Neil Young is doing it again! Within a few months of the successful crowd-funding of his Pono music player and a stellar reunion with Crosby, Stills, and Nash on The Tonight Show (that was really him, right?), the Southern Rock icon has lent his support to the Eco-Concious group Rainforest Connection. The Cause: To help raise the startup needed for a very interesting implementation of old cell phones to help prevent illegal deforestation.
Quickly summarizing, a specialized audio enhancer, designed by founder Topher White, is paired with an old smart phone and attached to a tree in the rainforest. When the receiver hears the distinct sound of a chainsaw cutting through wood the phone sends out a message alerting local authorities. This would prevent significant Deforestation, cited to be the second largest cause of greenhouse gas.
Young sent a passionate message to the Pono-music player Kickstarter page, which solicited over six million dollars from almost 20,000 different contributors. In the letter, Young urged “please join me in supporting Rainforest Connection, a creative and timely technology that can fight climate change and mass extinction at a point of immediate impact… by protecting endangered rainforests in an entirely new way. You helped us build Pono to save the sound of music, and now, we’ve got a chance to help save the music of the rainforest. Through the power of sound, this technology can give the forest a voice. “
You can check out a more in-depth explanation of Rainforest Connection’s technology on the Kickstarter page right here. The video is extremely effective in explaining the details of the device while keeping it simple enough for the average techno-phobe to understand. The graphics in the video allow for the information to be visually communicated, while the shots of scared and tiny monkeys will melt the heart of any animal lover.
As of writing this article, the Kickstarter has already surpassed it’s goal of $100,000 with almost a day left to go to reach the new goals of $165,000 and $200,000 for further rainforest installations. While not exactly the lofty heights of Young’s latest Kickstarter (3rd-all time in the website’s history), it continues Young’s winning streak and further elevates him as a lighting rod for change.