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Environmental Healing
Smart Meter Fires, Bills, US & Internet! Feb 26/14 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:44

Smart Meter Fires, Bills, US & Internet! Feb 26/14

Until funds are released I need donations to keep website on internet and pay bills due now so patronizing emails do not help or show spiritual maturity or respect. Tami

Current Events Nesara GCR  go to www.IQDcall.com/matrix.html and or www.tntdinar.com

1)   Bill Good at CKNW has not been very interested in the smeter problems until he has learned about billing problems his neighbour has had – a large bill while he was away. On Thursday, he had a segment about this, and has asked for people with billing problems, especially high bills after getting a smeter, to email him at good@cknw.com. (please bcc me) Here is the link to the segment. Go down to the Feb. 20 program that is 1 hour long, to the 17 min point.  If anyone knows “Ed” who is suing Hydro, would you please ask him to contact me at director@stopsmartmetersbc.ca.

https://soundcloud.com/cknwnewstalk980

Subject: update 2014-02-16 ITRON's financial report not so good!!
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:47:32 -0800

1)   Another fire, this one in Pennsylvania, which has been attributed to an “incendiary” meter. This was the same area where the initial meters were recalled and replaced after many smeter fires occurred. There have been many reports of fires and damaged appliances here in BC – although Hydro continues to deny them or any responsibility. Please report any unusual electrical problems, like flickering lights, heated circuit board or strange smell seeming to come from the circuit board or meter to Hydro emergency. If they will not respond immediately (and in some cases they have refused to come), call the fire department. Please document via video camera what happens and what hydro does. If the smeter is removed, video or photo the back of the meter – insist on seeing it. It is your right to know what is happening on your home’s wall.

http://smartgridawareness.org/2014/02/14/meter-blamed-for-pennsylvania-fire/

Here is an article about the rash of fires in 2012 that lead to a halt in the program for a while: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/19399874/state-utility-regulator-steps-into-smart-meter-controversy

2)   DEBATE. The World Health Organization has released a bleak future forecast. The number of new cancer cases is expected to increase from 14 million to 25 million per year over the next 20 years - an increase of 70 percent. Dr. Olle Johansson asks, “Will it soon be too late” to prevent the pandemic of health problems/cancers due, at least in part, to the proliferation of wireless devices and microwave radiation?

http://citizensforsafetechnology.org/Will-it-soon-be-too-late--Cancer-expected-to-increase,28,3730

3)   ITRON’s financial picture is not as rosy as it has been, and the company is looking at ways to increase revenue.

“One key driver on this front will be “focusing on the value of the data coming out of the system,” he said.” Our data is very valuable and ITRON is partnering with companies to figure out how many ways it can be used!!

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/itron-seeks-high-tech-pathway-out-of-tough-times

4)   Non-smeter, but an important legal step toward allowing the public to be informed about health risks from RF exposure. A state senator who is also a medical doctor introduced a bill into Hawaii Senate Health Committee, which has passed and now moves on for further debate, to require labelling on every cell phone sold.

Full Bill:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2014/bills/SB2571_SD1_.htm

LEGISLATION FOR LABELS on GMO foods and cell phones passed out of the state Senate Health Committee this week, according to its chair, west Ka`u senator and physician Josh Green. SB 2571 SD1 would require all new and used cellular telephones sold or leased by a retailer in Hawai`i to bear this label:

"To reduce exposure to radiation that may be hazardous to your health, please follow the enclosed product safety guidelines.” The bill would require the warning label be "conspicuous, legible, non-removable and printed in bold lettering, and affixed to the front and back of all cellular telephone packaging."

The senator stated: “We need to make sure cell phones are as safe as possible to use and that consumers are clearly informed that over-exposure to radiation from cell phones can be harmful to your health. Cell phones are an almost universally used tool and are here to stay, which makes it even more important that they are used safely and that consumers are aware of the potential hazards. The cell phone manufacturers themselves include legal disclaimers and health warnings buried deep in the packaging and instructional materials of their products, and in the phone software menus themselves. This measure is intended to clearly inform consumers of the health warnings that are buried in cell phone product safety guidelines.”

5) AMR meters differ from the ones we have (AMI) in that they are supposed to gather and maintain data until a meter reader comes by with a handheld computerized reader. But many AMR meters in fact emit signals often throughout the day, perhaps not every few seconds like “our” meter, but perhaps every few minutes. This type of meter has resulted in causing health problems for many, including Josh Hart, director of the large California resistance group. If Hydro or Fortis attempts to put on an AMR meter as a smeter with the transmitter turned off, it must not be allowed.

http://stopsmartmeters.org/2014/02/12/ssm-director-josh-hart-threatened-with-electricity-disconnect/

6)   A comic view of the new world of smeters by the New York Times: http://robertmcgrath.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/mcfadden-on-the-home-of-the-future/

Letters:

To BCUC regarding reconsideration of the directive to charge fees:

Comments regarding Reconsideration of Order G-186-13, in response to the questions posed by BCUC in Letter L-9-14

• Should there be reconsideration by the Commission?

Yes.

Many members of the public have written to the Commission stating unequivocally that the fees are excessive due to the expenses that the fees are supposed to cover having been inflated and exaggerated, with many examples cited showing much less expensive options available. Further, many Letters of Comment testified to the inaffordability of the program under circumstances of illness and disability, fixed pensions, inability to achieve adequate income due to medical conditions including EMF-EHS, and other mitigating factors.

Some spoke of how they would be (or had already been) forced to accept a smart meter against all their judgement and conscience, because otherwise they would be at risk of finding themselves unable to cover their other normal living expenses. Others questioned whether any government or governmental utility can legally require payment from citizens for the utility refraining from actions that science has shown may cause harm. From the evidence submitted by many parties, there can now be little doubt of valid grounds for reconsideration, and the required threshold for that has been met.

• If there is to be reconsideration, should the Commission hear new evidence and should new parties be
given the opportunity to present evidence?

New evidence should be heard by the Commission. Even through the period of time that this process has been running, significant new evidence has become more widely available and more widely known, and the input of well-grounded scientific research from qualified parties, among others, would without doubt assist the Commission in reaching a wise and fair decision on the matter. As noted by Mr Middleton in his recent comments, intervenors should then also have an opportunity to respond to that evidence.

• If there is to be a reconsideration, should it focus on the items from the application for reconsideration,
a subset of these items or additional items?

It has been mentioned elsewhere that the Clean Energy Act does indeed accord to the BCUC the right to make its own investigation into the factors that are relevant to setting rates in a fair and reasonable manner. I submit that those factors definitely include the number of persons who are ultimately permitted to retain an analogue meter, for how long, and with what changes in fee (if indeed required) in the foreseeable future. The number of persons eligible has been skewed improperly from the total that would freely choose an analogue meter if they were permitted to decide for themselves without financial pressure, threats of disconnection, misleading facts, and installers willing to skirt the edge of trespass and misrepresentation. That skewed number has direct and obvious effects on the MCP costs and fees that result. The Commission may apparently not have previously considered the full extent of unreasonable influence upon the numbers that was occasioned by the utility's actions, in which event such an error merits correction through reconsideration now, so that truly appropriate fees if any can be assessed.

Significant numbers of BCH customers had the experience of communicating to either BCH, Corix or both, that they did not wish to have a smart meter installed. Yet they ended up with just that. In many instances, customers were given no opportunity to either refuse or accept. If this protocol of forced installation (through misleading and coercive tactics) in every case that it was achievable by the utility, is both just and "democratic", as we understand that term to apply in modern societies like British Columbia, then why would there be any resistance at all to the idea of customers having a free, informed and un-coerced choice at this time?

In my view, and apparently in the view of thousands of other residents of BC, these questions deserve to be examined by the BCUC, before they can truly be said to have examined all the relevant issues that pertain to a fair decision. Previously, customers shared the costs of metering and billing and it cost just cents per customer - why not now? The group of customers who have been denied the possibility of continuing safe, simple, accurate metering as they had been accustomed to it, have a valid case for their situation to be examined, since the scale of that cohort is not even reliably known. Once determined however, there is a high likelihood that the addition of those many thousands more customers sharing the costs associated, would result in a very significantly altered apportionment of that burden.

There are many people who wish to have their smart meter removed and their analogue meter replaced - why is that now illegal or impossible according to BCH and Direction No. 4?

If questions as simple, rational and widely asked by customers of BCH as these, constitute "additional items" for the Commission to consider, then yes, it seems that there does need to be consideration of additional items. Metering and charging for electricity does not have to be as complex as this has become, it seems to many of us, nor as coercive, risky and expensive.

Once the full facts are given an opportunity to emerge and be examined in the light of day, the work of the Commission (and of BC Hydro) will benefit in the long run, and the people of the province will find new confidence that their affairs are justly handled, and that the actions of the monopoly utility are indeed "regulated". That alone would make the reconsideration worthwhile.

• Are there any other pertinent facts or issues regarding Mr. Hurd's application that the Commission
reconsiders the Order and vary it accordingly?

If even one person who is afflicted by illness or disability from exposure to a smart meter's pulsed transmissions of microwave radiation is left unable to prevent themselves from having further continuation or worsening of their condition due to being forced by financial duress, or coerced by cleverly-worded "choices" and the threat of disconnection, then the work of the Commission has surely not yet been completed, and further consideration on the part of the Commissioners seems called for.

As it is, we have heard from not just one, but rather a great many individuals who have recounted their own particular circumstances, attesting to the hardship, stress and medical effects that being unable to afford BCH's applied-for fees will occasion in their lives. And further, some 40,000 customers so far have indeed been induced to submit, to "change their mind" and "accept" what they quite clearly chose to refuse. That is not right.

The material implications of the present situation must by now be very evident, since the disparity between the number of people "allowed" to have an analogue meter, and the number of people who would actually choose an analogue if given an informed and realistic option, is likely different by an order of magnitude. The costs and hence associated fees, if any still needed to be separately charged, would then be concomitantly different from what is presently being proposed.

Conclusion

The Commission has a vital role that it serves in the life and the practical affairs of this province, and a serious reconsideration by the Panel of Order G-186-13 is a necessary first step in re-balancing the interests of all the various parties in the issue at hand. At every stage, there has been an attempt to have the Commission left with very little influence or ability to actually regulate those areas that were assigned to it by law. If that process is permitted to continue without reconsideration and reassessment of the questions that so obviously lie at the heart of this matter, then both the Commission and the public will have been deprived of what is their right, their privilege and their true legacy from generations who understood that simply following orders is never enough. The questions that remain about the program will have to be answered, sooner or later. It will save a great deal of public money, time and effort if those questions are permitted to be fully addressed, and to be answered with the honesty, transparency and inclusiveness that they deserve. Further manipulation of the outcome will not be in anyone's long-term best interests.

Respectfully submitted,

1)      Please be aware that Hydro has taken more analogs that should have been left alone under the “meter choice” option. These were not protected, but it appears that Hydro has acted in ways that contravene the Tariff Act, to which they are bound. This must be reported and charges laid. I encourage everyone to protect your meters and even put a Hydro DO NOT TRESPASS sign on the meter in such a way that the sign will have to be moved, removed or damaged in order to take the analog. It is a crime to tamper with such a sign. Make it hard for Hydro to break the law.

2)      California (Silicon Valley) – Last year there was an attack on a major power substation:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/02/06/tsr-dnt-simon-power-grid-sniper-attack.cnn.html

People are finally discussing the implications: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201402170900 -- lots of interesting comments.

Letters:

Some good letters in media:

Smart meters not so smart:

http://www.southdeltaleader.com/opinion/245447081.html

 

No smart meters in Boston (February 13, 2014) – BCUC should be protecting us.

http://blogs.theprovince.com/2014/02/13/letters-smart-meters-hats-sex-anthem-airport-transportation-planning-birds-neknomination/

.

Hydro’s smart meters are anything but.

http://www.insidebelleville.com/opinion-story/4366135-hydro-s-smart-meters-are-anything-but/

Subject: 14 Feb 2014 meter reading of a/c #: XXXXXXX
To: bchydroregulatorygroup@bchydro.com
Cc: commission.secretary@bcuc.com, stopsmartmetersbc@gmail.com, smartmeters@bchydro.com, Premier@gov.bc.ca, MLA Adrian Dix <adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca>

Attn: Janet Fraser, Chief Regulatory Officer or whoever in charge of meter reading and billing

Dear sir/madam:

Re: ### Street, xxx BC.

Pursuant to my email below, I have read Hydro’s analog meter at the above address on 14 Feb 2014 and the reading is 08777.

Kindly credit my account $35 for my meter reading service for Hydro.

Regards,

Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:56 AM

To: greg.reimer@bchydro.com ; info@oipc.bc.ca ; Commission.secretary@BCUC.com

Cc: Andrew.Weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca ; emh.minister@gov.bc.ca ; director@stopsmartmetersbc.ca

Subject: Smart Meters , Privacy and Health

To:  BC Hydro, Elizabeth Denham, Privacy Commissioner, and British Columbia Utilities Commission secretary,

I am writing to express my sincere outrage at the lack of accountability to those of us, citizens of BC who have decided after careful consideration over a long period who wish to protect our health and our privacy that BC Hydro has willfully gone ahead and charged us a ‘fee’ for non-compliance after we have chosen to retain our analog meters.

I am a third generation British Columbian and hydro charges have been paid at this address by my parents, grandparents and myself for over 80 years. It is the utmost affront to my democratic rights, knowing what I do from my research that in many jurisdictions including  the US, New Zealand and the UK that smart meters have been proven to cause fires in some instances and also that there are concerns about radio-frequency radiation. In addition my personal choice and freedom has been violated by what I consider bullying tactics by BC Hydro to attempt to install a smart meter on my property.

I have had no assurance that BC Hydro will properly protect information about our electricity consumption and whether BC Hydro will improperly share our consumption with third parties. It is also my understanding that BC Hydro is not complying with the requirement to notify customers of the purposes for collecting personal information in relation to the SMI ( Smart Meter and Infrastructure Initiative).

Therefore for the above reasons I am requesting that the British Columbia Utilities Commission rule that  the ‘legacy’ meter fee be removed from our hydro billing. I will of course continue to pay for my electricity consumption. I am also appalled that the installation of smart meters in British Columbia  have cost us the taxpayers $ 1 billion.

I also request that as the Legislature is currently sitting that this urgent matter of concern to British Columbians be brought up in the House by the Minister and by my MLA who are copied in this email.

Yours truly,

A response from BCUC to a complaint. I’m sure we all will be receiving one like this, but I am including for those who haven’t written.

From: Complaints BCUC:EX

Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:29 AM

Subject: RE: BC Hydro billing/smart meter issues

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your letter to the BC Utilities Commission regarding BC Hydro’s Meter Choices Program.  I appreciate you taking the time to write to us.

The Commission is currently reviewing BC Hydro’s Application for Approval of Charges Related to Meter Choices Program through a public proceeding and has set the charges as interim and refundable until the Commission Panel makes its decision.  The final terms of the charges will be based on the outcome of this proceeding.  Any difference between the interim and final charges will be adjusted following the Commission's decision.  Further information on this proceeding can be found on the Commission's website at: http://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=417.

The evidentiary record for this proceeding closed on January 17, 2014.  BC Hydro’s final submission was filed on January 24, 2014; final submissions from Registered Interveners are scheduled to be filed on February 7, 2014, and BC Hydro’s reply submission is due on February 14, 2014.  Following this, the Commission Panel appointed to hear the proceeding will deliberate the evidence filed during the course of the hearing and will enter the decision writing phase.  The Panel’s decision, when issued, will be posted to the Commission’s website at the link provided above.

In your email you make a statement regarding the charges associated with BC Hydro's Meter Choices program.  As this matter is currently before a Commission Panel, our office is not in a position to answer questions related to the content of the application.  For more information, BC Hydro’s application, and all the evidence filed on the public record of this proceeding, is available on the Commission’s website at the link above.

Thank you again for contacting the Commission.

Regards,

Kristine Bienert on behalf of,

Patrick Wruck

Customer Service Specialist

British Columbia Utilities Commission

6th Floor, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2N3

Phone: 604.660.3632 | Fax: 604.660.1102 |  Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385

Email: patrick.wruck@bcuc.com| Web: www.bcuc.com

Subject: update 2014-02-19 BC Hydro produces a submission that is misleading and shallow
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:07:53 -0800

1)   In its final submission to the BCUC,  BC Hydro has confused, misled, and connived, just as it has consistently since the introduction of the smeter program. For example, BC Hydro and the govt. said in the media that the fees would vary on the number of people opting out. This was when they said there were in excess of 60,000 with analogs (we believe the number was double that). Then the govt. proceeded in saying the fees would be set high enough to incent people into accepting the smeters – the definition of extortion. Within a short period, the fees were announced and the govt. set out Directive 4 instructing BCUC to approve, on an interim basis, the fees that Hydro would set.

Then the Meter Choice campaign began, with multiple threatening letters and phone calls, which resulted in many analogs being sacrificed, by people who couldn’t afford the fees and fearful of having power shut off in the middle of winter.

In earlier submissions, our lawyer called Hydro on these actions of intimidation, and suggesting that people be asked if they would have selected the opt out if the fees had been lower. Hydro says “no do overs”, that the Tariff Act is binding.

Well, they amended the Tariff Act after the fees were announced and during the harassment campaign. IT was written and the BCUC approved it on Hydro’s terms, with no consideration for our concerns or rights.  A shameful response – “no do overs”!!

http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Arguments/2014/DOC_40679_02-14-2014-BCH-ReplySubmissions.pdf #41

Another ridiculous statement at #42, as if the Tariff Act is immutable. Then, let’s change it!!

“Re-canvassing customers that chose a smart meter during that period would accomplish nothing because a change of heart would not make them eligible now for the legacy or radio-off meter options.”

2)   In Illinois, people are fighting hard against mandated smeters. Of special note in this article is the acknowledgement of the personal data being collected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

Excerpt from a National Institute of Standards and Technology report about smart meters and the smart grid:

“In the current operation of the electric utilities, data taken from traditional meters consists of basic data usage readings required to create bills. Under the smart grid implementation, smart meters will be able to collect other types of data. Some of this additional data may constitute personal information or may be used to determine personal activities. Because of the associated privacy risks, only the minimum amount of data necessary for services, provisioning, and billing should be collected.”


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1138649/illinois-residents-fight-back-against-smart-meters/#iPAHhxuCFFqOcagP.99

Letters:

To: "elizabeth may C1" <elizabeth.may.C1@parl.gc.ca>
Cc: leader@greenparty.bc.ca
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014
Subject: BC Hydro Meter Choice Program - Intervenor Final Submission

Dear Elizabeth May

Attached, for your information, is my Final Submission as an intervenor in the BCUC review process of the BC Hydro Meter Choices Program (i.e. smart meter opt-outs) [already circulated]

Thank you for all your recent newsletters, and for your good efforts around the issues of surveillance and privacy.

I wrote to you and to the Green Party recently concerning the party's stance on the forced installation of so-called smart meters throughout BC (and North America), pointing out what I see as significant inconsistencies in the Green approach to privacy, security, health effects, safety, cost to disadvantaged citizens including those also with existing health/disability issues due to prior exposure to RF technologies.

As a person with long involvement as an advocate for issues related to the environment, human rights, global militarisation, corporate takeover of the commons, privacy of individuals and NGO's and similar concerns, I sincerely applaud all the work you are doing on behalf of private Canadian citizens who wish to retain some of their dwindling sense of privacy in the face of a tidal wave of corporate and government surveillance, but I nevertheless feel compelled to ask the following questions.

Why is it that the Green Party does not seem to make the connection between:

A)     the surveillence currently aimed by NSA-CSEC-CSIS at you, me, all of us - individual citizens and those of us working on these campaigns (on the one hand), and...

B)        B)   (on the other hand),  the enormously detrimental surveillence and information-gathering, an encroachment into the until-now private world of the individual's home and domestic habits, that is being enabled and installed with every smart meter (1.9 million of them so far in BC) that transmits by RF the details of our minute-by-minute domestic activities to an unaccountable, profit-driven web of interlocking corporate/governmental bodies, operating without any kind of oversight or knowledge by the public?

Do you really not see that the issue of concern in one case is simply the same issue continued by different means in the other case? Surveillance is surveillance, whether by one means or another. The destination of the data is not to some above-board, transparent process whereby individual citizens decide for themselves to what use their data will be put, what is useful to them, what they agree to divulge to a properly constituted authority for clearly defined purposes or something like that. It is instead more or less "vacuumed up" by smart meter / AMI technology and transmitted to places, parties, functions, analyses and purposes that the individual that is the source of the data will never have either knowledge, oversight nor any opportunity to consent / deny to.

To me, that is a problem. Is it not so to you, or to the Green Party?

For so many reasons to do with the excellent work you accomplish as our MP and as apparently a life-long environmentalist, I would like to be a staunch Green supporter and work with you and thousands of other Greens to achieve the goals we envision for our nation and our world. Yet intermittently, I come to a place where I'm left feeling: They Just Don't Seem To Get It! So the Green Party continues without my full support, my donations and my vote. In some ways, that's a regret, because I really approve of so much that you are doing.

There are many reasons for being opposed to the anti-democratic forced installation of smart meter systems:

--   health effects associated with close proximity to RF transmitters (and impacts on young children, the foetus, those with compromised immune systems, with electro-hypersensitivity, with existing tumours, with cardiac arrhythmia, with pacemakers etc);

--   costs to environmental systems such as bees, migrating birds and all the rest we are only just beginning to understand;

--   surveillance and information-gathering, accompanied by erosion of domestic privacy and the peaceful enjoyment of one's own home environment;

--   safety (fire and explosion etc.);

--   accuracy and reliability of metering;

--   retaining existing jobs in small communities where they are not easily come by;

--   security of the web and the grid (just in BC, 1.9 million additional portals through which hacking or problems can now be engendered);

--   possibility for criminal diversion of the unencrypted data stream to enable house-breaking, theft & similar activities, using devices already available for less than $20;

--   unaccountability for data loss;

--   economy and simplicity;

--   appropriateness of technology;

--   concentration of power in corporate/governmental hands;

--   increased hydro rates and charges being forced onto the consumer;

--   questionable accounting practices to disguise actual future cost liabilities.

I could continue with that list, but let us agree that it is already quite lengthy enough and sufficiently diverse (and worrying), for me to now reasonably ask the following:

Does the Green Party still support the installation of AMI as it has been happening in BC and elsewhere?

Is it the position of the Green Party that the supposed benefits, promoted by BC Hydro (in their 'greenwashing' campaign) as part of the reason for the expense and inconvenience being justified, are "benefits" that still convince the Green Party of their validity and likelihood of one day coming about, despite other jurisdictions having abandoned their claims of future benefit, or reversed themselves on the choice for AMI roll-out?

Is the Green Party now ready and willing to take a public stance comparable to the 55 municipalities and cities in BC that voted for a moratorium on any further smart meter installations? Or comparable to the national governments of Germany, Austria and Italy who have all made public their decisions not to aggressively pursue AMI as is still being done in Canada and the US?

I would appreciate hearing back from you personally as my MP, or from the Green Party, with any answers you may be able to offer to me for the questions I have posed above.

Yours sincerely (and thanks again Elizabeth!)

Subject: update 2014-02-20 "the internet of things"
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:10:11 -0800

 

1)   The smeters on our homes are going to be connected, via the internet, to the other wireless devices which are being hacked every day.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Tech/Tech-News/2014/02/19/Internet-of-Things-now-accounts-for-2-of-worlds-cellular-connections/

2)   Industry is admitting that until/unless data is secure, the grid will not have support of the public. A major concern for us in BC is at what price? It will cost hundreds of millions to add the necessary safeguards (which will keep changing. Hackers are very inventive.) No such costs were included in the business case.

http://www2.alcatel-lucent.com/blogs/gridtalk/issue-1/ensuring-smart-grid-social-acceptance-by-securing-data-privacy/

3)   Ontario from January – the initial meters were installed in 2006, and Hydro Ottawa wants to replace them with the “newest” version. As with all software, there is always a newer version. A bottomless pit that we will face in BC. But the Ontario Energy Board is saying the customers should not face the costs for replacing meters that still work.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Hydro+Ottawa+halts+replacement+older+smart+meters/9355858/story.html

4)   Security persons in the US Homeland Security are warning that an attack on the grid is 100% certain, and, like former CIA director James Woolsey said, when (not if) it happens, we will return to the dark ages, for a very, very long time. Navy seals talk about a recent attack.

http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2014/02/us-navy-seals-on-power-grid-attack-a-carbon-copy-of-how-we-would-do-it-2511464.html

5)   I am getting emails from members like the one below all the time. It is obvious that there are many people like us fighting to keep our homes smeter-free!! FYI, Ten Mile Point is a very small neighbourhood in Victoria. Note that management is being called on to read meters!!

Just had a pleasant chat with the older gentleman now reading our meter.  He informed me that he used to be a meter reader and is happy to get out and resume his past...I think he may be in management now....
Anyway, I asked if I was one of the last holdouts in this area, Ten Mile Point in Victoria,...his response.  “No it takes me a day to read meters in this area. Like mine, the legacy meter, and the smart meter recipients that have chosen the turn off option.”

6)   The ideas that having smeters = saving energy has been shown not to be true. Nowhere has the grid actually saved money or energy. This explains part of the problem:

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/02/smart-meters-don%E2%80%99t-make-us-energy-savvy

Letters:

An editorial written by the Mayor of Metchosin to the major newspapers. He received no responses and no publication. Please consider submitting to your local newspapers, as an example of a politician who is speaking out for his constituents re. smeters.

Guest Editorial from John Ranns   November  2013

What I find most disturbing about BC Hydro’s forced imposition of smart meters is how readily politicians of all parties have abandoned fundamental principles of a free society in order to accommodate bureaucratic expediency. Individual freedom demands that government has boundaries.  As far back as the 1600s the concept that individuals need sanctuary from government was established in British Common Law ( still applicable in British Columbia) clearly stating that your home is your castle and the sovereign will not cross your threshold without following due process.  Except now they have.  In one stroke the Province is saying that lawful citizens no longer have a choice in what enters or leaves their homes.

Although debate has been carefully steered to encompass technical arguments and ignore principle there are two facts about smart meters which cannot be denied.  They emit radiation into your house and, when Hydro chooses, they will gather and disseminate personal information which previously would have required a court order.

Whether the radiation is harmful or ultimately proves to be safe is not the point. What is critical to the issue is that many people believe it to be harmful and now their sanctuary along with their peace of mind is denied them. . Nor does it matter how little you may care what government, corporations and hackers know about what you do in your home, What matters is that the safeguards protecting others who do care must remain in place..

And forget the argument that they are free to go somewhere else. In our current economy most people in this province who have a job and a mortgage have no choice but to stay where they are and do what BC Hydro dictates. For populated areas supplied electricity has become more essential to life than supplied water.  Urban regulations will not permit alternative sources and those who could legally go off the grid can rarely afford the expense.  BC Hydro is a government established monopoly so there are no competitors to turn to for service provision. Under these circumstances the only protection an individual has are our elected representatives. Except in this case, regardless of party, they have determined that what is good for business is more important than long established individual rights.

Recently, politicians of all description prominently displayed poppies and paid homage to the sacrifices made by previous generations who understood that to maintain a free system over time it is necessary for certain principles to be inviolate.  Government must conform to the principle rather than change the principle to accommodate the wishes of whoever happens to be in power. It is why we have Constitutions.  Unfortunately many politicians these days don’t seem to think that way. They do not recognize that our jobs are not only to represent our electorate, majority and minority, but also to serve as guardians of the free system.  Sadly  we seem all too willing to thoughtlessly forfeit our freedom for the latest of fleeting  conveniences that our runaway technology may provide.

John Ranns          Mayor, District of Metchosin

2)   Follow up to the “internet of things” last night.

http://www.metering.com/smart-home-appliances-used-in-first-iot-cyberattack/

3)   From a member on Salt Spring, re. BC Hydro’s final response provided to BCUC:

“Re-canvassing customers that chose a smart meter during that period would accomplish nothing because a change of heart would not make them eligible now for the legacy or radio-off meter options.”

Another canvassing of customers that I see as useful, were we to do it ourselves (which BC Hydro makes me feel like doing, avaaz-style) is to ask those who DID opt out and kept their analogue meters, if they will "“participate in a voluntary self-read program and commit to timely and accurate reading of the meter at their premises” (BC Hydro phrasing)

See my unpublished musings below:

Re DOC_40679_02-14-2014-BCH-ReplySubmissions.pdf

Re resuming a meter self-read program to assist BC Hydro in continued practicability and cost-effectiveness of customers’ choice to retain a legacy meter.

Referencing 2.9 - 67 Reply to Submissions of Mr. Mansell  and Reeferencing 2.12-77 Reply to Submissions of Mr Polden page 28

BC Hydro states in 2.12-77 ‘BC Hydro has not said a meter self-read program would be "impossible”.’

Nevertheless, BC Hydro states in  2.9 - 67 “Although Mr. Mansell is confident that his views would be shared by a majority of legacy meter customers, there is no evidence that that is a reasonable assumption.”

BC Hydro then presents its ‘evidence’ that their own assumption is a reasonable one; I don’t  accept that. BC Hydro should base their own assumption on evidence based on a response to the question asked of their customers - “would you commit to self-metering once every two months, if we reduced the cost-assessment fee currently arrived at by presuming that you would not?”

BC Hydro’s assumption, as written, is that “It might be safe to assume” that 13,000 people  “would not participate in a voluntary self-read program or commit to timely and accurate reading of the meter at their premises”.

On what evidence does BC Hydro base its self-proclaimed ‘”safe assumption” that its own assumption is more reasanable than that of Mr Mansell and Mr Polden?

“As shown in Exhibit B-8, more than two-thirds of legacy meter customers were deemed to choose the legacy meter option because they did not respond during Meter Choices Program enrolment.”

NOTE WELL: If those who were deemed by BC Hydro to have been among those who “did not respond” include those who, as a result of a thorough engagement in the issues, chose not to SIGN UP, because they did not agree to the terms of the “choice” imposed, those should indeed be “deemed” to have “chosen the legacy meter option” but .

“This evidence suggests the majority of legacy meter customers are not engaged on issues related to the Program such as meter self-reading, at least not to the extent Mr. Mansell and the other active interveners are.

WOW! What a statement!!! I suspect they meant to insert the word “majority” of the 13,000, if not the more advisable “we submit the above data-based reasoning as evidence that two-thirds” etc

[I’d bet that the majority of active intervenors did not sign up, and each intervenor represents a swath of other self-metering customers who did not sign up - surely we could FIND OUT, get a petition signed, and thus discredit BC Hydro’s assumption skills]

“A small-scale voluntary self-read program would be unlikely to result in cost savings.”

Does that not suggest that a larger-scale voluntary self-read program would be likely to result in cost savings?

In the absence of an expectation that BC Hydro would not be prepared to collect firmer evidence of commitment, I wonder if we could get a resounding response from a petition to submit to BCUC indicating that a verified number of analogue holders would MOST CERTAINLY commit to self-metering once every two months.

As an additional thought, Mayor Ranns of Metchosin made a wise suggestion that is very reasonable. Why can’t communities hire their own readers for regular readings and then report to BC Hydro? This would provide home owners the assurance of accurate, timely readings, and reduce Hydro’s costs which are unreasonably high – obviously they pay their meter readers at the same rate they pay their executives, confirmed by the report from the Ten Mile Point meter reader – even management is being asked to read meters.

4)   Many people have wondered how their bills are calculated, using tiers.

An explanation of tiers for calculating bills from a member, using 67 days in the billing period as an example:

BC Hydro Calculation for Tier 1 = # of Days in billing period x 22.1918kWh (Hydro assumes a base of 22.1918 per day)

67 days x 22.1918kWh  = 1,486.85 = 1487kWh for Tier 1
+ Remainder of the kWh.used for the 67 day period @ Tier 2 (Total Electricity Used -Tier 1)

Legacy Meter Fee = $1.15/day

Letters:

[Bills - Penticton, BC] Letters: Fortis a year-round headache by Mary Churchill - BC Local News - February 20, 2014:
- http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/letters/246429851.html
(Please Comment & - http://www.bclocalnews.com/contact_us/?curSection=&c=y&returnPath=%2F%3Ftime%3D20140220&bc09=true)

To BCUC:

Dear Ms. Hamilton, Dear Mr. Wruck,

This is to inform you that my recent payment of the money that BC Hydro has demanded for refraining from attaching a hazardous device to my house, was made under protest and under duress.  I live in an isolated situation in a colder part of the province, where temperatures can drop below minus 30 degrees Celsius, as they recently did during the  prolonged cold snap.  If BC Hydro was to carry out its threat to cut off my electricity supply if I did not pay, I could die.  I made BC Hydro aware of that danger, but received no response.  BC Hydro has thus exacted money from me under threats of inflicting bodily harm, either by disconnecting my power supply, which is vital to me, or by inescapably subjecting me to a smart-meter device that emits radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, which is increasingly being recognized as a serious health hazard and which has been designated by the World Health Organization as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  This device also is a fire hazard, especially on older houses like mine, infringes on privacy, compromises national security, and will likely contribute to escalating electricity rates.  This is extortion—a criminal offence!

 

I am shocked by the ruthlessness with which BC Hydro, aided by the BC Government, presses on relentlessly with its mad quest to subject every last one of its customers to its unnecessary and risky smart metering experiment, with complete disregard for our concerns, our well-being, and our constitutional right to live free from potential dangers.  It is stunning to see the BC Government simply making new laws to sanction whatever new coercion measures BC Hydro decides to try on those who resist.  This is not the kind of conduct one expects from a responsible government/Crown corporation acting in the public interest—this is the behaviour of bullies abusing their position of power to further their own self-serving agenda!

As has already been expressed over and over in the numerous submissions to the public hearing on the issue, BC Hydro’s attempt to disguise its extortionary opt-out legacy meter charge as merely a recovery of opt-out-associated costs is ludicrous.  None of BC Hydro’s arguments are credible.  The charge, which in my case greatly exceeds the cost of my electricity consumption, is clearly just another pressure tactic to wring smart-meter “acceptance” from the remaining customers who have resisted earlier tactics that relied on misinformation, intimidation, or stealth.

For example, if the opt-out charge was truly intended only to recover opt-out costs, then why does BC Hydro refuse to let customers eliminate the costs of manual meter reading (the second largest cost component underlying the charge) by self-reading their meters, a common practice routinely employed by utilities around the world?  The arguments BC Hydro offers to justify its refusal are too preposterous to be taken serious, such as its contention that customers may be incapable or unwilling to take a regular, accurate meter reading every two months.  Please be assured that I am entirely capable of reading and recording the 5-digit number on my digital meter, that I am even able to read an analog meter, and that other British Columbians are equally capable of performing those feats.  I have told BC Hydro that I am happy to report my reading to them every two months, free of charge.  In fact, a BC Hydro representative called me on 10 January 2014 and asked me to read my meter myself that day, which I did.  BC Hydro has thus forced me to pay for a service that I do not need, that I do not want, that was not even rendered, and that I am already paying for through BC Hydro’s basic charge!

One point I have not seen mentioned in the public hearing is that even if no one opted out, BC Hydro would still have to maintain the ability to collect and process manual meter readings and the ability to keep the grid functioning without smart meters, as a backup in the event of smart meter system failure.  BC Hydro must not be allowed to force opt-out customers to bear the costs of retaining a backup system that is necessary for its entire operations.

A fundamental flaw in BC Hydro’s position is its assertion that the smart metering program is beneficial for its customers.  This assertion has never been independently verified because the government prohibited the Commission from carrying out its mandate of reviewing the smart metering program to ensure that it is in the public interest.  The reality is that the smart metering program is highly detrimental due to the many serious risks associated with the technology and due to its enormous, ongoing costs, while purported customer benefits are unproven or trivial.  Customer benefits have consistently failed to materialize in other jurisdictions that have switched to smart meters.  Those, of course, are the reasons why there is such a strong and growing, worldwide public outcry against smart meters, and why BC Hydro and the BC Government must resort to deception and coercion to get the program implemented.  BC Hydro’s argument that anything that adversely affects the smart metering program (such as the increase in the number of opt-out customers that would likely occur if the Commission eliminated the opt-out charge) is bad for its customers, is therefore twisted.  In reality, any decision made by the Commission that would delay, downsize, or completely terminate this dangerous program and its never-ending costs would be extremely beneficial for BC Hydro customers.

Any normal company would soon be out of business if it tried to coerce, intimidate, harass, and generally torment its customers the way BC Hydro’s smart metering team is currently doing.  But BC Hydro is a monopoly providing an essential service, so its customers cannot simply go shop elsewhere or decide to do without the service. The very reason for the Commission’s existence is to prevent such abuses of monopoly power.  It is therefore the Commission’s duty to order BC Hydro to stop holding its customers hostage and to eliminate the unjustifiable, extortionary, and unconstitutional opt-out legacy meter charge or to minimize it to a nominal amount, such as $1.00 per year.

Furthermore, BC Hydro must be ordered to continue to honour the choice of customers who do not want a smart meter.  I do not believe BC Hydro’s improbable claim that the seals on most non-smart meters will soon expire and that they cannot be re-certified, and I will resist any attempts by BC Hydro to install a radio-off smart meter at my house.  It is only too obvious that once BC Hydro has succeeded in forcing such a deactivated smart meter on every opt-out customer, its next step will be to proclaim that the disabled transceivers must be turned on and that dire consequences await customers who try to resist.  After all, BC Hydro has repeatedly stated that its goal is to eventually operate a smart meter at every customer premise.  BC Hydro’s ongoing destruction of more than 1.8 million fully functional analog or digital non-smart meters to make them unavailable to those wanting to opt out, is an outrageous display of its contemptuous disregard for the wishes of its customers.  If the Commission does not, at this time, have the power to order BC Hydro to replenish its inventory of analog meters, then it must at least order BC Hydro to not prevent customers from buying a new analog meter themselves when replacement of their old meter truly becomes necessary.

Should the Commission fail to provide us—BC Hydro’s victims—with complete relief from the monopoly’s reprehensible acts of extortion and continued forced smart meter installation (radio-on or radio-off), then it will have lost its credibility as an independent regulator.  We will then be compelled to defend ourselves on our own, as we have already begun to do by initiating legal action against BC Hydro.  We have no intention whatsoever of bowing to bullies who violate our basic rights and freedoms, because if we did, worse acts of oppression would be sure to follow.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Kamelia Bann

Major U.S. Utility Says “No Rational Basis” for Mandating Smart Meters

Posted on February 13, 2014

Northeast Utilities (NU) operates New England’s largest utility system serving more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

In a written submittal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Northeast Utilities was highly critical of a proposed state plan that would require utilization of “advanced metering” or smart meters within the state of Massachusetts as part of an electrical grid modernization plan.  In fact, the comments are quite remarkable in that they appear to reflect reality without undue political spin or bias.  Let us hope that other utilities, public utility commissions, and politicians everywhere can soon come to similar unbiased conclusions that are based upon economic realities and reflect consumers’ and societal best interests.

http://smartgridawareness.org/2014/02/13/no-rational-basis-for-smart-meters/

) From Dr. Timothy Schoechle, author of “Getting smarter about the smart grid.”

 

The following link is to the 29-page filing to the Massachusetts PUC "Comments submitted on behalf of NSTAR Electric Company (“NSTAR Electric”), and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (“WMECO”)(collectively, “Northeast Utilities”)".  I can't tell you how gratifying and validating this document is in regard to our work.  The highlighted text is related to smart meters, but there is also a lot more good stuff in this document on broader issues like distributed energy and demand response.

Here on Page 11 is a sample that you will like:

"industry studies show that only 46 percent of customers are aware of the concept of
“smart metering,” and of that percentage, 33 percent associate smart metering with complaints of
meter inaccuracy, higher customer bills, invasion of privacy and health concerns... Certain customer segments, particularly the commercial and industrial sector, have significant reservations about AMI and TVR. Many customers have a deep aversion to technology that links them to the “grid” in a way that they perceive as an invasion of their privacy and/or detrimental to their health."

http://haltmasmartmeters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NSTAR_R12-76-Comments-7986-POSTED01172014_HIGHLIGHTED.pdf

Letters:

To Bill Good:

Sent: February 23, 2014 1:47 PM
To: good@cknw.com
Subject: The Bill Good Show - Mr. Reid of BC Hydro Interview

Good day Bill,

I'd like to take exception with a couple of points your guest, Charles Reid of BC Hydro made on your show last week. Mr. Reid spoke at length about the quality of his "award winning" office and front line staff. He said they did everything they could to reach an amicable solution with the customer as it pertained to complaints of over billing. That is patently not true. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of complaints by respectable, hydro customers. In some instances people have been brought to tears over the handling of their legitimate complaints and general queries. The elderly have taken the brunt of much Hydro bullying. Contrary to Mr. Reid’s statement, there are many hydro customers who would suggest that the front line office staff have never received training in people skills prior to their assignments. Empathy? They don't know what that word means.

Now the most important point I will ever make regarding what I perceive to be the blatant negligence of BC Hydro/Mr. Reid. You will recall that during the early roll out there were substantiated reports of fires, arcing and electrical surges of lights and appliance motors. BC Hydro's now infamous answer to these hydro customers was, "It's not the smart meter's fault, it is a defective mounting plate. That is the responsibility of the homeowner." Now let us dissect Hydro's position. They are at your home to change a meter. I'm sure you'll agree that their intent is to make sure it is a safe installation. How can it be a safe installation if they don't first make sure that what they are about to mount the new meter to is in a safe, operable condition? In yet Hydro continued to say, "It's the customer's responsibility." Now you must know that any judge on this planet would ask a few questions of this installer? 1. Did you first have the homeowner turn the main breaker off before you began installation? 2. Did you make sure that what you were affixing the new meter to was in good working condition? Now, should the installer answer that, "no, I didn't, that's the homeowner's responsibility," you have a judge that would immediately say, "guilty as charged." At no time do you hear that the installer tried to alert the homeowner that they needed to employ an electrician before BC Hydro could safely install the new meter. Corrix installers simply proceeded with the installation hoping that all would be well. It's to be remembered that Corrix were given a timeline and budget to follow. They meant to honor that contract.

 

You will also recall that eventually BC Hydro had an attitude adjustment. They began to say that as a favor to our customers we will start inspecting and changing the connector plate if they are deemed to be faulty before we install the new meter we won't charge the customer for this service. I suggest to you that had BC Hydro not altered its' tact on, "our property, your property" they would have been litigated against and most surely would have lost. You see you can't knowingly attend an installation location, install a new meter and assume all is well if you don't first make sure it is a safe install. Hydro put the lives and properties of their customers in jeopardy because they didn't do the job.

By the way, do you remember prior to the" smart meter roll out" if any Hydro spokesman ever announced to the public that they should hire an electrician to make sure the connecting plate is sound before we begin changing your meters? No you don't because they didn't.

XX

Victoria.

PS

During the early days of the "smart meter" roll out there were numerous complaints of meter fires (houses completely burnt down) and fried electronic devices. I was given the name of a TV repair shop in Kelowna. They had banks of TV's brought in by customers that had been fried do to arcing caused during smart meter installation (caused by rocking back and forth trying to make the new meter fit the mounting plate without having the main circuit breaker turned off first). This has been verified, Bill.

Feb. 22, 2014

Attention: BC Hydro Accounts

Re: Account # XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Enclosed please find my cheque # 351 in the amount of $36.75 which I have calculated to be the portion of my current billing that relates to the “Legacy Meter Charge” recently added to my bill.

I am paying this charge under protest because I do not feel that BC Hydro is acting in a fair manner by charging me with this charge.

Before the charge was added to my account I called BC Hydro and learned that over the past 12 months my meter had only been read about twice and the rest of the bills have simply been estimates.

I note on my current bill that the meter is alleged to have been read Feb.5,2014 and that the next reading is expected to take place on or about April 7th.

This further supports my allegation that the Legacy Charge is discriminatory as I expect to be charged the Legacy Charge in March 2014 when Hydro does not intend to actually ready my meter in March.

In reviewing my monthly bills it appears that BC Hydro has been estimating meter readings for some considerable time and I do not therefore feel a meter reading charge is warranted as a once a year reading would result in the same thing that BC Hydro has been doing all along.

I will gladly read my meter once a year or more frequent and provide Hydro with the figures in order to keep my account up to date.

In the alternative charging me $35.00 per month when my meter may only be read once or twice a year seems an unwarranted charge in my view and I would ask that BC Hydro stop charging me this fee.

Sent: February 23, 2014 3:45 PM
To: smartmeters@bchydro.com; commission.secretary@bcuc.com
Subject: Response to Fiona Taylor, Director, Smart Meter Program

Dear Ms. Taylor,

I am sending this email to the only address I can find that might reach you. 

On January 29, you sent a response to my letter to the editor of the "Golden Star" of January 1.  I would like to make a point that actually seems very obvious.  You stated in your letter regarding the choices of meter through the Smart Meter Choices Program that "This is a fair solution as it ensures that the vast majority of customers who have a smart meter are not subsidizing the choices of a very small number of people."  If we flip that coin over, then why would it be fair for the "very small number of people" who do not have a new smart meter to subsidize "the vast majority of customers who have a smart meter" for which the cost has apparently been over $1 billion?  I should then be able to presume that by paying an extra legacy fee, I am exempted from paying any increase resulting from the Smart Meter program.  Is this correct?  If so, how can I trust that rate increases will not apply to me when I hear of many people already having inflated bills and getting no help in sorting them out.  It would seem much easier to eliminate the $35 legacy fee for this "very small number of people", many of whom will gladly read their own meters and send the readings in to BC Hydro. 

I totally believe that the Smart Meter Choices program is not a "fair solution".

Please be aware that there are many unhappy people as a result of your un"fair" choices program, particularly people who feel they were harassed and bullied into accepting a smart meter.  We have lost faith in BC Hydro.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:48
 
Real Public Science & Ecology Update! Feb 23/14 Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 February 2014 22:39

Real Public Science & Ecology Update! Feb 23/14

ISIS – Institute of Science in Society

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/AnnouncingScienceinSociety61.php

Announcing Science in Society #61 - Spring 2014

Reclaiming Science for the Public Good

From the Editors - Politically Correct Science for the Masses

Real democracy does not just mean the right to vote.  People must also have access to the information they need to make an informed choice; that’s why scientists must be free to tell the truth and express their views accordingly on scientific issues.

Shaping science to politics

When US scientists produced a report warning that the current level of greenhouse gas emissions would almost certainly lead to unsustainable climate change, the Bush administration did not simply ignore their findings.  Instead, they changed the report to make it appear that the scientists’ conclusions supported the administration’s policy of doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions ([1] Scientific Integrity in Washington, SiS 49, [2]).  That was not just a bit of political spin; it was a fundamental denial of democracy.  Fortunately, the true picture on climate change could not be suppressed for long.  The research had involved scientists in different countries and the results could not be concealed even by a body as powerful as the US government.

At the time, the episode may have looked like yet another excess of an administration notorious for relying more on faith and instinct than on reality [3].  Now, however, more governments seem inclined towards policy-based evidence.  We can see this in many fields, especially in supporting how effective government policies have been [4, 5], but it is in science that it is most marked.

In other areas, both the government and the public accept that there is a great deal of subjectivity and scope for differences of opinion, as for example, in economics.  So a government does not have to be too concerned if there are economists, even highly prestigious ones, who disagree with its policies.  As long as the government can find some other economists on its side, and it is pretty much bound to, it can claim to be following the best economic advice.

In contrast, most people think of science as objective and reliable.  People who talk about science to the public do often acknowledge that all scientific knowledge is provisional.  After all, Newtonian physics was eventually superseded.   But this kind of uncertainty has little direct bearing on the decisions governments take.  There may be some practical issues about which there is still some uncertainty, but that’s seen as a matter of not yet having all the evidence, rather than there being more than one legitimate view.

If a policy can be claimed to be based on science, it acquires a privileged status.  Anyone who disagrees is treated like the crank who claims to have designed a perpetual motion machine.  The same applies to feeding the world without genetically modified crops or keeping the lights on without nuclear power.

Hence, to accept that there are legitimate doubts about the science is much harder than to acknowledge that some reputable economists disagree with the direction of government policy.

That’s why governments are so anxious that what is accepted as science is in line with what they want to do. They tend to appoint as advisers people who will produce the advice they want to hear.  Indeed, the advisers may be connected more or less closely with the special interests that lobbied for the policy in the first place.   And once the governments have got the advice, they want the matter closed. Scientists are expected to fall in line, like ministers are supposed to accept cabinet responsibility, and support in public whatever has been agreed, regardless of their own opinion on the matter.

Silencing scientists

Thus Ian Boyd, Scientific Adviser to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), writes that the “voice of science” should be heard through advisory committees and “embedded advisers” such as himself [6].  It is interesting that he describes himself as embedded, a word generally used to describe a war correspondent who is attached to a military unit and can go only where the army allows him to go and report only what the army allows him to report.

Above all, he argues, scientists should not be the “voice of dissent” in the public arena.  Once the government has decided what the science is, scientists should not disagree with it in public. This may remind you of the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church in the 17th century.  Once it had decided that the Earth was the centre of the universe, it was not for a mere scientist like Galileo to insist that it is merely one of a number of planets in orbit around the Sun.  At least, he was not to say it in public, which is why the Inquisition sentenced him to house arrest for life.

The foresight coordinator in the bureau of European policy advisers to the President of the European Commission makes much the same point, though in more measured language [7]: “To enable more-understandable, evidence based policies, we must rely more on science from the outset. Once a consensus is achieved, scientific evidence is less up for debate.”

In the US, soon after Obama became President in 2009, the White House sent a memorandum to heads of government departments and agencies requiring them to produce policies for scientific integrity [8]. The process is still not complete.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), 22 departments and agencies have produced either draft or final policies [9].  Of these, the UCS considers only 6 to clearly promote scientific integrity, 5 to require more work, and 11 are either inadequate or not yet finalised, generally with no indication as to when they will be.  Worryingly, among the agencies with unsatisfactory codes are Education, Energy, Overseas Aid and Agriculture.

One agency that has not produced a code is the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In 2012, the FWS brought pressure on a scientist not to appear on a television programme reporting on deformities in fish caused by selenium pollution in rivers in Idaho [10].  Things may have improved since the days of George W. Bush, but not by as much as scientists had hoped.

In Canada, the Conservative Harper government is drastically reducing environmental regulations and monitoring; the latest example is the removal in November 2013 of much of the protection from many freshwater fish and their habitats [11].   To make it easier to push this through, scientists in the government departments and agencies that deal with the environment are being prevented from speaking to the media about their work, even on matters not directly related to government policies.  A Natural Resources geologist, for example, was denied permission to talk to the media about a paper he had published in Nature on a flood that had occurred in northern Canada 13 000 years ago [12].   Canadian government scientists attending a recent Polar meeting in Montreal were told by email that if they were approached by a journalist, they should hand over a business card and make an appointment to discuss the science in the presence of a minder.

This worldwide trend in silencing scientists for political ends is extremely worrying.  It is a grave threat to both the advancement of science and to democracy, as it effectively curtails people’s access to real information that is potentially vital for their safety and well-being, and based on which they can exercise their rights as voters.  It is also an intolerable restriction on the freedom of individual scientists to speak as both scientists and ordinary citizens.

To conclude

The scientists’ role in policy making is to present the scientific facts and uncertainties as best they can so that society can decide on the best way forward. In practice, of course, it is governments that take decisions, but in democracies the public must be able to hold them to account, and we cannot do that if we do not know what those facts and uncertainties are.

Scientific advice given to governments must be available to the public.  What is more, we must be allowed to see the advice as it came from the scientists, not in a version that has been doctored to support a policy. This is not an especially radical proposal; reports of the select committees of the UK parliament already include all the evidence that was submitted to them.

Read more...
 
Who Owns Organics Now & Toxic Foods ? Feb 19/14 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 21:51

Who Owns Organics Now & Toxic Foods ? Feb 19/14

Cdsapi’s Add Comment:     150+ years ago, the first Rockefeller Corporate mogul, the founder of Standard Oil and the Chemical Empire, John D. Rockefeller, enunciated as his central “business philosophy” that “Tolerating Competition” was the “Unforgiveable Sin”. 
His strategy was short and simple:  “I will BUY you out”,  and if you resist, “I will WIPE you out”.

150 years ago, most of agriculture was essentially organic.   The term “organic” was later designated to differentiate between farming Naturally   and the developing agricultural monstrosity that was morphing farming into “corporate-controlled, industrialized, chemicalized, agribusiness factory farming entretprises.”.   –

Nature, natural. and Organic farming was soon to become the “Intolerable Competitive  Thorn” in the side of Corporate Agribusiness.  It is that intolerable “control group” that demonstrates the “health benefit effects” of naturally produced foods and the “Health-destruction effects” of Toxic, chemically and pathologically contaminated foods, produced through industrialized Corporate-owned Factory Farming Agribusiness.

The Corporate Solution:  -  using the power and leverage of accumulated Wealth that they had plundered  -  “We will buy you out - and if you little local organic producers persist in being the pesky nuisance (that the public increasingly demands and supports)  -  “We will wipe you out”.

The following diagram illustrates just how far advanced this strategy of eliminating the “organic competition” has been implemented.

It is ironic that the supposedly most advanced nation on the planet has permitted the destruction of healthy food production and replaced it with the promotion of Toxic food in the hands of ruthless Corporations, that protect their secrecy under the umbrella of “Proprietary Privilege and Confidentiality”., with enough Wealth To Purchase Everything -  the land,  the government,  the judiciary,  academia,  research,  medicine,  the media,  labor,  the educational system,  advertising,   entertainment (the brainwashing institutions)…...  And once they have “bought out the competition” the definition and conditions of Organic are conveniently changed  -  to a definition that is an abomination, to include all that should have remained “excluded” – like pesticides, GMOs. etc..

“Man is the only species that knowingly destroys and discards Life’s Essentials,  engineers and finances its own destruction, and does so in the name of “Economic Necessity”.

“ACTIONS are ATTITUDES in MOTIONS”
If we do not like the Actions, we have to look at the Attitudes that have produced them.
That means changing our “attitudinal paradigm”.  No!  Money must not give a “select wealthy few” that right to enslave the rest of humanity and to “slow-kill” them with Toxic Foods..

As long as money remains a “Commodity” rather than a facilitators of exchange,  and “Making Money” takes priority over “Protecting the Life’s Essentials”, the Rockefeller Corporate Strategy will flourish unimpeded.  “We will buy you out’ or “We will wipe you out’.  – but we will be destroyed you as Competition ;

Unless WE put a halt to this legalistically-protected  “economic criminality”, true organic farming will suffer the fate of the dodo-bird and the passenger pigeon that were incrementally ”picked off” to disappear into the oblivion of history.

If it is “healthy food” that we want -  then it is the “production of healthy food” that we must protect.

W must never permit a Bill Gates and a Rockefeller, or a George Soros  or the Koch Brothers, or Carlyle or Walmart - on the basis of their accumulated Wealth – to become and determine our Governance.

Just consider this:  every animal has its “economy” – it consists of procuring and having what it needs.  And none of them have “money”  to determine their survival.  Only mankind allows the sacrifice of Survival in order to make Fiat Money, to be used as the Lever of Power and Control over populations and their environment -  the new slave masters of World Governance.

comment by cdsapi  - Citizens Demand Scientific, Academic, Political (and Media) Integrity.

Please pass on this diagram!

----- Original Message -----

From: The Cornucopia Institute

To: Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 5:12 PM

Subject: Who Owns Organic Now? New Info Graphic Tracks the Corporate Takeover of Organics…

 

 

February 13, 2014


Who Owns Organic Now?
New Info Graphic Tracks the Corporate Takeover of Organics…

Prominent Info Graphic Decoding Corporate Ownership in Organics Updated

http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/02/owns-organic-now-new-info-graphic-tracks-corporate-takeover-organics/ Click on the image above to link to a larger version of the info graphic

In 1995 there were 81 independent organic processing companies in the United States. A decade later, Big Food had gobbled up all but 15 of them.

Corporate consolidation of the food system has been largely hidden from consumers. That’s changing, thanks to tools such as Philip H. Howard’s widely circulated “Who Owns Organic?” infographic. Originally published in 2003, the chart provides a snapshot of the structure of the organic industry, showing the acquisitions and alliances of the top 100 food processors in North America. The chart empowers consumers to see at a glance which companies dominate the organic marketplace.

The Cornucopia Institute has been proud to feature Dr. Howard's work and help supply information helping the Michigan State University researcher keep abreast of the shifting ownership environment in the organic industry.

Dr. Phil Howard, an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State, is responsible for the creation and updating of the organic food business chart. He teaches in the University’s Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies program.

Dr. Howard released an update of the chart on February 13. It is posted prominently on the right-hand margin at www.cornucopia.org.

Major changes since the last version (May 2013) include WhiteWave’s December 2013 acquisition of Earthbound Farm, the nation’s largest organic produce supplier, for $600 million, said Howard. Additionally, Coca-Cola acquired a 10% stake in Green Mountain Coffee for $1.25 billion, and Bimbo Bakeries (Mexico) purchased Canada Bread from Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) for $1.7 billion.

The chart shows that many iconic organic brands are owned by the titans of junk food, processed food and sugary beverages—the same corporations that spent millions to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington. General Mills (which owns Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, and LaraBar), Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla), J.M. Smucker (R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic), and many other corporate owners of organic brands contributed big bucks to deny citizens’ right to know what is in their food.

“Consumers who want food companies that embody more of the original organic ideals would do well to seek out products from independent organic firms,” Howard advises. “Given the very uneven playing field they are competing in, independent organic processors are unlikely to survive without such support.”

Tools such as Howard’s infographic and The Cornucopia Institute’s scorecards rating organic brands of dairy, eggs, soy foods and breakfast cereals empower consumers to make those choices. The updated chart and scorecards are available for download at www.cornucopia.org.

Howard has created additional infographics and network animations on the wine, beer, soft drink, coffee and seed industries, as well as on foodborne illnesses and the structure of the food system (www.msu.edu/~howardp/index.html).

Having trouble viewing this? Click here for a web version.

The Cornucopia Institute

is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
TEL: 608-625-2000 | FAX: 866-861-2214 | www.cornucopia.org

 

 

The Price of TOXIC FOOD

Inge's Added Comment: Wednesday's program on  Coast-to-Coast AM  was excellent,

Here is a brief summary.  If you have access to their archives, this program is worth listening to.

Dr. Abram Hofer summed this up in one short sentence, many years ago.
"If man made it, don't eat it."
He made the astute observation that "our taste buds can kill us" - and are killing us".

In other words - avoid manipulated (GMOs) and processed foods.
The Corporations reap wealth  -  and we reap destruction of our health.

Nature gives us everything our bodies need.  - eat "naturally"  with "gratitude".
Learn from the WIDSOM inherent in Nature - but regretfully, woefully absent in our infatuation with the "superiority of human (unwise)-intelligence".

 

Sunnary

Coast to Coast AM

February 13, 2014

Toxic Foods:

On Wednesday's show, nutritionist and biochemist Ted Broer discussed
the long term dangers of eating toxic foods,
sold to us by multinational corporations
.

He outlined ten items that he believes it is especially important to avoid in order to maintain good health:

1) High fat meats such as bacon and hot dogs, which contain sodium nitrates – especially processed meats

2) Aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in diet drinks and other products

3) Margarine, and products that contain transfat (use organic butter instead)

4) Shellfish, generally contains too much contamination

5) Junk foods (like Twinkies), and products with high fructose corn syrup

6) Soy products, tend to increase estrogen levels

7) Fluoridated and chlorinated water, act as endocrine disruptors

8) High fat dairy products, and non-organic dairy (have bovine growth hormones)

9) Coffee, elevates harmful cortisol levels

10) Alcohol, habitual or daily use causes problems


Broer also highlighted various other dangers:
--  chemtrails are putting aluminum and barium into our atmosphere,

immunizations (especially those that contain squalene or thimerosal) are associated with increased cases of autism,

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 22:00
Read more...
 
Illegal Hydro Fees BC & USA! Feb 16/14 Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 February 2014 21:28

Illegal Hydro Fees BC & USA! Feb 16/14

Subject: update 2014-02-09 Interveners' last submissions to BCUC re. Hydro fees
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2014 23:55:30 -0800

1)   On Feb. 7 the interveners submitted to BCUC their final arguments against BC Hydro’s “meter choices” (aka opt out fees) proposal. There are some excellent ones that can be read at http://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=417 under “Arguments”.   BC Hydro has until next Friday to submit their response, and then it will be up to BCUC to deliberate and to reach a decision. Then BCUC will have to decide if it’s going to pay attention to all the ideas, suggestions and concerns raised by the interveners and those who cared enough to submit letters of interest and concern, to do what it’s mandated to do by legislation – to safeguard our welfare – or if it will bow down to a government which has ignored our civil rights.

2)   The US is experiencing difference types of attacks on the grid, some physical, some via computers. The physical ones probably will be immediately identifiable but the computer/viral attacks could already have been set in motion, waiting to hit the grid at some time in the future. An international grid like the one we are being forced to join, will mean we will suffer the consequences of the attack even if it occurs in the US.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-grid-terror-20140207,0,5892405.story#axzz2spSXLWv7

3)   Interference with wireless devices is a major concern and problem. The manager in this article is not quite correct about the signalling. The transmitter that sends data signals to the collectors is the one that maintains the mesh grid, not the zigbee. Hydro and Fortis say this sends signals only 4-6 times a day, which it might (although this can be controlled remotely to increase as data is desired) but they don’t tell us that they signal as often as several times a minute to keep the grid stable. It uses frequencies in the 900Mhz range which is common for many devices, including medical ones.

The real danger of "smart meters" by smga3000 - Rancho Santa Margarita Patch - February 08, 2014:
- http://ranchosantamargarita.patch.com/groups/who-thought-this-was-a-good-idea/p/the-real-danger-of-smart-meters

4)   In a pilot project in Massachusetts, people are seeing their bills double. Some amazingly candid admissions in this article. One is how time of use works: http://www.telegram.com/article/20140209/NEWS/302099987/1237 From the comments, many are not happy with this!

“For example, the grid becomes strained when people come home from work between 5 and 6 p.m., turn up the electric heat or air conditioning, switch on their big screen televisions, preheat their ovens for dinner and then start a load of laundry or plug in their electric car for the night.

The new pricing options will change though, encouraging people to wait until 9 p.m. to put in that laundry or to run the dishwasher, because it will be only about 5 cents per kilowatt hour, rather than 7.3 cents, said JP Knauss, principal engineer for the project. Those pricing levels are not yet solidified.

There will also be times when the utility can call for critical pricing, where the cost per kilowatt hour will be about 68 cents. Those critical price points will span up to eight hours and will only be on regular business days, generally on hot summer days when people crank up their air conditioners or fans and the grid is most at risk for blackouts.”

5)   Some of the computing/networking groups are starting to speak out, finally, about the spying potential of these stupid meters.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/cia-wants-spy-you-through-your-appliances

6)   A Nova Scotia man built a $300 solar furnace.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fredericton-man-builds-300-solar-furnace-decreases-heating-bill-1.2527065

7)   A few months ago I circulated this excellent film, but it is so good and we have many new members, so I am recommending it again. It’s 90 min. long, and, IMHO, it’s time well spent. Its name is “Resonance”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6n-fIHGia8

Letters:

Good advice http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/letters/244354901.html

Subject: update 2014-02-10 Billing Alert: Hydro producing huge bills.
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:31:49 -0800

1)   Alert: I am getting emails from many people who are getting huge bills from Hydro. Some are estimates and everyone should compare billed consumption figures with your meter – whether an analog or a smeter. Others are finding that their meters have not been read for close to a year, and Hydro is saying they owe huge “catch up” bills. Whether this is legal or not, I do not know, but I suspect part of this could be Hydro’s dirty tricks, harassment and intimidation while wondering how much is due to pure incompetence. In either case, Hydro must be confronted – have the high estimated bill corrected. With the huge “catch up” bill, demand a reasonable payment option. Our lawyer believes there is an appeal process available. I will check with the BCUC about this and will report what they tell me .

 

For sure, complaints should be sent to the BCUC and the provincial ombudsman (copied to me please. I am keeping track of these in case there is any legal action).

2)   I just learned that Feb. 11 is an international day of protest against surveillance. I do regret not knowing earlier that Canada was participating so that perhaps we could participate. Please consider passing word, putting a flyer on your window, sending this to friends. And please write BC Privacy Commissioner Denham at info@oipc.bc.ca

“Our silence is unacceptable as we are now vulnerable to both indiscriminate data collection and warrantless surveillance,” says Ontario Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian.

"The ‘fight’ is planned for just one day, but more and more it seems there’s an ongoing battle being waged. On one side, international digital rights organizations, citizen lobby groups, global media companies and other supporters of online freedom and open media access. On the other, the forces of Internet control, mass surveillance and state security. Government agencies like the NSA and CSEC among others.

A day of action, protest and remembrance is planned for Tuesday, February 11th — it’s called The Day We Fight Back."

http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Protesting+mass+surveillance+Canada+called+join+Fight+Back/9468059/story.html

3)   “Cybercrime is booming; it is an estimated $100 billion industry in the United States and shows no signs of slowing down.” New software is being developed to fight it, but it will be expensive. And this will be never ending. As soon as one program is protected, the cybercriminals will find a new way to get in.

http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20140206-new-stateoftheart-cybersecurity-resource-available-to-software-developers

Timothy Schoechle has warned about the dangers of having one huge grid, where a virus or an attack could bring darkness to every home and business. He recommends small, local programs. His article is very interesting, and he can be heard on audio talking about his vision for a safer, cleaner, wired grid.

Authored by a veteran communications technology expert, in collaboration with the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy, “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid” offers a roadmap to a truly decentralised electricity grid capable of integrating “distributed” power generation and renewal energy sources without the privacy, security, reliability, economic or potential public health impacts of our present 20th century centralised and wasteful utility infrastructure investment approach. Report:

http://www.gettingsmarteraboutthesmartgrid.org/pdf/SmartGrid_Report_PDF-2012-11-26-Final.pdf

The following audio recordings feature “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid” author, Timothy Schoechle, PhD; Camilla Rees, MBA, overseer of this initiative on behalf of the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy; new energy visionary, Duncan Campbell, author of the report’s Foreword, and host of Living Dialogues; and James S. Turner, Chairman of the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy and also Chairman of Citizens for Health.

Quadrilogue pt 1 http://www.gettingsmarteraboutthesmartgrid.org/audio/SMART%20GRID%20QUADRILOGUE%20-%20PART%201%20-%20Rees-Campbell-Schoechle-Turner.mp3

Quadrilogue pt 2 http://www.gettingsmarteraboutthesmartgrid.org/audio/SMART%20GRID%20QUADRILOGUE%20-%20PART%202%20-%20Rees-Campbell-Schoechle-Turner.mp3

Audio Rees & Schoechle http://www.gettingsmarteraboutthesmartgrid.org/audio/Smart_Grid_Dialogue_Tim_Schoechle_shrunk-1.mp3 - See more at: http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/getting-smarter-about-the-smart-grid-dr-tim-schoechle-national-institute-for-science-law-public-policy/#sthash.MJEtUIhm.dpuf

4)   Yet another place where the smeter program is failing to fulfill its promise to reduce rates and to save energy.

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/leesburg-electric-customers-frustrated-new-smart-m/ndHHW/

5)   Opposition to Ontario Hydro One and its smeter program is growing. Here is a website where we can keep up what is happening – perhaps as a model for what we should be doing here.

http://www.brokenhydro.ca/# A provincial elected official has been speaking out, and applauds the Ombudsman for the investigation into Hydro’s billing practices. Hopefully one of ours will speak up and join with us in our fight for fairness, honesty, and respect of our civil rights,

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Randy+Hillier+says+Hydro+probe+provides+vindication+frustrated+customers/9469574/story.html

6)   Interference is yet another problem that will become more and more apparent as the “dumb” grid goes live.  Interesting comment in this article: Learn more about smart meters - The Daily Times - January 24, 2014:
- http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20140127/OPINION03/301270003/Vincent-Gisriel-Jr-s-opinion-Learn-more-about-smart-meters

Comments:
John Dize - January 28 - I am a Ham Radio operator and ever since the town of Crisfield has been smothered in smart meters, the noise and RFI has been unbearable. Delmarva Power has been to my house and cannot find anything wrong.. But the noise is in every radio I have am-fm, VHF, UHF all of them. These are dangerous radio waves and the people in our town should be aware of what is happening. Pepco has a specialist in this field, but have failed to have him come here.
&
I urge every person who is having interference on their tv, radio, or any electrical device to contact DPL or Public Service Commisson to have this investigated. these emissons can be harmful.

Letter:

 

An intervenor’s submission that is not on the BCUC site yet.  It is an excellent document, as are many of your submissions.

From: XXXX

To: BC Utilities Commission <Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com>;

Sent: February 08, 2014

Subject: Intervenor submission re Meter Choices Program

There are so many questions that remain entirely unanswered after months of carefully and moderately expressed information requests, that an impartial observer might conclude that the decision makers of BC Hydro would prefer to be simply immune to any meaningful oversight of their actions. In view of that situation that has arisen, perhaps the following comments, respectfully submitted to the Panel, can be regarded as a reasonable remonstrance on the part of one voice among a great many that have written to express their sense of profound unease and concern at what is underway on the part of our public utility.

One question after another has been either brushed off with a spurious answer that did not address the question asked, or it has been pretended that a previous answer to a previous question somehow was also an adequate response to the actual question asked. In many further cases, BC Hydro has claimed ignorance of the practices of other utilities, other drivers, other jurisdictions. It has claimed that many relevant questions that have been posed universally fall outside of what it is able to answer, for so many different causes from confidentiality of commercial contract arrangements, to confidentiality of the Cabinet, to having no reliable information available, to "choosing" not to obtain requested factual material, to baldly stating "BCH will not be doing so-and-so...", even that (in essence): 'it will be more convenient for us not to provide that information'. The stalling, stone-walling and obfuscation has obviously achieved much of what was intended, seemingly.

For, apparently, after all these thousands of words, thousands of pages of material, thousands of letters written pointing out the glaring holes of logic, process, decency, accountability and reasonableness; and additionally of the harm that will be caused to health, to privacy, to accuracy of metering, to economic efficiency, to safety, to democracy, by this process of force-feeding a questionable technology down the throats of a largely unwilling populace, where have we arrived at?   Remarkably, as if there were nothing to be learned from all this expressed concern and expended energy, it seems that the "elephant in the room" may still not be acknowledged.

As best as can be discerned, the BCUC has rarely if ever received so great a number of submissions from the public, almost without exception unequivocally opposed to what is being imposed upon them. This situation it seems is unique. That fact alone demands a recognition that this is no ordinary run-of-the-mill, dollars and cents challenge that has been placed at the doorstep of the Commission - rather it goes to the heart of the question of whether the Commission will find itself able to step up to fulfil its appointed obligation not solely in a narrowly prescribed legalistic sense, but rather in the spirit and the intent of the legislation that enabled and empowered it: with a mandate to balance and offset the power and influence of a giant corporate entity, a monopoly utility that is for most customers without option or alternative, driven and directed by a government willing to use its position to sidestep any closer examination of the ramifications of their current pet project. The willingness has clearly been shown, to try to shut down even the regulator, from being able to effectively regulate.

There are significant issues that presently face the BCUC, because a fair and reasonable handling of the central questions is required by the public of British Columbia, these many thousands of customers who are watching the current proceedings to see whether fairness and reasonableness will figure in the way that their actual clearly-expressed choices and priorities are responded to, by the regulators charged with ensuring fairness and reason in the system. If ever a circumstance were to arrive in which the BCUC were unwilling to deliver a judgement that the mandate of  "fairness and reasonableness" required in a clear and logical fashion, then there really would emerge a very considerable problem for the people of this province. As has been expressed on so many sides, the vital function that BCUC performs cannot be permitted to decay into a rubber-stamping of edicts delivered from discussions behind closed doors, without oversight, without balance, without public discussion, without input from an informed electorate and an effective political opposition.

Yet there remains the Direction, and the requirement by this government that in fact nothing else must even be discussed, let alone decided upon by BCUC, save for the solitary question of "a small amount of money, or a larger amount of money". Everything else is supposedly off the table for discussion. Yet quite obviously, it is not. There still remain those tricky and uncomfortable issues that can only with courage and genuine independence be addressed within the constraints of Direction No. 4 -- issues, namely, that require of BCUC a decision that is truly and meaningfully both "Fair" and "Reasonable", and that would be judged by any arm's length observer as diligently adhering to those two entirely non-trivial concepts.

Can it really be that BC Hydro has actually acquired the power to force microwave transmitters into every residential and business property in the province, whether the owner of that property agrees or not?  Can it really be that a set of actions so closely approximating to the dictionary definitions of "bullying", "cajolery", "coercion" and "extortion" as has been charged by the thousands of customers who have been exposed to the behaviours, will now simply be normalized as "how BC Hydro conducts its business"?  Further, that installers who lie, deceive, mislead, pressure and coerce, are all justified in their behaviour because after all, the only thing that actually matters here is that BC Hydro gets its way? When did this kind of treatment become acceptable in British Columbia? Is it the intention of all parties involved in this process to simply wash their hands of any responsibility for what has been going on?  We can all find examples in history of governments that just said "Do as we tell you". And we know full well that in due course, Justice stepped in to say to those same government functionaries "Being ordered to do something that may cause harm to a person, is not sufficient excuse for an individual to be innocent of causing harm. 'I was just following orders' will still get you hanged".  This issue of smart meters and the need for a program that provides an opt-out (solely) for those who were able to protect their analogue meter, has at its core the certain knowledge by a great many of us that there is indeed harm that is being caused. That harm cannot be simply rationalised away, merely because it proves inconvenient to a set of profit projections.

A new sense of balance and fairness is called for at this point, a willingness to recognize that the accounting that BCH has so far brought to the table is fundamentally skewed out of all conscionable recognition. BCH can superficially make their figures add up, but they fail massively in making their logic add up. That fact stands out a mile to anyone who reads the material.

Why, one might ask, does every suggestion (such as an already existing self-read program) that would reduce the total costs for those in the Meter Choices Program seem to be impossible, according to BC Hydro, for them to include in the program?  Meanwhile every conceivable item that would needlessly pad and inflate the costs for Meter Choice Program participants is presented as being both essential and unavoidable by BC Hydro (from unwarranted ExpressPost to absurdly excessive numbers of theft-prevention devices). It seems that even the Minister responsible, Bill Bennett, recognized with sufficient foresight the likelihood of BC Hydro attempting these actions, to cause him to bring it to the attention of the public. Will we see BCUC make a sincere and motivated attempt to separate the actual and minimal true costs of the program from the frankly laughable lists of expenses that BC Hydro would have us believe "have" to be covered? Many customers (and even present meter-readers etc) have provided details showing that the costs are realistically in terms of cents, not dollars. This disparity cannot be permitted to just float past the Commission unchallenged and uncorrected.

The utility insists that it has to read every meter not less than every two months. So why are we hearing from one customer after another that it has routinely been many months since anyone read their meter?  BCH insists that a self-read program would not reduce costs and would not be accurate, not reliable, not manageable. Yet every time that I and a great many other BC Hydro customers report our current meter readings to BCH's customer service reps, they seem to have no problem with accepting them and acting on them. This is, after all, not a notional, "proposed" idea for meter reading - for a sizable number of customers this is how their meter routinely has been read, in some cases for years and years.

After receiving a bill some time ago that had Hydro's estimates (due to them not reading meters) showing an amount so absurdly inflated beyond what the meter itself was indicating, my subsequent phoned-in self-reads led to BC Hydro's next bill reducing the amount charged by a factor so great that even after consuming an extra two months of electricity, there was still a credit amount showing. How can the utility get away with persuading anyone that their methods work and are reliable, when the entire BC Hydro billing system is so obviously in sporadic disarray? Even the online accounts system is currently disabled, it is reported. To claim that the system BCH is proposing for us all is reliable and necessary  is simply and undeniably NOT supported by the facts, as attested to by the reported experiences of hundreds of BC Hydro's customers.

Previously, these systems worked with such a high degree of efficiency that they were either a) treated as any other commercial enterprise does, as a normal business expense, not separately charged, or b) covered by a small (small!) charge on the regular bill. If a supposedly more efficient system cannot absorb even the costs that were previously dealt with in a routine fashion, then where are the much-touted and apparently invisible advantages, and why do they nevertheless add up to steeper increases in rates forecast, than we have seen for many years? These are such obvious questions, are they not?

For a great many Hydro customers, the answers are not to be found in heaping additional financial burden on those segments of the BCH customer base who are already coping with health problems from the technology. Yet that is exactly what BCH's proposals demand.  A realistic and grounded assessment would see BCUC set the monthly fee for retaining an analogue meter at the absolute minimum level that is still permissible by Direction No. 4. Since that is the range of movement to which the Commission has been restrained, and the justifications for a modest fee are both many and indisputable, would that not be as reasonable a course of action as any other? What else is it within the power of the Commission and the scope of Direction No 4 to enact in its decision, that will respond in any meaningful way to the widespread sense of resolute and aggrieved injustice in those 20,000 analogue meter hold-outs and the more than a thousand Letters of Complaint/Comment arising from the behaviours, actions and coercion of the utility? If other remedies there be in addition to the most modest of MCP charges, then please, we urge you sincerely to make use of them also.

Read more...
 
EMF Dangers Feb 14/14 Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 February 2014 22:29

EMF Dangers Feb 14/14

EMFs & Dirty Electricity

INVISIBLE THREAT

The Link Between Wireless Radiation and a Host of Serious Illnesses

by Frank Clegg

http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/invisible-threat /

Contact your City Council: demand a safer wireless policy from any candidate you wish to endorse

Slideshow

The longtime president of Microsoft Canada is now our country’s leading advocate for wireless radiation safety.  Vitality invited high tech leader Frank Clegg, now CEO of the new non-profit organization, Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), to update our readers on what Canada is (or is not) doing to protect your health, and what you can do in this election year to protect yourself and your children.  
Here is a report on his research and conclusions.

It has been three years since the World Health Organization shocked the medical community by warning that exposure to microwave radiation from wireless devices might increase our cancer risk.  If the same elite cancer specialists were to meet again today, the warning would be upgraded from a “possible carcinogen” to a “probable carcinogen.” That is according to Professor Emeritus Anthony Miller, of the University of Toronto, who was speaking recently to Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.  (1)

Since 2011, governments around the world have alerted their populations to approach wireless devices with caution.

In Belgium, it will soon be illegal to sell or market “kiddie-phones”,  mobile phones that are specially designed for children. (2)

In France, the government “recommends limiting the population’s exposure to radiofrequencies – in particular from mobile phones – especially for children and intensive users.”  (3)

In India, both the State of Rajasthan and the City of Mumbai have passed laws prohibiting the placement of cellular antennae on the roofs of hospitals and schools and in playgrounds because they are “hazardous to life.” (4)

Lawmakers across our globe are developing safety rules.  Similar to the global trend in laws around seat belts, lawn-pesticides, second hand smoke and tanning beds, these laws are designed to protect the public from emerging technologies that eventually reveal emerging evidence of potential harm.  Many people are unaware that wireless devices use microwaves, the same as your microwave oven.  So your cordless phone, Wi-Fi, smart meter and the cell tower outside your window are effectively functioning as low-level, constantly-emitting, microwave transmitters.

In Canada, various levels of government are largely ignoring the warning from the W.H.O. and are instead hiding behind “Safety Code 6,” (5) an archaic federal guideline that is allowing Canada’s globally envied health care system to ignore our biggest modern health threat.

The Link Between Wireless Radiation and Illness

Since I helped found Canadians For Safe Technology (www.C4ST.org), I have personally met too many people who are suffering from over-exposure to wireless radiation.  Cancer isn’t the only risk.

About 10 years ago Bill Townsend, a former radio talk show host who now works at Humber College, was the father of a sick family.  His very young son had been in surgery for his tonsils, and his even younger son had been diagnosed with adenoid swelling that was resulting in a lack of sleep.  His wife had chronic skin rashes that had progressed to her face and also suffered dizziness.  When his wife’s doctor found she had the same adenoid swelling as their son, he scheduled both Bill’s son and his wife for surgery on the same day.

Bill became suspicious when he started to get sinus swelling himself.  So he conducted an internet search and found information linking Wi-Fi to sudden onset chronic health problems including heart irregularity, headaches, nausea, poor sleep, as well as skin rashes and sinus swelling.

Bill then realized there was a direct link between his family’s health decline and the installation of a Wi-Fi router in his house.  He made a simple decision to turn off the Wi-Fi, and instead hardwire all computers in his home.  His wife and son’s symptoms reversed so quickly that on the day before surgery their doctor gave them both a clean bill of health and cancelled both operations.  Bill’s own symptoms also quickly disappeared.

In every story I hear, the hidden cost of so much wireless radiation in our lives is being borne by our provincial healthcare system. The provinces are blindly following the federal government’s outdated Safety Code 6 – even though Safety Code 6 is only a guideline for federal buildings.  No one knows how many people are sick or will become sick from this radiation, but scientists estimate about 3% of people have an immediate reaction.  That means about one million Canadians.  Many others – about 20% of people – will develop symptoms over time, like Bill Townsend did.  These people have what Doctors call electrosensitivity or ES.

Increasing Rates of Electrosensitivity

Electrosensitivity is not like an allergy you are born with; it is an illness that builds up over increased time and radiation exposure.  Just as we cannot yet explain why some individuals will die from second-hand smoke and others can live a long life smoking 2 packs a day, we cannot explain why some individuals react to wireless radiation.  But with more and more cell towers and smart meters crowding into our living spaces, with Wi-Fi in buses, schools, trains, offices and hotels, people who are sensitive now struggle to work, travel and support their families.

Women’s College Hospital in Toronto has an environmental health clinic that has seen its waiting list balloon to over 6 months for patients struggling with electrosensitivity.

Health Canada is dangerously behind other countries in recognizing electrosensitivity. It is disturbing to note that Health Canada historically did recognize that some people get sick from microwave radiation.  But in the last “update” of the Safety Code in 2009, the only significant change was to delete the single sentence that read:

“Certain members of the general public may be more susceptible to harm from RF and microwave exposure.”

This acknowledgement that some people are susceptible to harm from wireless radiation had been part of the safety code for more than a decade.  It vanished about the same time Wi-Fi was rolled out into all schools and offices. (6)

That is in stark contrast with Sweden, where electrosensitivity is an officially recognized impairment.  Some hospitals have built special rooms with very low wireless radiation so that people who are sensitive can get medical care. (7)

In 2012, the Austrian Medical Association also adopted guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of illness caused by wireless radiation.  (8)  Austria’s checklist for physicians lists the following symptoms: sleep problems,   fatigue,   exhaustion,   lack of energy,   restlessness,   heart palpitations,   blood pressure problems,   muscle and joint pain,   headaches,   depression,   difficulty concentrating,   forgetfulness,   anxiety,   urinary urgency,   anomia (difficulty finding words),   dizziness,   tinnitus and sensations of pressure in the head and the ears,   tightness in chest,   hyperactivity,   irritability,   noise sensitivity,   burning sensation in the eyes   and skin conditions.

I encourage everyone who is reading this with unexplained chronic health problems – including disturbed sleep – to turn off every wireless device in their home for a week.  Write down what happens.  Here’s what to do:

The Tech Exec’s 5-Step Guide to Wireless Safety

1. CELL PHONES:

a) Keep cell phones away from your head (use the speaker or airtube earbuds; not bluetooth) and out of your pocket, bras, or clothing.

b) Don’t sleep with an active cell phone near you.  Use airplane mode only.  It keeps the phone functions on, but blocks incoming/outgoing calls and text.

c) Children should not be near a connected cell phone or tablet device.  Cell phones and tablets should not be used as toys.

d) Forward your phone to your landline when at home.

2. CORDLESS PHONES: Remove all cordless phones.  If you must have them, keep them away from high use areas and bedrooms and put them on a timer or turn them off every night.  The base-station is the heaviest emitter of radiation, more than the hand-held phone.

3. WI-FI: Remove the Wi-Fi in your home.  If you cannot remove it, turn it off when not in use, minimally put it on a timer or turn it off every night.  Make sure it is not where someone is exposed all day, such as a bedroom or study.

4. BABY MONITORS: Never place a wireless baby monitor (video or audio) by your child’s bed. Use a wired monitor.  Mothers, do not carry the monitor near your body.

5. SMART METERS: If possible, opt out of any smart meter installations for hydro or water.  If not possible, try to have it placed away from bedrooms or other high use area, or consider the use of a protective screen.

It’s worth noting that even the manufacturers won’t declare their products “SAFE.”  The presidents of Bell, Rogers, Telus, or any cell phone maker will not declare publicly that their products are safe. In the U.S., the spokesman for the wireless industry association, Dane Snowden, is on record as testifying to the State Legislature of Vermont:  “Industry has not said once – not once – that cell phones are safe.  The federal government …has said it is safe.”

Lax Federal Guideline Is a Danger to Public Health

This is perhaps the most critical point in the discussion.  Our lax federal guideline needs to be rigorously updated.  Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 which governs the safety of cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, smart meters and microwave ovens has not been significantly updated since the 1970s, long before Wi-Fi was invented or cell phones were sold.

But even manufacturers discreetly warn of possible health problems – in their fine print.  This warning comes with the Apple IPad2: (9)

“You can further limit your exposure by limiting the amount of time using iPad in wireless mode, since time is a factor in how much exposure a person receives, and by placing more distance between your body and iPad since exposure level drops off dramatically with distance.”

The packaging with i-Phone5 states: “Carry i-Phone at least 10 mm away from your body to ensure exposure levels remain at, or below, the as-tested levels.”

(To find these warnings, you have to hunt for them.  Go to Settings – General – About – Legal – RF Exposure)

Blackberry warns users to keep their phones an inch away from any part of their body whenever it’s turned on, “including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers.”  (10)

For men, keeping your cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may impair fertility. (11)  Putting a Wi-Fi-enabled computer on your lap has also been shown to alter sperm motility.

Wi-Fi Linked to ADHD, Learning Disorders

A recent study demonstrated that pregnant women should be careful about their use of cell phones.  
Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility for Yale Medical Group says, “We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb.  The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.”  (12)

Children are especially vulnerable since their skulls are thinner and certain tissues of a child’s head, including the bone marrow and the eye, absorb significantly more energy than those in an adult head.  (13)  A highly regarded study from 2011 showed that radiation from a cell phone penetrated 10% of an adult head, whereas it penetrated the skull of a five year old 70%. (14)

I am discouraged to see School Boards such as Peel encourage students to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  The campaign was designed by the tech industry and sold to school Boards as part of their international sales campaign “21’st Century Learning.”  (15)

In fact, a prestigious group of medical doctors who specialize in treating disease caused by toxins in the environment wrote to the Peel Board.  The letter from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) to the director of the Peel District school board strongly advised the Board to turn off the Wi-Fi, and instead wire computers into ethernet cables in the classroom, in order to avoid “a widespread public health hazard that the medical system is not yet prepared to address.” (16)

Science suggests that exposure to constant wireless radiation impairs learning.

One of the most succinct letters I have read on the subject was written by Dr. Martha Herbert of the Harvard School of Medicine.  As one of the world’s leading autism experts, she wrote to the Los Angeles School Board discouraging the installation of Wi-Fi, explaining that wireless radiation “from Wi-Fi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function.  This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems in the first place.”  (17)

However, as with pesticides, when the federal government lags behind, there are local initiatives that can make a difference.  With lawn pesticides, the movement began in 1991 when a small town council in Hudson, Quebec, voted to outlaw the use of pesticides for “cosmetic control.”  Today there are bans in more than 100 municipalities (including Toronto) and two provinces.

Local Initiatives to Protect the Public from Wi-Fi Radiation

With wireless radiation there are also some notable local initiatives:

The Saanich District School Board on Vancouver Island has banned Wi-Fi in elementary schools due to the uncertainty around children’s health. Also in B.C., the Kootenay Lakes school district voted to maintain one school without Wi-Fi in order to provide a safe haven for students who are obviously sensitive to the microwave radiation.

Last fall in Guelph, the City Council voted to request that Industry Canada stop all construction of new cell towers until Safety Code 6 is updated to reflect all health risks from overexposure to microwaves.  (18)  Similar requests from Thorold and Oakville earlier in the year have been ignored.

Last December, the City of Toronto voted to maintain its “Prudent Avoidance” policy recommending people and civic bodies keep radiation levels from cell towers 100 times safer than the federal Safety Code 6 minimums.

Take Action

Here’s what you can do to make Canada’s hi-tech landscape healthier:

Help us Change Safety Code 6.

Health Canada has contracted the Royal Society of Canada (as it does every few years) to “update” Safety Code 6.   The current panel is very conflicted. The Chair, Daniel Krewski, has already resigned after the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an exposé showing conflict of interest. (19)   Two other scientists have resigned.  There remain four of eight members with conflicts that should exclude them.  Details are on our website www.C4st.org. (20)

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Monsanto RU & Disease Feb 12/14 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:18

Monsanto RU & Disease Feb 12/14

By Dr. Mercola

Last year, groundbreaking research was published suggesting that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, might be "a crucially important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions."

If you missed it, please take the time to listen to Jeff Smith's interview with one of the authors of that research, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, reposted above. The lead author and researcher on this groundbreaking study was Anthony Samsel.

They spray nearly one BILLION pounds of Roundup  every year for conventional crop production, but genetically engineered (GE) crops see some of the heaviest use, as so-called Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of this chemical.

Tests published last year also showed that people in 18 countries across Europe have glyphosate in their bodies,1 while yet a third study revealed the chemical has estrogenic properties and drive breast cancer proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.2

Now, research published in the International Journal of Toxicology3 in January adds even more fuel to the fire, as it reveals that glyphosate-based formulations like Roundup pose a threat to human health through cytotoxicity and oxidative effects. Such formulations were also found to be lethal to human liver cells.

You may think you are safe if you only eat organic produce but nothing could be further from the truth as most of the glyphosate contaminated crops are fed to animals. This means you also need to get organic meat and eggs. Also, beware you CANNOT wash glyphosate off your produce as it is actively integrated into every cell in the plant and impossible to wash off.

Commercial Formulations of Glyphosate Threaten Human Health

The researchers found that while glyphosate and its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in isolation appears to be non-toxic to human cells, toxicity does become a concern when glyphosate is added to other ingredients found in commercial formulations.

It's also well worth noting that the featured study assessed the effects of glyphosate-based formulations on human cells at dilutions that are far below normal agricultural applications. As reported by the featured article by GreenMedInfo.com:4

"The researchers discovered that while glyphosate and its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), showed little to no observable toxic effects in isolation, a glyphosate-based formulation containing adjuvants produced a variety of adverse effects on cellular oxidative balance, including the following signs of oxidative stress:

  • Increases in reactive oxygen species
  • Increases in nitrotyrosine formation
  • Increases in superoxide dismutase activity
  • Increases in glutathione levels

The glyphosate formulation studied also triggered two 'death proteins' in human cells known as caspase 3/7, inducing pathways that activate programmed cell death (apoptosis), a clear sign of significant toxicity."

According to the authors:

"These results confirm that G [glyphosate] formulations have adjuvants working together with the active ingredient and causing toxic effects that are not seen with acid glyphosate...

Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone.

Since pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target species."

Glyphosate in Isolation Preferentially Targets Beneficial Bacteria

Please note that in my earlier interviews with Dr. Don Huber, who is one of the most prominent scientific experts in plant toxicology, he firmly believe glyphosate is FAR more toxic and dangerous than DDT.

Previous research also shows that glyphosate alone wreaks havoc on soil and gut bacteria, so while glyphosate in isolation may not be able to kill your liver cells, it has been shown to wreak havoc on the beneficial bacteria that are absolutely critical to your overall health. Your gut bacteria (opposed to other human cells) are a key component of glyphosate's primary mechanism of harm, as microbes have the same pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds.

The issue of glyphosate toxicity—whether in isolation or in formulation—implicates genetically engineered foods as being potentially far more hazardous to your health than less contaminated crops, and is indeed a significant reason for opting for organically-grown foods.

Labeling GMOs could help you select products that are less likely to have heavy contamination, although you'd also avoid many other hazardous chemicals used in conventional farming by opting for products labeled 100% organic.

There's also the environmental angle, as glyphosate also effectively kills beneficial soil microbes and damages the fertility of the soil. Glyphosate is in fact patented as an antibiotic, and killing bacteria is the main function of such drugs. It's also a potent chelator, which prevents valuable minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc from being utilized by the plant.

Read more...
 
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