An interview with Matt Mikkelsen of Quiet Parks International
The Importance of Quiet | Ep. 013
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Adam Bronstein and Matt Mikkelsen
Release Date: July 24th, 2019
In episode 013, I interview Matt Mikkelsen with Quiet Parks International. We discuss the importance of quiet for humans and wildlife, the work of QPI, One Square Inch of Silence, noise pollution in Olympic National Park from military aircraft, the work of Gordon Hempton and about Matt and his conservation-based film company Spruce Tone Films. I had a great time with Matt on the banks of the Mckenzie River in Central Oregon. Thanks for tuning in and for your support.
Quiet Parks International (QPI) is a non-profit committed to the preservation of quiet for the benefit of all life. It is a 501-c3 tax-exempt charitable organization under the Internal Revenue Service. QPI was formerly known as the One Square Inch of Silence Foundation (OSI).
In 2005, OSI was heralded as a naturally silent national treasure by acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, Founding Member of Quiet Parks International, who deemed it the least noise-polluted spot in the lower 48 states.
Quiet is Scarce
QPI recognizes the immediate need for identifying and protecting endangered locations because quiet places are quickly becoming extinct.
97% of U.S. population is exposed to noise from aviation and highways, quiet is nearly extinct (Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, United States Department of Transportation)
Noise is in the air: 3.979 billion passengers (2017) (Source: The World Bank)
Researchers estimated as many as 17% of teens (ages 12 to 19) have features of their hearing test suggestive of noise induced hearing loss in one or both ears, based on data from 2005-2006. (Source: National Institute of Health)
Noise is Harmful
Noise pollution causes cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep disturbance, annoyance, cognitive impairment, hearing impairment and tinnitus, and reduces quality of life, well being and mental health. (Sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorder)
Benefits of Quiet
Health: Reduces stress, anxiety, repetitive thoughts, heart rate, blood pressure; promotes neurogenesis
Attention Restoration: Improves cognitive abilities, reasoning, engagement
Pro Social Behavior: Increases generosity, trust, awe, wonder
Workplace: Improves mood, concentration, cognition, wellbeing
Natural Sounds: Reduces post-surgical pain, brings calm
Quiet is Gold
Silence is golden. But quiet is gold. As the world gets noisier, we have an increasing number of people who want to experience quiet. They want to live in a quiet residence, community or hotel, visit an urban quiet park regularly, give their children an experience of natural quiet at a wilderness quiet park, or use a product, such as, noise cancelling headphones. People value quiet and are willing to pay for a quiet experience. For example, research has shown that the economic value of quiet recreation is worth billions of dollars. (Source: The Economic Value of ‘Quiet Recreation’ on BLM Lands) As a result, land owners/managers value quiet, as it makes them money, and preserve it. Quiet is Gold is a good reminder that sustainable economic development can benefit all life.
Quiet Parks International is currently creating a set of classifications, standards, testing methods, and management guidelines for the certification of the world’s pristine and endangered quiet places. Quiet Parks International has established the world’s first Wilderness Quiet Park and developed a list of over 262 potential sites around the globe that should be certified and preserved.
Quiet Parks International provides assistance with research, education, advocacy and conservation efforts to protect quiet for future generations.
Culture of Quiet: Reducing noise pollution is not the same as quiet conservation
First Mover: No other organisation is about quiet preservation
Experience with Quiet: Over 50 years of experience in quiet
Social Movement: QPI is a social movement made of people across the world - from investors to volunteers - who believe in quiet
Proven Methodology: Co Founder, Gordon Hempton’s, methodology is tested and proven over the decades
Standards Committee: QPI committee members are among the best in the industry from across the world