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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book review...

I've just finished this incredible book about one mans quest to preserve quiet.
Gordon Hempton is an audio ecologist who travels the world recording sounds. 
Not just your ordinary ocean waves or bird song (although he does this as well) but things like butterfly wings flapping and tall grass in the fields of India.
He is on a mission to try to get the area over Olympic National Park in Washington state a 'no fly zone'.
His reasons are very valid.
He does not want to mask noise or lessen it. He wants to preserve the quiet that is.
Almost all national parks in the states not only have flight paths criss crossing them but also have volumes of air tourism. Especially places like Yosemite and Grand Canyon. 
Air pollution is a big problem everywhere in the world and Gordon takes us on a road trip in his '64 Volkswagen van from his home near Olympic park across the states to Washington D.C to sell his plight to politicians.
He is also trying to find a few quiet places along the way and meets up with some really fascinating characters.
No easy task. If you think you know of such a place, go there and see if you can stand there for 15 minutes uninterrupted by man made sounds.
If you know of such places, let Gordon know about them.
I am a quiet junkie. 
Nothing bothers me more than white noise, machine noise and unnecessarily loud music.
I know that sometimes it can't be helped but there are times when I say to myself...
"What are they thinking?!"
The other morning, it was a Sunday morning. Griffin and I walked down to the lake.
It was 7:30 a.m.
And someone had a wood chipper going.
It was 7:30 in the freakin morning!!
Couldn't they have waited say until 9 or 10?
No! They had to have this god awful noise going on at 7:30 a.m
Did you know that at this time in the morning birds are doing some of their most important communicating?
Some birds have disappeared from areas because of too much noise.
The book is an important statement in these times and tells of a very important message...

1 comment:

Sherry O'Keefe said...

my kids and their g/f and b/f were at my house two nights ago. their cell phones alerted us to a severe storm heading our way. we sat inside my quiet house....and then suddenly my son said, why do we hear wind but there is no wind? he ran to our front door and about 10 seconds later here came the storm front. a damaging storm, yes...but the sound of it approaching was something to hear. but it required no tv, no radio, no talking, no ...uh....wood chippers running.

i want to read this book.