‘The Washington Monthly’ on the Case Against Leaf Blowers (and other equipment)

Above: From Mike Lofgren’s piece  in  The Washington Monthly  .

Above: From Mike Lofgren’s piece in The Washington Monthly.


The Washington-area writer Mike Lofgren is best known for his books and articles on politics, defense policy, and international relations. He worked for nearly 30 years as a Congressional staffer, mainly for Republicans. In 2012, his prescient book The Party Is Over warned about the developments in Republican-party politics that eventually led to Donald Trump. Another of his well-known books is The Deep State.

Now, in The Washington Monthly, Lofgren argues that it is time to ban hyper-polluting, dangerously noisy lawn equipment. His article is called “The Case for Lawn Care Regulation,” and here is a sample:

“There is little documentation that monitors this activity, but from what I’ve observed over time, fewer people maintain their own lawns than they used to. An aging baby-boomer generation and the rise of dual-income households with little free time are likely causes.

“That means the job is increasingly done by commercial services that use heavy backpack blowers, commercial-grade string trimmers, and mowers suitable for golf courses…. The mowers, with massive engines lacking mufflers, generate far greater perceived noise than consumer-grade mowing equipment.

“By every reasonable standard, the lawn equipment noise problem meets the common law threshold of a persistent nuisance degrading the quiet enjoyment of one’s property. Every time I have raised the issue with local residents, they agree that the commotion is frequently unbearable, but no one looks for a solution. Perhaps they feel it is one of those ever-present annoyances about which nothing can be done, like the gulag experience of airline travel or self-service checkout at Home Depot.”

Lofgren goes on to suggest what a useful response might be. Worth reading in full. Thanks to Lofgren and The Washington Monthly.