By Josh Hart MSc
As we mark Earth Day 2015 today, let’s take a moment to reflect on the real threats to life on the planet, and take a look at some of the false, undemocratic “solutions” that do far more harm than good.
The truth is that the corporate capitalist economic system is killing the Earth.
More than seven billion humans live on Earth and most of us owe our existence to cheap oil, artificial oil based fertilizers and mechanized agriculture. Continuing to depend on limited toxic substances like oil and coal is leaving us a heated, disturbed planet with few energy options. Paying lip service to this problem, while diverting billions of dollars to fanciful false solutions like the “smart grid” that only line the pockets of the very wealthy is simply a policy of genocide.
Gases emitted by industrial civilization over the past two hundred years or so are leading to a dangerous destabilization of Earth’s climate- poking angry weather dogs with sticks.
California’s drought is one of many likely and unpleasant outcomes from this relentless pumping of waste into the atmosphere. Communities go thirsty and are less resilient to these threats because of inappropriate sprawling development, further Thefueling fossil dependence. Meanwhile Big Ag’s mono crops—drenched in pesticides—get all the water they need from Governor Jerry (PG&E is my secretary- literally) Downtown Brown.
An economic system requiring infinite growth on a finite planet is destined to collapse.
Fossil fuels must be left in the ground where they belong. The fracking, drilling, burning frenzy is not only risking the future, it’s spectacularly bad business.
“Smart meters” are being promoted by Al Gore as a “solution to climate change,” though there is no evidence- even after at least 6 years of smart grid operations- that a single kilowatt-hour has ever been saved by the stupid things. Evidence suggests more power is being consumed to manufacture the meters, run the meters, and power the wireless transmitters and huge data banks set up to store and transfer your personal private data. But who’s checking? It’s only a hundred billion dollars! Mr. Gore’s support of the smart grid likely has more to do with his significant investments in companies like Silver Spring Networks than any desire to actually “save the planet.” Save the mansion more like.
The smart grid uses more energy, costs us more, emits more carbon, causes fires and deaths, and adds an intentional layer of pulsed RF electro-smog—not to mention security vulnerability— onto the existing grid.
Smart Grid is No Friend of the Earth.
Building power hungry ultra-tech pipe dreams like the “internet of things,” the “smart grid,” and so-called “smart cities” while we remain hopelessly wedded to fossil fuels is like constructing fancy glimmering new floors on the top of a skyscraper while the construction rots away the foundation below.
We risk collapse unless the focus is shifted to the essentials- with some urgency.
The deployment of the “smart grid,” an untested system that spreads RF microwave pulses across broad areas of the planet, is already resulting in serious and negative health effects to humans, other animals, and plants. This is radiation the World Health Organization says may give you cancer- and is implicated in chronic damage to the DNA, immune, endocrine, and central nervous systems. The same symptoms have now been observed from pulsed smart meter radiation exposure on opposite sides of the planet, and are linked in this report from Ron Powell.
While corporate interests ignore the warning signs, they hatch plans to exacerbate this existing damage, saturating every home, city, and the entire planet with RF radiation from billions of transmitting antennas—mounted on solar drones, balloons and satellites, making electrical silence obsolete. Now when I hold my head in pain when I have to be around wi-fi, I really start to wonder whether this is a good idea.
Have you ever been asked whether this is a good idea? Didn’t think so. Neither have I.
Appropriate technology is inherently empowering and sustainable. Safe solar and storage technologies are viable now, making utilities nervous, and offering an individual and collective path out from under monopoly control and dirty, outdated fossil technologies.
Wired and wise micro-grids that don’t belch carbon or damage DNA though wireless exposure are the future.
In an alternate 2015, where the billions that have now been spent on exploding, hazardous smart meters were instead used to de-carbonize the economy, insulate and seal homes, and provide affordable, shielded and safe solar panels, we would no longer need coal power, nuclear, or large dams that wreck the lives of rivers and communities. That kind of policy- of course- threatens the profits of the most powerful industries on the planet. And we know where that kind of proposal goes.
Technologically though, it’s all possible. And it’s not too late.
Profits over planet.
Profits over people.
Another world is possible.
Why has our energy policy gone so far off the rails? One reason is that utilities make more money by spending more money (a 10.45% interest rate of return every year). These wasteful and unnecessary expenditures of ratepayer money cost us dearly. Utility bill revenue and government grants are the great feeding troughs that utilities gorge at.
Then they foul the Earth with Carbon, EMF, and Nuclear pollution— the evil trio of ecocide.
All these problems are really one problem: a worldview that applies a mechanistic lens against a living changing world. The current failing system says we can take as much as we want from the planet- and not give back. That the planet and its sentient inhabitants exist to serve the increasing appetite of corporations. That we should rely on technology to try to fix what technology has broken. Take for example the idea (and practice) of geo-engineering- of spraying aluminum particles from aircraft or “seeding” the ocean with iron as a “solution” to climate change.
“If we can’t get a natural “system” to do what we want, we’ll just force it!
(You might want to check out the history of the US Army Corps of Engineers and waterways in the US to see where that arrogant attitude gets you.)
Defense of community rights is integral to keeping our neighborhoods- and the entire planet safe from those institutions that would despoil and ruin places and lives for profit and control. Individual rights are critical, but without the community united, we are up against powerful despots by ourselves.
Together, we are stronger. Human lives are interdependent with the lives around them.
Bicycle paths, greenbelts, and wilderness areas are critical to healthy human- as well as non-human—living communities. Many have little choice about how they travel due to a lack of a safe non-motorized travel network in their area, and remain dependent on cars. This leads to health epidemics, pollution, and greater risk to communities. Calming and reducing traffic in residential neighborhoods, and providing networks of greenways increases a community’s cohesion, enabling more effective defense of rights when those rights are threatened.
The truth is that clean water and air, and life itself was abundant beyond our wildest dreams at a time not too long ago before humans started spreading exponentially across the landscape, consuming everything in sight, and altering the makeup of the thin film of atmosphere that separates us from space. The human population needs to be voluntarily brought under control—through lower birth rates and other humane means or it will be controlled for us- the hard way. We are not outside of, or above nature. In terms of technology, it’s time to “dial it down” as EMF expert and consultant Cindy Sage recently commented during a critical KPFA interview for Project Censored.
The Earth—Nature herself— and all of us have an inalienable right to live and thrive. It’s time to re-wild the planet and admit the feral. Admit that it exists inside of us and admit it into our lives and communities.
The mainstream culture and corporate, capitalist economic system are killing the planet. Smart meters have become a symbol of this failed, corrupt system. The question posed this day and every Earth day should be— what are we going to do about it?
Stop Smart Meters! Start an Energy Revolution!
Josh Hart is the Founder and Director of StopSmartMeters.org, founded in 2010 to organize a direct action campaign to stop PG&E forcibly deploying smart meters in California. Since 2010 the campaign against smart meters has spread internationally. Stop Smart Meters! continues to provide technical assistance, materials, organizing advice, and support to hundreds of groups worldwide. Hart and his wife have been living without electricity for 14 months after their electric “cooperative” in the Sierra Nevada Mountains disconnected them for refusing to pay opt out fees. The Harts recently won their court case against PSREC, but the utility is refusing to restore power and is appealing the verdict. Stop Smart Meters! is asking supporters to donate to help cover the Hart family’s legal expenses related to this case.
Read more about Stop Smart Meters! stance on “smart grid” and the environment here.