Mego: Smart meters are not dangerous
By Bill Mego firstname.lastname@example.org January 3, 2012 10:38PM
Updated: February 5, 2012 8:07AM
The jury is still out on Bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to make polycarbonate, epoxy, and many other plastics. While it is known to act like a weak estrogen, disrupt thyroid function, promote prostate cancer, and damage the nervous system, we do not know whether its threat to human health is significant enough to ban the use of this valuable chemical.
The jury is still out on lawn care chemicals. Most are broad spectrum biocides, which means they are designed to kill a wide variety of plants and insects. Two-thirds of them are linked to cancer and the majority are thought to cause birth defects, nerve damage, and reproductive effects. Much to the annoyance of my neighbors, I refuse to have them sprayed on my lawn, which is why it is composed of violets, wild strawberries and ginger instead of grass. However, most people think a pretty lawn is worth it.
The jury’s still out on mercury, not the one-thousandth of a gram in the average compact fluorescent light bulb but the tons that are emitted each year by coal-fired power plants. While elemental mercury, such as the stuff in a thermometer, is not generally dangerous, once it has been converted to organic mercury by bacteria it is one of the most toxic things in our environment, damaging every organ in the body, especially the brain. However, most people think cheap electricity is worth it.
In contrast to those three things, the jury is NOT still out on radio waves. The biological effects of microwave radiation have been studied to death for decades. I have personally done extensive studies on possible genetic effects. What we know from all that study is that, while microwaves can heat tissue, below a certain level they have absolutely no effect at all. Five billion of us stick a relatively powerful microwave emitter called a cell phone in our ears every day without ill effect. In fact, what we want is 3G, 4G, OMG! We can’t get enough.
Yet smart meters, the weakest radio wave emitter in our environment, weaker than cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, games, etc., is causing what amounts to ridiculous hysteria among a group of Naperville people. They have petitioned to place an advisory referendum on the ballot this spring and, when a man filed a well-researched objection to that petition, filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent the city from installing smart meters.
What that made me realize is that the city made a big mistake when they offered to let some people have a smart meter that didn’t contain a radio transmitter. They might as well have given them a roll of tin foil with which to wrap their heads because it implies that their protests have a possible basis in fact, when they don’t.
There’s no such thing as dirty electricity. A smart meter can’t tell what channel you’re watching on TV, etc.
By law, the city can’t turn off your electricity when it wants to because you have a contractual relationship with them. And the elaborate electronic security provisions that prevent hacking and illegal disclosure of customer data are more than adequate.
In fact, people should be praising Allan Poole and his former department for doing such a professional job creating a $360 million smart grid, and being so far ahead that they won us $11 million in grant money. The “Naperville Model” of smart grid roll out is setting the standard. But Naperville people got their reputation for being thoughtless, rude, unreasonable, and completely self-centered because we always accommodate nastiness. Well, my New Year’s resolution is not to do that any more.
Anyone want to join me?