Presentation Title

KEYNOTE: The Extinction of Experience Revisited

Start Date

11-2-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

11-2-2019 1:40 PM

Abstract

Nearly forty-five years ago, I posited a cycle whereby local extinctions lead inexorably to deeper disaffection with the elements of diversity in our surroundings, and thus, through disconnection, to apathy, noninvolvement, and still further losses. I called this dire process "the extinction of experience," and I predicted that it would prove particularly severe and effective in and around cities, where most people live and where diversity retreats daily. Lately, in light of the sixth extinction crisis, nature deficit disorder, and climate change, I have been re-evaluating the extinction of experience today. To what extent has it panned out? To what degree does it still operate? And how and where has it been stemmed? Here I will report from the field on the current look and import of this much-adopted hypothesis, and on the surprising degree to which the cities themselves can be designed and managed to function as its most effective antidote.

Subjects

Conservation biology, Environmental education, Environmental social sciences

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Feb 11th, 1:00 PM Feb 11th, 1:40 PM

KEYNOTE: The Extinction of Experience Revisited

Nearly forty-five years ago, I posited a cycle whereby local extinctions lead inexorably to deeper disaffection with the elements of diversity in our surroundings, and thus, through disconnection, to apathy, noninvolvement, and still further losses. I called this dire process "the extinction of experience," and I predicted that it would prove particularly severe and effective in and around cities, where most people live and where diversity retreats daily. Lately, in light of the sixth extinction crisis, nature deficit disorder, and climate change, I have been re-evaluating the extinction of experience today. To what extent has it panned out? To what degree does it still operate? And how and where has it been stemmed? Here I will report from the field on the current look and import of this much-adopted hypothesis, and on the surprising degree to which the cities themselves can be designed and managed to function as its most effective antidote.