“We Used to Have Four Seasons, but Now There Is Only One”: Perceptions Concerning the Changing Climate and Environment in a Diverse Sample of Israeli Older Persons

Liat Ayalon, Natalie Ulitsa, Hanan AboJabel, Shelly Engdau-Vanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Solastalgia is the pain caused by the loss of solace and isolation from one’s environment. Solastalgia is contrasted with nostalgia, which is defined as melancholy characterized by homesickness or the distance from one’s home. The present study examines the two concepts of solastalgia and nostalgia in the context of climate change among diverse populations of older Israelis. In total, 50 older persons from four different population groups (e.g., veteran Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and Ethiopian immigrants) were interviewed. All interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Members of all four groups expressed emotional distress and grief associated with the changing climate, increased environmental pollution, and the disappearance of nature. Perceptions around the undesirability of these changes were quite unanimous, thus leading us to conclude that the outcomes associated with solastalgia and nostalgia are quite similar despite different etiological explanations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-535
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume43
Issue number5
Early online date12 Dec 2023
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Funding

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF 217/20) awarded to Prof. Liat Ayalon.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science FoundationISF 217/20

    Keywords

    • climate change
    • environmental changes
    • nostalgia
    • older persons
    • solastalgia

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