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[environmental generational amnesia] As our contact with Nature shrinks, so is nature’s effects on the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of individuals, without us taking notice

[environmental generational amnesia] As our contact with Nature shrinks, so is nature’s effects on the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of individuals, without us taking notice [environmental generational amnesia] As our contact with Nature shrinks, so is nature’s effects on the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of individuals, without us taking notice
Source: Alexandra Dvornikova via tumblr
Children and Nature
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Apparently, environmental generational amnesia (…) leads us to construct distorted meanings for environmental concepts. As we continue to degrade nature, we will adapt to its loss, as we have already, no doubt. But the adaptation comes with physical and psychological costs.

Consider this analogy. Imagine that your favorite food item is the only source of an essential nutrient and that without it everyone suffers from low-grade asthma and increased stress. Now imagine a generation of people who grow up in a world where this food item does not exist. In such a world, it would seem likely that people would not feel deprived by the absence of this tasty food (it was never in their minds to begin with) and that they would accept low-grade asthma and increased stress as the normal human condition.

Nature is like that food. A wide variety of literature, which has come under the rubric of biophilia, shows that direct positive affiliations with nature have beneficial effects for people's physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Findings from over 100 studies, for example, have shown that stress reduction is one of the key perceived benefits of recreating in a wilderness area. Other studies have shown greater stress recovery in response to natural than urban settings. Other studies conducted in prisons, dental offices, and hospitals point to similar effects. (…) Prison inmates whose cells looked out onto nearby farmlands and forests needed fewer health care services than inmates whose cells looked out onto the prison yard. In short, the research literature shows that people who affiliate positively with nature tend to be happier, more relaxed, more productive, more satisfied with their homes and jobs, and healthier.

NB: Reference to previous academic papers have been withdrawn from this excerpt.

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Source :  Mobilizing against the extinction of nature experience (french), july 2015, Espaces naturels

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