DO THE BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE HARMS?
Will millions of wireless antennas on earth, tens of thousands of satellites filling our skies, billions of sensors and cameras squeezing from our world every “bit” of data imaginable, provide overall benefit or harm to our infinitely fine-tuned web of life?
As digitalization spirals out of control in an ever-expanding web of technology gone rogue, perhaps it’s time to consider whether the harms outweigh the hoped for and hyped about benefits.
Below is a brief overview of some of the reasons people around the world are sounding the alarm about 5G and calling for safer wired technology.
Once 4G/5G antennas are densely installed in communities around the globe and interacting with tens of thousands of satellites polluting our skies, no one will be able to escape continuous, involuntary exposure to non-ionizing radiation. The unborn child, young children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses, microwave sickness, or compromised immune systems will be particularly vulnerable.
The 2015 International EMF Scientist Appeal. signed by more than 240 scientists with published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of wireless radiation states:
“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”
Our children depend on us and on government leaders around the globe to protect health and safety and to place these above all else.
Resources on health:
Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Non-Ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation
We Have No Reason To Believe 5G Is Safe
Physicians for Safe Technology
EH Trust Science
Scientific Studies: Biological effects of RF radiation
LEGAL OPINION on whether it would be in contravention of human rights and environmental law to establish the 5G-system in Denmark
“Biologists have discovered that wireless electromagnetic radiation disturbs internal magneto-receptors used for navigation, as well as disrupting other complex cellular and biologic processes in mammals, birds, fish, insects, trees, plants, seeds and bacteria with profound impacts on the natural environment” Cindy Russell, Physicians For Safe Technology.
Radiation has also been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder. The shorter millimeter wave frequencies that will be used for 5G will be yet more perilous than 2G, 3G, and 4G, as insects are millimeter-sized creatures and will selectively absorb and amplify these frequencies.
The destiny of all life forms depends on us making wise decisions now.
Resources on Wildlife
Environment and Wildlife Effects
Published Research on the Adverse Effect of Wireless Technology and Electromagnetic Radiation on Bees
Electromagnetic Pollution Risks to Bees
Science: Plant and Animal Electromagnetic Sensitivity
Electromagnetic Fields, Tree & Plant Growth
5G-The Digital Killing Fields-EMF/EMR
“5G will catalogue exactly where someone has come from, where they are going, and what they are doing.” Sue Halpern | The New Yorker. The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network.
Our data will be collected, mined, analyzed, and stored indefinitely in data centers. It will be sold and used for targeted marketing (aka surveillance capitalism), surveillance, law enforcement, research, smart cities systems, and more as the IoT evolves. In fact, a whole interconnected system is being built as data from one application provides fodder for another.
Data of course will also be used by hackers for their purposes as wireless systems are far more easily hacked than wired connections.
Our data is extraordinarily valuable and can be used for convenience, research, profit, surveillance, and control. Data is one of the main driving forces behind 5G and an all-things-connected world.
Resources for Privacy
Shoshana Zuboff on Surveillance Capitalism (VPRO documentary)
The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network
How much info is Google getting from your phone? [VIDEO]
Smile, Your City Is Watching You
Security and Privacy in the World-Sized Web
O.K., Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today…
Report: Without safeguards, Internet and IoT may create surveillance states in near future
Tech-addiction is on the rise. Gaming Disorder is now included in the World Health Organization, International Classification of Diseases. Teenagers are showing signs of addiction from watching screens nine hours per day, while being exposed to non-ionizing radiation from Wi-Fi and their devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that doctors prescribe “creative unplugged play-time” for children. The need for such a recommendation is a sad commentary on the current state of affairs.
Our kids need more time with one another and in nature, and less with technology and screens. 5G will worsen the problem of dependence on, and addiction to technology.
We have allowed industry to define who we are, what we do, and where we are headed as a species. We and our children deserve better. We don’t need more internet-connectivity, we need more connection.
Resources on Brains and Humanity
Tech Overuse & Addiction – “Books and Other Resources”
Eliminating the Human
I asked my students to turn in their cell phones and write about living without them. Here’s what they had to say.
Not considered are:
- The energy consumed by all these constantly-communicating “things” machines, applications, sensors, surveillance cameras, etc.
- The astronomical amount of energy needed to manufacture all these IoT things, devices and accompanying infrastructure (embodied energy).
- The CO2 released into the atmosphere from the energy used to power the proliferating wireless sources. Most of this energy is generated from fossil fuels.
- The energy required to power enormously energy consumptive data centers.
- The excess energy needed to move data wirelessly through the air rather than more efficiently and effectively through fiber or cable.
An all-things-connected world is not the answer to saving energy.
Resources on Energy
With data centres set to have a bigger carbon footprint than the whole aviation industry, smart technology’s benefits need urgent re-examination.
What Will 5G Mean for the Environment?
Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations
Energy Consumption in Wired and Wireless Access Networks
5G base stations use a lot more energy than 4G base stations: MTN
In a Business World article, Nurit Kanti explains: “With lack of proper barriers to prevent this leakage [of toxic substances], and the high concentration of these toxic substances, the impact of the e-waste on the ecosystem is extremely long-lasting, irreversible and dangerous to the sustainability of everyone around that eco-system.”
E-waste from discarded products is only part of the problem. A far more significant contributor to e-waste is the release of toxins from mining and manufacturing electronics. In an article in The Conversation, author Josh Lepawsky explains, “No amount of post-consumer recycling can recoup the waste generated before consumers purchase their devices.”
The production of our electronic technologies has fueled war, murder, rape, and child labor in the Congo. According to World Without Genocide at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, approximately 6 million people have died as a result conflicts fueled by the pursuit of rare earth minerals needed for our electronics.
Children and women also suffer. Unicef estimated that in 2016, there were about 40,000 children working in mines across the Congo. Hundreds of thousands of women have been raped and sold back to villages for ransom. Casualties of a war financed primarily by the electronics industry.
5G and the Internet of Things will likely bring more hardship, child labor, and deaths as the industry driven push for an all-things-connected world consumes and ravages us and Earth.
Resources on Conflict Minerals
As incremental efforts to end child labour by 2025 persist, Congo’s child miners – exhausted and exploited – ask the world to “pray for us”
Open letter to anyone who uses a smartphone, drives an electric car, or flies on a plane
CBS News finds children mining cobalt for batteries in the Congo
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla and Dell sued over child-mined cobalt from Africa
Cyber security expert, Bruce Schneier states:
“With the advent of the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems in general, we’ve given the Internet hands and feet: the ability to directly affect the physical world. What used to be attacks against data and information have become attacks against flesh, steel, and concrete.”
“Give the Internet hands and feet, and it will have the ability to punch and kick.
Resources on Cyber Attacks
Cyberattacks ranked THIRD greatest global risk in 2018
Report: Without safeguards, Internet and IoT may create surveillance states in near future
Hacking Germany computers, cyberattacks and the future | DW Documentary [VIDEO]
Cybercrime to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021 reveals Cybersecurity Ventures 2017 Report [VIDEO]
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Wireless networks along the Texas coast suffered outages as a result of Hurricane Harvey, federal regulators said, leaving customers in some counties with limited or no cellphone service.”
Wired technologies such as copper, coaxial and fiber are vastly more resilient than cell towers.
Resources on Resilience
Presently, Over 86% of Cell Sites in Puerto Rico Are Still Not Operating in Aftermath of Hurricane Maria
Cell Networks Suffer Outages in Harvey’s Wake Customers have limited or no cellphone service; three Texas counties are hardest hit
Telecoms admit they do not know if their wireless technology is safe. They warn shareholders that revenues could be negatively impacted by health claims. Neither will insurance companies insure telecoms against liability for exposure-related health claims.
Who will be held liable in the event of harm from a wireless “small cell” facility? Who will assume financial responsibility for future injury, fire, loss of health, property devaluation etc. due to close proximity of cell antennas to homes, workplaces, and schools?
There Is A Safer Alternative
Thankfully, there is a safer, more reliable, tried and true solution that we have had for well over 20 years – fiber/wired technology. If we used wired connections for the vast majority of internet and telecommunications needs, reserving wireless for an ancillary service — we could enjoy the benefits of technology while minimizing the harms.
Wired technologies such as fiber or coaxial cable are faster, more reliable, resilient, energy-efficient, and more easily defended from cyber attacks. Above all, wired technologies are significantly less hazardous to our health and would better ensure the survival of other life forms with whom we share this planet.
Resources on Wired Technology
Re-Inventing Wires:The Future of Landlines and Networks