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TOPIC: Latest EMF & other info from Stop Smart Meters

Latest EMF & other info from Stop Smart Meters 3 years 7 months ago #1

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Here are some of the latest snippets from the SSM news bunker. Dive in and share liberally.
1. URGENT CALL TO ACTION

Members of the public have been invited to ‘evidence check’ the policies underpinning smart meters

The Science and Technology Committee has launched an ‘evidence check’ to allow both experts and the public to scrutinise government policies, including the policy on smart meters, but we need to act fast -- the deadline for public comment is 29 January 2016 (this Friday). www.parliament.uk/business/committees/co...ters-evidence-check/

2. It’s been a bad start to the year for the spin doctors at Smart Energy GB with Smart Meters getting some well deserved negative press

Warning over a ‘ghastly mess’ in £11bn plan for smart meters – The Times
“The Department of Energy and Climate Change has devised by far the most complex rollout in the world”
"60 per cent of households with the meters were not using them only a year after installation."

Not So Smart – The government should listen to criticism of its latest IT plan before it is too late – The Times
”It is sensible to worry now."

Could smart meters be used to spy on your home? Devices could be used to create ‘honeypot’ of data to sell onto marketing companies, privacy campaigners warn - Mail Online
"Marketing firms are hoping to turn the information [smart meters] provide in to a steady stream of cash."



3. HEALTH

The Environmental Health Trust (EHT) has posted 500+ internal CDC emails obtained as part of the FOIA request, which show how the cell phone industry (NB: smart meters use cellular signalling) directed changes in the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) website content. The New York Times ran their own exposé, but the EHT have gone much further, revealing how information on the risk to children’s health was deleted, information on cell towers which never saw the light of day and how a scientist well known for affiliations with the wireless industry came on as a consultant to the CDC. You can read about it here.

Here is an excellent, peer-reviewed study published by the journal "Nature" — one of the world’s most well-respected scientific journals — explaining why man-made EMFs (including those from smart meters) can cause harm versus natural EMFs. www.nature.com/articles/srep14914 (Man-made EMFs are polarised, whereas natural EMFs are largely unpolarised).

Another peer-reviewed study, published in the International Journal of Experimental Botany, has replicated the Danish student experiment (from 2013) and it shows that cell tower radiation from 200 meters away prevented garden cress from germinating. Read the associated story here. [Cammaerts MC, Johansson O. Effect of man-made electromagnetic fields on common Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum (cress d’Alinois) seed germination: a preliminary replication study. Phyton, International Journal of Experimental Botany 2015; 84: 132-137.] difusion.ulb.ac.be/vufind/Record/ULB-DIP...b.ac.be:2013/219257/

And an Italian town has shut down Wi-Fi in two schools as a precautionary health measure to protect children. Bravo!

4. VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

We are in the process of uploading footage from our Get Wired 2015 International EMF Conference, and the first two are online already -- one featuring Prof. Victor Newman (an early IoT advocate turned EMF torchbearer) and Roy Riggs (a veteran EMF surveyor). Check them out www.getwi.red. Thanks to all of our speakers and attendees -- it was great to get together with you all.

Presentations from the "Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World" forum in California in October 2015 are also now available. Check them out here: bit.ly/MtnViewForum.

And Prof Devra Davis gave another excellent presentation during her Dean's Leacture at the University of Melbourne in November 2015. "The truth about mobile phone and wireless radiation: what we know, what we need to find out, and what you can do now".

5. WHAT ABOUT OUR INTERNAL, BIOLOGICAL CLIMATE?

In the wake of COP15, Smart Meters are now being touted as a means of tackling climate change.

www.newscientist.com/article/dn28540-use...ight-climate-change/

Irrespective of which side you sit on in the debate about man-made climate change, did you know that the UK’s permitted microwave exposure limit for your brain from each wireless device that you come into contact with is 1 quintillion times higher than the ambient levels we had ~150 years ago? (That's 1 billion, billion times higher.)

As explained here in 2014, if you were to picture the average level of natural ambient EMF exposure that quietly surrounds us — 0.000,000,000,010 µW/m2 — as being equivalent to the width of a standard piano keyboard, then the amount of microwave irradiation that PHE allows your brain to be exposed to — 9,000,000.000,000,000,000 µW/m2 -- would measure the distance of 4.5 million return trips to the Sun.

That is some change to our internal, biological climate, isn’t it? And babies' and children's exposures will in fact be higher still because they are so much smaller than adults.

Why is no mention of this made when it comes to pushing wireless technologies for supposedly green/environmental causes?

6. HIGHER BILLS, CONTROL

As the smart metering agenda’s true colours continue to emerge, a new government paper has set-out its vision for developing the UK’s “Smart Energy System”. It is littered with language about “Demand Side Response*” (DSR) and “incentives" — industry jargon for suppliers taking control of your appliances when necessary and/or applying punitive charges for using energy when you most need it most. Don't believe it? Read it.

Contrary to the myths being promoted by Smart Energy GB, Smart Meters will greatly empower suppliers -- not consumers. If the government wanted to empower you with this programme, they would give you a personal energy monitor that prevented DSR and punitive charges from being applied on-the-fly, but which still allowed you (and you alone) to see what each appliance is costing you to run. If Big Energy don't have your smart meter data, they don't know when you most often need your energy -- and that means they can't charge you higher rates at those times.

So, if you're asking who's the lord of your manor, and you're living in a "smart home" of the future where Big Energy dictates when you can use your dishwasher, the answer is: not you.

You can vent your thoughts in the consultation we linked to in point 1. Call to Action (above).

7. PRIVACY

Are you responsible with your data? Do you know what data of yours is being tracked and sold right now? Do you let your children give their data to strangers?

Do Not Track is a unique documentary highlighting how much our activities are tracked online and it is a great way to introduce folks who are not so tech-savvy to the issue of data harvesting and privacy. Check it out: donottrack-doc.com

Each episode runs to about 10 minutes:

Episode 1 : Morning Rituals
Episode 2 : Breaking Ad
Episode 3 : Like Mining
Episode 4 : The spy in my pocket
Episode 5 : Big Data: Inside the Algorithm
Episode 6 : The Daily Me
Episode 7 : To change the future, click here

Why is erosion of online/digital privacy a problem? Have a look at a recent interview Mike gave to the UK Column Live for an answer to that — he covers privacy in the context of Smart Meters as well as what kind of things data harvesting companies like Facebook know about us before we do, plus he explains why Smart Energy GB’s £100MN Smart Meter advertising campaign is so devious. (Yes, a £100 MILLION budget just to advertise new energy meters which the government insists everybody must be offered anyway — but are under no obligation to accept, hence the PR assault...)

We don’t have an advertising budget to fight this heavily funded BS, but if we did it would look something like these adverts by Firefox which show how people would never accept, in the real world, the kind of privacy intrusion that technologies like Smart Meters enable.

8. BIG DATA

Weapons of Math Destruction - How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

From BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance [and in the future, through Smart Meters, who has access to how much energy and when] — are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this shocking book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his race or neighborhood), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy [Cathy O'Neil/Crown]

Also see Bruce Schneider’s thoughts on implications of big data and social control here. Smart Meter data opens up a rich vein for exploitation and abuse in these respects.
9. The Neoliberal Politics of "Smart": Electricity Consumption, Household Monitoring, and the Enterprise Form

A scholarly examination of the expansion and deepening of corporate encroachment on the household and everyday life through the emerging energy “smart grid” by Anthony M. Levenda, Dillon Mahmoudi, Gerald Sussman - Portland State University - Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations - November 2015. Direct download.

ABSTRACT This article investigates how digital technologies in the energy sector are enabling increased value extraction in the cycle of capital accumulation through surveillant processes of everyday energy consumption. We offer critical theory (Gramsci, Foucault) and critical political economy (Marx) as a guide for critical understanding of value creation in ICT through quotidian processes and practices of social reproduction. In this regard, the concept of the "prosumer" is extended beyond notions of voluntary participation in Web 2.0 to the political economy of energy use. Within this broad framework we investigate national and local level "smart grid" campaigns and projects. The "smartening" of the energy grid, we find, is both an ideological construct and a technological rationalization for facilitating capital accumulation through data collection, analysis, segmentation of consumers, and variable electricity pricing schemes to standardize social practices within and outside the home...

"...the smart energy grid that is being implemented... like the worldwide web, we argue, is being appropriated as part of a design to draw upon higher level data from dwellers (as surplus value) in the service of industrial profiteering and in the surveillance interests of industry and the state. The consumer's use value of electricity consumption is thus being transformed into exchange value, as well as creating new forms of social monitoring and control by agencies of government"..."

10. LET'S MAKE A RUCKUS

Since we started campaigning against smart meters in January 2012, with your help, we have had around a million website hits, gained 2,500+ Facebook followers, 780+ Twitter followers, 170,000+ Youtube views, helped 2,600+ people to collectively serve ~190,000 notices of smart meter refusal to ~75 different parties, given evidence in parliament, helped with several documentaries and been quoted in more than a few newspapers and radio programmes.

But it’s not enough. And the Smart Meter trap remains baited and set for the vast majority of people.

So we need your continued help. If you have not done so already, please print out and drop some leaflets through your neighbours' letterboxes and put them on local noticeboards -- help those on your street and in your community to get informed about the dangers of smart meters. Many of you have shared stories with us of where you are mounting local efforts and achieving local victories simply by leafleting neighbours and writing to tenants groups or resident associations about the risks associated with smart meters -- and that is exactly what we need more of.

The combined campaigning power of the people on this mailing list eclipses our own and represents an insurmountable whale of smart meter opposition in the sky. But it will only make a difference once we rise to our feet and act.

Let's make this year a year of action.
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