Wising Up to 'Smart' – RF Digest 11-6-2011

Beyond the ‘Smartest-Guys-in-the-Room’ Syndrome – SM Resistance Proves Fertile, IOUs Quizzed [Updated 11-6-2011 ]
by Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle, Eds.

This edition documents some progress in the growing public push-back against the hair-brained corporate lemming rush for mass compulsory installation of wireless ‘smart meters’ as public resistance spreads in Vermont, Nevada, Hawaii and in Canada.

The questions raised by EON and a feisty group of other official public interest ‘intervenors’ in the CPUC’s currently on-going proceeding on ‘smart meter’ opt-out options has now led to all California’s aptly-named IOUs (Investor-Owned Utilities) having their feet held to the fire on some hot and burning questions.

Not only PG&E, but Southern California Edison (Sempra) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) have not only been told by the CPUC to submit ‘smart meter opt-out proposals,’ but are also being quizzed on so-far unanswered questions ‘smart meter’ functioning.

You can see part of their responses below, plus a growing chorus of critical voices from within the energy and cyber-security communities who agree with former CIA Director James Woolsey in a recent TV interview that a wireless ‘smart grid’ is “really stupid.”

In addition to PG&E’s ‘smart meter confessions’ documented below by EMFSafetyNetwork’s Sandi Maurer, we were pleased to note SDG&E’s confirmation that – as we reported here – in addition to the RF emissions from ‘smart meter’s’ two wireless antennas, another source of their potentially harmful RF radiation comes from a component called the Switching Mode Power Supply (SMPS). [ See our post: New Critical Problem with ‘Smart’ Meters: The Switching-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) ]

There remain many other interesting tidbits of information that are revealed in these compulsory responses to Judge Amy’s questions. One glaring piece of info to us ‘smart’ meter opponents, is the fact that the peak power in PG&E’s electric meters is 2500 mW. Unfortunately, it appears that Judge Yip-Kikugawa doesn’t understand the biological or physics of why these meters would cause health effects when she stipulated that exposures be averaged over 30 minutes. The cells and organs of the body don’t average the peak pulses when the emissions hit. The peaks are experienced as the high intensity that they are. And, according to the PG&E report, the pulses number from 9,600/day to 190,000/day. This is like a RF jackhammer ranging from emitting those high spiking peaks from between every 9 seconds to every half second per day, 24/7.

Another glaring omission from the computations is that no awareness is given to the fact that in a neighborhood of mesh networked meters constantly ‘chirping’ to each other with these massively high intense millisecond milliwatt bursts, one is likely to be hit by several meters’ transmissions, not just one’s own meter. And that’s not even counting the many situations with a bank of many meters together on apartment buildings, condominiums, office buildings, etc.

Here are some of the latest developments…including Jerry Brown’s appointment of another former PG&E exec. If Goldman-Sachs rules the world, does PG&E rule California?


Jerry Brown names PG&E official as his senior adviser

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. official as his senior adviser for cabinet and external affairs.

Dana Williamson, who was PG&E’s director of public affairs, “will be responsible for working with members of the Governor’s cabinet especially on projects requiring cross functional collaboration,” Brown’s executive secretaries, Nancy McFadden and Jim Humes, said in an email to staff on Tuesday.

Williamson, 39, will also oversee the governor’s external affairs operation and the administration’s Washington, D.C., office. Read more…

PG&E’s Big Confession
by Sandi Maurer – EMF Safety Network

[Who says,] ‘This is commentary on PG&E’s RF responses to the ALJ [ CPUC Administrative Law Judge Amy Yip-Kigawa. See Judge Questions Utilities on ‘Smart Meters’ ]. I must say I do feel some satisfaction about writing that. We have been right all along and now PG&E has finally admitted the truth! If you want to comment, please consider commenting on the website so others can read too.

Thanks to EVERYONE for all your efforts. I do think, together we have tipped the scale!’
PG&E’s Big Confession”>Read Sandi Maurer’s analysis here.

Download a PDF of PG&E’s response to the Judge’s questions here.

[ Above photo: An APS employee changes a standard meter to a “smart” meter at a home in the Prescott Country Club area of Dewey-Humboldt this past June. – Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier – Prescott Arizona ]

Santa Cruz Woman Fights SmartMeter, Wins

Widening Call for Immediate Return of Analogs; Disconnection of “Mesh” Wireless Network
by Josh Hart – StopSmartMeters

SANTA CRUZ, CA.—Just as PG&E enters the final phase of its deployment of wireless “smart” meters in California, the largest of the state’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) has reversed course, quietly beginning to replace the ‘smart’ meters of those reporting health impacts with the old trusty analog version. Consumer rights and health groups immediately seized on the news, demanding that millions of Californians unhappy with their new wireless meters get their analogs returned immediately at no cost.

In Canada, Free Press picks up Josh’s story:
Smart Meter Removal Has Begun
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh Thursday, November 3, 2011

California’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) has quietly begun replacing Smart Meters with analog meters for citizens reporting adverse health effects. Consumer rights and other groups demanded immediately that their wireless devices be removed from their homes.

Joshua Hart of stopsmartmeters.org reported the good news just as PG&E deploys the last phase of its smart meters in California. The Department of Energy’s promise that the smart grid and smart meters will lower electricity costs has proven incorrect; on the contrary, the utility costs have skyrocketed….

…Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey assured customers that the utility “will provide for you to go back to the analog meter if that’s your choice.” The problem is that most Americans have no idea how damaging these smart meters are and an even larger group of Americans have never heard of it or see it as a contribution to “save” the planet because that is how these meters were sold to the public.

The tired rhetoric said that the smart grid and smart meters save the planet from doom and gloom, reduce waste by cutting your electricity at peak usage, eliminates the reader who must go to each home to calculate their monthly consumption, reduces your carbon footprint, and it will make the planet “green.” The reality is very far from the disingenuous promises. Read more.

SmartMeters send almost 10,000 signals a day – SFChron
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s wireless SmartMeters are designed to communicate directly with the utility, eliminating the need for meter readers.

Turns out they do a lot of talking.

According to a document PG&E filed with the California Public Utilities Commission this week, the typical meter sends out almost 10,000 radio-frequency signals per day. Read more.

How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA
A new model of the way the THz waves interact with DNA explains how the damage is done and why evidence has been so hard to gather…
[Chart – Technology Review]

November 2, 2001 – Vermont Smart Meter Update

On November 1, 2011 the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) held a workshop on its open Smart Grid docket. Originally this was not scheduled to be a public hearing. Vermonters who are opposing wireless Smart Meters picketed outside the PSB office for the hour prior to the beginning of the workshop.

Scientists at Portland seminar liken cellphones to smoking
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Researchers from around the world told a Portland audience Monday afternoon that cellphone use today is akin to smoking decades ago: There’s enough science to suggest the activity can cause cancer, but not enough political will to implement measures to reduce exposure.

“We’re setting ourselves up for an epidemic of cancers in the future that should be preventable based on the knowledge we have now,” David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, told the crowd assembled at the University of Southern Maine’s Wishcamper Center on Monday.

‘Smart’ Meters in Paradise?
This from KikuLani
This posted just a few days ago – the pilot project is on Maui. If Hawaii residents allow this to move forward, it will become Paradise Lost and also not be good for property values! They need to get on our bandwagon!

Hitachi partners up with Hawaii PUC smart grid project:

Add this, too: Hawaii PUC approves smart grid project:

And Hawaii Electric’s Website has lots of updated info:

September 20, 2011
By Olle Johansson, Associate Professor, Karolinska Institute;Professor, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden and Susan Foster, MSW.

As the United Nations meets in London yesterday and today to assess the global impact of the five leading chronic diseases ‐‐ cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease ‐‐ there is a glaring omission in the environmental risks not being analyzed for impacts on health and economy. That omission is the massive explosion and intrusion of wireless technology into every facet of life. Even without factoring in the proven biological effects of RF (microwave) radiation, the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates the health costs for the above five diseases could reach $47 trillion over the next 20 years. Read more.

Dutch Research on Wireless Tree Damage Backs Up “Smart” Meter Plant Harm Observations – Josh Hart – StopSmartMeters.org
Includes video of a february conference in the netherlands discussing emf damage to trees (why is Europe always ahead of us?

Public hearing to be held on smart energy meters
By Cy Ryan (contact) Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 | 5:01 p.m. Las Vegas Sun

Customers of NV Energy will have a chance next month to air their gripes or support for the controversial smart meter program. The meters already have been installed in more than 500,000 homes in Las Vegas.

Last month, the state Public Utilities Commission voted to open an investigation after hearing complaints from users.

Tampering defined – EMF Safety Network
Many people are stuck with a dumb utility meter they don’t want on their home. They call their utility company and ask for the analog meter back and their request is denied. Some people have taken matters into their own hands, bought an analog meter, hired an electrician and swapped the meter. The question whether or not this is legal based on tampering laws has been questioned. The EMF Safety Network hired environmental attorney Rose Zoia to investigate the legal risks of restoring analog meters.

Q: What is the definition of tampering with an electrical meter?

A: The California Penal Code states tamper “means to rearrange, injure, alter, interfere with, or otherwise prevent from performing a normal or customary function.” With respect to the provision of an utility…Read more.

Cellphone Towers EMR Damaging Biological Systems of Birds, Insects, Humans
Anthony Gucciardi – Activist Post

The electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from mobile towers is so powerful that it affects the biological systems of birds, insects, and even humans. The study, released by the environment ministry, called for the protection of flora and fauna by law.

‘The review of existing literature shows that the EMRs are interfering with the biological systems in more ways than one and there had already been some warning bells sounded in the case on bees and birds, which probably heralds the seriousness of this issue and indicates the vulnerability of other species as well,’ the study found.

Does the “Smart Grid” Have a Smartest-Guys-in-the-Room Problem?
by Ken Maize – MasterSource.org

[ Editor’s note: Ken Maize is executive editor of MANAGING POWER magazine and editor of POWER Blog. He was the founder and editor of Electricity Daily (1993-2006) and a reporter and editor at The Energy Daily for a dozen years, starting on March 28, 1979, the date of the Three Mile Island problem. See bio here. Contact address: kmaize@hughes.net. ]

However politically incorrect my conclusion, I’m convinced that the “smart grid” is not smart and even dumb. It diverts attention from what is a more important objective–a strong grid. And it politicizes in the very area where we need more consumer-driven, free-market incentives.

Following the Northeast grid collapse of 2003, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) popped out the smart grid concept, largely the brainchild of then EPRI’s CEO Kurt Yeager. The blueprint was for an interconnected intelligent network reaching from the generating station to your toaster, able to talk up-and-down the line, matching supply and demand seamlessly.

Sounds cool, but doesn’t stand up to analysis in my judgment. Read more.

My Smart Grid Experience
By Kennedy Maize

Here’s further evidence why I believe the current smart grid hoopla is bogus, and North America should be focusing on a strong grid instead. Read more.

Smart Grid: Can ‘Smart Metering’ Overcome the Hassle Factor? (transaction costs matter too)

by Robert Michaels
May 29, 2009

When asked for conjectures about the Smart Grid, economists’ imaginations become almost indecently fertile. Writing in her blog, market-friendly Lynne Kiesling sees astounding dividends from real-time pricing and smart grid technology, preferably with competitive retail service.

Say, for example, you are on the train to work, and you get a SMS [ text message] notification that due to unexpected weather, there will be a higher-than-normal electricity price in the 9:00-10:00 hour. You may have already programmed your devices to respond to price signals, but what if the price is high enough that you want to change your settings? You can log in to your HAN [Home Area Network] from your mobile device, or from your computer at work, and change the device settings in the home through the web portal. … [i]f the home has e.g. solar PV panels the customer can program the network to reduce electricity use once the home’s consumption reaches the generation capacity of the solar resource.

But what is wrong with this picture? Read more.

And now for a little self-promotion…

Media activists and eon3EMFblog editors James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan. Marin Magazine Photo by Tim Porter

Smart Meters, Dumb Idea?
Why Marin activists oppose PG&E’s plan

(and conclusion of article by Nate Seltenrich)
Bolinas Activists: Digital Democracy
If Wientjes and Sandizell-Smith represent separate arms of the Marin smart-meter resistance, self-described “full-time media activists” Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle are the heart. Working under the name Ecological Options Network from one corner of a small art studio in Bolinas, across three decades they’ve tackled nuclear power in Palau, radioactive waste in Texas, voting machines in Ohio and other issues. The common thread, Heddle says, is democracy. “It’s always about the question of choice.” Smart meters are another example of “foisting technologies by technocratic decree with no democratic input whatsoever,” he says. “It’s outrageous.” To get their point across, Brangan and Heddle produce films: 18 complete documentaries so far, plus another 60 shorter clips for the web. In addition to documenting the anti-smart-meter movement, they actively participate in it. Brangan frequently attends public meetings to deliver slide shows on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation. With a bright demeanor and a youthful energy that belies her 63 years, she supports anti-smart-meter activists in Marin and beyond, staying abreast of the latest information, distributing it to a wide network of contacts, fostering collaboration and circling back to record the results. This self-perpetuating cycle keeps her at the center of the action.

“You have to understand that the body is biochemical-electrical,” she says. “Cells operate through a very complex way of assessing the environment through positive and negative charges … but then you get all these man-made sources coming in, [with no thought] about their compatibility with biological systems at all. No one was thinking about that.”

Like Sandizell-Smith and the Wientjeses, Brangan, who says she’s mildly electrical-sensitive, came to West Marin seeking sanctuary from urban environments. Now, living by the beach in Bolinas, she’s careful to keep wireless and electronic pollution out, a fact I was reminded of when I went to meet her and Heddle. The new smart phone in my pocket, after all, had come with a worrisome disclaimer: “Do NOT use the device in a manner such that is in direct contact with the body. Such use will likely exceed the FCC radio frequency safety exposure limits.” 

Those cautionary words are no small consolation for Brangan and her cohorts. Not only did the CPUC in late October recommend a formal investigation into the health effects of smart meters, but if cell-phone manufacturers can disclose radiation risks in fine print, they reason, it must be only a matter of time before the same information can be used to defeat the wireless meters that already adorn millions of homes throughout California.

[Left: Public protest of ‘smart meters’ in West Marin County, CA.. Middle: Katharina Sandizell-Smith. Marin Magazine Photo by Tim Porter]

FCC Cell Phone Safety Guidelines Underestimate Harmful Radiation Absorbed by Children and Small Adults, Says New Analysis

A new paper published online today in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine demonstrates children and small adults absorb significantly more cell phone radiation than had been previously understood by using the conventional and widely used assessment methodology, the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (i.e. plastic model of a brain, or SAM), to assess the ”Specific Absorption Rate”, known as the SAR.

• This study is important because it calls into question present cell phone exposure
guidelines from an engineering, not health, point of view.
• Computer simulation of radiation penetration, in contrast to estimating radiation
exposure using the fluid-filled plastic mannequin, demonstrates much greater
radiation exposures, particularly for children and small adults, than previously
• The study shows that when phones are placed in the pocket or against the body
the current FCC guidelines for radiation heating effects are presently being
violated, and suggests that different SAR exposure guidelines should be
established for people who are smaller than the mannequin, including children
and smaller adults.
• Experts say it is unlikely many cell phones on the market today would pass the
FCC certification process with the amount of radiation now being demonstrated
with this methodology. Read more.

British Medical Journal’s Upcoming Cell Phone Study Deeply Flawed, Say Experts
October 20, 2011
Environmental Health Trust and Other Experts Expose Major Flaws
in New Danish Study Claiming No Significant Cancer Risks
from Cell Phone Use.
Link to full press release here
“Unsurprising, biased and misleading,” says EHT President, cancer epidemiologist, Devra Davis, PhD, MPH
JACKSON, WY — October 20, 2011 EMBARGOED until 23:30 GMT – A new study to be released online today “Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study,” in the British Medical Journal, claims “to show no link between mobile phone use and tumours.” However, the study is seriously flawed, say technical experts from the U.K., United States, Austria, Sweden and Australia, who have provided critical reviews on the embargoed study to Environmental Health Trust, a research and public educational group and ElectromagneticHealth.org, a health education and advocacy group in the United States.
The study, “Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study,” by Patrizia Frei et al., published online, claims there is no link between long-term use of cell phones and tumors of the brain or central nervous system among 358,403 mostly male cell phone subscribers over the age of 30 during the period 1990-2007. The report is a follow-up to an earlier Danish analysis of the same group when the average use of cellphones was less than a decade that also reported no cell phone-cancer link.
Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, cancer epidemiologist and President of Environmental Health Trust, commented: “From the way it was set up originally, this deeply flawed study was designed to fail to find an increased risk of brain tumors tied with cellphone use.

Wireless Group Aims to Block San Francisco Radiation Warning
By Karen Gullo – Bloomberg Business Week
(Updates with lawyer’s argument in third paragraph.)

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — A group representing Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Nokia Oyj asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a San Francisco law requiring wireless phone retailers to post what it called “alarmist” warnings about radiation from mobile devices.

Comment from Ellie Marks, Director of Government & Public Affairs
Environmental Health Trust www.environmentalhealthtrust.org:
Had I not witnessed this in person, I would find what went on in that courtroom this morning unimaginable. The judge’s comments were not only factually incorrect but he was sarcastic, condescending and insulting in regard to excellent science, the World Health Organization, victims, the citizens of San Francisco, the Mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors.

He showed a blatant disregard for the facts and determination that went into San Francisco’s ordinance and for the right to know for all citizens.

Comparing an advisory about safe cell phone use to advising that a UFO may land nearby is an outrageous statement. The warnings are already in the fine print in every manual. He felt the FCC knows what they are doing and that the WHO does not know what they are doing. If he is correct, then why does the FCC require the safe distance information be included in every manual (yet allows it to be hidden)?

He went as far as to make a snide comment that a small distance could not make a difference in regard to radiation. He also showed little understanding or concern as to how a child could absorb more radiation that an adult.

The good news is he does not believe this issue is federally pre-empted and he is taking a week to deliberate on whether or not to grant the injunction on the ordinance which the CTIA is seeking. Unfortunately we need to get his permission in writing to submit more evidence.
The city attorneys did an excellent job. The judge had the necessary information to understand the facts. This is appalling and hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised next week.
We need to strategize as to how to move forward. Thank you for your continued support.

Judge tells SF to tone down new cell phone law
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer San Francisco Chronicle
(10-27) 16:12 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco’s ordinance requiring
cell phone dealers to warn customers about radiation from their products
goes too far, a federal judge ruled today, ordering the city to soften its
message and stop requiring retailers to post it on their walls.

Cell Phones Do Cause Brain Tumors
Magda Havas, PhD, Trent University

Special from Bottom Line/Personal [subscription necessary]
September 15, 2011

A bout nine out of 10 US households now have at least one cell phone — and that doesn’t include other wireless devices, such as cordless phones, iPads, baby monitors and computers.
Result: The average adult (and child) is flooded with nonionizing radiation, a form of energy that — for the first time — has been officially linked to ­cancer. In May, a panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) listed cell phones as a class 2b carcinogen, which means that it’s “possible” that cell phones, like some industrial chemicals, increase the risk for cancer.
This conclusion has been disputed by many scientists. But careful analysis of the best studies to date indicate that people who log the most cell-phone minutes are more likely to develop ­tumors on the same side of the head that they hold the cell phone, compared with those who use cell phones less often.
The largest study of cell-phone use, known as INTERPHONE, was conducted in 13 countries over a 10-year period. The study, published in International Journal of Epidemiology, found that people who used cell phones for at least 1,640 hours over the 10-year period — that comes to about 30 minutes a day — had a 40% higher risk of developing a glioma, a deadly type of brain tumor.
Disturbing: The development of a brain tumor to the point that it can be detected often takes 20 to 30 years. The fact that these tumors are showing up after 10 years of exposure is disturbing because it is much faster than expected.
Previous studies have linked frequent or prolonged cell-phone use to an increase in parotid (salivary gland) and auditory nerve tumors.
The actual risk probably is ­higher than the studies indicate. The INTERPHONE study defined “heavy use” as using a cell phone for about 30 minutes a day. That’s a fraction of the time that many people currently spend on their cell phones.

And finally, a new documentary –
DISCONNECT trailer by Kevin Kunze
On this Disconnect video trailer Gavin Newsom (Ca Lt. Gov.) says about the CTIA (wireless industry):
“They buy silence. They buy apathy. They buy politicians”

DISCONNECT trailer from Kevin Kunze on Vimeo.

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