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What Does It All Mean?

[Article Recovered from Hacked Autonomist]

Do you know what these are?

—solastalgia
—psychoterratic
—somaterratic

These are some of the latest wonders emanating from the world of academia. It seems to be a new kind of power, similar to the new power of politicians who can now, apparently, control the weather simply by passing a law.

Do not feel badly if you've never heard any of these words before, because they never existed before. They are called "neologisms," which means, "words you just make up."

You might be tempted to try this yourself, since these words earned a $430,000 grant from the Australian Research Council. That's about $163,000 dollars a word.

But do not try this yourself. To make up words that garner that kind of loot takes a team of university researchers, in this case from the University of Newcastle?s School of Environmental and Life Sciences (Australia). The team consists of Nick Higginbotham, (I'm not making this up) a social psychologist; Linda Connor, an ethnographer and social and medical anthropologist (really); and Glenn Albrecht, an environmental philosopher (whatever that is).

What's It All Mean

Even made-up words have to mean something. These words are all new diseases, because apparently we do not have enough. The article "What Does Climate Change Do To Our Heads?" explains that these diseases are caused by "ecosystem transformation" and "industry-related displacement" which are "stressors," which cause these diseases."

The rest of the explanation is just as clear:

"Psychoterratic illness involves the psyche or mind and terra or earth. So a psychoterratic illness would be an earth-related mental illness, where both nostalgia and solastalgia are examples of people being made ?mentally ill? by the severing of ?healthy? links between themselves and their home or territory."

"Somaterratic illness, on the other hand, involves soma or the body and relates to damage done to the human body, its physiology and/or genetics, as a result of the loss of ecosystem health by, for example, toxic pollution in any given area of land."

"Solastalgia describes a palpable sense of dislocation and loss that people feel when they perceive changes to their local environment as harmful."

You may think all this environmental stuff does not really cause disease, but I had a distinct, "palpable sense of dislocation and loss," while reading the article.