Quiet-List 1997

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RE: Making some noise on quieting



Thanks for raising the issue of what we can do to increase awareness that 
noise is a serious problem and not just one of life's little annoyances, 
like potato chip bags that you have to open with your teeth.

The education system is a good place to start. My schoolteacher friends 
tell me that pupils are now demanding music in the classroom, and in many 
cases they get it (e.g. in art classes). I'd like to see departments of 
education or school boards banning that, for starters. But I have no idea 
how to go about getting them to put noise pollution on the curriculum.

I have seriously considered starting to wear my bright red industrial 
earmuffs downtown, to make a point and get people to realize that it has 
become a hostile environment. (Does anyone besides me think that chirping 
traffic lights are a bad idea? If you don't have them in your town yet, 
take preemptive action now!) But I'm afraid I would just be viewed as a 
"freak", to borrow the gentlest word that was applied to me when I 
protested the 105 dB speeches at the Earth Day rally.

By the way, I'm happy to hear that Argentinians are taking protective 
measures against the sun. Here it is unusual to see anyone wearing a hat, 
and skimpy clothing is the norm in summertime.

But to return to the point: please, everyone on this list, chip in and give 
us your ideas about practical measures to get people thinking about noise 
and how it is harming us.


Peter Donnelly
Right to Quiet Society
http://www.islandnet.com/~skookum/quiet/



----------
From: 	Federico Miyara[SMTP:fmiyara@unrctu.edu.ar]
Reply To: 	quiet-list@igc.org
Sent: 	Monday, July 28, 1997 8:33 AM
To: 	quiet-list@igc.org
Subject: 	Making some noise on quieting

Dear Peter,

>It would be nice if more list-members would initiate or join in 
discussions.

I agree with you. I'd like to discuss the following.

People individually tend to accept that a detrimental stimulus is so only
when society accepts as a long-established fact that it is indeed
detrimental. Note that when I say that "society accepts" I mean that there
are several affirmative societal attitudes either systematically avoiding
that stimulus or coping with it. For example, society is aware of dental
caries so everyone washes his or her teeth on a regular basis. Society is
aware of the danger of long expositions to direct sun rays, so everyone
protects his or her skin and wears dark glasses.

But nothing like that happens regarding noise. Maybe society is aware that
it is disturbing, but not that it is indeed deleterious to the internal
ear and other parts of the organism. I've *never* seen anybody wearing
ear protectors outdoors (exception made of some --some-- workers handling
a pneumatic drill). Yet, there are several now long-established scientific
facts about the effect of even moderate sound levels on a semipermanent
basis (such as that prevailing in the community environment) upon the
hearing acuity.

The question is how could we, quiet activists, manage to create the social
conciousness about that corpus of facts, so that people started to take
individual initiatives (the first step towards societal behaviour) towards
protecting not only their own ears (which could be done with rather
discreet foam earplug-type protectors) but also the acoustic environment,
avoiding such unnecesary noises as loud music, shouts, blasts of the horns, 
and steering household appliances industry towards more quiet products.

Of course education is one important move, but it requires that at least
the educational system aknowledges the need for that social conciousness,
and that funds are provided to allow the necessary expenses (educational
materials, short courses or tutorials for teachers).

All the best.

Federico Miyara
Argentina



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QUIET-LIST:   Internet Mail List and Forum for discussion of Noise Pollution,
Soundscape Awareness, and the Right to Quiet.     Email: "quiet-list@igc.org"
To subscribe, email "majordomo@igc.org" with message "subscribe quiet-list".
For info, send message "info quiet-list" to same.
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