(Long post warning)
Just the other day I answered the door to a Hydro One employee who seemed to be quite enjoying the cold crispness of the winter morning, he greeted me with enthusiasm, "Good morning, I'm from Hydro One and I'm here to install your smart meter...", to which I quickly replied, "I actually don't want the meter installed, I have some concerns about the embedded WiFi". He hardly hesitates, "Oh, okay, you have some questions about the meter than (writes on pad), you know that all homes and businesses will be outfitted by the end of 2010?", I nodded partially to communicate that I understood and partially to send him on his way. He got in his truck, smart meter in hand, wrote some more stuff down and was gone.
All premises that use electricity through the grid in Ontario, as ordained by the provincial government, will be retrofitted with WiFi capable smart meters that will emit a 2.4 Ghz signal all day and all night in order that once or twice a month the information can be gathered for billing purposes. The unit will transmit ALL the time in order to provide energy usage numbers which will be accessed once or twice a month. The unit will also be upgradeable, which means that smart thermostats which are currently optional can be attached which would give the utility the ability to shut off air conditioning at any time (I don't use air conditioning) and even adjust thermostat settings remotely (I heat with wood). These meters are being hailed as an infrastructural enhancement that will in future provide access to the internet anywhere in the province. It seems that Rogers and Hydro One, virtual monopolies in their own right, have teamed up in this mega venture to bring sustainable, environmentally responsible enhanced networks, which translated reads more like greater control of the consumer through a radiation inducing feedback system which delivers a monopoly on energy and information service. This venture is a holy trinity for the Hardware team.
In my post 'Wifi a Weapon in Disguise' I argue the point that WiFi is not just a health hazard that's been overlooked but an actual weapon. I will take it further and call it an attempt to intentionally radiate the population in order to induce lethargy, malaise and general ill health. And now the battle against radiation has come knocking on my door. It was not enough that cell masts abound in the general area in which I live, or that most homes have willingly 'upgraded to wireless', or that most city centers are now WiFi hotspots, no this was not enough. The Province and its knowing minions have taken a further step and mandated smart meters as an act of law, wrapped it in the ideological cloth of sustainability and painted it environment green. They say the meter will reduce energy usage, that it will reduce the load on our energy infrastructure. Yet for a utility so concerned with energy wastage they seem not to be concerned with what has been called 'stray voltage', electricity that has bled from the system and has leaked into the ground and surrounding structures. The environmental/biological impacts of this type of pollution are absolutely massive and are only now beginning to surface in the awareness of certain groups. The hypocrisy in this whole situation is monumental (on a local scale).
A recent article in an industry farming journal touched on the subject of stray voltage:
Driven out of business as a result of a raft of health and behaviour problems suffered by their herd, beef producers Ross and Darlene Brindley are suing Hydro One Networks Inc. and Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) for a hefty $5 million. They claim that stray voltage from EPCOR's wind turbines not only destroyed their herd, but has also had a severe impact on their own health as well. And they are not alone.
Ross and Darlene Brindley farm with their three daughters near EPCOR's Kingsbridge 1 Wind Power Project northeast of Goderich. A statement of claim filed Oct. 15 in the Superior Court of Justice in Goderich, said that their cattle exhibited aggressive and erratic behaviour, "including the kicking of newborn calves, prolapsed birthing, weight loss, decline in fertility, a high incidence of mastitis, calves being deformed at birth and a high incidence of stillbirths."
Their suit goes on to say that "the plaintiffs state that the difficulties…did not exist in any similar fashion or degree prior to the onset of the wind farm becoming operational" in the spring of 2006. "Hydro One and EPCOR lines are located within
50 meters of the plaintiff's premises and residence."
The statement of claim says that the health of both the plaintiffs and the livestock were affected after the EPCOR turbines came on line. The plaintiffs cited "nausea, visual difficulties, unexplained loss of consciousness, skin rashes, headaches, eating and digestive difficulties, and difficulty in focus and concentration." Chatham lawyer Mark Michael Mackew says that the Brindleys have decided not to comment further at this time. "The family is in a state of flux right now" and "Ross's health is in question. I just hope Ross gets better," Mackew says.
'Unseen but measurable'
David Colling is one of the few people who test for electrical pollution in Ontario and he says, "I'm swamped." Colling was a dairy farmer for 27 years before joining Bio-Ag Consultants and Distributors Inc. as a dealer. He troubleshoots on farms with cow health and production problems.
In 2005, Colling, who studied electrical engineering at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in the mid-1970s, went to Wisconsin to learn how to evaluate farms for different types of electrical pollution. Colling had experience with stray voltage from his own farming experience and is now "inundated with calls" from people who are having problems in both the barn and the house. "Electrical pollution" is a term used around the world to "describe many of the phenomena surrounding unseen but measurable forms of electricity," says Colling.
"It is caused by 21st century technology operating on 19th century electrical utility distribution lines." The primary neutral lines are not big enough to handle the returning current and, as a result, it goes through the ground.
"When you build a new barn, you sometimes become the biggest ground on the system," Colling adds. "Ground current and contact current" are usually referred to as "stray voltage," which occurs when electrical currents running through the ground affect livestock in barns. Colling points a finger at many energy-efficient devices, including variable speed motors which operate on short electrical pulses instead of continuous current and cause problems because the distribution system was not designed to handle this.
Part of the problem with electrical pollution is that it is difficult to find reliable help to deal with it in Ontario. Farmers interviewed for this piece, who ask for help, say they are often labelled as "poor managers" and their problems are brushed aside. Fifth generation farmers Merton and Jodilyn Albright have milked cows for over 20 years near St. Eugene, east of Ottawa. Five years ago, they expanded to milk 80 cows and built an addition to their barn. Then their "world came crashing down," says Jodilyn.
"We thought were doing something good…we thought we were progressing," says Jodilyn. However, as soon as the cows were moved into the new addition, it was obvious that something was very wrong. There were reproductive problems and production dropped, but the biggest impact showed up in the mortality rate. In two and a half years, over 80 cows died on the Albright farm, more than the number in the original herd.
"It is a terrifying thing when your livelihood starts dying before your eyes," says Jodilyn. Neither testing feed nor consulting veterinarians helped. "No one wants to say 'stray voltage'," adds Jodilyn. "We spent a fortune and nothing was helping."
The Albrights looked into stray voltage and installed an Agrivolt filter. Jodilyn says that, while the filter works for some people, their problems only increased. After calls to Hydro One for more than two years about their problems, the utility company finally sent investigators. While they did detect an electrical problem, they were unable to determine where it was coming from or how to fix it.
"We, as farmers, are not creating this problem, but Hydro One and the OEB are not coming forward to help fix things," she says. They are not offering any solutions or even a "go to" expert who could help. "The onus is on us to prove where it is coming from and our hands are tied until we can find someone with definite proof," she adds.
Chatham-based consultant Barry Fraser has been part of a group which agitated for the ground current pollution bill. He hopes that changes to the way that electricity distributors deal with stray voltage issues will bring vindication for former local dairyman Lee Montgomery and his Doverholm Farm.
Recognized as a Master Breeder by Holstein Canada in 1971 for producing outstanding Holstein genetics, Montgomery says Ontario Hydro staff blamed his farm management while he fought for recognition of stray voltage. Montgomery says stray voltage has cost him at least $5 million.
Fraser says that Montgomery was forced off the farm in 1992 and the herd genetics were lost. Montgomery still owns the farm, but it is too small to be viable as another farming operation.
Electrical distributors are not subject to regulation now with regard to stray voltage. The board accepts that animal contact voltage in excess of one volt can potentially have an undue impact on livestock farm operations.
Former Kent County dairy producer Lee Montgomery, arguably Ontario's most famous stray voltage fighter, says the threshold should be 0.5 volts at the property line, then reduced 0.2 volts "at the cow contact points and possibly lower."
Currently, he says, "the utilities go by 10 volts. Ten volts can kill." The regulators, he says "have forgotten the human element in this."
The utilities, ever so troubled with energy wastage and conservation don't seem overly concerned with electricity that is fed directly into the ground, no big deal apparently. When incontrovertible evidence is brought forth that there is in fact a ground current issue with regards to farm animals a minor fix is scheduled, a 'fix' which hardly effects any change at all, since a real repair would prove too costly, requiring expensive parts from the US and all that. Additionally, claims of stray voltage reported by people in residential areas are not included in the 'stray voltage' guidelines of Hydro One, a policy decision that asserts that these residential problems do not exist.
The issue of WiFi and 'smart meters' is one that may not concern many people, though it absolutely should, and would, if people had any sense whatsoever, if they had any clue as to what long term radiation exposure really means. In Canada the statistics for cancer are staggering - 1 in 2.5 women and 1 in 2.3 men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes. The ubiquitousness of wireless technology does not somehow liberate it from reality, it does not magically make the technology OK, in fact its ubiquity makes it that much more sinister.
Here's a letter I came across, it was written by one Janice Bruyns in response to a Hydro One rep (Mr.Watts) that made some not so fact based assurances as to the safety of the new smart meters. A good letter which can be found in its entirety here. Please pay particular attention to the frequency used by the Russians to bombard the American embassy in Moscow over a certain twenty year period:
Dear Mr. Watts, Further to our very interesting conversation several days ago about Smart Meters and EMF/RF, please see the link above (Agence France Presse from France about cows/disease/high voltage that we discussed as a horrible problem that has been plaguing farmers and their livestock in industrialized nations for decades. Finally, a French court has recognized this problem and has awarded damages.
The toxic load of environmental pollution we all live in, which Hydro 1 unfortunately is now contributing to by forcing us all to live with the added burden of the radio frequency emissions of Smart Meters only exacerbates the ill health that we all find ourselves plagued with. Remember Canadian statistics presently for cancer are epidemic ... 1 in 2.5 women and 1 in 2.3 men.
Angelo: Stats from -(CBC Marketplace Wendy Mesley ‘Chasing the Cancer Answer’ 2006 and excerpted in the groundbreaking 'Run From the Cure' - The Rick Simpson Story).
You stated that the Smart Meter will function on 2.4 gigahertz microwave and you seemed convinced that I should be comforted by that fact, especially since you assured me that it was as “safe as a baby monitor”. 2.4 GHz is the same frequency that blasts us from cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi computers and WLAN in our homes and schools.
Now for a bit of a history lesson about the US Embassy in Moscow during the time period from 1953 to the 1970’s into which the Russians beamed microwaves at 2.4 GHz. Apparently 2 consecutive ambassadors died of cancer, another developed leukemia and bleeding eyes, 16 women developed breast cancer, while others suffered immune system disorders, high white blood cell counts, chromosomal breaks, chronic fatigue, blurred vision, cataracts and muscles aches.
You assured me that the criteria for the RF emissions of the Smart Meters is safe since it complies with Canada Safety Code 6; however, our Canadian standards have drastically lagged behind the rapid growth of this new wireless technology rendering it effectively obsolete to protect humans while creating an advantage for the telecommunications industry and now apparently for Hydro 1 as well. Adding a Smart Meter to every single home in Ontario while you claim it is ‘within standards’ only adds to every single person’s radiation burden in the province. The Russians apparently have microwave standards for public exposure that are 100 times more stringent that those in North America. I wonder why?
Do I want a Smart Meter? Absolutely not. Do I want cancer. Not! I sincerely hope that Hydro 1 will respect the wishes of people such as myself and not impose this electricity monitoring system with its added radiation burden on my family home. I know it has taken a long time to recognize the livestock/EMF problem illustrated in the above link, just as the connection between tobacco and asbestos are now recognized as being linked with cancer. The current research on wireless technology, which is now vast, is rapidly identifying EMF/RF as a significant risk factor and is supporting the disease connection between humans/animals and EMF/RF.
Smart Consumers usually think for themselves and do their own research instead of blindly accepting as truth what is marketed to them. Smart Meters are not really smart at all! I prefer to err on the side of 'precaution' when it comes to my health.
The frequently asked question section on the Hydro One website pertaining to smart meters has this:
That's some strongly worded resolve.
In the meantime the madness continues unabated as school boards upgrade their connectivity using not fiber optics but wireless technologies, which are three times as cheap as an optic cable install. The last sentence in the article below is the kicker and suggests, basically, that it's for the kids, and that we shouldn't deprive them.
Source: Nogales International
Residents of Plum Street watched as construction crews cleared a space in the Nogales Unified School District No.1 parking lot around Nov. 9 and began erecting a huge pole, said Ana Doan. She lives up the street from the new 167-foot tower that will beam the district’s new Internet service to its school sites.
“I would ask people and no one knew what it was,” Doan said. She called Manuel Ruiz, county supervisor and school board member, and City Manager Jaime Fontes. At the time, neither knew what the antenna was for, she said.
“I was taken back that this tower came about overnight,” said Leticia Munoz, a resident of Home Circle, a street that overlooks the NUSD building. “The neighbors weren’t taken into consideration.”
The project will increase the district’s bandwidth from 3 megabits to 100 megabits, said Superintendent Shawn McCollough.
McCollough emphasized that teaching is driven by the Internet.
“The faster speeds are going to open up the rest of the world to students in Nogales “ museums, news reports, and interactive lessons,” he said. “I don’t know why anyone would want to deprive children of learning opportunities.”