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The age of solastalgia

Albrecht, G. (2012) The age of solastalgia. The Conversation, 7 August .

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Abstract

The built and natural environments are now changing so rapidly that our language and conceptual frameworks have to work overtime just to keep up. Under the intertwined impacts of global development, rising population and global warming, with their accompanying changes in climate and ecosystems, there is now a mismatch between our lived experience of the world, and our ability to conceptualise and comprehend it.

No longer is the “wisdom of the elders” relevant to how we should live in the here and now, and this loss of historically informed knowledge has implications for social cohesion.

I experienced the connections between mental health and changes to a once predictable and loved home-environment when examining the impact of open-cut coal mining in the Upper Hunter region of NSW. My own eco-biography, the seminal influences in my life that have influenced my feelings about the natural environment, had attuned me to the importance of a positive “sense of place” in people’s lives, and to the significance of what the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan called “topophilia”, or the love of place and landscape.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publishers Website: http://theconversation.com/au
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29959
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