Smarter commentary required

Editor:

Re: Green Party gets lost in the static, Aug. 2.

I read columnist Tom Fletcher’s blurb about Green Party’s Elizabeth May being a kook because she defends those people who – according to you – are kooks who only say they are affected by Wi-Fi, smart meters, cellphones and similar electronic remote devices.

Editor:

Re: Green Party gets lost in the static, Aug. 2.

I read columnist Tom Fletcher’s blurb about Green Party’s Elizabeth May being a kook because she defends those people who – according to you – are kooks who only say they are affected by Wi-Fi, smart meters, cellphones and similar electronic remote devices.

Now, I just read a very similar article after yours in the Aug. 15 Macleans, and I’m guessing that there are going to be a lot more write-ups in the same vein.

So, tell me, Tom, where do you and all the other media writer/commentators get these blanket opinions for you to put in your own words – almost?

Did you really study all the worldwide evidence both for and against smart meters, or are you just saying what you are told to say?

Tell a lie often enough, eh, Tom?

Edward Rubin, Surrey

• • •

Enough with the tinfoil-hat jokes.

Legislative reporter Tom Fletcher has now joined the ranks of other journalists who use sarcasm and accusations to muddy the waters of understanding and awareness.

They dismiss the growing wealth of scientific research and information supporting what people like Elizabeth May and Jane Sterk were brave enough to put forward in their recent press conference.

It isn’t easy in today’s political climate to speak an unpopular truth. To enter into a constructive conversation with a powerful conglomerate like Hydro and the provincial Liberals isn’t often attempted.

To face ridicule when presenting a reasonable, balanced alternative view is a sad commentary on our media and on us as a society. Must we ignore any opinion or insight that doesn’t reinforce our own?

If so, how will we gain or cultivate any kind of reasonable perspective? How will we learn anything?

The fact that Peace Arch News chose to grant Fletcher’s form of journalism 587 words’ worth of prime space is disappointing, as, to date, there has been precious little local information about smart meters. This, in light of the fact that, if Hydro has its way, these wireless meters, with all their drawbacks, will be mounted on every home and business by the end of 2011. And people here are still saying, “What’s a smart meter?”

This is becoming a very real issue for those who care about their personal security, cost of living, safety, health, human rights and our children’s future.

In attempting to discredit the World Health Organization’s rating of RF radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen by pointing to pickled vegetables, Fletcher embarrasses himself yet again. He fails to say the rating places RF in the same category with lead, chloroform, DDT, diesel exhaust, dry-cleaning chemicals and about 200 other possible carcinogens, among them some pickled vegetables from China, where questionable chemicals are used in their manufacturing process.

There is much to learn. Deployment of a radiation-emitting device on every home and business – without due diligence or public education – is alarming, to say the least. Even without the added negative influence of wireless metering, there are very few safe zones left in society, especially in urban centres. And it is inconveniently true that electro-sensitivity exists for a sane and significant portion of the general population.

Linda Ewart, White Rock,

• • •

How smart are smart meters?

Some 60 infants died from apnea-monitor failures, and wheelchair users have been involuntarily ejected – some into traffic – due to radio-frequency interference. Cellphones are known to interfere with pacemakers, defibrillators and electrocardiogram devices.

I have endless resources proving the dangers of radio-frequency radiation in a mesh network of two million wireless smart meters in B.C. being dangerous.

I would certainly hope that your paper would print a front-page story that more research needs to be done.

The BC Utilities Commission needs to be put in place to ensure public safety.

John Tolleson, White Rock

• • •

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 choose 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 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, Green Party of B.C. leader

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