Refuseniks, take heart!

I don’t doubt that BC Hydro’s bullying tactics of imposing penalties upon those who don’t knuckle under has been effective

Editor, The Times:

Re: Jan 2’s article, page A7: “Fees persuade most smart meter holdouts”

While I don’t doubt that BC Hydro’s bullying tactics of imposing penalties upon those who don’t knuckle under has been effective to some degree, I’d like to pass on what a friend in Kamloops told me of his chat with a meter reader, in response to the question of how many old meters are still out there: “Easily 50,000, probably closer to 100,000.” You won’t hear the actual numbers from BC Hydro, any more than you will get the actual facts about studies indicating health concerns from them, but do view what you read in the press with some skepticism.

Speaking of which, Tom Fletcher of the aptly named “Black Press” once again presents the dogma of BC Hydro that EMF from smart meters is “a tiny fraction of the exposure from a cellular phone”, this time attributing it to BCUC. For an accurate comparison between cell phones and smart meters, check out Daniel Hirsch (a lecturer and expert on nuclear policy at UCSC) and his take on the “Fuzzy Math” of the so-called “independent” California Council on Science and Technology: “When the chart is corrected to reflect the same units of measurement, it appears that smart meters are at least 100x more powerful than cell phones, which are increasingly being linked with brain tumors.”

Likewise, be skeptical when trusting Health Canada and the World Health Organization – research relied on by these organizations is often funded by ‘interested’ parties, such as the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation, which donated more than $446 million to WHO. (Bill Gates of Microsoft….) This and other voluntary donations have stipulations as to how they are used. Just as the funds for research on the effects of non-ionizing microwave radiation were pulled out from under Dr. Henry Lai and a major campaign was made to discredit him by Motorola, so are other studies and scientific research sometimes discredited. With government funding all but nonexistent, most scientific research is funded by private industry. “The mechanism is funding,” Lai says. “You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. The pressure is very impressive.”

Dr. Lai, frustrated by the contradictory research, conducted a study that analyzed the results of industry-funded research vs independent research on cell phone radiation. He found that 50 per cent of the 326 studies showed that radio-frequency radiation had biological effects—yet only 30 per cent of the industry-funded studies revealed that.  “How could 50 per cent all be garbage? People always start with the statement ‘Hundreds of studies have been done on this topic, and no effect has been found,’ but this is a very misleading statement. [The statements] come out from the cell phone industry, and people just use it, like the American Cancer Society. People haven’t even gone in to look at the real studies and look at the effects that people have reported.”

It seems the public must do its own research—and believe in the Precautionary Principal. To put faith in the reassurances from involved parties that have much to gain from public acquiescence is a grave mistake –no pun intended

P. Gregson

Clearwater, B.C.