underreporting of this cause of death.

As we enter the third generation of humans exposed to now ubiquitous toxic substances (the world was by default ‘organic’ until about 1950), we are witnessing the tragic results of this ethically blind experiment on ourselves. Our genetic makeup is now being altered in multi-generational ways as genetic damage is passed on as a deadly Chinese whisper. Add to that the psychoterratic pressures we are placing on ourselves and I think we can see at least one of the major factors behind the epidemic of mental health collapse we are seeing worldwide.