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Sounds of Silence: Extinction Is Erasing the Earth’s Music

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June 3rd, 2021

By Tara Lohan

Via Global Research

What does a biodiversity crisis sound like? You may need to strain your ears to hear it.

In the past 50 years, America’s bird populations have fallen by a third, and worldwide the average mammal population has dropped 60%, writes acclaimed environmental philosopher and nature writer Kathleen Dean Moore in her new collection of essays, Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World.

And with all that loss comes an unsettling silence.

Unless the world acts to stop extinctions, I will write my last nature essay on a planet that is less than half as song-graced and life-drenched as the one where I began to write,” she explains in the book’s preface. “My grandchildren will tear out half the pages in their field guides. They won’t need them.

Her book uses sound as a reference point to better understand what we stand to lose as extinction rates climb higher. But the essays are also a celebration of the natural world’s chorus and the joy of learning to hear what’s still there.

The essays are also being set to music in a series for Oregon State’s Spring Creek Project that will feature 20 4-minute-long concerts combining live musical performance with excerpts from Earth’s Wild Music.

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