Edinburgh Research Explorer

Loneliness in an era of mass extinctions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarratives of Loneliness
Subtitle of host publicationMultidisciplinary Perspectives from the 21st Century
EditorsOlivia Sagan, Eric Miller
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781317292456
ISBN (Print)9781138183827
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2017

Abstract

If we take from Dumm a starting point that loneliness arises out of our experience of loss, then there can be no understanding of loneliness in the 21st century that does not consider the massive loss of animal others across this planet. In 2014, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released their analysis of the state of the world’s (non-human) vertebrates. Across over 10,000 monitored populations covering 3,000 species, numbers have dropped by 52% between 1970 and 2010. We have lost half of our vertebrate animal neighbours and are on course to lose a large number of species entirely. This is a period of extinction more massive than any since the Cretaceous event that killed off the dinosaurs (Sagan & Margulis, 1993). The term “Anthropocene” has been gaining popularity as a moniker for this era (Baskin, 2015) however the biologist E.O. Wilson proposes that we instead call it “the Eremocene: the Age of Loneliness” (2013).

    Research areas

  • narrative, conservation, emotional geography, memoir

ID: 34854911