Eco Icon No.6

One square inch of silence

by Gordon Hempton & John Grossman

One  man’s search for natural silence in a noisy world.

One Square Inch of Silence alerts us to beauty that we take for granted and sounds an urgent environmental alarm.

Natural silence is our nation’s fastest-disappearing resource, warns Emmy-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, who has made it his mission to record and preserve it in all its variety — before these soul-soothing terrestrial soundscapes vanish completely in the ever-rising din of man-made noise.

This beautifully written narrative, co-authored with John Grossmann, is also a quintessentially American story — a road trip across the continent from west to east in a 1964 VW bus. But this is no ordinary road trip-no one has crossed America like this.  Armed with his recording equipment and a decibel-measuring sound-level meter, Hempton captures the varied natural voices of the American landscape . Along the route he talks with people he meets on his journey about the importance of quiet in their lives.

One Square Inch of Silence provides a moving call to action. More than simply a book, One Square Inch of Silence is an actual place, located in one of America’s last vestigial naturally quiet places in Olympic National Park in Washington State. an inspiring quest for quiet that now adds natural silence to the nation’s ecological agenda.

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    1. Meet Gordon Hempton

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