Thursday, August 23, 2018

BirdNotes: One Square Inch of Silence

Noise Pollution: It is getting harder to find places untouched by noise. BirdNote writes: “Gordon Hempton, the Sound Tracker, seeks those rare places untouched by human noise, where birds and nature create a complex, quiet music. In the Hoh Valley, in a rain forest in Olympic National Park, is a place he calls One Square Inch of Silence. It’s the least noise-polluted place in all of the Lower 48. And Gordon is working to preserve it. To experience One Square Inch of Silence, download the mp3, below. Gordon says, ‘It demonstrates what we are giving up, not just for ourselves, but for future generations if we do not set aside a quiet place now, or to hear it positively, what I believe we are going to save for all time.’”
     We need more places like this, free of noise pollution, not only for birds and other wildlife, but also for humans. I live, if you can call it that, in a high-rise building that is below a corridor for constant air traffic. Planes taking off and landing. There are also the sounds of building construction and road repair, the hum of road traffic day and night, the sound of emergency vehicles day and night, and who knows what else is done in the name of progress. It has gotten worse in the almost-four years that my family and I have been living here. These are industrial sounds, human-made sounds—not pleasant at all, in stark contrast to the harmonious sounds of nature and what it has to offer humanity.
    I just discovered this wonderful site, after buying a book on birds. The site describes itself as follows: “BirdNote strives to transport listeners out of the daily grind and into the natural world with outstanding audio programming and online content. The stories we tell are rich in sound, imagery, and information, connecting the ways and needs of birds to the lives of listeners. BirdNote shows are aired on public radio stations around the country every day and can be found online at any time. Each show is scheduled to coincide with the time of year when it’s possible to see or hear the featured bird. We inspire people to listen, look, and exclaim, ‘Oh, that’s what that is!’ 
     The sounds of silence can be heard [here].
Courtesy: BirdNote

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