Extantion Celebration and Sumbioliteracy

Alongside the Extinction Rebellion movement we need an ‘Extantion Celebration’ movement.  ‘Extantion’ is an action that values the existence of life. That which is still in existence (extant) should be celebrated for its continued presence on this Earth. Yes, we should be rebelling against extinction, yet if people do not know what diversity of life is still present on Earth, they will not know what to rebel against.

Ecoliteracy, or what I prefer to call ‘sumbioliteracy’,  is paramount here and it goes beyond recognition of the obvious plight of, for example, Orangutans. Respect for living beings from the micro to the macro is a foundation for understanding what life is about. We share our life with trillions of other beneficial beings (bacteria, viruses and fungi) even within our own bodies, their life is also ours. Sumbioliteracy (sumbios = Ancient Greek for “living together”) is the knowledge needed by all to understand and appreciate how life works with life to further life.

At larger scales we are totally dependent on other life forms such as trees for our continued existence. Life is symbiotically interconnected and a shared property (the biocomunen) of all beings … even at a planetary level. We will fight to protect life, only when we know what it is. An extantion celebration will help arrest further extinction. It could also be pleasurable and fun!

Extantion: from ‘extant’ still existing, from the Latin exstans, and, exstare, to be in existence. The suffix ‘ion’ denotes an action or condition.

Image: A Rufous Whistler giving voice to its extantion.

3 thoughts on “Extantion Celebration and Sumbioliteracy

  1. I have re-tweeted this lovely idea. Meanwhile, I have recently read your ‘The Age of Solastalgia’, having been told about you by a friend, Daphne du Cros who is reading for a PhD on local food systems and sustainability policy at City University, London. I’m six years too late! But as a writer, it’s made me think, and my feeling is that your word ‘solastalgia’ tries to pack in too much and is insufficiently strong. ‘Sola’ suggests alone, which is not that important in your analysis and ‘nostalgia’ is now a word used pejoratively. Surely DESOLATION conveys the depth of the feeling you describe, now increasingly widespread? And (I’ve just tweeted this), the word neatly contains the idea of ‘solace’, that word you so rightly refer to, but has swallowed it, destroyed it.
    There’s a wonderful song by Schubert the first line of which is: ‘Schone Welt, wo bist du? Kehre wieder…’ Beautiful world, where are you? Return again… The music is deeply melancholy, the words ‘return again’ are repeated and the song ends with ‘where are you/ where are you?’ Although he was referring to ancient Greece, it seems to me to express perfectly the utter sadness so many of us feel now about the disappearance and destruction of so much in the world.

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