I’m not sure that the “observations” of psychology make it a science, or a “natural” one, in the sense of Arthur Stanley Eddington, who noted: “For the truth of the conclusions of science, observation is the supreme court of appeal.” In other words, I don’t know that observations of behavior lend credence to Nature Deficit Disorder or Ecotherapy as being more real than imaginative. Nonetheless, here are some thoughts from people on that front:
The “No Child Left Inside” Movement
Some say the future isn’t what it used to be. Here’s a different view. The future is going to be better than it used to be — at least when it comes to the human connection to nature.
In “Last Child in the Woods,” I described what I called “nature-deficit disorder.” I hesitated (briefly) to use the term; our culture is overwrought with medical jargon. But we needed a language to describe the change, and this phrase rang true to parents, educators, and others who had noticed the change. Nature-deficit disorder is not a formal diagnosis, but a way to describe the psychological, physical and cognitive costs of human alienation from nature, particularly for children in their vulnerable developing years.
In the four years since publication of “Last Child” (with an updated and expanded edition in 2008), the gap has continue