The Growing Silence Of The Natural World

The rich, complex musical symphonies produced by nature are now being irrevocably destroyed. The Guardian writes:

When musician and naturalist Bernie Krause drops his microphones into the pristine coral reef waters of Fiji, he picks up a raucous mix of sighs, beats, glissandos, cries, groans, tones, grunts, beats and clicks. The water pulsates with the sound of creatures vying for acoustic bandwidth. He hears crustaceans, parrot fish, anemones, wrasses, sharks, shrimps, puffers and surgeonfish.

But half a mile away, where the same reef is badly damaged, he can only pick up the sound of waves and a few snapping shrimp. It is, he says, the desolate sound of extinction.

Krause, whose electronic music with Paul Beaver was used on classic films like Rosemary’s Baby and Apocalypse Now, has spent 40 years recording over 15,000 species, collecting 4,500 hours of sound from many of the world’s pristine habitats.

But such is the rate of species extinction and the deterioration of pristine habitat that he estimates half these recordings are now archives, impossible to repeat because the habitats no longer exist or because they have been so compromised by human noise. His tapes are possibly the only record of the original diversity of life in these places.

“A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening,” he writes in a new book, The Great Animal Orchestra. “Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. There has been a massive decrease in the density and diversity of key vocal creatures, both large and small.”

14 Comments on "The Growing Silence Of The Natural World"

  1. Jin The Ninja | Sep 4, 2012 at 11:20 am |

     capitalism kills. what else is there to say?

    • MadHierophant | Sep 4, 2012 at 11:38 am |

      “Cut it the fuck out and think of something better.”

    • Anarchy Pony | Sep 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm |

      I’m sure you could elaborate that greatly. Industrialism kills, GDP growth kills(did you know that species extinction rates track almost exactly with GDP?), resource extraction kills, resource exploitation kills, population growth kills(despite what those anti-malthusians say) Supplying demand kills. The list goes on. Here watch this: 

      • Jin The Ninja | Sep 5, 2012 at 4:37 am |

        i’m admittedly a moderate anti-malthusian, but i agree with everything here.

        • Anarchy Pony | Sep 6, 2012 at 12:45 am |

          SAY IT AIN’T SO!

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 6, 2012 at 10:39 am |

            lol. i have always asserted resource inequality was incomparably the greater evil than over pop’n. but we can still be bros.

          • Anarchy Pony | Sep 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |

            Well sure it’s more evil, doesn’t mean overpopulation isn’t serious and dangerous though.

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

            i agree there are systemic consequences for over pop’n, but i dislike nearly all measures used to ‘enforce’ a declining growth rate of people. it’s the dichotomy of being an anarchist, i guess…

          • Anarchy Pony | Sep 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

            To be split and torn is our destiny.

          • mannyfurious | Sep 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

            Yeah, but it isn’t it a problem that will eventually fix itself, though? 

          • Anarchy Pony | Sep 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

            If it gets to the point where it “fixes itself” I sure hope I don’t live to see it.

          • mannyfurious | Sep 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

            Either way it’s probably going to be ugly–whether we “fix” it or whether it fixes itself. 

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