Like many of you, we at KCG are often left wondering what is the right word to describe a particular event or activity. We search the thesaurus for some clues, or just depend on our memories for a creative insight. The New York Times wrote recently about a subject that has got us thinking about how to describe certain global activities when they are both too universal and long-lasting to be captured by a known phrase.
Social scientists have been looking for a way to describe the impact of climate change on the human psyche. They’ve come up with the word, “solastalgia.” It is a noun, from the Latin solarium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain). The Times describes it as, “the pain experienced when there is a recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault … a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home’.”
Ironically, solastalgia might also be applied to gentrification, another example of a comprehensive community activity that leaves one homesick even when one still lives at home. Are there any other community actions that could be described using the word “solastalgia?”