docs.google.comClimate Grief Resources
Climate Grief Resources (from Climate Justice Edmonton resource doc) Note: I haven’t read all these but they all come recommended from trusted climate organizers and pals. Author Publication Title URL Summary Mary Annaïse Heglar Medium Climate Change Ain’t the First Existential Threa...
Here’s an excerpt from Melissa Gismondi’s article in The Walrus on homesickness where she addresses “solastalgia”:
In some cases, these feelings can manifest in what Glenn Albrecht, an Australian environmental philosopher and the author of Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World, calls “solastalgia.” In the early 2000s, Albrecht coined the term and defined it as “the homesickness you have when you are still at home,” a “painful emotion in the face of negatively experienced environmental change.” Albrecht’s study initially focused on communities in New South Wales affected by large-scale mining, but others have applied his concept to countries all over the world, from Canada to Indonesia.
Ashlee Cunsolo, now dean of the School of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Studies of the Labrador Institute at Memorial University, says feelings of solastalgia are particularly acute among people who live in close connection to the land. In 2009, she started participating in Inuit-led studies on climate change and mental health. This research is showing that long-term changes to the landscape, such as loss of sea ice or disrupted migration patterns of wildlife, are disorienting in many ways. “A lot of people were talking about this sense of, almost a loss and a homesickness,” she says. “That home that they loved, even though they were still living in it, wasn’t the same.”
The American Psychological Association has already recognized solastalgia in a 2017 guide on climate change and mental health co-authored with Eco-America, an environmental nonprofit. A representative for Health Canada said its upcoming 2021 report on climate change will include a chapter on mental health and a definition of solastalgia as it relates to Canada. This recognition might lead to more funding for those researching solastalgia and for policies that address it. As with most mental health concerns, researchers say it’s crucial to create spaces where homesickness can be acknowledged and those who experience it don’t feel judged. Simply put, doing so helps people who feel desperately alone feel a little less lonely.
When I asked Cunsolo if it’s only a matter of time until climate change makes everyone feel homesick, or at least solastalgic, she stressed that, although the feeling is acute among groups that have a close connection to the land, it’s also increasingly widespread. Try as we might to transform ourselves into cosmopolitan citizens of the world, it turns out that where we come from—what we identify as home, whether it’s a place or specific people in our lives—still matters. Then she echoed something van Tilburg told me: solastalgia is about grief and mourning and sadness and anguish, but “if people are grieving, it’s coming from a place of love, and that’s coming from a commitment to the natural world and the environment around us.”
Thank you Amelia!