How light and noise pollution affect animals

Jun 15, 2022 | Blog, Quiet Coalition

Photo credit: Pixabay

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This wonderful article by The Atlantics Pulitzer Prize winning writer Ed Yong (excerpted from a forthcoming book) discusses how animals perceive the world.

The essay is too long to summarize in a brief blog post, but the main point Yong makes is that light pollution and noise pollution adversely affect animals, including birds, insects, and small mammals.

Some animals manage to adapt and even to thrive with anthropogenic changes to the environment, but that is not Nature’s way to live. I don’t think most of us want an urban environment where pigeons and crows are the only birds we see.

Of course, light pollution and noise pollution adversely affect large mammals, specifically humans. The Quiet Coalition focuses on noise, which I’ve redefined as unwanted and/or harmful sound. Noise is the new “secondhand smoke,” but light can have adverse health outcomes as well.

A quieter world will be a better and healthier world for all, including insects, birds, small mammals and humans. And Yong makes the point that a less illuminated world will be better also.



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