It is crazy to think about how just under 100 years ago, people didn’t have an easy way to just record a sound they heard, they had to carry around a whole bunch of recording equipment sometimes weighing hundreds of pounds. The story about the researchers trying to record the ivory beaked woodpecker really interested me, because it made me think about how much has changed in just the last decade, and how that bird is now most likely extinct.
We have changed a lot about the Earth, and what is scary about that is it has happened so fast. We are in the period right now of the Great Acceleration. This period only started in the 1950s, which is only about 70 years ago now. That the population has changed from less then 3 billion people in 1950 to almost 7.5 billion in one lifetime is crazy. We are currently witnesses to the most influential period of humans on Earth. We are changing things so fast because we as a population is growing so fast, but there has to be a limit to all of this. There is no finite system that can handle infinite growth. We are already seeing the consequences of climate change, as well as the world domination of humans.
The story of the ivory beaked woodpecker is an example how of how we are changing as a species and a culture. A century ago the researchers were excited to try to record this rare bird even though the technology made it difficult. Now, we have the power to record any sound we want to at the touch of a button on our phones, but we don’t care to, and we also don’t seem to care about the millions of animal species that are going extinct because of us. It is ironic that all these species will soon be gone, and now that it is easier to record their sounds, we don’t care enough to do it.
Let us make this be a reminder to think about and notice things before they disappear, possibly for good.