dusk droneBega River, Australia - November 2019
As the sun fell below the canopy on my last day in the rainforest, I listened to the sustained chants of one of the world’s loudest insects, the greengrocer cicada. They are known for producing a noise that flirts with our hearing’s threshold of pain, thus causing the sometimes dizzying and deafening feeling one can experience. In the twilight, they pursued their sonic ritual uninterrupted. Two kookaburras, with their emblematic raucous laugh, and other birds would try to compete with the arthropods, in vain. I took that moment to reflect on my Australian journey. Rarely had I encountered such a wide range of species in such a short amount of time. The abundance of those ecosystems’ fauna and flora was remarkable and the local bio- and geophony as unique as their sources. To think that all of that was under imminent threat as towering bushfires multiplied throughout the country was saddening. How disturbing, that we are putting such beauty and diversity at risk because of our anthropological greediness, that the world’s “leaders” would rather prioritize profit over the biosphere, and that humans have cultivated a disastrous apathy and passivity towards current environmental issues. Even now, at the dawn of the Pyrocene - the epoch of fire - humans fail to take real action. The cicadas were still buzzing and little did I know that a month later this catastrophe would worsen, and that the forests I visited along with millions of acres and over a billion animals (without taking insects into count!) would be scorched by the supercharged flames.
As a new decade starts, I hope that these scarred landscapes and their voices will help spark awareness and shed light on the current ecological state of our planet while stimulating collective actions against this sinister age of embers.