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Rewilding Patagonia, banning un-green adverts, and beating eco-anxiety | Newsletter #37 -

Rewilding Patagonia, banning un-green adverts, and beating eco-anxiety | Newsletter #37

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¿Qué tal*, friend? 👋

Can rewilding also resist greed, consumption, and exploitation? Is it possible to change the mindsets that may lead us to feel powerless in the face of the climate emergency? Could banning advertisements by polluting industries help us reduce damaging emissions?

Read on to find out.

Also, the full announcement of the accessibility improvements mentioned in last week’s newsletter is now up on the site.

*A Spanish equivalent of “What’s up?”

Soundscape of the week 

‘Coyotes in Mexican Sierra’:

You may never have heard them in the wild, yet there’s something evocative about this short-but-sweet recording of coyotes “rallying each other before going down the mountain”: not as bone-chilling as the cries of wolves, not bone-deep annoying like domesticated dogs barking. In Javier Quesada’s recording, these handsome and versatile wild canines are heard in the “far away distance, […] [with] night insects […] in the forefront”, their complex howls and yips leaving no doubt that we are eavesdropping on communication of considerable sophistication.

Javier states that he wants these coyotes’ calls to become “immortalized here […] for future listeners, before they ultimately […] become extinct”. It’s gratifying to be able to report – for once – that the species is in fact listed in the category of ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as a result of their adaptability, which has led to “wide distribution and abundance throughout North America”, even in urban settings.

Articles and essays

🎶 curator Melissa Pons and recordist Nils Mosh have released Of Wolves and People, a limited-edition two-track album blending field recording, composition, and interviews. This sonic diptych is available on vinyl via Gruenrekorder, a German record label specializing in field recording, soundscapes, and sound art.

Melissa’s haunting ‘Lament of the Wolf’, a composition of field recordings and music, is a paean to the wolves she observed over days spent at the 44 acre (18 ha) Iberian Wolf Recovery Center in Portugal – a country which has seen a staggering decrease of its Iberian wolf population, with the survivors now isolated to a small area.

Meanwhile, by collaging field recordings and interviews, Nils’ ‘GW954f’ explores “the concerns, opinions, disputes and hopes of the people” of Germany’s Ruhr region, where wolves have been reintroduced. Though originally only visiting the area to record a nightingale, Nils eventually spent three years getting to know people affected by the presence of the she-wolf designated “GW954f”, and her pack, discovering that, though “no topic in that region is discussed as fiercely as the wolf and what to do with her”, this conversation is in fact a much broader one, underpinned by broader issues such as the rivalry of city-dwellers and country folk.

Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Recovery Center.

🏔️ The eighth bonus episode of podcast Wind Is the Original Radio, ‘Black Woodpecker Encounter’, features a brief recording made by director, wildlife sound specialist, conservationist, and spatial audio designer Axel Drioli at the Mount Lanaro Nature Reserve in northeastern Italy. Axel describes the “magical moment” when he unexpectedly encountered a black woodpecker on “a chilly winter afternoon in January”.

Axel and his brother Ario are currently on an overland expedition following bird migration through Europe and West Africa for their Wings across Continents project, which aims to share stories about wildlife with local communities. Check out our recent interview with Alex here.

Additional episodes of Wind Is the Original Radio are available on Apple and Google podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with new installments featuring soundscape recordings released every Friday.

From the extended community

In this episode of the For the Wild podcast, ‘Diana Friedrich on the Beauty and Promise of Rewilding’, the naturalist and adventurer describes her work on Rewilding Argentina’s Patagonia Azul project.

Based on the coast of Chubut Province, the function of the project is “to expand protection for and work on the restoration of marine ecosystems”, while also using marine tourism and regenerative production to support a restorative economy. Friedrich discusses the necessity of “enter[ing] into deep community and to build trust over a shared love for the land […] [and to] reimagin[e] economic systems, challeng[e] industrial greed, and counter […] our current culture of consumption and exploitation”.

🏭 Controls are increasingly being introduced, especially in the richest industrialized countries, to prevent intensely climate-polluting products like fossil fuels, cars, and airlines from promoting themselves through advertising. ‘Promoting Pollution: Fast Fashion, Fancy Cruises’ questions which less overt polluters might be next in line for similar ‘tobacco-style’ restrictions.

Rich countries which have historically been heavy polluters have pledged to reduce their emissions, yet intensive marketing of goods and services like fuel-inefficient SUVs, “fast fashion, environmentally-damaging food, holidays abroad, […] [and] cruises” are having the opposite effect. “Advertising in these sectors is driving rising over-consumption […], and making effective climate action harder”, with both emissions caused by the fashion industry and meat consumption in Europe set to rise. The false promise of carbon offsetting and the “promoti[on of] unproven and unscalable [emission-reducing] technologies” are only compounding the ongoing problem of climate pollution.

😰 “When you look back on your own life, what do you want to see? Will you have chosen despair, denial, or something different? Will you have been a spectator to our planet’s problems or the person who did something to fix them? What will your story be?”

“Today’s youth have inherited a big, unprecedented climate problem to solve — and the eco-anxiety to go with it.” Climate activist Clover Hogan “understands [that] the path to climate action starts with the one thing you can control: your mindset”. In the TEDxLondonWomen talk ‘What to Do When Climate Change Feels Unstoppable’, “she explains why challenging the stories that keep you feeling powerless can help you take the first step to protecting the planet for generations to come”.

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Until next time, we wish you a regenerative week. 🙏

With best wishes,
Neil and Team

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Neil Clarke is an independent comics writer based in East London, who really wishes he could draw.