Ecoagnosy: ignorance of ecology (agnosy is a synonym for ignorance)

As each subsequent generation separates from nature and life there is a gulf opening that Kahn has called “environmental generational amnesia” (Kahn 1999, after Pyle 1976). With such limited experience of nature to pass onto the next generation, each generation accepts as the ‘norm’ an objectively impoverished environment.

Perhaps another term is needed to capture the essence of, not only that we are forgetting something that we once knew, as amnesia suggests, it is also that we actually experience less and know less about ecology in nature with each generation. Hence we cannot forget that which we have never known. Ecoamnesia can, perhaps, be reversed within some people of a certain age with a re-awakening of childhood memories of a once verdant and rich natural world, however, ‘ecoagnosy’ or ignorance of ecology leads to nothing but a path to extinction.

Therefore, our children are suffering from ecoagnosy, a socially induced form of ecoretrogression, which is the disturbing idea that the current generation is less ecologically literate, less ecologically attuned, less ecologically aware and less ecologically emotional than previous generations. As a consequence, they are unable to respond to the enormous risks posed by ecosystem distress and climate calescence.



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