Let’s be clear, Markham. The noise level is about far more than just us. The level of noise in the ocean is killing off our whales, who use their voices to communicate, find feeding grounds and much more. This is a micro-example. It’s killing our orcas, when we blast ordinance, and that ordinance, courtesy of the US NAVY and others, explodes their brains. It is hardly just US. We are killing our natural world as well.
When I hike in the high country, the very last thing I want is for some numnuts to come marching down the path with his PRAISE JESUS or heavy metal music blasting every living for miles around. To say the least, the reason I am out there is in part to get the hell away from that kind of noise.
While you say total silence isn’t necessarily our goal, silence is actually exceedingly good for the brain. As it turns out, the brain forms new cells in the face of silence. I would posit that this would likely include being in Natures’ own brand of silence. As a child of the tropics, Nature’s night music is damned loud. But it’s asymphony, or at least it WAS, as we are swiftly wiping out the very insects and birds that used to make up the music that lulled me to sleep. These creatures use their voices to find mates, to hunt, and we are killing them off by the billions. In some ways, at some point, it will be silent world. And that, in every way, is a sadness beyond measure.
Noise pollution is indeed a thing. The WHO just came out with a new study telling us that air pollution is killing vastly more of us than we knew. We’re killing a lot more than just humans. We’re killing off the entire world.
Here’s my take on this, written a while back. You’re right. It’s just a much, much larger issue than just us humans. https://medium.com/@jhubbel/shut-the-f-ck-up-or-the-healing-power-of-silence-339a2dfcddca