boy, this pebble's getting bigger as it rolls down the snowy slope.. but yeah, I'll take door #2 (highly preferable).
PG&E to defy Fairfax wireless meter ban
A power struggle is shaping up between Fairfax and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which announced it will resume installing so-called “smart” meters despite a renewed ban imposed by the Town Council.
PG&E has decided to resume installation beginning with 16 customers it says have expressed an interest in getting the meters.
Deanna Contreras, a PG&E spokeswoman, said PG&E sent the customers a letter giving them 30 days notice of its intentions, which they should have received in mid-January.
“We want our customers to know they have a choice; they can opt out,” Contreras said.
She said the first installations should begin within the next couple of weeks.
“This is the just the first wave,” Contreras said.
The new meters are electronic monitoring devices that continuously measure the electricity and natural gas use at households and businesses and relay data to the utility. The goal is to enable power companies to better understand patterns of power consumption throughout the day so they can adjust power generation accordingly.
Critics have raised questions about health risks from the wireless meters and other concerns, such as the potential for invasion of privacy from the hacking of the wireless component of the system.
The Town Council is not acquiescing to PG&E’s plans. On Wednesday, the council voted unanimously to renew its ban on wireless meters, which was scheduled to expire in March, for another three years. The council also authorized Councilwoman Barbara Coler to write a letter to PG&E CEO Anthony Earley.
“The purpose of the letter is to tell PG&E that, No. 1, our moratorium still remains in effect,” Coler said. “By violating our moratorium, they’re potentially subject to code enforcement.”
PG&E halted installation of the wireless meters in Fairfax and Sebastopol after both municipalities passed ordinances prohibiting them. Fairfax passed its ordinance in 2010. Sebastopol adopted its ban in 2013.
PG&E intends to replace all analog meters in Fairfax and Sebastopol with wireless meters, unless customers officially opt-out.
Contreras said over the next two years, PG&E will seek to convert 6,680 analog meters belonging to some 3,550 customers in Fairfax. Each customer will receive a pre-installation letter 30 days ahead of when their change is expected to occur.
PG&E installed approximately 426 wireless meters in Fairfax for some 210 customers before it responded to pressure to stop. Currently, 218 customers in Fairfax have chosen to participate in the wireless meter opt-out program.
Most customers who opted out will be required to pay a one-time $75 fee and an ongoing monthly charge of $10. Low-income customers pay an initial fee of $10 and a monthly charge of $5.
Coler said a townwide ban is necessary because even if some residents want wireless meters there could be a potential health effect for their neighbors. Some people have attributed migraines, nausea and other health issues to exposure to wireless meters.
In 2011, when the debate over smart meters was raging, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, whose district includes Marin, sought expert advice on the health issue. The California Council on Science and Technology concluded that federal safety standards governing wireless meters are adequate to protect the public from the known effects of radio frequency waves, but added that there had been insufficient research to determine if other health effects exist.
In a statement announcing its intention to resume wireless meter installations in Fairfax and Sebastopol, PG&E said the reason it is acting now is that all appeals and litigation over the matter have been denied.
Coler said that is untrue. She said a request for a rehearing on wireless meters is still pending with the California Public Utilities Commission, and said she will stress that fact in her letter to PG&E.
“By just going ahead with their program, they’re basically rendering something mute that hasn’t been decided by the CPUC,” Coler said. “I hope PG&E takes a pause and realizes we do mean business.”
Sandra Maurer of Sebastopol, director of the EMF Safety Network, which has a rehearing request pending at the CPUC, said, “We did not get a fair hearing. There were many ex parte violations and back-door dealings with PG&E.”
In early 2015, some 65,000 emails released by the CPUC showed that former CPUC President Michael Peevey, who retired in 2014, communicated with PG&E managers improperly on a range of issues. Maurer said wireless meters was one of the issues.
“I researched them,” Maurer said. “I wrote a paper on it.”
On July 2, 2010, Brian Cherry, then vice president of regulatory affairs for PG&E, wrote in an email that Peevey was grumbling about efforts to delay wireless meter implementation. Cherry wrote, “(Peevey) implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.”
In a Sept. 3, 2010, email, Peevey wrote to Cherry, “If it were my decision I would let anyone who wants to keep their old meter keep it, if they claim they suffer from EMF and/or related electronic-related illnesses and they can produce a doctor’s letter saying so (or expressing concern about the likelihood of suffering same). I would institute such a policy quietly and solely on an individual basis. There really are people who feel pain, etc., related to EMF, etc., and rather than have them becoming hysterical, etc., I would quietly leave them alone.”
Sebastopol’s city council, however, appears unconcerned about the prospect of wireless meter installation resuming there.
“There has been no discussion by the council whatsoever,” Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said he suspended enforcement of Sebastopol’s wireless meter ban within days of its enactment after PG&E threatened to sue the city, and the city received a chastising letter from the CPUC.
McLaughlin said the CPUC didn’t threaten to take action, “but it was kind of implicit that we had exceeded our jurisdiction in their opinion,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said PG&E threatened to sue after a Sebastopol resident called police when a PG&E contractor attempted to install a smart meter in their home.
“PG&E said they were concerned about subjecting their contractors and employees to such confrontations,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said he and Sebastopol’s police chief met with PG&E representatives at that time. Sebastopol decided to suspend enforcement of its ban on wireless meters, and PG&E agreed to suspend installation of residential wireless meters in Sebastopol for an indefinite period of time.
McLaughlin said a small group of residents has requested that the council begin enforcing its ban, but McLaughlin, who opposed the ban from the first, said, “I don’t believe it is any more legal now than it was when it was adopted.”
Contreras said PG&E has completed its installation of wireless meters throughout Marin. So far, about 3 percent of PG&E’s residential customers in Marin, some 3,840 homes have chosen to pay extra to keep their analog meters, Contreras said. She said that throughout PG&E’s service territory, 54,000 customers have opted out of wireless meter installation.
Today the town of Fairfax sent the attached letter to PG&E asking then to "cease the impending roll-out of SmartMeter installations in Fairfax.”
Fairfax writes, “By PG&E’s actions to proceed with the SmartMeter program in Fairfax, in essence, PG&E is effectively attempting to render the CPUC rehearing review process moot. Furthermore, by continuing forward on installations, PG&E will be in violation of the Town of Fairfax’s Ordinance and would therefore be potentially subject to Code Enforcement Violations.”
oh, just wait. If smartmeters worry you, check this out:
Devices can be charged anywhere in the room thanks to wireless power transmission
Ok, NOW I have a problem with this one. Tiny RF signals are one thing, but this is just irresponsible and frankly a convenience for lazy-ass people with 'disposable income'. Some tech is just there because they can, not because it's really needed.
Trivia for the week:
there's an entertaining take on this issue in Robert Heinlein's short story Waldo. I haven't read it in decades, but IIRC there's a tinfoil-hat wearing guy who is concerned about the power being broadcast over the airwaves to power everything, even flying cars. This from an writer/engineer who was far from tech-averse! The story also was credited with giving the colloquial name 'waldoes' to robotic-hand manipulators like they use in handling dangerous materials.
This is an excellent 8 minute testimony by Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck on the vulnerabilities of smart meters. He has a highly technical background in aerospace and talks about cybersecurity and other risks of smart meters.
Sen. Colbeck offers testimony on need for smart meter opt-out
You may be surprised, but I agree that the possibility of cutting off power is indeed the biggest threat of smart meters; Ostensively the reason for smart electric meters was to save money on reading meters (just as they do on gas meters). The RF concern is really nonsense. But the fact that some smart meters can allow remote cutoff is a real (though small) risk. In West County the risk of a cut-off of electricity from a tree branch is maybe 1000 times higher, but for the consumer there is no benefit to having cut-off ability in the meter. It is solely for the benefit of the utility, to coerce people to pay their bills and allow a cut-off threat without cost to the utility. And a hacked system, or more likely a disgruntled employee, could cause a lot of havoc. So, reason number 1 (possibility of cutting off power) is pretty valid.
Reason no. 2 is recent causes of fire. Likely also legit, not because of the smart meter but because of any change in the meter (analog to analog, for example) is an opportunity to have a poor connection and a failure.
Reason 3 against is that you might pay more: this is a little problematic as the reason is as old analog meters wear, they record lower use than actual. It's nice to get the "old meter discount" and I'm all for it, but it is not exactly fair.
Reason 4, RF, is utter nonsense. but Pruitt doesn't believe in CO2, you can believe in EMF, and I don't get free Sonic in Sebastopol. tough for me.
Last edited by Barry; 03-10-2017 at 11:28 AM.
Would you mind presenting the facts behind your allegation? Otherwise, I'm going to reluctantly assume you are talking through your hat . . . or someone else's. Over the past several years, Sandi has presented links to the science that continues to trend ever more strongly towards concern for the biological effects of RF fields. If you were to present an argument, for example, about why you consider the research showing biological effects of RF fields to be invalid, or why the fields created by SmartMeters are below the threshhold of biological effect, I'd be interested to consider it.
I hope you don't think "the research" approaches any kind of consensus. Sandi's done a good job of finding research that calls the safety into doubt. Not to claim equivalence, but maybe similarity, there's also research showing global warming isn't driven by C02 or human behavior, and that vaccines are dangerous. Pretty good consensus on those subjects, though. And there's a lot of research about EMF that shows no effect. Sure, it took a long time for Lyme disease to be taken seriously, radiation researchers took a long time to discover its dangers, and thalidomide's dangers also weren't immediately evident.
So Sandi's position deserves respect, (I wouldn't call it nonsense, for example) but only as a personal one - her evidence by itself doesn't compel anyone to reach the same conclusions. The reasons given for why it's not accepted are too often the same as any conspiracy theory, relying on claimed mendacity of those whose research leads them to other conclusions. If indeed it turns out that EMF is a real danger, it'll be recognized after the balance of research supports that conclusion. Otherwise you're just forcing people to live by the precautionary principle, which many don't see the need to do.
Last edited by Barry; 03-12-2017 at 11:40 AM.
ok, put all this EMF info, and all the thread on controlling people - can't recall and leaving asap - in the context of documents shown in this interview by deborah tavares, who i've known for many years here in sonoma county, and see if it doesn't make sense in the grand perspective planned and executed by those who plan and execute the show:
Indeed, I have presented many examples of such, and I will again. Start with WHO (alright, lots of right-wingers believe WHO is a communist front, but still ...)
which says (top 6 points):
Next we go to US government National Cancer Institute:
- A wide range of environmental influences causes biological effects. 'Biological effect' does not equal 'health hazard'. Special research is needed to identify and measure health hazards.
- At low frequencies, external electric and magnetic fields induce small circulating currents within the body. In virtually all ordinary environments, the levels of induced currents inside the body are too small to produce obvious effects.
- The main effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is heating of body tissues.
- There is no doubt that short-term exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can be harmful to health. Current public concern focuses on possible long-term health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below those required to trigger acute biological responses.
- WHO's International EMF Project was launched to provide scientifically sound and objective answers to public concerns about possible hazards of low level electromagnetic fields.
- Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.
"Digital electric and gas meters, also known as “smart meters.” These devices, which operate at about the same radiofrequencies as cell phones, transmit information on consumption of electricity or gas to utility companies. Smart meters produce very low level fields that sometimes cannot be distinguished from the total background radiofrequency radiation levels inside a home (8)."
But I would agree the term "utter nonsense" was inartful: a better term would have been "utterly irrational" as in: Given all the risks we have in our lives, if there were any benefit at all, no matter how small, to having a smart meter, the risk from RF exposure is so low as to assign it importance doesn't make rational sense. Nonsense (as in not making any sensible argument) has essentially the same denotation, but not the same connotation.
Or a direct fact: Smart meters transmit RF ISM band (not the same but close to cell phones) at 1 watt under part 15 FCC code. It is most reasonable to presume the majority of the power transmits away from the house due to the shielding of the Main Panel, so presume 1/10 into the house, would generate a field strength of something like 3 microwatt/cm^2 at 3.3 feet (1 meter for easy computation) away in the house ( (1W/10)/(Pi*100cm^2)). And the time density is something like 1 minute per day (4.5 msec/message*10,000 messages/per day on average) so very low time exposure. This is so much below the levels from cellphones, cellphone towers, baby monitors that it should not add in to the computations on total EMF exposure. Unless, you believe that the EMF effects don't follow dose-response modality.
So worry about the important part of smart meters: cutting off power to your house when it should not be.
The WHO lists non-ionizing radiation [ie: cell phones, wi-fi, smart meters etc] as a cancer risk.
Excerpts from (emphasis mine) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/
Cancer Fact sheet
Updated February 2017
• Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases in 2012.
• The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.
• The economic impact of cancer is significant and is increasing. The total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.16 trillion4.
Reducing the cancer burden
Between 30–50% of cancers can currently be prevented. This can be accomplished by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies.
Modify and avoid risk factors
Modifying or avoiding key risk factors can significantly reduce the burden of cancer. These risk factors include:
• tobacco use including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
• being overweight or obese
• unhealthy diet with low fruit and vegetable intake
• lack of physical activity
• alcohol use
• sexually transmitted HPV-infection
• infection by hepatitis or other carcinogenic infections
• ionizing and non-ionizing radiation
• urban air pollution
• indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.
And apparently careful editing is yours too. I reviewed your link and found JUST BELOW the prevention recommendations:
Pursue prevention strategiesTo prevent cancer, people may:
Only two very specific mentions for radiation; neither related to cell phones, smart meters, etc.
- increase avoidance of the risk factors listed above;
- vaccinate against HPV and hepatitis B virus;
- control occupational hazards;
- reduce exposure to non-ionizing radiation by sunlight (ultraviolet light);
- reduce exposure to ionizing radiation (occupational or medical diagnostic imaging).
So, while I agree with you that WHO lists non-ionizing radiation as possible carcinogen, they also say there is no evidence to show the levels we speak about cause any harmful effects (the link I provided above). Walking across the street is likely 100's or 1000's of time more dangerous (sunlight, plus pollution; yes plus cell phones, but from distracted drivers texting; not RF effects) . Having PGE remotely cut the power off so at night you trip and fall is a much more reasonable causal link to smart meters than any effect from RF radiation. I keep speaking of reasonableness and rationally looking at the risk of Smart meters; that is where the focus should be.
You cut it off in a weird spot -- what about:
- being overweight or obese
- lack of physical activity
- alcohol use
Really? Avoid these too? You need to be/do the opposite of all the above? at what cost???
Surely these aren't absolutes - they're risk factors and how risky they are is still a subject of (that word again) research. Though I'd give up smart-meters before beer if I had to choose.
No editing. For "emphasis" I increased the font size-of "non ionizing radiation". That's it. This was excerpted, not the whole page. Fact is the WHO included non-ionizing radiation- which is cell phones, wi-fi, smart meters. cell towers.
Let's be precise. The referenced web page referred to radiation in three places:
"What causes cancer...physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation"
"Modify and avoid risk factors...ionizing and non-ionizing radiation"
"Pursue prevention strategies...reduce exposure to non-ionizing radiation by sunlight (ultraviolet light)"
While it's true that RF as you reference is non-ionizing radiation. It also seems clear that they're referring to UV. The energy level of UV is quite high and overlaps into ionizing radiation.
It is well known that UV causes damage to cells and DNA. However, compared to microwave RF as used by wifi, etc., UV energy is roughly 1,000,000 times higher. They are not the same thing.
Put another way... let's compare mammals to non-ionizing radiation. An elephant stepping on my toe will damage my toe. An elephant weighs roughly 1,000,000 times more than a mouse. Elephants and mice are both mammals. Should I be concerned about mice stepping on my toe?
This taken directly from the WHO fact sheet directed by the link in your message:
"Pursue prevention strategies
To prevent cancer, people may:
It specifically lists non-ionizing radiation from ultra violet light and says nothing about cell phones, wifi, smart meters, etc.
- increase avoidance of the risk factors listed above;
- vaccinate against HPV and hepatitis B virus;
- control occupational hazards;
- reduce exposure to non-ionizing radiation by sunlight (ultraviolet light);
- reduce exposure to ionizing radiation (occupational or medical diagnostic imaging)."
Last edited by Barry; 03-15-2017 at 10:06 AM.
True they don't name cell phones etc, and they do name sunlight in a later section, but that doesn't mean they only mean sunlight. True, it's not clear. In another arm of the WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (at the World Health Organization) classified non-ionizing radiation as a 2B (possible) human carcinogen in 2011. (http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/p...fs/pr208_E.pdf) This was based on cell phone studies.
The $25-million multi-year study by The National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health found a statistically significant increase in malignant brain cancers (glioma), as well as benign nerve tumors (schwannomas) of the heart from non-ionizing radiation exposure -cell phone frequencies. (http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/are...nes/index.html).
Why these studies are important: There’s a lot of misinformation from PG&E about how their smart meters work. When PG&E was deploying smart meters in 2010 they compared the radiation of smart meters to cell phones, and the CPUC said the same thing. Here is a comparison of a survey and a peer reviewed published study done on smart meters. The results of the study: The most frequently reported symptoms from exposure to smart meters were (1) insomnia, (2) headaches, (3) tinnitus, (4) fatigue, (5) cognitive disturbances, (6) dysesthesias (abnormal sensation), and (7) dizziness. The effects of these symptoms on people’s lives were significant.
see Symptoms after Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation
Last edited by Barry; 03-16-2017 at 11:25 AM.
The last time that I saw Deborah Tavares she was reading a letter to the Sebastopol City Council by the chairwoman of the Richmond City Council, Javanka Beckles, which urged other city councils to take seriously the claims that residents were experiencing serious mind and body affects from EM fields which were directed at them. Shortly after that Deborah was hit with a lawsuit and stopped her activism. Her last words to me were about extreme targeting.
But back to the subject of this thread. If you click on the PDF in the middle of this link, you'll find a good scientific explanation of how EM fields affect the human body http://emfsafetynetwork.org/harvard-...wi-fi-hazards/
And now there's this for debate
Since it is you who has issues with our boycotting CVS and our view on 'smart' (sic) meters, perhaps you ought to leave here for somewhere you fit better and like the people more. I daresay you'll not be missed.
Jude, on behalf of myself, "stupid Sebastopol" and the rest of progressive, activist West Sonoma County
Last edited by Barry; Yesterday at 12:12 PM.
OK, here we have the revelation from the horse's mouth: admission of the REAL reason for the hard, universal push for 'smart' (sic) meters. Wake up, America. Jude
Global Data Firm: “We Help Utilities Surveil and Profile Their Customers, and Monetize Home Surveillance Data”
March 25, 2017 by Josh del Sol
In one fell swoop, every utility’s claim of “smart meters do not spy on you” is now dissolved.
Their myth is now shattered.
In a cutesy marketing video, shown below, global data analytics company Onzo admits to helping utilities surveil and profile their customers — and sell direct surveillance access to their customers’ homes.
“We use this characterized profile to give the utility… the ability to monetize their customer data by providing a direct link to appropriate third-party organizations based on the customer’s identified character.”Watch Onzo’s rather jaw dropping 90-second marketing video:
See Jerry Day’s excellent commentary on the implications Onzo’s admission and the Internet of Things:
In a 2015 interview, a high-level NARUC director signaled the intention and scope of the agenda:
“I think the data [harvested by ‘smart’ meters] is going to be worth a lot more than the commodity that’s being consumed to generate the data.”Continues here
—Miles Keogh, Director, Research and Grants, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, 1 January 2015 (view source)
Last edited by Barry; Yesterday at 12:26 PM.