Monthly Archives: February 2011

SMs Worse Than Cell Phones – Two Orders of Magnitude

Debunking ‘Cut-and-Paste Science’
New calculations suggest that continuous whole-body exposure to electro-magnetic radiation from so-called ‘smart’ meters – which operate around the clock – may be between 50 and 160 times worse that from cell phones.

For over 40 years Committee to Bridge the Gap, under the leadership of Dan Hirsch, has provided accurate, authoritative scientific information on the public health dangers posed by ionizing radiation emitted by nuclear materials and technologies – much to the discomfiture of the nuclear industry. Now Hirsch has weighed in on the non-ionizing radiation emitted by ‘smart’ meters, cell phones and other other wireless RF devices. [ For more on CBG – the Committee to Bridge the Gap – click here. ]

Hirsch’s critique of the recent draft report on ‘smart’ meter RF emissions issued by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in response to requests from State legislator Jerad Huffman and others, shows that “the CCST draft report does not appear to include much if any independent work on the subject but rather merely pastes in a table taken from an 8-page pamphlet released a few weeks earlier by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an advocacy group for the electric power industry.”

Hirsch observes, “The EPRI pamphlet is not a peer-reviewed scientific study. It is a brief item for an advocacy group that is supported by industry. If the elected officials wanted the industry’s views, it would have asked for them. Instead, it wished an independent, science-based study by an entity without the kinds of conflicts of interest EPRI has on this matter. But the CCST draft report is basically simply a cut-and-paste job from the EPRI brochure.”

Working with two graduate student assistants, Hirsch used the CCST’s own figures to calculate corrections to the multiple errors he found in the CCST report. His findings focus on whole-body exposure and ‘duty cycles,’ or the length of time ‘smart’ meters operate (24/7) as compared with the much shorter normal operation times of cell phone and microwave ovens. They are summarized in the chart below. [ Download a full PDF of the Hirsch critique here. ]

Figure A. Comparison of Radio-Frequency Levels to the Whole Body from Various Sources in μW/cm2 [microwatts per centimeter squared] over time – corrected for assumed duty cycle and whole body exposure extrapolated from assumed cell phone dose at ear.

Full Spectrum Resistance to 'Smart' Meters Grows

Digest of the Past Week’s Stories
The Middle East and Madison, Wisconsin are not the only places democratic push-back is taking place. The epicenter of public opposition to the fiat installation of wireless ‘smart’ meters is Northern California. [ Scroll down for videos ]

[ Photo credit: James Heddle/EON ]

Smart meters face critics on left, right
Felicity Barringer / New York Times

Inverness Park, Calif. —Pacific Gas and Electric’s campaign to introduce wireless smart meters in Northern California is facing fierce opposition from an eclectic mix of tea party conservatives and left-leaning individualists who say the meters threaten their liberties and their health.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, “Stop Smart Meters” signs and bumper stickers have been multiplying on front lawns and cars. Four protesters have been arrested for blocking trucks seeking to deliver the meters.

Since 2006, PG&E has installed more than 7 million of the devices, which transmit real-time data on customers’ use of electricity….
“It’s not all about saving money — it’s about control,” said Deborah Tavares, 61, a Republican who was arrested this month with other protesters who blocked the driveway of the dispatch center for meter installation trucks in Rohnert Park.

Her words echoed those of a staunch Democrat who was arrested in nearby Marin County.

“It’s another example of corporate control if they are going to roll over our concerns and not listen to us,” said Katharina Sandizell, 41, who helped block installation trucks in Inverness Park, a hamlet in the environmentally sensitive precincts of Marin County.

Intrepid protesters Sudi and November tracked down Obama in Woodside
KTVU-TV Channel 2 video
Woman Buys $4K Ad To Protest PG&E SmartMeters KSBW-TV Channel 8 video
Nina Beety purchased a $4,000 ad in an effort to get PG&E’s SmartMeters banned.
Man Refuses Smart Meter Installation
A Sacramento area man refuses to let PG&E install a Smart Meter on his house. PG&E changes its tune and says if you absolutely refuse a SmartMeter, your power will not be shut off.

How big business subverts democracy
New leaks from Anonymous hackers show how far corporate America will go to smear critics of the Chamber of Commerce

Just a couple of years ago, most people had no idea what the Chamber of Commerce did. Aren’t they mom and pop’s small-business lobby in Washington? Now, thanks in large part to the work of Chamber opponents, we’ve come to learn that the biggest business lobby in the world is also one of the biggest impediments to real democracy in the US, and that they’re a huge force in opposing healthcare reform, employee free choice and other labour legislation, veterans’ rights, banking regulations and, of course, transparency.

The US Chamber of Commerce is the public face of a corporatism that is hijacking our democracy – and so dramatically limits any chances of meaningful reform.

$430 million extra for PG&E per year from customers simply due to the way Wireless smart meters measures kilowatts.

From Wireless Radiation Alert Network
KION/FOX TV News did a side-by-side test of new WIRELESS SMART METER vs original ANALOG METER.
I am copying below the math from a comment already placed under the article that clearly does the math to extend the three-month difference to one year and sum over PG&E’s 10 million or so customers (involuntary rate-payers).
(Does anyone know how many customers PG&E actually has? Is it really 10 million?)
$430 MILLION EXTRA FOR PG$E (paid by you and I).
$10.76 more for PG$E WIRELESS smart meters in 3 months = $43.04 more per year.
PG&E has about 10 million customers. That computes to $430,400,000 (over $430 million extra for PG$E each year).

Nancy Evans writes: Exponent is the science-for-hire consulting firm hired by PG&E to investigate the fires caused by powerline failures and other accidents and to dispute health effects of EMF/RF.
Company pays government to challenge pesticide research showing link to Parkinson’s
By Sheila Kaplan Friday, February 11th, 2011

In an unusual scenario that raises questions of conflict of interest, a company that conducts research on behalf of the pesticide industry has paid a U.S. government agency to help prove some controversial chemicals are safe.

The company, Exponent Inc., based in Menlo Park, Calif., is known for its scientific research on behalf of corporate clients facing product liability concerns. In this case, Exponent is trying to refute research showing that even a small amount of combined exposure to two agricultural chemicals, maneb, a fungicide, and paraquat, an herbicide, can raise the risk of Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the central nervous system.

Exponent is listed as a member of CropLife America, the trade group that represents pesticide manufacturers, and also has worked regularly for Syngenta, which makes paraquat.

Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists
Leaked documents show how three large British companies have been
paying private security firm to monitor activists

* Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
*, Monday 14 February 2011 21.00 GMT

Three large energy companies have been carrying out covert intelligence-gathering operations on environmental activists, the
Guardian can reveal.

The energy giant E.ON, Britain’s second-biggest coal producer Scottish Resources Group and Scottish Power, one of the UK’s largest electricity-generators, have been paying for the services of a private security firm that has been secretly monitoring activists.

Leaked documents show how the security firm’s owner, Rebecca Todd, tipped off company executives about environmentalists’ plans after snooping on their emails. She is also shown instructing an agent to attend campaign meetings and coaching him on how to ingratiate himself with activists. The disclosures come as police chiefs, on the defensive over damaging revelations of undercover police officers in
the protest movement, privately claim that there are more corporate spies in protest groups than undercover police officers.

Senior police officers complain that spies hired by commercial firms are – unlike their own agents – barely regulated.


RSA conference looks at online vulnerability

The hottest trends in technology also represent some of the gravest threats to corporate data security.

Mobile devices, social networking and cloud computing are opening up new avenues for both cyber criminals and competitors to access critical business information, according to speakers at this week’s RSA Conference 2011 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center and a survey set for release this morning.


Thanks to Glen Chase:
1. Here is an article which explains the difference between a Smart Meter which collects information for the UTILITY COMPANY and an ENERGY MONITOR which gives the customer Real Time information on electricity usage.

PG&E Wireless smart meters do NOT give real time info, so they are near worthless for customers regarding improving their energy usage.

Energy Monitors cost from about $40 to over $100 depending on features, etc.

PG$E Wireless smart meters cost near $300 and they don’t have the basic feature required for Real Time monitoring of energy use.

Smart meters and energy monitors

Smart meters provide energy companies with an accurate meter reading – however, at their simplest level they do not provide any information to the consumer about energy use, cost, or how to reduce energy consumption. For that you need a corresponding energy monitor, which let you track how much energy you’re using in real-time.

Our energy monitor review reveals four Best Buy models, and has tips on how to get the most from your energy monitor.

2. At this link, (the energy monitor review) you can see a variety of Energy Monitors and their prices (note prices are in English Pounds).


LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study findsUniversity of California – Irvine (2011, February 11).

ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2011) — Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.

“LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting. But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant about the toxicity hazards of those marketed as replacements,” said Oladele Ogunseitan, chair of UC Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention.

He and fellow scientists at UCI and UC Davis crunched, leached and measured the tiny, multicolored lightbulbs sold in Christmas strands; red, yellow and green traffic lights; and automobile headlights and brake lights.

Their findings? Low-intensity red lights contained up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, but in general, high-intensity, brighter bulbs had more contaminants than lower ones. White bulbs contained the least lead, but had high levels of nickel.

Smart Meter Shock – E-Smog Squared

FCC safety limit violations possible in homes

Marin County – A new study shows that PG&E smart meter RF emissions are significantly more powerful than previously thought, potentially causing more living space to exceed FCC public safety standards.

Sage Associates is releasing results of a new study that predict significantly higher radiofrequency radiation levels and more FCC public safety limit violations in some PG&E smart meters. It will be published on-line Friday, February 18th as an addendum to “Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation Emissions from Smart Meters.

[above: standard warning sticker on the side of PG&E ‘smart’ meters being installed in Marin County, CA. ]

Originally, Sage Associates modeled the ITRON SKAMI-4 meter, which showed FCC violations were possible within 6 inches of the meter. The latest study radiofrequency radiation emissions for a PG&E smart meter (Silver Springs OWS-NIC514) will be 4.87 times stronger than the ITRON meter. This latest computer modeling report indicates that policy makers should ask for full information on all types of smart meters being deployed across California, since there be may be substantial differences in potential health risks and impacts to private property.

“The emissions from one meter are strong enough that the public is put at risk from exposures outward from the meter from approximately one foot to over six feet, depending on the reflection factor,” says Cindy Sage, Sage Associates. “For multiple meters at the same location, the zone of impact where FCC limits may be violated is somewhere between three feet and 19 feet, depending on the reflection factor.”

“PG&E is misleading the public with false assurances of safety. Smart Meter radiation will be a permanent part of the home, and people have no idea how high their chronic RF exposure might be. In reality, each Smart Meter functions like a cell antenna, relaying signals from other meters, and adds significantly to the existing radiation exposure already in the environment”, according to Barry A. Smith of the Environmental Health Coalition of West Marin.

In all meters studied to date, Sage Associates reported “excessively elevated radiofrequency/microwave radiation levels are likely to occur within occupied space of single family homes and multi-family dwellings. Scientific studies report risks for cancer, neurological diseases and cardiac problems at levels at and below those produced by smart meters. California’s leaders should be concerned that the smart meter wireless rollout may cost dearly in terms of health risks and high economic costs to consumers, with very little energy savings to show for it”.

Contact: Barry A. Smith Co-Director Environmental Health Coalition of West Marin
(415) 663-8025

Californians Protest 'Smart' Meters

Radiation Without Regulation

San Francisco 2-16-11 Citizens express their opposition to PG&E’s forced installation of wireless so-called ‘smart’ meters in front of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the agency in charge of regulating the company’s activities. They charge the Commission with complicity through lax public safety enforcement and call for the resignation of Michael Peevey, the current CPUC president. [ scroll down for video ]

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Today Mubarak, Tomorrow…Darbee? – Digest for 2-11-11

Resistance is Fertile!
As Egyptians demonstrate the power of People Power, we review the weeks coverage of California’s growing SMeter pushback movement – including passage of a moratorium ordinance in Capitola. Will PG&E headman Peter Darbee follow Egypt’s erstwhile strongman Mubarak into well-funded oblivion?
[ Scroll down for more stories and video links. ]

Marin Women Vow To Continue To Fight SmartMeters

Smart meter shock: electrical hazards found in 3500 homes
Melissa Fyfe February 13, 2011 The Age – Australia
VICTORIA’S energy regulator has conceded smart meter contractors might lack required skills and is reviewing the qualifications of workers rolling out the $2 billion scheme.
The Sunday Age can also reveal that, in the course of their work, smart meter installers have identified dangerous and possibly life-threatening electrical hazards in 3500 Victorian homes….
This comes after the Electrical Trades Union raised concerns about skilled migrants working as installers with qualifications that would not pass Victorian standards. The Sunday Age believes the regulator is mostly concerned about the qualifications of Indian workers who come to Victoria via South Australia.
The regulator recently moved to allay fears over the smart meter program, after a Highett woman received an electric shock when her meter was incorrectly installed. It is understood the qualifications of the installer in that incident sparked the regulator’s concerns.

PG&E Still Sails Smooth, and That’s the Rub
Print edition, February 6, 2011 – Page 27A
Jonathan Weber writes a column for The Bay Citizen.

For Pacific Gas & Electric, 2010 was a horrendous year.

One of its big gas lines exploded, killing eight people and destroying a neighborhood. Investigators soon discovered that the company lacks even basic information about its gas lines and runs a safety and inspection regime that could generously be described as inadequate.

The company spent $46 million on a cynically self-serving voter initiative to block potential competitors — and lost.

Its initiative to install “smart meters” in millions of homes, to manage electricity distribution more efficiently, is facing a backlash from consumers who fear inaccurate meter readings and possible health effects. Many utilities have had trouble with these meters, and PG&E’s program was earlier and more ambitious than most, but an investigation ordered by the state found that the company’s poor customer service exacerbated its problems.

What consequences have PG&E and its executives faced for these blunders? None. The stock is doing just fine. The California Public Utilities Commission has awarded the company almost $30 million in bonuses for energy-saving targets that weren’t achieved. The company plans to hire a new gas operations executive, but no one has lost his job — except a hapless manager who thought it would be smart to spy on the online discussions of smart-meter opponents.

When it comes to accountability, PG&E is making Wall Street bankers look good. The company’s incompetence, arguably, has been matched only by the performance of its regulator…

Obama promotes plan for near universal wireless
By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Erica Werner, Associated Press
MARQUETTE, Mich. – President Barack Obama promoted plans Thursday to bring high-speed wireless to nearly all American households, pushing his domestic agenda in a small, snowy city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on a day of dramatic developments in Egypt. plans to buy satellite and provide free Internet access for entire world

For those of us who live in the developed world, internet access has become pretty much a given. It’s become so ubiquitous that we almost expect to have it at all times and in all places, but even in this “Information Age,” the majority of the world’s population lacks access to the internet – either because service isn’t available where they are, or they can’t afford it. Kosta Grammatis has a plan, however. Through his charity group, Grammatis aims to set up a network of satellites that will provide free internet access to everyone in the world. He’s starting by attempting to buy a single used satellite that’s already in orbit and moving it to a location above a developing country.

The spacecraft in question is the Terrestar-1 communications satellite. Given that the company that owns it, Terrestar, has recently filed for bankruptcy, it may soon be up for sale.

Ember Needs A Wake-Up Call From The CIA
Ember Corporation, a privately-held company based in Boston, MA with offices in the U.K. and China (Hong Kong) is a leading supplier of the “brains” of Smart Grid devices – semiconductor chips that enable the smart meter on your house to wirelessly send data about your power consumption to your power grid provider. It also allows your power company to control the supply of energy to every house in its service area up to and including a complete disconnection of service…
The Problem
The encryption keys that provide for ZigBee’s vaunted security are transmitted in plain text. That’s the equivalent of using the word “password” as your password…this needs to be addressed at the highest levels….’s Letter to Parents on Fertility and Other Risks to Children from Wireless Technologies

Thanks to Cindy Sage:
Two new gas pipeline explosions (Ohio, Pennsylvania)

Toyota exonerated by NHTSA-NASA study – no evidence of electronic glitches in run-away cars.

“NASA did not find an electronic cause of large throttle openings that can result in UA incidents.” Sage comments: No evidence just means the study could not replicate the conditions which could have caused unintended accelerations. It is by no means an ‘all clear’ for Toyota. The failure of ‘automatic shut-off systems’ should be investigated further, to see if spurious RF signals in the environment, that are growing at an exponential rate (wireless technologies, wireless devices, smart-grid wireless systems, etc) may over-ride or cause vulnerable electronic systems to malfunction, or fail.

Fencing Out the Smart meters

PG&E Demands Immediate Removal of Meter Cages
Date: February 11, 2011
Contact Tobie Cecil 915-7704
Nina Beety 655-9902
Marina Property Manager protects 70 families at apartment complex from Smart Meter deployment by installing cages around gas and electric meters. PG&E says, remove cages or we’ll call the fire department and have you fined! Marina Fire Department Chief says the cages are fine.

Marina resident and property manager Tobie Cecil has installed cages around the 142 electric and gas meters in the 70-unit apartment complex he manages on the Monterey Bay. But that’s not okay with PG&E as they attempt to deploy Smart Meters to every resident in the town of Marina. Yesterday a PG&E rep called Cecil and told him to remove the cages immediately or PG&E would call the Marina Fire Department to have fines issued.

Tobie Cecil: “We put up the meter cages and signs to announce to PG&E and the Wellington Energy installers that we and the 70 families at Marina Meadows Apartments do not want Smart Meters here because they pose health, financial, safety and privacy problems.”

Cecil subsequently spoke with Marina Fire Chief Harold Kelly who inspected the cages and said, “As long as the meters are accessible, they’re fine.”

Cecil said that he and his wife have gathered over 100 signatures from residents and neighbors who oppose the deployment of Smart Meters in their small coastal community….

[ From a local activist – ]
Thanks to:
Karen Nevis – Karen has stayed calm and composed for nearly a year communicating with the city council and individual members on a regular basis and keeping them up to date on this dumb WIRELESS meter issue. No matter how closed some of the councilmembers have been (though Capitola also has a couple of the very best councilmembers and clerk in the state) and no matter how many disappointments were experienced, Karen stayed with it and last night she WON!

Marilyn Garrett – Marilyn has been pounding the pavement and city council meetings and every other kind of organization meeting you can imagine throughout the county of Santa Cruz and Monterey on an everyday basis for many years regarding this deceptive and well covered up issue of WIRELESS radiation.

Capitola had previously failed to pass an urgency ordinance because one councilman recused himself due to pension from PG&E, so back in 2010, the vote was 3-1 in favor, but an urgency ordinance requires four YES votes to pass, 80% is required. So it failed back in 2010.

Now, in 2011 and with two new council members, the issue was raised again.

One new member said she agreed with the opposition to the program, but didn’t think the ordinance could do anything.

The other new member had some doubts also about the effectiveness of the ordinance and he also interpreted the CCST report to show that the meters were safe rather than the proper interpretation to declare that the non-ionizing radiation effects, non thermal effects, needed to be further reviewed and in fact HAD NOT BEEN reported or considered by the CCST report.

But Michael Boyd, the fellow that has the petition filed with the PUC regarding many problems including the possibility of fire in San Bruno from the Wireless meters, told the council that they could red tag PG&E Wireless smart meters since they are NOT “UL” listed…. [This proved to be true on examination of a Smart Meter supplied by PG&E representatives.] FINAL RESULT: 4-1 PASSED

Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down
Does your government have an Internet kill-switch? Read our guide to Guerrilla Networking and be prepared for when the lines get cut.
By Patrick Miller, David Daw, PCWorld Jan 28, 2011 3:50 pm

These days, no popular movement goes without an Internet presence of some kind, whether it’s organizing on Facebook or spreading the word through Twitter. And as we’ve seen in Egypt, that means that your Internet connection can be the first to go. Whether you’re trying to check in with your family, contact your friends, or simply spread the word, here are a few ways to build some basic network connectivity when you can’t rely on your cellular or landline Internet connections.

And – last but not least – an excellent information site to check out:
Wireless Technologies & Health
Calling for Urgent Precautionary Measures
As modern technology evolves, we are exposed to more electromagnetic fields than before. Exercising precautions now, in light of early warnings, may help to prevent chronic illnesses later.

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