The particular love of that which is locally and regionally distinctive as felt by the people of that place. Endemophilia is derived from the English word, ‘endemic’, is based on the French word, endémique and has the Greek roots, endēmia (a dwelling in) and endemos (native in the people) and philia (love of).
The positive psychoterratic emotion of endemophilia can be seen as a counter to the alienation and isolation expressed by the term ‘nostalgia’ when a ‘local’ person is separated from their home environment. To have an emplaced love of home and its distinctive ecocultural qualities and characteristics is a precondition for having a negative experience when absent from home and missing the emotional pull of the local.
In order to experience genuine homesickness, you must have already experienced a form of ‘homewellness’ or endemophilia. Endemophilia can be acquired … it simply requires openness to the pleasures of discovery in new places.
(Image: Eastern Australian Long-necked Tortoise).
The political and policy realms will also have to be revolutionised by sumbiocentric thinking. The model for social and political systems is not Nature in general, it is life and how life is possible (and desirable) within the matrix of an ethically indifferent Nature. From this point onwards, there is nothing to stop this new conceptual framework from evolving greater complexity. We can create an overarching philosophy of life. ‘Sumbioism’ is the collective and cumulative art and science of ‘living together’ within the matrix of all life. A ‘sumbioist’ is a person who reflects on, writes about and lives by this philosophy.
That moment when you experience sudden and traumatic environmental change … your favourite tree being cut down, your forest has just died of heat stress, the bulldozer is demolishing your loved streetscape or you witness an oil spill that smothers all life on ‘your’ beach. This is not post-traumatic stress disorder; this is not chronic solastalgia, this is acute earth-based existential trauma in the here and right now.
We need a word for this gut feeling, this mental anguish. I think Tierratrauma is a good first effort and it can be contrasted to Eutierria, a concept I have already offered as a catch all for “that oceanic experience” or the feeling of oneness between self and nature. If we can have eutierria, then we can also have tierratrauma.
Cities, as they are currently configured, owe their existence on globalized gigantism supported by the carbon intensive global transport of goods by aircraft and shipping. Symbiocene planners agree with Bill Rees in seeing cities as “entropic black holes” (Rees 1997) defying all superficial attempts at pseudo-sustainability with their ‘green walls’.
We will need to exit the megapolis and live in the ‘sumbiopolis’, a place where the sumboikos will flourish. I have no clear idea of what this kind of city will look like, but I would not rule out the ‘living city’ of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Broadacres’ countryside, complete with skyscrapers, forests and factories surrounded by agricultural fields; an assemblage he described as “patterns of cultivation mingling with good buildings” (Wright 1958: 198). I can also see Friedrich Hunterdtwasser’s organic, living design and architecture informing every aspect of the built symbioment (Hundertwasser 1997). Finally, architects and designers will be able to create organic form and flow in their work. The era of the straight line and ‘the box’ will be over as engineers figure out how to replace Anthropocene concrete (one of the highest emitters of carbon) with new materials that satisfy Symbiocene principles.
Image by G. Albrecht from: Wright, Frank Lloyd. 1958. The Living City. New York: Meridian Book. pp. 198-199 (with thanks to Frank).
A ‘sumbiography’ is the term I use to explain the cumulative influences on my life, from childhood to adulthood, that have culminated in my views on the relationship between humans, other forms of life and nature.
This term is derived from the Greek sumbiosis (companionship), sumbion (to live together) sumbios (living together) and, of course, Greek bio (life) and graphy (from the Greek graphein, to write).
While it might seem counterproductive, the extension of ‘rights’ to non-humans, including landscape elements, in an effort to bring them into the circle of human ethico-legal protection, will also not be in the spirit of the sumbios and the Symbiocene. This is because ‘rights’ have their origin in exploitative and manipulative modes of human decision-making arising from the need for secular wealth and property to be protected from the privilege and power of the Church and the Crown (MacIntyre 1984, Albrecht 1994).
The possession of rights depends on the idea of the autonomous individual as the bearer of rights in a contestable social context. Moreover, a hierarchy of rights emerges where, for example, males and their power structures preference masculinist rights over all others (see Salleh 1984). Rights are wrongs and we do not need them in a non-hierarchical world of permeable and porous intersections of interest. Sumbioethics is the application of Symbiocene principles to the pursuit of a good life. Within ethics and law there will need to be a new concept for ‘rights’, one that takes into account symbiotic interconnectedness within the Symbiocene and the human sumbios.
Perhaps ‘ghehds’? A replacement term for ‘rights’ where instead of a hierarchy of competing rights, assuming autonomous individuals or entities in a contested domain, ‘ghehds,’ are the entitlements of passage, movement and flow within organically and symbiotically unified wholes. The good of the whole is guaranteed by the protection of the ‘ghehds’ that connect and hold things together. Rights assume division, ghehds assume unity.
[‘Ghehd’ is an old root word in Indo-European languages and has meanings linked to Old English and Germanic words such as ‘together’, ‘to gather’ and ‘good’.]