Saturday, June 13, 2009

Noise Pollution: One Area I'm Not Conservative


One area where my opinions, perhaps, don't line up with what I hear from other conservatives is with regard to noise.

I totally believe in the idea of the existence of noise pollution.

I make no bones about it: especially in the privacy of my own home, but even to an extent when I'm elsewhere, I have the expectation of quiet. Yes, I have children, and yes I still expect it. Yes I have a dog, and yes--I still expect it.

The term noise pollution is used because, to me, it applies. It really is a form of pollution, just like smog in the air or bad chemicals in the water. It is a degration of the environment. It may not lead to cancer or lead poisoning, but it will effect you enough that the stress from it can certainly adversely effect the quality of your life and, possibly, even your health.

As such, I believe we are obligated to not make noise that bothers other people, especially at their home environment or in inherently stressful locations like waiting rooms, or especially "dignified" places like church. The ones being exposed are NOT obligated to "tune it out." The noise-makers are obligated to "turn if off."

Many more liberals, it seems, are "on board" with the idea of the existence of noise as at least a serious nuisance and possibly even a form of pollution, I hear far fewer conservatives speak of this. So be it. If this makes me a "sort of" liberal, or at least a non-consistent conservative, then so be it.

Many of you who've known me for years know that I grew up in eastern NC until age 27, I lived for 10 years in Tucson AZ, since 2006 I now live in eastern TX. I will say that Tucson AZ, although it was the noisiest place of them all (because it was a large city of 500,000 or so), it was a place that had much more respect for this concept. That may be because Tucson AZ is considered a liberal-biased city, and this concept seems to have more liberal connotations to it for some reason.

Again, so be it--I'm all for it.

Especially now that we have a place where the nearest neighbor is some 100 yards away, through a decent patch of woods, and we live in a private road that only services about 5 households total (including ours and the one 100 yards away), and since the others are even further away than this, and especially since (again) it is a PRIVATE road--my expectations for quiet are extremely high. Thankfully, they have been met here for the most part.

As I tell people all the time, there is a reason we live in the boonies.

I have the expectation that, simply enough, if a noise is irratating, I shouldn't have to hear it. Period. I shouldn't have to "learn to live with it," or find coping measures--it simply should be dealt with, simply enough--eliminated.

Again, this especially applies for me if I'm on my property.

Main Sources

The 4 main sources of irritating noises for me

  • Barking Dogs
  • Crying Infants, Other Loud Children
  • Loud Car Mufflers and Engines
  • Sirens

The 1st one is one that I have run into problems with in eastern TX, where apparently if some one's dog is barking and it bothers you, then it's YOUR problem and not the responsibility of the source person to eliminate it. I find that puzzling. If I had an exotic tiger or hippopotamus and it roared loudly, I guarantee you half the block would be all over me to get rid of it. How come, with dogs, it's a different story? I don't get that, and I don't accept that double standard either. I should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (and I stress--never) have to hear my neighbor's dog bark. Period. 3 seconds in a 5 year period? Yes, that's too much to listen to. I am serious.

I am happy to say, at our current location, this isn't a problem. If it were, I'd be all over it, no apologizing. And yes I have a dog, and yes I am all over him if he barks for any reason at all. Burglars, mailmen, UPS delivery guys, the man on the moon--it makes no difference. ZIP IT, I tell him, and I take care of business emphatically if he doesn't.

Crying children also is a huge problem for me--and again, I blame the source. I don't understand why, in waiting rooms, airplanes, grocery stores, church and the like, I have to listen to this. It's irritating, and yes I am a parent and yes I forbid children under my care from being noisy--not just for my sake, but for everyone else's. It is my responsibility to not inflict noise on others through my children. If others are okay with it, fine, but they are under no obligation to be, I am the one under the obligation--to stop it, by any means necessary (and yes, that would include discipline if they're old enough).

Much in the way of car noise bothers me too. Sirens and cars with loud mufflers are key issues. However, I also dislike the noise of 4-wheelers, jetskiis, motor boats, and even cars themselves in some situations. Again, there is a reason I live on a private drive. I don't want cars around me, and I really don't want to hear a siren wailing or a car with no muffler roaring so loudly you can hear it on Jupiter.


Gosh I love it out here. So quiet you can hear the crickets, the frogs, and practically nothing else. That is the way it ought to be everywhere. (Well maybe except at a Tar Heels basketball game.)

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