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Healing Anthropocene Syndrome: Planetary Health Requires Remediation of the Toxic Post-Truth Environment

1
inVIVO Planetary Health, the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
2
The Institute of Integrative Health, Baltimore, 1407 Fleet St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
3
Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4
The ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute and University of Western Australia, Perth Children’s Hospital, 15 Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2021, 12(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010001
Received: 14 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
The term “Anthropocene Syndrome” describes the wicked interrelated challenges of our time. These include, but are not limited to, unacceptable poverty (of both income and opportunity), grotesque biodiversity losses, climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), health inequalities, social injustices, the spread of ultra-processed foods, consumerism and incivility in tandem with a diminished emphasis on the greater potential of humankind, efforts toward unity, or the value of fulfilment and flourishing of all humankind. Planetary health is a concept that recognizes the interdependent vitality of all natural and anthropogenic ecosystems—social, political and otherwise; it blurs the artificial lines between health at scales of person, place and planet. Promoting planetary health requires addressing the underlying pathology of “Anthropocene Syndrome” and the deeper value systems and power dynamics that promote its various signs and symptoms. Here, we focus on misinformation as a toxin that maintains the syndromic status quo—rapid dissemination of falsehoods and dark conspiracies on social media, fake news, alternative facts and medical misinformation described by the World Health Organization as an “infodemic”. In the context of planetary health, we explore the historical antecedents of this “infodemic” and underscore an urgent need to remediate the misinformation mess. It is our contention that education (especially in early life) emphasizing mindfulness and understanding of the mechanisms by which propaganda is spread (and unhealthy products are marketed) is essential. We expand the discourse on positive social contagion and argue that empowerment through education can help lead to an information transformation with the aim of flourishing along every link in the person, place and planet continuum. View Full-Text
Keywords: planetary health; Anthropocene; post-truth; truth; misinformation; disinformation; propaganda; COVID-19; unity; health equity; social justice; environmental justice; consumerism; ultra-processed foods; NCDs (non-communicable disease); DOHaD (developmental origins of health and disease); cross-sectoral initiatives; Anthropocene Syndrome; network multipliers; mindfulness planetary health; Anthropocene; post-truth; truth; misinformation; disinformation; propaganda; COVID-19; unity; health equity; social justice; environmental justice; consumerism; ultra-processed foods; NCDs (non-communicable disease); DOHaD (developmental origins of health and disease); cross-sectoral initiatives; Anthropocene Syndrome; network multipliers; mindfulness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Logan, A.C.; Berman, S.H.; Berman, B.M.; Prescott, S.L. Healing Anthropocene Syndrome: Planetary Health Requires Remediation of the Toxic Post-Truth Environment. Challenges 2021, 12, 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010001

AMA Style

Logan AC, Berman SH, Berman BM, Prescott SL. Healing Anthropocene Syndrome: Planetary Health Requires Remediation of the Toxic Post-Truth Environment. Challenges. 2021; 12(1):1. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Logan, Alan C.; Berman, Susan H.; Berman, Brian M.; Prescott, Susan L. 2021. "Healing Anthropocene Syndrome: Planetary Health Requires Remediation of the Toxic Post-Truth Environment" Challenges 12, no. 1: 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010001

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