Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Noise Pollution

Boeing 747 approaching runway 27L at Heathrow, houses are in Myrtle Ave - July 2004
Photograph by Adrian Pingstone
"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence.
  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract
  humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation."
- Jean Arp
Definition: Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated
sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms.



Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page about Deep Ecology...
Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my Extinction page...


"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."
- Ram Dass


Although I do enjoy occasional bursts of loud music, or children's laughter, I mostly prefer quiet. For the most part I've always been perplexed as to why motorcycles* have to be so loud, why people insist on talking (ceaselessly) in deep wilderness, or why we have to constantly surround ourselves with random noise in general. Admittedly my little page isn't going to change a darn thing other than maybe help a few others realize they aren't alone when it comes to longing for more quiet. Yes, admittedly, the natural world can be considerably noisy at times but, surely, the sound of a few million birds flapping overhead or the wail of coyotes throughout the night is much more desirable than jet noise or screeching tires and sirens?

My guess is is that our comfort with noise helps mask our fear of being alone. As evidenced by our smart phones, IM chats, or desire to be in a crowded stadium it's clear that the vast majority of us fear the experience of self-encounter that comes with being alone. The dread of being alone permeates our culture, society, and species in general - so much so that when we learn of the recluse, "loner," or contemplative we recoil in a combination of fear and mild disgust.

So, we fill our daily lives with activity (no matter how mindless) and noise. Our lives rush by in a blure of sound and sensation while real life passes us by. No, I'm not "holier than thou" for I, too, have had those same preoccupations with noise, crowds, and busyness. But, maybe, with a little awareness some of us can buck the trend and start seeking the solitude and contemplation that's our birthright. And maybe we can do it before it's too late as time is running out - for all of us...

- Roger J. Wendell
Winter Solstice, 2014

*Motorcyclists often remind us that "loud pipes save lives." But, if that we're the case, wouldn't even more lives be saved if those noisy exhaust pipes pointed forward?




City Noise

City Noise "While I applaud all efforts to incorporate authentic nature into cities, not acknowledging noise levels is a serious oversight. Our cities' collective racket is making all of us sick. Our hearts race and breathing speeds. We must talk louder, our voices hitting higher and higher pitches, our faces contorting, trying to communicate and claim our place in the landscape. Hearing loss is epidemic. Noise is a medical emergency, and dense cities require profound quieting. We need tranquility - not utter silence but an acoustic ecotone that soothes our emotional brain and brings peacefulness and the chance to be physically and mentally healthy."
- Julia Corbett in her book, Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday




America Quiet Map
National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division
America's Quietest Places

Based on 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring, the blue regions on this map represent the quietest regions in the lower 48 American states. Researchers modeled sound levels across the country, including variables such as air and street traffic, from acoustic data fed into a computer algorithm. The map's deep blue regions, in places like Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park or Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, have background noise levels lower than 20 decibels - a silence probably as deep as before European colonization, according to researchers. In most cities noise levels average 50 to 60 decibels, orders of magnitude noisier than these quiet areas. Humanmade noise is affecting wildlife, whose ears are up to 20 decibels more sensitive than human ears, because it drowns out the faint rustles of insects and rodents creatures like owls and bats need to hunt.




Nature Rx

The Nature Fix Florence Williams finds that time outdoors is more than a placebo
(From the Sierra Club's Sierra Magazine, March/April 2017, p.9)
"Recently my family took a camping trip to the desert, and when we got home, we allagreed on the best part of the experience: the pure silence. Without even the whir of electricity in the background, the mind goes still - then it comes alive." - Eliana Osborn




Anechoic Chambers

Anechoic Chamber An Anechoic chamber (pronounced a-nuh-kow-uhk) is a room where the ceiling, walls and floor are lined with sound absorbent materials to minimize the reflection of noise. Research anechoic Anechoic chamber are lined with sound absorption wedges whose shape enables free-field conditions.
Anechoic chambers are usually constructed as a room within a room with the outer walls being a few hundred millimetres (one foot) thick. This and other construction techniques and materials results in a low noise environment where sound pressure levels are below the threshold of human hearing.
"Anechoic" means non-reflective, non-echoing or echo-free. In addition to the aforementioned internal lining, Anechoic chambers are also insulated from external noise sources. The combination of both creates an environment suitable to conduct acoustic research.
Anechoic chambers come in all shapes and sizes - from spaces as small as an oven to ones large enough to accommodate an aircraft, depending on what needs to be tested...




Audio Phones Links:

  1. Audio
  2. Books
  3. Cosmology
  4. Deep Ecology
  5. Evolution
  6. Global Sound Scapes - Record the Earth
  7. Macaulay Library - World's largest archive of wildlife sounds and videos
  8. Music
  9. Nature Sounds for me
  10. Nature Sounds - National Park Service
  11. Noise Free America
  1. NRQZ - National Radio Quiet Zone
  2. One Square Inch - A Sanctuary For Silence at Olympic National Park
  3. Photography
  4. Poetry
  5. Quiet Place Project
  6. Quiet Use Coalition
  7. Roger's Rules of Order
  8. Science
  9. Simply Noise - White, Pink, and Brown noise generator...
  10. Spiritual Stuff
  11. Writing




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