La escritura tiene unos 5.000 años de vida. Pero mucho antes de que los seres humanos inventáramos alfabetos, la naturaleza llevaba una contabilidad exacta del tiempo dibujando círculos en la leña y la savia. En ese idioma está escrito el auténtico Antiguo Testamento: cada una de las antiguas glaciaciones y diluvios e incendios.
El crecimiento lento es condición para que luego se alcance una edad avanzada. La ciencia ya no discute la capacidad de los árboles para aprender, queda por resolver dónde almacenan lo aprendido y cómo lo rescatan.Muchos botánicos sostienen que en las puntas de las raíces tienen estructuras similares al cerebro. De hecho sabemos que los árboles tienen memoria, son capaces de registrar y distinguir las temperaturas en ascenso de la primavera de las que están en descenso durante otoño.
Chemical analysis of some of the world’s oldest rocks, by an international team led by McGill University researchers, has provided the earliest record yet of Earth’s atmosphere. The results show that the air 4 billion years ago was very similar to that more than a billion years later, when the atmosphere — though it likely would have been lethal to oxygen-dependent humans — supported a thriving microbial biosphere that ultimately gave rise to the diversity of life on Earth today.
The findings, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help scientists better understand how life originated and evolved on the planet. Until now, researchers have had to rely on widely varying computer models of the earliest atmosphere’s characteristics.
Each system of memory has its own forms of forgetting which are crucial to their operation; and memory systems interact in complex ways – sometimes in ways that the memory of one system depends on increasing the amnesia of another system; sometimes in forms of hypomnesis, in which the memory of one system is increased by placing memory outside of itself, in another system.
In 2003 the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht coined the term solastalgiato mean a “form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change”. Albrecht was studying the effects of long-term drought and large-scale mining activity on communities in New South Wales, when he realised that no word existed to describe the unhappiness of people whose landscapes were being transformed about them by forces beyond their control. He proposed his new term to describe this distinctive kind of homesickness.
Where the pain of nostalgia arises from moving away, the pain of solastalgia arises from staying put. Where the pain of nostalgia can be mitigated by return, the pain of solastalgia tends to be irreversible. Solastalgia is not a malady specific to the present – we might think of John Clare as a solastalgic poet, witnessing his native Northamptonshire countryside disrupted by enclosure in the 1810s – but it has flourished recently. “A worldwide increase in ecosystem distress syndromes,” wrote Albrecht, is “matched by a corresponding increase in human distress syndromes”. Solastalgia speaks of a modern uncanny, in which a familiar place is rendered unrecognisable by climate change or corporate action: the home become suddenly unhomely around its inhabitants.