Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Leaf Blower Discussion

We have a debate going on in Hessen (my local German state here around Wiesbaden).  I noticed this debate starting up in 2013 back in Arlington, Virginia when I resided there.  Around twenty years introduced the leaf-blower.  You'd have a gasoline-powered unit, which park maintenance folks or a private homeowner would blow leaves one direction or another.  Naturally, it makes a LOT of NOISE.

Here in Hessen, there's intense debate over limiting these from being used.  Some folks have pursued the electrical option.....a guy carrying a backpack battery deal which works to some degree, but it appears to need recharging after 90-to-120 minutes.  This might work for a private home guy but for a guy working all'd have to carry several batteries around and continually recharge one.

The real debate?  Noise.  Folks don't like it.

Mowers?  Well, in their mind, it's different.  You mow a smaller area and get done usually in less than an hour.  To be honest though....a leaf blower guy only uses his gasoline-powered unit for twenty minutes usually, and moves on.

So, we have various villages in the region, which are setting up limits or obstacles to this. If you live in this village, it'll be a local rule....and if you go a mile over to another'll be a different rule.

Where this eventually goes?  I would imagine in ten years that enough legal challenges will be made that Hessen's political figures will be drawn in and some massive debate will be made by the Green Party and the CDU guys will stand there in defense of gasoline-powered leaf blowers.  It's a sad thing when you draw in real political figures, who spend hours and hours working on debate material.....and they have to work around dead leaves in this case, movement, and noise.

Down the street from me....maybe two hundred feet....there's this teen with a scooter.  You can tell in the morning when he's preparing to leave....jamming the RPM of this little 50cc scooter up to absolute maximum.  In the summer, you can hear this bike at least five-hundred feet away.  In the evening, if you keep the windows'd hear him return.

I'm not really opposed to the scooter noise that much, but in this case....there's probably five or six older retired Germans around the neighborhood, and I doubt if they are thrilled with the scooter RPM noise.

Thirty years ago?  It was the starting of a car on a cold January day and letting it iddle that got Germans all peppy.  When you arrive in of the twenty-odd driving tips that the military leads you though is NOT to crank and sit there on a cold day....for two or three idle.  It gets Germans all hostile.  I asked about this once, and some old German guy noted that it was absolutely necessary with cars from the 1950s and 1960s.  But urbanization came and folks got real picky about noise habits.

So, anyway......I'm lucky in this event....I have one marginal tree that puts off leaves, and I rake this the 2,000-year tried and tested method with a rake.

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