Mr. Fletcher's amusing attack on the federal and provincial Green Parties' opposition to BC Hydro's controversial 'Smart Meter' project based on the health hazards wireless technology pose missed its mark, if he hoped to put to rest growing safety concerns.
The counter argument comes from Dr. Devra Davis, the president of the Environmental Health Trust of San Francisco and London, England. While not wearing her tin-foil hat, Dr. Davis found time to get a few University degrees, her doctorate in public health being just one, write a few books on cancer research, and share a Nobel Prize, among other things. She also contributed to the World Health Organization, the body whose findings on radio frequency dangers Tom ridicules, equating their citing of a 2B cancer classification to the hazards posed by "pickled vegetables." Ho ho.
I recommend your readers, and at least one of your writers, check Dr. Davis' work, published in this instance as 'More Inconvenient Truths About Cell Phone Radiation' at the Huffington Post, before accepting Tom Fletcher's "static" on the issue.
What's left out of Tom's opinion piece, and what intrigues me about the Hydro scheme, is: How can we suddenly afford to chuck close to a billion dollars (if you believe Hydro's press releases) at this project; and how come there has been "zero" oversight, the BC Utilities Commission being entirely cut out of its mandated watchdog role?
Tom Fletcher is correct. The 2009 BC Greens platform had a timeline that included smart metering by 2012. We did not recommend wireless meters because, as Fletcher mentioned, we have precautionary policy on EMF radiation.
Our policy was revised in 2010. The initiatives we wanted implemented prior to new meters – feed-in tariffs, time-of-day pricing and regional management boards – were not in progress at the end of 2009 so that the timeline for smart metering was eliminated.
Without being tied to substantial energy conservation, BC Hydro’s smart meter program is simply a different and more expensive way to collect data. A billion dollars invested in conservation and energy retrofits, diversifying to renewable energy or any number of priorities should precede changing meters.
Fletcher may dismiss health concerns associated with Wi-Fi but people have a right to feel safe and healthy in their own homes. Those who chose not to use wireless technology should not be forced to do so.
As I said at the news conference, wireless smart meters are a technological solution looking for a problem. With shrewd marketing, the companies that developed wireless smart meters have become wealthy with sole-source contracts from government after government. At some point, given deficits and debt load, we will need to reverse the decision-making process so that long-term plans actually precede implementation of new technology.
Other jurisdictions are putting moratoriums on or cancelling the installation of smart meters. We are recommending BC Hydro listen to valid privacy, security and health concerns and change course.
Jane Sterk, Leader
Editor: RE: Smart Meter Concerns Raised at Local Council.
As leader of the Green Party of BC today I called for
BC Hydro to halt installation of ‘smart meters’ until a proper energy
plan for BC is developed (http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/
The BC Greens have the support of Elizabeth May, Federal MP for Saanich, “The Green Party of Canada, through a resolution of our entire membership, has called for the current inadequate Health Canada regulations to be upgraded to the equivalent of the EMF regulations in Germany,” says May.
So while the Green Party is willing to explore the potential dangers of wireless technologies, paramount is a proper energy plan for BC. We need feed-in-tariffs, time of day pricing, incentives for conservation, and a distributed grid. A cost benefit analysis needs to be presented to the public. Before we blanket install any new technology, a real plan must be put to the regulator and the people of BC.