Shut up wildlife, they like it silent!
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
I never thought I'd write a blog entry about it, and yet, here we are, poor humans. It is not for lack of sounding the alarm. Scientists predicted it. Today, more than half of all human beings live in cities. Their daily lives are therefore increasingly disconnected from nature. How will they be able to understand that biodiversity is declining, is threatened by a great danger, that it must be protected?
I have already written blogs on nature protection, wild animals, crimes, a serial killer, autopsy, forensic investigation. But that takes the biscuit! So it's another crime I'm going to talk about, but one that will make Rachel Carson turn over in her grave. Rachel Carson, you know. Yes, yes, remember, we've talked to you about her before. She wrote this famous book, Silent Spring (1962), in which she worried that spring would become silent. Silent why? Because we would have polluted so much, sprayed such a quantity of pesticides, biocides, herbicides, things in -cides, that, inadvertently, we would have killed insects, birds and amphibians in the process. In short, all these cool creatures that make our springs what they are: singing springs – full of life.
She was right to be concerned, Rachel Carson. Our springs have become much quieter than before... but who realizes it? who cares? This brave Rachel Carson thought that by alerting public opinion, things could change, because she was sure of it, we would have inadvertently silenced our beautiful nature. Rachel Carson (no more than I do) would not have imagined that one day people, who are apparently normal, would want to silence insects, birds and amphibians of their own free will. That they would cry out for nature to remain silent. This has become the reality today in France.
First there was this couple in the Dordogne who were sued by their neighbors because the frogs in their ponds made too much noise. The most incredible thing is that the French justice system has condemned the couple to fill their pond, while native amphibians and their habitats are all fully protected in France. The case has been brought before the last instance that can be seized: the European Court of Human Rights, and we are now waiting for its decision. We hope for the best – an intelligent, biodiversity embracing decision.
Today, two frogs are still in the spotlight. It is all over the newspapers that, because of the noise of their love, the police had to intervene several times in Arras (northern France). How far will it go?
There is also the case of the rooster Maurice. The case spread throughout France, before spreading across borders and receiving media coverage as far as Australia. This case, currently under trial, has revealed many others: tourists want to silence the cicadas in Provence, the church bells, the roosters in the villages. Soon it will be the nocturnal cries of foxes, deer, owls, dormice, etc., that people will want to suppress....
A local elected official, the mayor of a French village, was moved by the situation. He launched an original initiative: to have the sounds of the French countryside listed as a World Heritage (UNESCO). But will the list with the crowing of the rooster, the braying of the donkey, also include the crowing of frogs, the sounds of wildlife? We should whisper it in his ear…. ...