Update: I got a copy of the paper. The word is "attunement." He writes:
An “ecological” democracy would require that we learn to pay attention to what nature is saying to us: both by awareness of scientific knowledge and by a personal and collective process of attunement to plants, animals, and even ecosystems. By analogy this may not be totally unlike the attunement required for communicating with the severely handicapped, partnering with domesticated animals, or practicing truly sustainable agriculture. It may remind us of what political justice would look like between cultures so essentially different that they could not argue for their own interests in terms the other could understand.