1) People with pets have noticed bizarre behaviors that seem to be associated with wireless devices, such as smeters. Many have had pets become ill or have had pre-existing conditions exacerbated by exposure to increased levels of RF. I live near multiple cell and FM transmitters and many of my neighbours have had dogs get cancer at very young ages. It’s important to take precautionary measures to protect our “best friends” such as turning off electricity (at the circuit breaker) at night so that everyone can get good, sound, recuperative sleep.
“Not all pets seemed equally affected in homes with multiple pets, but most pets became anxious and unsettled, often whining/barking and not sleeping in their normal places. Some who moved away or had the meters removed reported that their pets’ behaviors normalized. One of the strangest reports involved a dog that broke free from its owner to run full speed into the side of a moving car, and a second dog (different owner) that tried to do the same thing a week later. While these behaviors don’t seem odd at first, they become so when one considers that both dogs had never behaved that way before and both incidents happened in exactly the same location. The owner of the second dog described her pet as being in a trance at the time.”
2) More than 4 years ago, the UK authorities were warned about all of the problems with smeters and the program, but did anyone really listen? And if there are reports like this in the UK, I bet there are similar warnings in Canada.
“The government was warned of the risks surrounding its controversial smart meter programme four years ago, according to a leaked internal report seen by The Register, but appears to have largely ignored those concerns.
A review of the programme from March 2012 highlights the vulnerability of smart meters to cyber-attacks, and flagged estimates that the scheme could leave the taxpayer out of pocket by £4.5bn rather than save consumers cash.
The report noted that the proposed technical model of smart meters “inserts a new third party between consumers and energy providers”.
The programme introduces a “potentially significant, security and privacy vulnerability” which “[presents] a major vector for cyber-attacks given the vulnerability of a centralised entity managing all the switching into every homes. It also introduces a central point for surveillance and privacy compromises.””
3) Just like BC, Florida’s utility companies are LEGALIZED MONOPOLIES. And we are the captive customers. And, just like in BC, Florida’s Public Utilities Commission is merely rubber-stamping whatever the companies want. BCUC is responsible for ensuring that we, BC Hydro’s and FortisBC’s customers, are treated fairly and equitably, and that we are not endangered by the utilities. BCUC is failing in both regards and it is up to us to call them on this. They MUST stand up to Hydro and Fortis because the politicians won’t.
“Few phrases in the lexicon of American politics are more brazenly undemocratic than “legalized monopoly.” The phrase conjures images of failed nation states and robber-baron America in the 1890s. Government-backed corporations abuse vital resources with impunity, hiking fees and scamming customers with glee as the government pretends things are cool.
“Taking a step back, you need to look at the regulated monopoly system,” Rodriguez says. “This hurts the environment, it hurts democracy. If you want to be upset, you should be more upset with the Public Service Commission, whose job it is to protect the public. They do anything but, and have a history of rubber-stamping anything FPL asks for…
… FPL is vomiting money at projects the public either doesn’t need, or actively hates.”
4) 3 excellent letters tonight, really thought-provoking.
Sent: November 29, 2016
I am contacting you with a complaint regarding BC Hydro. I contacted BC Hydro in March 2016 and again recently with my concerns and to date, have not had them addressed. It seems for whatever the reason, I am being ignored or stonewalled having not received responses in a timely fashion.
The matter pertains to the installation of a radio off Smart Meter on my home to replace a mechanical analog meter that is apparently ‘expiring’ at the end of this calendar year. My recent letter to BC Hydro was long and somewhat of a rant. Nonetheless, within its content my concerns remained clear. I shall be more concise in this writing with the intent of setting aside my frustration, anger, and disgust at a situation that has incessantly and relentlessly taken a toll on my peace and well being.
My concerns are primarily with the fire risk associated with this device and the resulting liability issues it presents. I requested written assurances from BC Hydro that any resulting events – now or in the future – from such an exchange were their responsibility. Surely, if there is confidence in this product there is no problem in doing so. I hold the source to account and this is a reasonable position.
It is my understanding some insurers are responding to this verbally by saying a fire event ‘should’ be covered if there is no exclusion within the policy to exempt a claim whilst refusing to put this in writing. This is not good enough. The matter of negligence and the gray of legal definition of negligence is not for me to determine. Suffice to say, consenting to placing a known pre-existing fire risk on my house is entering the gray. I shall provide an example:
Several years ago, I received notification from Maytag that my dishwasher was a fire risk. My recounting of this is several years old but I give my best recall. The numbers were not high, perhaps only single digit.
Nevertheless, I was advised to stop using it and to leave the door ajar as to break connection. It was a household inconvenience and took several weeks to resolve the exchange of the offending part by someone certified to do so but I heeded the notification. Why did I do this? The risk was presented as low so why not take my chances? Well, I did so because that was the responsible thing to do. I did not approach my insurer to ask whether I would be covered in the event my house burned down and I did not have to ask Maytag for assurances it was still safe to use the appliance. This obviously would have been ludicrous. Nor did I inquire how Maytag was made aware of the risk, how these fires were reported, whether their numbers were accurate or what prompted the notification. I simply presumed this was a Consumer Protection and in the best interests of all.
To this day, I do not run my dishwasher when I am not home and leave the door ajar when it is not in use. The risks to many things in daily life may be low but one addresses the risk and engages due diligence as best means to prevention as may be reasonably expected from an adult. Unfortunately, one cannot disconnect their power meter and only use it when needed. How does a person babysit a smart meter?
I don’t even own this smart meter that comes without CSA approval. This meter gets installed into a base/socket that is apparently my responsibility and becomes my problem if it causes harm. I am apparently dictated to accept it whether I like it or not. This meter with a lithium battery to sit to sun bake on a fully exposed west exterior wall subject to all weather conditions. This device that is unacceptable under any other circumstances.
I was approached a couple of weeks ago by AT Maintenance re this meter exchange and advised a pleasant gentlemen that I was in ongoing communication with BC Hydro regarding legitimate legal concerns and responses were not forthcoming in a timely fashion and the time lapse was not in my control so the outstanding matter at hand did not permit the exchange. I was alarmed to be told the exchange would have occurred had I not been home and that the sub-contractor had not been advised my queries with BC Hydro were not addressed and remained outstanding.
Please make sure I am not charged a ‘failed exchange fee’ for a matter that was not my remiss. Also, please confirm until my concerns are satisfactorily resolved that I will not be meeting with any ‘black boot’ approaches or threats to disconnect with a hefty $700.00 reconnect once my meter is no longer in compliance with Measurements Canada. This again is not my time frame, rather that of BC Hydro since March 2016.
I continue to await assurances that BC Hydro assumes full responsibility and accountability for this device and any consequences it presents – now or in the future. According to BC Hydro policy, it has become apparent I don’t have a choice in the matter as to acceptance of a smart meter. I would not choose this product under any circumstances yet, I am forced under looming threat to accept it.
# 1 – Please advise whether or not I do retain the right to consumer protection. If not, confirm the position of BCUC as to why this right is not applicable to this mandate and include in your response advising me when I might expect confirmation BC Hydro stands behind its product and any consequences of its installation thereby assuming responsibility and accountability for liability.
# 2 – Please advise why BC Hydro issued a recent work order for my residence while there was an ongoing investigation as to alleged conduct and why this occurred while my concerns had not been addressed, responded to and were outstanding.
# 3 – Please advise why I am not negligent to not follow sound principles by accepting a product that has not been determined to follow sound market practices required of other consumer products and must accept a known fire risk without a CSA approval for an essential that replaces a CSA approved analog meter.
# 4 – In the event my insurer would reach agreement with BC Hydro and cover a claim – from the time of installation or in the future – please advise BC Hydro would cover my deductible, loss of no claim status, and any expenses I may incur in such a case.
In the meantime, please provide assurance that I am not under threat of disconnection. In the event it is determined my queries and concerns are faulty or unreasonable, please provide explanation.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate your assistance.
Sent: November 27, 2016
To: Sharon Noble
Subject: letter to Olle Johansson
Sharon: I watched Olle’s presentation in Berlin online [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4iXdETLPZ0] and it got me thinking. This email is long but please bear with me—there are ideas here relevant to our cause. Below is my letter to Olle.
Cognitive Linguistics: How to Hook People by ‘Framing’ the Issue
I don’t know if you’re familiar with University of Berkeley cognitive linguist George Lakoff but he has had some interesting things to say about why—from a neurobiological perspective—we’re seeing such a slide back into right-wing ideologies. His handbook Don’t Think of an Elephant summarizes his research in an easily digestible form and is designed for political progressives, but the message—like your message about microwave radiation—has been slow to catch on.
The fact is that, according to Lakoff, progressives are losing because they continue to adhere to an outmoded conception of human behavioural motivations. Specifically, the Enlightenment concept that humans are “rational actors” who, if given the appropriate information or education, will make the most logical choices to protect themselves and their families. This has now been shown to be false, or only true for a small minority of the population.
Lakoff speaks of conceptual “frames” that children learn during their formative years and which condition their responses in future. So for example, the right-wing “frames” taxation as an evil, a burden, by saying, “If you elect us, we’ll lighten your tax burden,” instead of pointing out that taxes are essential to a functioning civilization, to maintain roads, bridges, sewers, schools, etc. This “framing” bypasses rational circuits in the brain and causes people to then vote against their own best interests because they’re conditioned to respond to that frame. A meme that could be used to trigger progressive frames might say instead: “My taxes support civilization.”
Lakoff wrote a masterful post-mortem of the American presidential election based on cognitive linguistics, explaining how it could happen that a dangerous fool like Trump could win.
I wonder if this is one reason why progressive activists and scientists like yourself are having such a hard time getting a critical mass of people to respond to your warnings about microwave radiation? As you said in Berlin, we now have 25,000 peer-reviewed studies, how many more do we need? Maybe we need to be employing the expertise of people like Lakoff who understand cognitive framing and how to use it to reach people.
The Psychology of Addiction
Another factor is that software programmers in Silicon Valley have been tutored in the principles of creating addiction. I had long suspected this, but in an article in the most recent issue of Atlantic Monthly magazine, titled ‘The Binge Breaker,’ it was confirmed by an insider, a young programmer named Tristan Harris. He spoke of something called the Persuasive Technology Lab run by an experimental psychologist named B.J. Fogg, which teaches programmers how to make their mobile phone ‘apps’ more ‘sexy’ and addictive. Harris is trying to convince his fellow programmers to adopt a kind of software industry Hippocratic oath, to bring ethics into the equation, because he believes people have become addicted to their iPhones. Of course, he’s working directly against the capitalist imperative of his employers to maximize profit, so it’s not an easy sell.
My point here is that we’re not only dealing with the cognitive issue of how these gadgets are framed in the public mind, as “safe,” “harmless,” etc. despite the scientific evidence. We’re also dealing with the biology and psychology of addiction. With what we know about how various brain chemicals such as endorphins respond to addictive complexes, we also know it becomes as much a physiological as a psychological issue. So once again, perhaps we need to be bringing psychologists into our campaigns—NOT to “psychologize” conditions like EHS, but to illustrate how these addictive mechanisms work in the brain. And perhaps to point out ways that we can help people break their addictions to mobile phones, iPads, and the like.
In Canada a fine attempt was made by the national advocacy group Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST) in a recent media campaign. In an attempt to persuade Health Canada to revisit and modernize their pathetic radiation exposure standards in Safety Code 6, C4ST ran ads titled ‘Moms Who Care’ with a picture of a baby in a crib, saying: “Parents, don’t expose your children to radiation from wireless baby monitors.” Though in fairness, Frank Clegg, CEO of C4ST, did say the public response to the campaign was disappointing.
Still, to reach a critical mass we may need to make such techniques as much a part of our campaigns as your impeccable scientific presentations.
And finally, I’m left with the charming image of yourself and your wife going to bed at night with your five cats! Part of “reframing” according to Lakoff is to remember: It is not you who has failed us. It is our governments, our regulatory agencies and our technology corporations.
Hope that helps you sleep.
Sent: November 30, 2016
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; Patrick.email@example.com
Cc: Greg.firstname.lastname@example.org; Jessica.email@example.com; Sharon Noble; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Urgent Complaint: B.C. Hydro Mercenaries Shaking Down Legacy Meter Customers
Dear Ms. Ross:
Yesterday I observed a BC Hydro contractor’s vehicle drive into my neighbour’s property.
She was home alone and felt intimidated by the two men who showed up in a brown pickup, unannounced, telling her they had a work order from BC Hydro to install a radio-off meter(s) at her home.
My neighbour has been paying legacy fees for her two analogue meters. She told the men she had received no advance notice that they would be coming. My understanding is that BC Hydro claims they have alerted such customers by letter – in advance – of such visits. My neighbour says she received no such letter. These men refused to provide their names or a business card identifying themselves.
I heard one of these men tell my neighbour that if she refused the installation she would be charged $65. Since she has two meters I assume this means she’ll be charged $130.
CHARGED FOR WHAT? Her position is that she received no advance notice of what she described as this intimidating, unannounced visit, despite BC Hydro’s apparent commitment of providing advance notice.
Further, she wonders why it is not BC Hydro employees doing this work. Has BC Hydro farmed out this black work to mercenaries willing to sacrifice their scruples for filthy lucre?
Damn it, you are being paid handsomely by the citizens of this province to rein in abusive behaviour by our utilities.
GET OFF YOUR POSTERIOR AND DO SOMETHING TO IMMEDIATELY INVESTIGATE/END THIS APPARENT AND ONGOING ABUSE, AND REPORT YOUR FINDINGS THROUGH THE MEDIA.
Have you no soul?
Citizens like my neighbour have very legitimate and increasingly validated concerns about the major health and privacy risks implicit in conversion to non-analogue meters. Her position is principled. I’m less certain of the motivation behind your apparently passive position on this important issue. You were not hired to simply cash your fat cheques and stand idly by… or were you?
If you would like my neighbour’s name and contact details I’m certain she’ll be happy to verify the above as she can ill-afford the wanton charge which will apparently be added to her next hydro bill.
It is telling that the fellow who first went to my neighbour’s door freaked out when he realized he was being videotaped. Clearly he was very nervous, if not ashamed, of being identified with what he was doing. If you have an IQ above room temperature you will fully understand why.
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
“You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known, and exist, before it is generally received and acted on.”
~ Ben Franklin
Sent from my safe, secure wired laptop with no wifi enabled.