Magazine Yarmouth
Noise from Pubnico heard in Glennwood?
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Those Noisy Windmills
by: James Ellis
Glenwood, Nova Scotia

There certainly is a low audible rumble in our neck of Glenwood. Don't know if others hear it. No manufacturing here abouts to make an adequate explanation for the noise. It is likely the windmills. Most notable during the evenings, when the sound from the highway a mile away is a loud roar by comparison the silence afforded by the evenings here. Very quiet. But a constant, never ending drone and mechanical rotation that oscillates at an almost sub-audible level. Not some typical active sound you listen for as so much something that occurs to you. Like a word you have learned and then suddenly see everywhere in print.

If nature were a product for sale here around, its value has just been lowered. You wouldn't buy a Miles Davis CD with that noise.

Whatever the source, its real, and constant and it takes some getting used to. I'm not certain that getting used to it is possible however. That was Mssr. D's comment, for certain.

The stories from other locations regarding low level industrial noise surrounding a neighborhood are replete. Several come to mind over the years where neighbors have sort of collectively said "wha be the fug with that?" My favorite were the Seattle neighbors who determine the rumble they heard was actually "whale noise pollution." To the point, the noise is not like living next to a runway, or a foghorn or an expressway, or some nancy whale quartet where the sound has somehow evolved to something almost musical. At least random. This is not the grinding of rocks or the quarrymen singing in the back lot. This is not fish processing. What the fug?

It is like the patient at the dentists office and the doctor is saying in essence 'This won't hurt a bit", when in fact he knows it will, and his eyes belie his words and actions. That moment when you willingly allow yourself to be duped by a professional who is just doing his job. CYA. Like the gentleman from Ottawa interviewed on CBC yesterday. He was speaking for the investigators who had responded to D'Entrements' complaint and determined the volumes he described, although perhaps different from the ones heard in Glenwood, and obviously, given the distance and volume, also heard over a wide range across our previously 'silent' coast, actually exist, and do so in a normal range for human consumption. The interviewer asked "has anyone else complained" and he responded "Not a one".

Well, now there are two.

If it is the windmills, then that is a range of 7-10 km at least. That is a lot of energy.

This secondary sound profile -- was not part of the deal. I think everyone can agree that the cadence swoop of a gushing windmill is not too bad for noise. Constant, yet random, given to wind speed and humidity. The established "low rumble" is an oddity that no one predicted or made mention of. At least not that we the neighborhood knew about.

Another peg in the wall of "Things we can know longer claim as truly ours... stick it to silent nights. Let the spring peepers bring some symphonic revenge. Long live the windmills. But please, can we change the tune to something not quite so obnoxious? Can the rumble evolve? There must be an organ tuner or an engineer somewhere who can look at this and say, "well, yeah, it can".

James Ellis
Glenwood, Nova Scotia

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