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Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World

by Glenn A. Albrecht Cornell University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 256 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.08
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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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. Albrecht names this period the Symbiocene.


With the current and coming generations, "Generation Symbiocene," Albrecht sees reason for optimism. The battle between the forces of destruction and the forces of creation will be won by Generation Symbiocene, and Earth Emotions presents an ethical and emotional odyssey for that victory.




1. A Sumbiography: A Summation of My Green Past

2. Solastalgia: The Homesickness You Have at Home

3. The Psychoterratic in the Anthropocene: Negative Earth Emotions

4. The Psychoterratic in the Symbiocene: Positive Earth Emotions

5. Gaia and the Ghedeist: Secular Spirituality

6. Generation Symbiocene: Creating the New World


Glossary of Psychoterratic Terms




"Glenn A. Albrecht has written a superb book, one that is hugely novel, insightful, and rewarding. Everything in this book matters."-Jules Pretty, University of Essex, author of The East Country


"Glenn Albrecht is one of the most important eco-philosophers of our time, though the term 'eco-philosopher' may be too narrow. He is also a map-maker: he names the roads ahead, the dead-ends, the detours, and potential destinations. And, unlike so many scientists, he does not describe those roads only with numbers, but with a new language of emotions — those now emerging from the tragedy and the possibility of the Earth."-Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle


"Glenn Albrecht's vision is at once realistic and contagiously optimistic. Through unique language, he names the heart-breaking loss we feel as nature gets pummeled. Yet our senses open and our smiles re-emerge as we recognize that such destruction can be the catalyst for the evolution of human consciousness. This book is a manifesto for a new Earth."-Peter Kahn, University of Washington, author of Technological Nature


"Glenn Albrecht's important new book gives names to the experiences of life in the Anthropocene; the repertoire of 'Earth emotions' that have been called out of us by the plight of the planet. A remarkable work of interdisciplinary philosophy that unites eco-linguistics and story-telling, this open-hearted, sharp-minded book not only diagnoses what Kristeva once called our 'new maladies of the soul', but shows us a way to escape them; by moving out of the Anthropocene and into the Symbiocene."-Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland and The Old Ways


"Earth Emotions is thorough, composed, and historically illuminative. Grounded and powerful in its message, this book helps explain in an accessible way the history of Earth emotion neologisms and the relationships of land and psyche."-Nick Stanger, Washington University

Glenn A. Albrecht is an Australian environmental philosopher. He established the now widely used and accepted concept of solastalgia, or the lived experience of negative environmental change. He retired from Murdoch University in 2014 as a Professor of Sustainability, and he is now an Honorary Associate in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney.