FYI From Jenny
On the 21st Oct last year I wrote to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. They asked me to set out the broad outlines of why Mast Sanity wanted them to investigate the mast issue. My letter was posted on the email list for discussion before being approved and sent. Since then I have been in touch with the Commission on and off, but they have been tied up with their latest investigation on pesticides which has now concluded in favour of chemical and pesticide victims. Their Report acknowledges the harm done and strongly advises better health and safety protection for the public. You may have seen it on the news. The government will now be required to take action - or risk public condemnation!
The Commission is now considering its next project. Yesterday I spoke to Tom Eddy, Secretary to the Commission, and within the next few weeks the list of applicants will be sent out, so MS will know who they’re up against! Trustees will need to contact Mr Eddy with a new address, as of course only MS 'officials' can take this forward.
As this was originally my project, I hope no-one will object if I offer a few suggestions, though of course I don’t want to interfere and it is up to those who take this on, as to what they want to do.
My suggestions are:
That a Trustee should write an official letter from Mast Sanity ASAP, and then start a fresh dialogue.
As soon as possible present a real in depth argument to the Commission outlining the full case.
The Commission deals with environmental pollution so all the latest evidence on the huge increase in EMR pollution would be essential. Involve all our scientists including Don of course, and get them to compile a condensed but comprehensive list of the worldwide scientific evidence on damage to health. Ingrid may have this? Include relevant paras from Stewart’s updated Report and the HPA Report. Also - info on Tetra (something from Barry perhaps?) Hyland; Grahame on ICNIRP; something from Roger; Andy’s document on the Industry’s drain on energy resources (very environmental!); evidence of harm to wildlife etc. Dr John Walker’s cancer cluster maps may be useful providing the data is accurate (think Andy may have identified a few errors – not sure about this though).
I suggest that relevant extracts would be preferable to the full scientific studies but of course provide links to the websites.
It might also be useful to have a few sentences on how legislation and planning guidelines have been manipulated to empower the Industry. As long as the document doesn’t become too unmanageable it might be worth. Amanda compiling a brief list of MP’s on our side, PMB’s and EDM’s, and possibly include the letter from George Young as this would indicate the increasing political will to see policy changes towards real protection for the public. Though not strictly essential, it might help the Commission’s decision to know they would have support. However, I realise that with our Charity status, this may not be possible. Sian would have to look into this.
The Royal Commission is one of the few impartial bodies left in the system and is very highly regarded. It is also feared by Big Business for that very reason. The Government doesn’t always abide by its recommendations – again for the same reason. BUT, if it does ignore them, it does so publicly and that makes them look bad. Also it would never be wasted effort, as a conclusion in our favour would still be a huge weapon in our armoury. So I really hope MS will decide to take this forward.
The address is below.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
(Secretary Tom Eddy)
528 The Sanctuary
Westminster SW1 P 3JS
Tel: 0207 799 8981
Good work Jenny!
I'll start compiling something asap. I will include the bills that are being presented before parliament, including EDMs and PMBs, that we are supporting, as this is perfectly compliant with our Charity Status. On the subject of PMBs, we should be aware that the Abortion act of 1967 was presented as a PMB by a then Junior Minister called David Steel! It was originally talked out of time, but because one of the officials with jurisdiction to extend the time the bill was given was the husband of one of the leading campaigners, they managed to get it through. This just shows that the law can be changed via PMBs if we have enough influential people on board!
Do hope this gets off the ground. The time scale is really quite urgent because we don't know who we're up against, and we need to get a really powerful argument in before minds are made up - however unofficially! Are you going to be the one in charge and co-ordinating from now? If so, go for it with all guns blazing - I'll be thinking of you!
Lots of luck,
FAO the Trustee(s) dealing with the Royal Commission
I think Trustees may find it useful to include the following ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH DECLARATION in MS’s application to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. They might also consider attaching the ICNIRP Guidelines which clearly do not constitute the ‘Precautionary Principle’ required in this Declaration.
(On the news today the Royal Commission’s recommendation regarding marine protection seems to have forced action by the Government, despite the powerful fishing lobby. So 2 good results – and clearly a body that the Govt doesn’t like messing with if it can be avoided!)
THE WHO (EUROPE)
EUR /04/ 5046267 /6
Budapest, Hungary 23-25 June 2004
Page 6 Para 17a.
We understand that protecting public health and the environment requires foresight, transparency and the meaningful democratic involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes. We recognise that delay in addressing a suspected health threat can have public health consequences. This is particularly important when considering the special vulnerability of children to some environmental risks to health. However, we often face uncertainties in our scientific knowledge of the environmental risks to health. We recognise the fundamental value, in the context of environmental policy-making, of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Devolpment of 1992, which says that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation” and of the European Commission’s 2000 Communication on the Precautionary Principle (COM(2000)1 final). We reaffirm the importance of the precautionary principle as a risk management tool, and we therefore recommend that it should be applied where the possibility of serious irreversible damage to health or the environment has been identified and where scientific evaluation, based on available data, proves inconclusive for assessing the existence of risk and its level but is deemed to be sufficient to warrant passing from inactivity to policy alternatives.
Do hope this helps. Please let me know.
And para 17c: "17c. We call upon WHO to ensure that guidelines are developed with the aim of balancing the distribution of benefits and costs of environmental health measures and weighing up the health improvements and other benefits against anticipated costs, as well as possible legal constraints and impediments to free trade."
... which is not quite immune from industry pressure re the "global economic benefits" of a wireless world.
This issue of what precisely is precautionary - "approach" or "principle", scientific or political is something the NRPB issued on last summer. The bottom line is that it is about cost-benefit analysis. Different organisations/gatherings have defined it differently, which is why it is so slippery.
As soon as benefits of mobile phones, for example, start to say how many lives are saved by dialling 999 from one, to call police and ambulances on Airwave, you have an argument saying all the EHS and cancer /MND risk is worth it ("because we there is no definitive scientific proof").
So what I am saying is that for all it seems there is a reason for precaution, precaution is so defined as to mean "wait and see until it's too late" (as seems to be the case of the BMA, who said in 2001: "The BMA continues to support the ongoing national and international commitment to research into possible adverse effects of mobile phones. We will continue to keep a watching brief on forthcoming research and policy.")
see also: http://www.tetrawatch.net/science/woolly.php
You're right of course, Andy, and realistic - still it was a very similar situation with the chemical/pesticide campaign - multinationals involved/no proof of illness/cost/benefit equation ie benefits outway negatives (human and environmental harm etc etc. The Commission still found in favour of the people! So there's always hope. If we're too negative some might stop trying, and we don't want that! So worth a try, I say.
I don't think it's so much a case of being in command, but more a case of being the person online at the time, as I know that everyone will want this dealt with promptly, this is part of the move to get connected with the wider movement, as it were. Will do a draft over next few days. There are a lot of opportunities on the horizon, and although resources are thin we need to exert as much influence as possible, which I believe we are all doing as a network, and the excellent efforts of campaigners around the globe are chipping away at the wall of ignorance and denial that protects the government's propaganda machine. Every letter, petition, article, meeting etc., however pointless or unproductive it seems at the time, adds to the pressure that will hopefully break through the myths that present legislarion is based on. Oh, where to start? By doing what we're doing, for the time being... Carry on Screaming!
Please tell me where to send the covering letter and the letter of objection, I have contact with “Mast-resistance” groups in Denmark, Sweden, Nederland’s, Germany, Canada, Australia and USA and will “Broadcast “ it at a signal.
So, Pls. give an address to send it to.
The material to send is halfway here, as Jennifer has written the objection and we only need the covering letter now.
In the application to the Royal Commission, please do not forget to include pulsed microwave radiation from all sources, including obviously masts and TETRA but also DECT phones and wireless computer networks.
I'm particularly concerned about the latter since they are going into all our schools now (primary as well as secondary) and so even if there is no mast near a school there will be a wireless network inside it!
It is particularly hard to persuade people that this is a danger. They just about understand about phone masts but don't seem to get it when WLAN is mentioned and all our children are being exposed.
I totally agree with you Sarah. This networking in schools is going to totally muddy the waters (soon there will be no child who has not been exposed) so how will any surveys have a control group?
Alasdair Phillips (Powerwatch) letter on WLAN should really go out to all schools - hopefully some would look at changing back.
Alasdair also recommends an alternative, thereby giving the school a chance to make an informed choice.
To those involved in the Royal Commission project.
This is just to inform people that I am sending the following personal ‘letter’ to the Commission under my own name, ie not in connection with Mast Sanity. I have quoted Andy’s figures in this, and therefore assume they are correct, but if they’ve changed perhaps you could let me know Andy? I have incorporated bits of a former PR which I suggested but which was not taken up. However, I still think it’s a powerful combination of arguments which shouldn’t be lost, and which I hope will be particularly relevant and helpful to MS’s application. Now, as then, I give huge credit to Andy for his work in providing the technical data, and of course will officially acknowledge his input in my letter.
The world needs to take a long hard look at the rapid expansion of mobile phone technology. It is spreading across continents like a relentless and unstoppable army, but its undisputed benefits are increasingly overshadowed by health and safety issues. Many of the most respected experts in this field claim there are potential dangers which could pose a serious long term threat to our human and animal population. In addition, it is now known that wider and more complex issues are also involved. One of the most important, is the threat it poses to global warming – a fact which governments and the Industry are failing to disclose.
The Polar icecaps are melting faster than at any time in history, and according to many scientists we have reached the point of no return. It is now a matter of fact, not conjecture, that the worldwide mobile phone network is contributing to this disaster, with its uncontrolled drain on the world’s precious, dwindling energy resources.
As global warming is at the top of the world political agenda, it is disturbing to learn how much hypocrisy exists within many governments, ours included, where saving our planet is concerned. In the UK, the Government / Telecom Alliance is deliberately reticent about the environmental dangers of the latest 3G mobile phone technology. The £23 billions in licence fees and the further ongoing billions in revenue, pay for a lot of sins and a lot of cover ups. Human life and fragile resources are worth little by comparison.
Industry sources say that 3G will place a significant additional burden on the national electricity supply. As it is, costs are soaring alarmingly, and set to rise even higher. Running 24 hours a day all year round, the huge energy and climate burden of this technology is being ignored. Furthermore, Industry calculations are that the whole system requires 2.4 times the non-renewable energy per customer than the existing 2G network. More 3G masts are needed as their signal range is less than 2G. The Government’s requirement of 80% coverage of 3G throughout the country, means that tens of thousands more masts will be necessary for each of the five operators. The numbers speak for themselves, even taking into account mast sharing.
The Telecommunications Industry, however powerful, cannot be allowed to be so profligate or indiscriminate in its use of energy. The truth is, a moratorium on 3G and Tetra is urgently needed if we are to pull back from the environmental brink, and the health disaster that threatens us all.
Everyone is painfully aware of the controversy surrounding the mast roll-out - the increasing numbers of people obliged to live near them, the increasing numbers who complain of adverse health effects, the devaluation of property, the abuse of human and democratic rights, the irrelevance of safety guidelines and the misinformation on base-station research. The Police Tetra system used by our emergency services is felt to be potentially the most dangerous of all, according to respected independent research. But leaving the health factor aside, we now have it reliably that the combined power requirement, particularly of 3G and Tetra, is a serious supply issue, especially so in the current “energy-crisis” context. It is appalling that efforts to combat global warming are being cancelled out by this profit driven, ruthless product promotion.
This Government must be challenged over its iniquitous Telecommunication planning guidance which is causing irreversible damage to our society and to the planet itself. MP’s across the UK now recognise that there is universal controversy on policies that take no consideration of the human and environmental impact. If we want to protect the health and wellbeing of our society, and that includes the whole social structure from a viable future generation, right down to the value of our homes, we need to act urgently and with courage.
We all want to enjoy the benefits that mobile phones have to offer, but what price are we willing to pay? We might want to travel, but who would want to fly in a plane that had a 75% chance of crashing? The Risk / Benefit equation is no longer on the side of Industry. So the challenge has to be to make the technology safe and environmentally friendly. If the present system needs to be replaced to achieve that, so be it. People have become guinea pigs, without their knowledge and without their consent. The Earth itself has become a victim. Whichever way we look at it, the burden of damage is insupportable.
Jennifer Godschall Johnson
My children are in state schools but I'm sure the warning should apply to all schools.
On a cynical note it could well suit the powers that be to have WLAN in schools and DECT phones in peoples houses since soon the cancer clusters around phone masts will be ironed out so there will be no link!!
Just some thoughts, since I haven't been otherwise commenting.
It is easy for US to think WLANs are evil. They're not. They're brilliant, convenient and cheaper than wiring and trunking and all the drilling hassle and other expense. For schools that matters: funds are really limited, and a WLAN can be installed at any time, not just in holidays.
The immediate problem is that living in EM fields all the time is not appreciated as a risk. So in many places kids in wireless schools live in a wireless home. How many have WiFi laptops in their later years? Great for taking to Uni too, where campuses are WiFi and you can keep a laptop somewhere safe.
(Personally, I think the social side of permanently connected people, to increasingly unevaluated sources of advice and information, driven subtly and constantly by govt direction and marketing, whilst becoming less communally involved and less critical of power, is a really serious future problem. Don't start me off!)
Also, just as chronic smokers can live to a ripe old age whilst a young person dies from passive smoking, so the EMF risk will be different from person to person. Some may never be affected because their body responds sufficiently robustly to resist any effects. Others have serious EHS from day 1.
And what we do not have is any clear indication of how many or why, fall into which category: it isn't a plain 1:1 issue. WLANs clearly add to the EMF burden. In some places the burden is already so bad it may make little difference, in others where it is the only source and the LAN covers only part of a school, again, maybe no difference. And sure, the situation is so muddy, telling one cause from another is getting impossible.
The message then, must be that pulsed MW EMFs have a risk tag attached to them, and that any additional use increases the risk. Therefore, wireless schools should be avoided. But you can't make it an issue without immediately opening the issue up to the whole microwave business. Because if there is a reason not to have a WLAN in a school, there is a reason for not using a remote baby monitor, scrapping commuter WiFi hotspots, etc. all the way to DECT and mobiles. There is really only one message: what can happen to some people when chronically exposed, and how great is that risk.
When that is accepted, dominos will tumble. But I suspect the industry has stuck its dominos down with global government superglue.
And that is why schools, full of teachers and kids with mobiles, feel they have insufficient information on which to avoid WLANs when pressed for funds.
Very confusing, Andy. I would think "brilliant" is the last word one should apply to WLAN. Convenient, yes, but then so are mobile phones, DECT and WIFI networks.
Your first paragraph is contradictory to the rest of your e-mail - so maybe I got the wrong end of the stick (again!)
I disagree about them being fantastic inventions. They're preventing people from being fully present, convincing them that a convenience culture is a good one, and pandering to neuroses as if they are normal (thereby increasing lack of self awareness).
All in all I feel they are disengaging people even more than they are already from their own true nature and a real experience of life and it makes me very sad to see it.