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Solastalgia

A University of Newcastle ecologist coined this term when he realized there was no word in English to connote the yearning for comfort in the face of desolation of one’s home space or territory. Environmental trauma entails not only material losses but a loss of sense of place and sense of control, on both the individual and community level. It is obviously in play in massive local or regional environmental catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, floods and brush fires, but more gradual and pervasive environmental change leaves us all rootless and uncomforted as well. Solastalgia is a convenient term to explore the psychosocial and mental health impact of ecological change. I realize that I post pieces on irrevocable environmental change here quite often as a way to investigate and cope with my distress at what is happening to my bioregion and the ecosphere. These will comprise FmH’s new Dept. of Solastalgia from here on.