A bit off-geology, but science related:
A recent article in the Marin Independent Journal, “New ruling denies Marin jurisdictions power to ban smart meters,” reported a promising ruling by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Simply put, the county of Marin and the cities of Fairfax and Ross may not opt out of installation of Smart Meters, though Fairfax had tried to decree a three year moratorium. The reason for such a moratorium was citizen concerns about “health and discrimination against people sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies.”
Sensitivity to EMR? Medical science does not recognize such a thing. Beginning physics students can calculate how a distance of just a few meters drops powerful EMR fields down to background, making a “disturbance in the force” large enough to affect someone implausible. The fact that some people self-report symptoms of headaches and nausea from EMR exposure does not go very far as evidence. For one, without the proper measurement tools, they have no idea how much EMR they are bathed in. Two, there are many other medical reasons for such symptoms. Three, there is no plausible medical mechanism for Smart Meter EMR making people respond this way.
Believing that some people are “sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies” is a superstition of the Left. Like fear of cell phones or GMOs giving one cancer, the Left sometimes also engages in the same manner of science denial and the Right so frequently does in regards to evolution and climate change. Irrational fears and magical thinking abound among all people, and skeptics should call these irrationalities out whenever they are found.
But what’s the danger in just allowing those who are worried about EMR from opting out? The danger is governmental recognition of a problem which is not a problem, of a danger which is not a danger. In an ideal world, government actions would be guided by science and reason. When a city such as Fairfax tries to opt out of Smart Meters, this bolsters and encourages those whose irrational fears about EMR have overtaken their knowledge about EMR. If Fairfax does it, so may other cities. Soon dozens of cities are opting out of Smart Meters–without a shred of science behind the decision. Such irresponsible law-making enables irrationality. Instead of acquiescing to citizen demands to ban Smart Meters, our elected officials have the responsibility to educate this worried segment of the public why their worries are unfounded.
Imagine if a segment of concerned parents came before a city council wanting to express concern about vaccines and autism–a link which has zero scientific basis. Instead of correcting the misconceptions of these parents, the city council stokes their irrational fears by offering to ban vaccines within city limits. Everyone would call that irresponsible, and the same logic applies to city councils declaring moratoriums on EMR-producing devices.
There are real health hazards out there. For California, the top 3 leading causes of death are heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. EMR exposure ain’t on the list. It’s easy to understand why someone would become flustered by EMR exposure, because it’s invisible and seems seems scary. But what’s really scary is a cheeseburger. Diet is what’s killing people, not EMR.