The Dark Side of Cellphone Technology


Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies

Studies of health risks of cell phone use that are funded exclusively by industry are substantially less likely to report statistically significant effects. Compared to studies funded by public agencies or charities, industry funded studies find adverse effects approximately 1/10th as frequently. This pattern is consistent with research funded by the tobacco and chemical industries.

Environmental Health Perspectives.

http://www.ehponline.org/members/2006/9149/9149.html http://www.ehponline.org/members/2006/9149/9149.pdf

Informant: binstock


Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air



Union of Concerned Scientists
January 3, 2007


WASHINGTON, DC - A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.nhne.com/files/exxon_report.pdf offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry's disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.

"ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years."

Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to "Manufacture Uncertainty" on Climate Change details how the oil company, like the tobacco industry in previous decades, has:

- Raised doubts about even the most indisputable scientific evidence

- Funded an array of front organizations to create the appearance of a broad platform for a tight-knit group of vocal climate change contrarians who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings

- Attempted to portray its opposition to action as a positive quest for "sound science" rather than business self-interest

- Used its access to the Bush administration to block federal policies and shape government communications on global warming

ExxonMobil-funded organizations consist of an overlapping collection of individuals serving as staff, board members, and scientific advisors that publish and re-publish the works of a small group of climate change contrarians. The George C. Marshall Institute, for instance, which has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil, recently touted a book edited by Patrick Michaels, a long-time climate change contrarian who is affiliated with at least 11 organizations funded by ExxonMobil. Similarly, ExxonMobil funds a number of lesser-known groups such as the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy and Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Both groups promote the work of several climate change contrarians, including Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist who is affiliated with at least nine ExxonMobil-funded groups.

Baliunas is best known for a 2003 paper alleging the climate had not changed significantly in the past millennia that was rebutted by 13 scientists who stated she had misrepresented their work in her paper. This renunciation did not stop ExxonMobil-funded groups from continuing to promote the paper. Through methods such as these, ExxonMobil has been able to amplify and prop up work that has been discredited by reputable climate scientists.

"When one looks closely, ExxonMobil's underhanded strategy is as clear and indisputable as the scientific research it's meant to discredit," said Seth Shulman, an investigative journalist who wrote the UCS report. "The paper trail shows that, to serve its corporate interests, ExxonMobil has built a vast echo chamber of seemingly independent groups with the express purpose of spreading disinformation about global warming."

ExxonMobil has used the laudable goal of improving scientific understanding of global warming -- under the guise of "sound science" -- for the pernicious ends of delaying action to reduce heat-trapping emissions indefinitely. ExxonMobil also exerted unprecedented influence over U.S. policy on global warming, from successfully recommending the appointment of key personnel in the Bush administration to funding climate change deniers in Congress.

"As a scientist, I like to think that facts will prevail, and they do eventually," said Dr. James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's working group on climate change impacts. "It's shameful that ExxonMobil has sought to obscure the facts for so long when the future of our planet depends on the steps we take now and in the coming years."

The burning of oil and other fossil fuels results in additional atmospheric carbon dioxide that blankets the Earth and traps heat. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased greatly over the last century and global temperatures are rising as a result. Though solutions are available now that will cut global warming emissions while creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security, ExxonMobil has manufactured confusion around climate change science, and these actions have helped to forestall meaningful action that could minimize the impacts of future climate change.

"ExxonMobil needs to be held accountable for its cynical disinformation campaign on global warming," said Meyer. "Consumers, shareholders and Congress should let the company know loud and clear that its behavior on this issue is unacceptable and must change."

Informant: NHNE


World Bank Chastised

An external audit concludes that the World Bank's research is too-frequently mediocre, politicized, and unreliable.




Understanding electrical hypersensitivity (EHS)

I am heading the Dutch working group on electrical hypersensitivity (named WEO) and try to understand our mutual EHS problem on the basis of the reports from the 300 members of the WEO. Most of them suffer from EHS. We do everything we can to to find out to which specific electromagnetic field type individuals develop an intolerance, what can be done to diminish their discomfort, and to increase public awareness.

To draw additional attention from authorities, we organized an international symposium on December 8 in Utrecht, on the topic "Understanding electrical hypersensitivity -EHS". We invited professor Norbert Leitgeb as a keynote speaker. Five national experts illuminated the EHS problem from the standpoint of the suffering electrostress victim. And I must say that this meeting was a success, even though we attracted only a small crowd of about 65 participants.

The main point is that by having organized this open event, we gain courage. We hope to establish a national tradition of information exchange with authorities that are not under the influence/dictate of the WHO. This should inspire health authorities and communities to care for people whose problems are not understood and who need assistance for creating electrically clean places at home and in workplaces. Similar promising initiatives are taking place now in the community of Stockholm.

It is time now for an upgrading of our organization. Our WEO will continue to exist. But for increasing our pressure on health authorities and civil servants at different levels, we are in the process of establishing the Foundation EHS ('Stichting EHS'), as a legal body for fund raising and streamlining PR and administrative procedures. Emphasis is laid also on the training of a group of EMF measuring specialists which have a two-fold task: (1) finding out which fields and which physical field parameters are causing the problems, and (2) suggest field sanitation measures.

You may find the proceedings of the Symposium in the attached file.


More information is available at the website of the WEO http://www.electroallergie.org . In due time, this website will be discontinued and reappear under the name http://www.stichtingehs.nl .

Hugo Schooneveld





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Januar 2007

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