Please don't let Namibia's Toto installation disrupt wildlife for eternity!
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There are virtually no places remaining on Earth untouched by humans. Not only are we the cause of a rapidly changing climate but we are also causing the loss of biodiversity on a devastating scale.
Some of us argue that biodiversity has intrinsic value, while others believe that biodiversity is an integral part of our living planet, its ecological infrastructure and the resulting ecosystem services that contribute fundamentally to our present and future well-being (e.g. think about how much effort and money it would cost us to pollinate the worlds plants and agricultural crops by hand if our pollinators go extinct).
Noise pollution is one consequence of of the human footprint that is not often thought about. We may think about how annoying it is when our neighbour's dog barks incessantly, but what about how the noise our man-made machines make influences the wildlife who rely on natural acoustic environments for their survival?
Many species of bats, birds and insects rely on sound for finding food, mates and avoiding predation and while we may pat ourselves on the back for protecting some natural spaces where humans do not encroach on these animals physical habitat, we can count on the probability that we have encroached on their acoustic habitat.
It is not always easy to make arguments for conserving nature and the environment when exploiting them might improve the quality of life for some communities living in poverty or even improve a country's economy. But surely in the year 2019 we are conscious enough to ask ourselves "When is the destruction of our natural environments UNjustified?".... and surely we are not so arrogant and so selfish that we think natural systems should be negatively impacted solely for the purpose of human entertainment? And surely we are capable of the humility required to respect the sanctity of our living planet where possible as it gives us clean air, clean water, food, medicine and maintains all the life support systems we rely on for our own survival?
The answer to the above two questions is clearly "No" when we start putting art installations that no one will likely ever see in one of the world's remaining uninhabited environments (uninhabited by humans, that is) that will negatively impact wildlife? And then we celebrate how clever and novel such an artist and his installation is all over social media?
I do believe that art and creativity play a very important role in human societies and contribute to the well being of many people. But this is one art installation I cannot support because it symbolizes just how little we actually think of nature and value what nature does FOR US in our quest for.... what?? Money, acclaim, happiness, ego? In this case I am not sure.
Please Max Siedentopf we ask that you recognize not only the negative impact that your Toto art installation in the Namib desert might have on the local insects, birds and other fauna, but also that it is symbolic of more, namely the negative implications of man's ego. Please remove the installation.
The Namib desert is a unique arid ecosystem that has already been negatively impacted by our senseless desire to be bejeweled. If you truly appreciate this environment, then please don't contribute to its demise and remove the noise pollution you have installed.
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