By Sudi Scull
May is Electromagnetic Radiation Awareness Month. In observance of this I would like to take this opportunity to share my story about living with hypersensitivity (EHS) and the dangers presented by SMART Meter technology and the “smart” grid. For those who don’t know, “SMART” METERS are wireless utility meters that emit strong radiofrequency (RF) pulses. This is the same type of radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices.
You may think of those of us with electromagnetic sensitivity as freaks, a fringe group, or at best an anomaly. But we are the canary in the coal mine. What does that actually mean? For coal miners it meant the difference between life and death – if the yellow bird they kept caged in the mine with them keeled over, miners knew to get above ground post haste to escape the invisible poisonous gases that had killed the bird before miners could detect its presence. You should welcome us. We sound the bell. We are the harbingers, warning of a dark future to come so that you, and we, can stop this technological trajectory, this “Smart” Meter travesty. The “Smart” Meter is the atomic bomb of RF radiation. They emit high, sharply spiked pulses of microwave RF radiation every 1-2 minutes. Electrical engineers have taken readings of these meters and believe the radiation is 1000 times stronger than a cell phone. That is equivalent to 17 hours of cell phone use a day, for each meter! Businesses, office buildings, and apartment buildings will have large clusters mounted close together. But PG&E continues to claim these meters are safe. There is no transparency, just an awful rush to install the meters no matter how many people protest and how loudly.
We must listen to what more and more scientists are saying, even if – especially if – it is an inconvenient truth. Money has become paramount. Due to what psychologists call loss aversion, the prospect of financial loss has silently, stealthily become more important than human life.
I recently designed a large sign, a statue of liberty with a “Smart” Meter face and RF radiation coming out of its torch. I also painted a flag with “Smart” Meters for the stars. Both the statue of liberty and our flag have been symbols and beacons of freedom, safety, protection and choice. But the “Smart” Meters being forced on the population all around the country make us sick and violate our constitutional rights to privacy and private property. As ex-commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission Loretta Lynch stated, “It’s all about money”. The “smart” grid is a green hoax. A hallmark of addiction is a rampant, out-of-control, I-can-do-whatever-I-want quality in order to get the next fix. PG&E’s addiction to money and power has escalated to an all-time high. Some time ago, PG&E called an unexpected Sunday meeting and told its workers, and I quote, to “ruthlessly install Smart Meters.” They spend rate-payer hiked money on slick, full-color ads and thick glossy mailers to convince us that “smart” technology is better for our wallets and our environment.
According to scientists speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, human induced electromagnetic fields (EMFs) pose a greater threat to the environment than global warming. Rigorous studies conclusively show that large populations of bats, bees, migratory birds, urban birds, dolphins, whales and other wildlife are being destroyed by RF radiation. They rely on earth’s magnetic “superhighways” to navigate their way to feeding and mating grounds. RF radiation, like pesticides, knows no boundaries.
In 1998 the CA Department of Health took a comprehensive survey and found 120,000 Californians could not work due to electromagnetic sensitivity. Well, I am sure that, like me, they soon will have no place to live comfortably – let alone work. Due to symptoms such as chronic migraines, ringing and pressure in my ears that becomes stabbing pain in my neck and shoulders, insomnia, increased neuropathy, and nausea, I live with most of my electricity turned off. When I go to the beach or hike far away from EMFs and RF radiation, my symptoms quickly subside.
In 1990 the EPA listed EMF as a probable carcinogen, but the utility companies, telecommunications industry, and military bullied them out of the designation. In 2008, Obama’s cancer panel definitively named EMF as a carcinogen. All of the in-depth scientific evidence is stacked against RF radiation; studies show that it dangerously opens up the blood barrier to the brain, dramatically lowers male sperm count, and causes DNA strands to break apart, leading to cell mutation and cancer. We live in ever increasing fields of electrosmog pollution and cumulatively this puts all of us at risk, not just those of us with EHS.
We are being treated like rats in a large, untested mandatory experiment. We are “Smart” Meter refugees, and we have nowhere to go. We live with our electricity turned off or half turned off. We live in half our houses. We sleep in tents in our backyard. We live in our cars. We drive 50 miles to sleep at a relative’s house. We live in exile. This is all in the service of the “smart” grid. History and philosophers all remind us that the end does not justify the means. But somehow, the questionable environmental merits of the “smart” grid justify making healthy people sick and disregarding the democratic process.