Earth Emotions


This Global Read was held on February 18, 2020 at 2pm Pacific Time.



earth emotions

As climate change and development pressures overwhelm the environment, our emotional relationships with Earth are also in crisis. Pessimism and distress are overwhelming people the world over. In this maelstrom of emotion, solastalgia, the homesickness you have when you are still at home, has become, writes Glenn A. Albrecht, one of the defining emotions of the twenty-first century.

Earth Emotions examines our positive and negative Earth emotions. It explains the author's concept of solastalgia and other well-known eco-emotions such as biophilia and topophilia. Albrecht introduces us to the many new words needed to describe the full range of our emotional responses to the emergent state of the world. We need this creation of a hopeful vocabulary of positive emotions, argues Albrecht, so that we can extract ourselves out of environmental desolation and reignite our millennia-old biophilia—love of life—for our home planet. To do so, he proposes a dramatic change from the current human-dominated Anthropocene era to one that will be founded, materially, ethically, politically, and spiritually on the revolution in thinking being delivered by contemporary symbiotic science.

Glenn Albrecht
Glenn Albrecht retired as professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in June 2014. He was at the University of Newcastle as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies until December 2008. He is an environmental philosopher with both theoretical and applied interests in the relationship between ecosystem and human health, broadly defined. He pioneered the research domain of 'psychoterratic' or earth-related mental health and emotional conditions with his concept of 'solastalgia' or the lived experience of negative environmental change. Solastalgia has become accepted worldwide as a key concept in understanding the impact of negative environmental change in academic, creative arts, social impact assessment and legal contexts.

Read Glenn's blogs:

Susan De GaiaHost: Susan de Gaia, Ph.D.

Susan earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics at the University of Southern California. She has designed and taught courses for California State University, including Science and Conscience, Religion and Society, Comparative Religions, Writing, and Literature. She is editor of the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History (ABC-CLIO 2018/19), winner of two awards for best reference work. 

Susan also serves as an ambassador to the Charter for Compassion Environment Sector and facilitates courses in Compassionate Integrity Training. 

Susan teaches Death and Dying for Central Michigan University's Global Campus. Her course Death and Dying: Grief and Climate Change, offered through the Charter for Compassion Education Institute, starts on March 16.

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