Swedish Neuroscientist Olle Johannson Warns Arizona’s Health Authorities About Smart Meter “Poisonous Snake”

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Olle Johannson of Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute

Swedish Neuroscientist and Associate Professor at the prestigious Karolinska institute in Stockholm Sweden, Olle Johannson, has written a letter to the Arizona Dept. of Health Services encouraging them to re-evaluate the risks of utility company smart grid policies.   Johannson urges them to share his skepticism of industry-funded research into the extremely controversial question of whether exposures from wireless devices- including “smart” meters-  are causing preventable damage to the public health.

He blasts those who dismiss scientific research showing harm from wireless technologies, saying essentially that it only takes one poisonous snake to bite you, and there are thousands of studies now showing changes in biology- many harmful- from microwave radiation exposures- even at a relatively small dose.  That makes the ubiquitous and high powered wireless pulses from smart meters particularly worrying.  Johannson says:

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Read Olle Johannson’s letter to the Arizona Dept. of Health Services in its entirety here.

 

Posted in Arizona, health effects, Physicians, radio-frequency radiation, Safety, Smart Grid, Wi-Fi | 2 Comments

Chicago’s Com Ed Gives Out Free Ice Cream to Soften Resistance to “Smart” Meters

screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-12.54.03-pm-1024x626 Perhaps in an effort to “sweeten the deal” and neutralize opposition to their “smart” meter program, Com Ed is giving away free ice cream using vans this July in several Chicago neighborhoods.

Unfortunately when the sugar high has faded, Chicago residents who accept “smart” meters on their homes may feel duped as they will be left with higher bills, a surveillance state apparatus in their home, and quite possibly a bad headache- even a house fire or explosion.

Klansmen-via-Flickr-615x345Turns out the utilities are not the only one using free sugar to woo people to fascist causes- the Ku Klux Klan has begun giving away free candy in Florida and South Carolina this summer.  To make matters stranger, it turns out that the traditional tune played by ice cream trucks is one of the most racist songs in the history of the US.

Remember folks:

1)  never take candy or ice cream from strangers

2)  never assume that the utility (or the Klan for that matter) are telling you the truth- especially where there are sugary treats involved.

The truth is that this shameless utility industry marketing ploy to harm communities makes us sick.

Maybe we could press into service a Stop Smart Meters! Analog Defense Van to shadow ComEd’s Toxic Radiation Trespass/ Free Ice Cream Van and give away free analog meter defense kits, flyers about health hazards, and RF measuring meters.  Maybe even some Coconut Bliss.

Selfie that, ComEd.

Plus, we would definitely have better music.

Who’s down?

Posted in Changing a Meter, Illinois, neighborhood organizing, Smart Grid | 2 Comments

When Will the Smart Meter Insanity End?

Originally posted on

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There have been a number of articles appearing in the national media over the past few weeks outlining the dangers and risks of so-called “smart” utility meters.  The smart grid mouthpiece website SmartGridNews.com even ran an article called, “Smart meters trapped between benefits and dangers, claims Forbes.”   In quoting the Forbes article, SmartGridNews.com stated:

“Despite the promise of empowering people through enhanced consumption data… some people are scared and resist the idea of smart metering, citing concerns about meter accuracy, data security, and health,” wrote Forbes contributor Federico Guerrini.  “Privacy is probably the most sensitive issue:  similarly to what happens with phone calls metadata, information about the energy consumption of a family or of an individual, can reveal a lot of details about the life of the persons monitored.”

Hacker's Backdoor.1Beyond issues over meter accuracy, data security, health, and privacy mentioned above, components of the smart grid (including smart meters) dramatically increase the cyber threat to the electrical grid.  This threat is not limited to personal health and security risks but also poses a serious threat to our national security as well.

Just last month, an article was featured on this website about the nightmare scenario posed by smart meters when they get hacked.

Now, in July, a new article was featured at Bloomberg.com regarding hackers finding an open back door to the power grid.  According to the Bloomberg.com article:

“Making the electricity grid greener is boosting its vulnerability to computer hacking, increasing the risk that spies or criminals can cause blackouts.”

“Adding wind farms, solar panels and smart meters to the power distribution system opens additional portals through which hackers can attack the grid, according to computer security experts advising governments and utilities.”

“The communication networks and software that link green energy sources to the grid as well as the electronic meters that send real time power usage to consumers and utilities are providing new back-door entry paths for computer hackers to raise havoc with the grid.  The disclosure this week that hackers known as ‘Dragonfly’ and ‘Energetic Bear’ gained access to power networks across the U.S. and Europe in the past 15 months is a reminder of how vulnerable the system has become.”

“In the past, all power use was measured by mechanical meters, which required a utility worker to inspect and read them.  Now, utilities are turning to smart meters that communicate data on flows minute by minute both to customers and utilities.”

“’Anytime you introduce more software, you introduce more complexity and inevitably more potential holes to the system,’ said Gavin O’Gorman, a threat intelligence analyst at Symantec Corp. (SYMC), the security company based in Mountain View, California, that identified the ‘Dragonfly’ threat.”  [See post entitled "Dragonfly: Western Energy Companies Under Sabotage Threat."]

For example, smart meters contain a relay that can disconnect a household from the power supply.  As explained by Nick Hunn, chief technology officer at WiFore, a U.K.-based wireless technology consultant: “This is controlled by the utility from a computer keyboard.  Since the same code goes into all meters, it would take just one small piece of code inserted by a rogue programmer to disconnect the power from millions of meters and disable the remote connection to the utility.”

As reported by Bloomberg.com, the energy industry is currently the most targeted sector in the United States, “accounting for 59 percent of the 256 attacks recorded last year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Also reported is that “almost all the specifics of the incidents are kept quiet to prevent damage to the companies victimized.”  In other words, information related to risks and actual attacks on our power grid is being deliberately suppressed and withheld from the public.  This policy of suppressing risk related information regarding the smart grid and smart meters completely contradicts the recommendations from a U.S. General Accounting Office report released in 2011 which stated:

“Consumers are not adequately informed about the benefits, costs, and risks associated with smart grid systems.  …  As a result, until consumers are more informed about the benefits, costs, and risks of smart grid systems, utilities may not invest in, or get approval for, comprehensive security for smart grid systems, which may increase the risk of attacks succeeding.”

Despite the risks and the almost daily revelations of danger and harm, the utilities blindly move forward deploying smart meters like mindless robots sowing the seeds of our own destruction.  That may sound a bit melodramatic but yet one needs to ask:  “What would it take to stop this ill-fated and  irrational   exercise in wasted resources?”

Furthermore, SmartGridNews.com in another story on July 1st acknowledged that smart meters are effectively of no value to our electrical grid when it stated:

“… thus far, spending on the smart grid has been dominated by smart meters that allow more granular and frequent readings and the transmission of that data to the utility, eliminating the old-fashioned meter reader.  But just adding a communications feature to the meters is not deeply game-changing; it is the equivalent of installing a speedometer and gas gauge without a steering wheel and brakes.”

When and how will the insanity on smart meters end?   Since in the words of SmartGridNews.com we are currently traveling “without a steering wheel and brakes,” the chances of this journey ending safely without a catastrophic event are not good. 

Consumers need to work together on a massive scale to first “apply the brakes” on this fiasco and then turn us in a different direction before it is too late.

Addendum:  Latest News from the U.K.

As was stated above, there appears to be daily revelations about the risks related to smart meters, yet the governments and utilities continue to install them as if they are mindless robots. Current news reports out of the U.K. drive this point home.  As reported this week by The Telegraph, “Smart Meters’ to Be Put in Every British Home Despite Fears They May Not Work,” and:

“The £11 billion Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every British home will be launched this week despite fears they may not work and could open the national grid up to cyber -terrorists.”

“A risk assessment carried out by the energy watchdog, Ofgem, has … identified ‘a range of threats such as cyber, viruses and malicious software.’”

“Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said:  ‘This is a typical Government project – they set up a big scheme but don’t think about the costs to the consumer because it’s being driven by the energy companies.  This expensive equipment is already out-of-date, because we could get the information on our smartphones.  The Government should really think about the technology they are using and make sure that the consumer benefits.’”

In addition, the CBR technical blog reports that:

“… official documents found that the meters will not work in a third of British homes, including high-rise flats, basements and rural houses.  This is because the meters use wireless communication method ZigBee to transfer the information, which does not work in building[s] with thick walls or multi-story flats.”

The meters won’t work in a third of British homes?  What more can we say?  There is nothing “smart” about this “insanity,” and it must end now.

Courtesy Take Back Your Power
Courtesy: Josh del Sol

About the Author

K. T. Weaver is a health physicist who was employed in the nuclear division of a leading electric utility for over 25 years.  He served in various positions, including Station Health Physicist, Senior Health Physicist, corporate Health Physics Supervisor, and corporate Senior Technical Expert for Radiobiological Effects.  K.T. Weaver has earned a B.S. in Engineering Physics and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering with a specialty in radiation protection.

Links Referenced in this Blog Article:

Posted in Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Federal Government, health effects, Privacy, Safety, Smart Grid, Take Back Your Power | Leave a comment

Another Fire: Landis + Gyr Smart Meter Causes Apt. Blaze

Courtesy of Smartmeterharm.org:

This apartment fire occurred in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on February 6, 2014.

      • 14 families were displaced
      • 7 apartments had fire damage, 5 had significant damage
      • 11 apartments had smoke and water damage
      • 1 firefighter was injured

It was caused by a Landis + Gyr Smart Meter that exploded and caught fire, and set the apartment building on fire.

Bensalem Battalion Chief Robert Sponheimer told the Bucks County Courier Times that the fire started in a utility meter in an outside shed that housed electrical meters.

“…residents reported hearing a loud bang, then losing power Thursday evening. Within minutes they saw smoke pouring out of the shed. The fire then spread to the building and its roof, Sponheimer said.”

“The meter itself is the cause of the Bensalem fire, not arcing and not the wires, per the Bensalem Fire Marshal.”

A full account by Skyvision Solutions can be read here.

Pennsylvania’s utility company PECO halted Smart Meter installation in August 2012 because of meters overheating and catching fire. They were using Sensus Smart Meters, Elster, and L + G at the time. There was a state investigation. Sensus Smart Meters were declared safe, but PECO began replacing all Sensus meters with Landis + Gyr Smart Meters.

Change in manufacturer makes no difference.

A Landis + Gyr Smart Meter in Ontario, Canada flew off an apartment building and caught fire.

The fire that killed Larry Nikkel in California was started by a Landis + Gyr Smart Meter.

Pacific Gas and Electric uses Landis + Gyr.

The EMF Safety Network has maintained an extensive list of Smart Meter fires, explosions, and electrical damage.

California and the West are facing a terrible drought. Most places are tinder dry.

A Smart Meter fire in a dry, forested region would become a catastrophe quickly, affecting many homes and residents.

Having Smart Meters on homes and businesses is a terrible risk for every community.

If you think that our governments, utilities, and fire departments have our families’ safety as their first priority, think again.   It’s up to us to protect the safety and health of our families, and that means doing whatever is necessary to get these meters off your home and out of your community.

Posted in Changing a Meter, Fires, PG&E | 1 Comment

Smart Meter Scourge Targets UK with Propaganda

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This analog meter installed inside a home in Bristol, UK, is fitted with a coin activated pre-pay meter, an attempt by utilities to avoid students moving out and not paying their bills.  Meters in the UK are typically located inside the home, providing a practical advantage to resist smart meters- just don’t answer the door.

Smart meters are now being installed in the UK haphazardly, house by house without the regimented deployments that have riled neighborhoods in the US, Canada, and Australia.  The UK government has delayed the systematic roll-out of smart meters but still claim they will be in every home in the UK by 2020 (though of course they have no legal mandate to force them on private property as elsewhere).  The UK government claims that the meters are voluntary but Big Energy is duping customers into believing that they are mandatory.

Energy companies are keen to avoid the kind of public relations disasters that have engulfed and derailed smart meter programs elsewhere, planting misleading propaganda into British newspapers, and trying to make the public believe these stupid things are really necessary.  Serious doubts have been raised by our UK counterpart StopSmartMeters.Org.Uk at the parliamentary level about the wisdom of such a scheme. (see video below).  Shortly after SSM UK’s testimony, the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change announced a yearlong delay in the program.  A detailed report on the UK’s smart metering scheme that includes opposition testimony can be found in pdf form here.

It’s not that British energy companies are so much kinder and gentler than in the US.  It’s that they know if they behave like thugs and disconnect people who have paid their bills, the British public will simply not tolerate it.   People in the UK are aghast when I tell them that the local power company in the US cut off our family even though we pay our bills.   They shake their head and say it could never happen in England.  People just wouldn’t allow it.

Perhaps this community spirit is left over from the blitz in WWII where Londoners had to hide in Underground stations to avoid German bombs.   The National Health Service (NHS) emerged from this trauma and the British would not tolerate its loss (though an ill-advised privatization scheme is being hotly debated, and ushered in through the back door at the moment).

Energy companies have been targeting low income families around the UK for smart meter deployment, according to Mike Mitcham of SSM UK.  Being able to remotely disconnect these households is one major benefit to the utilities.  Energy companies are also promoting “smart” meters as a solution to energy poverty – a little like promoting high interest loans as a solution to debt.

The grassroots movement against smart meters in the UK and elsewhere continues to grow.  Walking around London I have seen SSM UK posters in people’s windows, so it is clear the word is getting out.   Can the utility companies sneak these radiating spy meters into people’s homes before they grasp what is at stake?  It remains to be seen.   Bottom line here is that if communities get aware, then organize and refuse, we have the power to take on even the biggest corporations.  We just have to believe in- and take back- our own power.

Posted in Britain, Changing a Meter, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, Democracy, Smart Grid | 4 Comments