Our allies at StopSmartMeters.Org.Uk recently presented the facts about ‘smart’ meters to the UK Parliament’s Energy Committee, and as you can see from the video above, the resulting debate became heated several times.
The first smart meter pilot programs have been launched in the UK, and widespread deployment of the technology is planned by 2019. The decision has been made not to make the meters mandatory (as utilities anywhere- despite the hype- do not have the right to install a device on private property without permission that harms your health). Though people have a choice in the UK, as we have seen, a simple ‘opt out’ does not guarantee safety, as AMI ‘mesh networks’ or AMR ‘bubble up’ smart meter systems expose people, animals, plants and insects throughout a neighborhood to involuntary, pulsed radiation. Many people are still not aware of the health risks of wireless technology in general and smart meters in particular, and without a comprehensive mass media investigation, widespread awareness is unlikely.
Therefore, as SSM UK rightly points out in their excellent testimony, we have a duty to make sure public policy reflects the latest scientific knowledge and a precautionary approach particularly where millions of lives are at stake.
StopSmartMeters.Org was contacted by the UK Parliament’s Energy Committee (the same committee that held the hearing above) in March prior to their visit to California on a smart meter fact finding mission. We spent hours organizing a special meeting between the committee, those injured by smart meters in California and officials from some of the 57 local governments who have taken a stand against the meters. We rented a meeting room at a local hotel, and made preparations to welcome our UK political representatives with tea and scones.
Then, several days before the meeting was to take place the UK consulate general contacted us and cancelled the meeting, citing schedule conflicts. Turns out the committee had the time to meet with PG&E and other pro-smart grid firms while they were in San Francisco, but not the victims of smart meter radiation, or officials opposed to the program. A subsequent offer to hold a trans-Atlantic conference call was rejected.
Now our Director Joshua Hart happens to be in London (on a previously arranged trip) to speak about smart meter risks at events in London and Dublin (details forthcoming) and we will be submitting written testimony to the committee this month. We are still awaiting the opportunity to share our perspective with the parliamentary energy committee in person, though this unfortunately seems unlikely to happen at this point. We think the committee should try to be a tad bit more balanced when they schedule their meetings regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of smart meters. And we were hoping that across the pond, the government would be fair and balanced unlike in the States. Silly us.
At least there is a public debate in the UK in advance of smart meter deployment which is more than can be said for the United States.
Stay tuned for further reports over the next few weeks as smart meter and wireless health issues heat up in the UK.
The Telegraph reports on the warnings issued by Stop Smart Meters UK:
May 10th Update: UK Smart Meter Program Delayed After Concerns Raised