Extantion Celebration

3 comments

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 is paramount here and it goes beyond recognition of the obvious plight of 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.

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 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 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 comments on “Extantion Celebration”

  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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    1. Hi Alix, see what you think when you read the rest of my work on solastalgia. You will hopefully find that it has been carefully thought out and has addressed your concerns. I will post something from my forthcoming book, Earth Emotions, that clarifies its definition and origins.

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