Take Back Your Power
Josh del Sol
Big Pitcher Films
Smart meters are spreading across not just the United States but the world like a swarm of locusts. So, are these good locusts or bad locusts? That depends on who you listen to. On one side you have the power companies. On the other side you have just about everyone else who has studied the subject at all.
The power companies claim the meters are safe, more accurate, will save money, power, and the planet. They have spent a lot of money producing studies to support those claims. Some might suspect that the industry that stands to make a fortune from these things might be a bit biased. Some might call the studies propaganda. The power companies also claim the meters won’t compromise your privacy. . . that much. I don’t think they even pretend to have studies that can back that statement up. Logically there is no way to prove the case, and people will never stop arguing about how much compromise is acceptable. A congressional research report essentially concluded that smart meters do violate the Fourth Amendment. They constitute a persistent universal wiretap.
On the subject of safety, radiation is the big concern. The industry, once again, is not concerned. Eighty-two percent of their studies say smart meters are safe and the remaining 18 percent can safely be ignored. According to Dr. Henry Lai of the University of Washington, 70 percent of non-industry studies say smart meters are harmful. Shots of dark field microscopy show no effect on red blood cells when exposed to an old-fashioned analog power meter. The same tests show significant negative effects when red blood cells are exposed to a smart meter. Other tests have shown that any radiation above 1μW/cm2 can cause measurable physiological effects. At 6μW/cm2, DNA damage occurs. The Electrical Power Research Institute measured smart meter radiation at over 7μW/cm2. The official “safety limit” in the U.S. and Canada is from 600 to 1000μW/cm2. So when the power companies state emphatically that their meters meet the safety standards set by the government, it’s good to know those standards are so carefully considered. In some areas where smart meters have been installed, fire chiefs have seen enough fires caused by the meters to recognize them instantly.
Do they save money? Many have noticed quite the opposite. Their bills skyrocketed and when they questioned their power companies, the companies said there was nothing wrong with the meters. In fact, they were more accurate. Right. Do they save power? The numbers from already converted areas say no power is being saved.
Older analog meters have no digital interface and can’t be hacked. New digital meters definitely can be, and those new meters along with the smart grid will create that wonderful “kid in a candy store” experience for every power hacker in the world. It will be a security nightmare.
There is nothing smart about smart meters. Smart meters may be smart compared to the people who are trying to ram them down our throats, but by any more rigorous standard they are a stupid idea on every level. This is, however, a smart video and it gets a thumbs UP.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2014