Posted by: nastylittletruths | March 2, 2010

One More, Jerry

Jerry Narace (the best minister if you are to believe some polls) has won the battle against smoking by enacting legislation that is supposed to save the public from uncaring smokers’ second-hand smoke. In some cases it was supposed to be draconian enough that an upscale home-owner, who could afford a cleaner, could have been arrested and charged if he/she lit one up in his/her home as he/she was ‘endangering the health’ of the cleaner in their place of employment.

Now all this is well and good. I haven’t had a cigarette close to a decade now and I still have some bad days – well, not so much bad days as bad moments. Aaahhh… the soothing calm of nicotine – best damn drug there is but it comes with a price – tar and carcinogens. Heck, even Barack Obama can’t quit! But this post isn’t about cigarettes, tobacco and the ills (or thrills) of smoking, but about another health issue that no one in the government seems to pay any mind to – much less for the police and the toothless EMA. I am talking about noise pollution and the effect it has on tens of thousands of citizens in this land – I would even hazard a guess and say hundreds of thousands.

Noise health effects are the health consequences of elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or other noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, sleep disturbance, and decreased school performance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been attributed to noise exposure, but evidence is limited.[1] Although some presbycusis may occur naturally with age,[2] in many developed nations the cumulative impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime.[3][4] Noise exposure has also been known to induce tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction and other cardiovascular impacts.[5] Beyond these effects, elevated noise levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors.[6] The most significant causes are vehicle and aircraft noise, prolonged exposure to loud music, and industrial noise”

Now I am sure everyone has seen at least once a letter to the press by some poor soul who is probably experiencing all of the above but with no relief in sight. I mean, when an idiot passes by my home at 3:00 a.m. with all the noise in his drunken head and without a care in the world for me, the aged, the infirm and the young, what can I do? I certainly can’t get the number of the vehicle because he’s already gone and I’m left awake. The police see them everyday and don’t do anything, but it’s illegal to sound your horn after certain hours of the night. Where’s the sense in that?

Jerry, let’s be honest here. You and your Cabinet colleagues are so disconnected from the issues that really mean something to us, has this matter ever crossed your mind? What will it take for you to rally with the same passion, fervour and will as you did the tobacco issue? How many citizens made it clear that tobacco was an issue as they have made noise pollution? What level of healthy body and mind can we expect to achieve – as is your stated goal – when we are deprived of the peace and quiet of our own homes and bedrooms? Do you think one idiot smoking a cigarette in a moving car at 3:00 a.m. is doing me and the 50,000 people in my immediate community as much harm as the one who rolled by with his pounding subwoofers?

Come on Jerry. One more before 2012 and you will earn not only votes but the eternal gratitude of a nation.


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