The last couple of months have been quite busy in the world of noise pollution news. Here are just a couple of my favourite stories.
Air and noise pollution barrier to supersonic travel revival
Reviving supersonic passenger flights will harm the environment, causing too much noise and air pollution, according to a new study.
Start-ups in the United States have been aiming to reboot ultra-fast flights in the next decade by modifying existing engines, rather than spending billions of dollars to make new ones. They hope to serve a market that has been dormant since Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France, was retired from service in 2003. The service never really recovered from the horrific take-off crash in Paris in 2000 that killed all 109 on board, and four in a nearby hotel.
Despite the ambitions, new research now claims that a revival of these jets means that they are unlikely of complying with existing fuel efficiency regulations.
The US-based International Council on Clean Transportation said that modified engines will burn between five and seven times more fuel per passenger than subsonic jets, exceeding global limits for new subsonic jets by massive margins.
The alternative is for policymakers to ease standards for supersonic jets, with the US already pushing for different standards for ultra-fast planes, but it is likely to have a showdown with European nations that also want tougher rules on noise pollution.
War of words over anti-kiddy alarm sparks debate over noise pollution and human rights
Father of 10 Thomas Weldon, has slammed his neighbour after she fitted a high-pitch alarm which only the under-25s can hear.
The worried dad says his kids are prisoners in their own home since former magistrate Lesley Cooper, fitted the £600 device that emits a high-pitched noise that only youngsters can hear, and is inaudible for the over 25s.
Thomas claims the alarm is a human rights abuse and means his children can’t go outside their home in Babbacombe, Devon, for fear of being subjected to high-frequency noise, which cause irritation and discomfort for those who can hear it.
Lesley confirmed she has had the alarm for three years but says she has only turned it on four times when the children have been throwing objects at her property.
Mr Weldon has reported it to the council and says he has been told that the alarm is illegal and against children’s human rights. Opposition groups support this and claim that these types of alarm infringe human rights under noise-nuisance laws.
When the Mosquito MK4 alarm and motion sensor was launched 10 years ago, a campaign called “Buzz Off” led by the Children’s Commissioner for England called for it to be banned, claiming the device was unnecessarily aggressive and created no-go areas for children and young adults who may have done nothing wrong.
However, since it went on the market, thousands have been sold in the UK, mainly to small-shop owners, but it is understood sales of the device to families and home owners are soaring.
More fake moos?
It is reported that Leeds City Council is to monitor a herd of cows for 12 months, after a noise complaint was made against them.
James Bullock of Swillington, Leeds, played councillors the sounds of the cows mooing during a planning meeting for a barn, which is being used as a home for the cows, at Swillington Organic Farm.
The building was originally granted planning permission for use as a hay barn, but Mr Bullock complained after the farm began to use it for the cows.
The recent planning application for its change of use to livestock was granted for 12 months, whilst the noise levels are monitored using independent equipment and methodology.
Farmer Ed Cartwright, said he thought the situation was “a bit absurd really”.