Are cell phones, grid the next cigarettes?

San Francisco Chronicle

As many as 9 million people in the United States - 3 percent of the population - may have severe reactions to electromagnetic fields (EMF), an invisible ...



ALL of this depends on Unfettered RF use: The Second Leg of Smart Grid Profits

Below [ http://tinyurl.com/yz2rrxy ] is an article sent from an environmentalist friend re: the business side of smart grids. Be sure to click on the GreenBeat Conference (in the author's PS below). That's happening right now in San Francisco. (Anyone out there feel like dropping in??) See who is involved... Al Gore, who is among our national environmental heroes, for one. I also heard an interview with Reed Hundt yesterday on PBS. He's the former chief of the FCC under the Clinton Administration who shepherded the Telecom Act and the wireless revolution into being. Today he's with a lobbying nonprofit in DC that is pressuring the U.S. Senate to seriously augment Obama's $3.4 billion toward smart grid "upgrades." It is part of the massive environmental energy bill that, on its face, is a progressive bill I would normally support. Undoubtedly most of the environmental organizations I belong to will push for it. Unfortunately, this bill is a huge Trojan Horse for smart grid technologies riding the green wave, with no environmental impacts being studied whatsoever, against the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Very few people realize that the entire concept of smart grids requires the unfettered use of RF throughout our homes, businesses and neighborhoods. All appliances -- washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, etc. will be equipped with transmitting antennas. There will be retrofit antennas for older models but appliance manufacturers are already gearing up for models that will incorporate transmitters into all new models. People who do not wish to be exposed to radiofrequency radiation won't be able to deactivate them without disabling the product and negating the warranty. Talk about big brother. One preliminary estimate of ambient radiation that such systems will cause found the average smart grid could use up a full 1% of the total allowance for RF according to the FCC standards for thermal heating. Add cell towers, wi-fi, Wi-Max and other common RF environmental contributors and this could get serious. Smart grid proposals do not consider potential cumulative exposures from the other myriad RF-emitting devices in our midst today. Nor do they factor in the recent research regarding what's called 'dirty electricity' -- the phenomenon of multifrequencies coupling on lines to create complex energy exposures. Dirty electricity has been linked in some studies to numerous cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. A smart meter, using RF to 'talk' with the central information-gathering hub will couple with the extremely low frequency range used in powerlines. Few know that there has also been legislation to preempt local/state regulation similar to the preemptions of the Telecom Act for cell towers. Smart grids will entail the ability of all our appliances to "talk" wirelessly with utility companies' remote control methods. They also entail transceiving antennas (towers too) to be located in neighborhoods to 'gather' the information. Wireless meters will be attached to all houses/businesses. Some meters will transmit to other houses and bounce signals along that way -- from house to house until it reaches the central hub. As oddball as that sounds, that's among the designs for rural areas. Questions: .Why are no environmentalists, regulators, health professionals, or EMF activists raising health/enviro concerns about yet another layer of "electrosmog" -- this one being completely ubiquitous indoors and out with no possibility of individual shielding? . Why are we trusting the same people who brought us the Telecom Act's preemptions to get this one "right?" . Why are billions of taxpayer dollars being used to stimulate the economy through the technology sector just like in the 1990's when there is no money appropriated for research into the effects of such technologies? . Recent research has found a 30% increased incidence of brain tumors in people who have used cell phones for 10 years or longer. Smart grids will be like living with a cell phone turned on 24/7 in every room of your house, in every neighborhood in the country. So why would the designers of smart grids presume that if people fight cell towers in their neighborhoods, they will put up with something like this? Has anyone at the federal level asked consumers if they want the utility companies 'talking' with privately owned appliances? Has anyone asked consumers if they are willing to possibly endanger their health and the environment for the convenience of turning down their furnace via their cell phones after they have left for work when all they had to do was write themselves a note? How infantalizing. Has any work been done about the possibility of malfunction of such systems, say, your furnace being inadvertently turned up to 90 degrees by some other stray signal? The electromagnetic spectrum is a crowded place these days. Has any work been done on potentially deadly radiofrequency interference with lifesaving devices like pacemakers, deep brain implants used in Parkinson's patients, wheelchairs, hospital beds or other devices highly sensitive to such interference? In an age of increased attention to national security issues, do the proponents of smart grids understand how vulnerable such systems will be to easy sabotage from simple jamming devices as well as more sophisticated electromagnetic pulse devices? The natural 11--year cycle of increased sunspot activity projected within the next few years could alone disrupt such systems. Do we, as utility customers, trust such systems to accurately report our electricity usage when so many other devices can -- and will -- confuse the data? Just imagine trying to straighten out a jump in your electric bill when its recorded use could be dependent on someone else's passing wi-fi signal or any unspecified local interference. It will simply be your word against their hub's data. Smart grids are a spectacularly dumb idea. And it's a wonder that so many genuinely smart people don't get that. In our headlong rush toward anything green, we might just be doing far more harm than good. This writer has yet to find a single person who, once given the details of what smart grids entail, thinks this is smart in any way.

Blake Levitt

Informant: Iris Atzmon



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November 2009

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