- The smart grid promised to enhance energy security and reduce energy usage. In reality, 80 percent of households that have received a smart meter report increases on their utility bill
- Thousands of people complain of health problems developing shortly after receiving a smart meter on their home. In some cases, blood tests confirm suspicions that RF radiation has impacted health
- The smart grid is part of a clandestine surveillance network, violating privacy rights and posing an unprecedented cybersecurity problem
By Dr. Mercola
While largely unknown and rarely discussed, there’s evidence to suggest a significant percentage of the diseases we now face is related to electromagnetic interference (EMI), so-called “dirty electricity,” and microwave radiation from cellphones, routers, portable phones, smart meters and more. In a nutshell, these kinds of exposures impact your biology, specifically your mitochondrial function, which we’ve now come to appreciate is at the heart of virtually all chronic disease.
Sunlight is a natural or native form of electromagnetic frequency (EMF), and this type of EMF exposure is not only healthy but a vital part of maintaining healthy biology. Non-native or artificial EMF exposures, on the other hand, do quite a bit of harm. This includes:
- EMI, which is generated in the converter between AC and DC electricity
- Artificial light, such as fluorescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lights and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology, details many of the health hazards associated with LED lights, but the dirty electricity component is yet another reason to avoid these types of light bulbs in your home and office
- Microwaves, which includes not only your microwave oven but also cellphones, routers, portable phones, smart meters and more. These are particularly pernicious as they are pulsating fields
Take Back Your Power
The featured documentary, “Take Back Your Power,” directed by Josh del Sol, investigates some of the problems associated with smart meters specifically. The issue came to his attention when a friend suddenly fell ill right after having a smart meter installed in her home.
Can microwave radio frequencies (RF) from smart meters really affect your health? And why are they being pushed so forcibly without public input? As shown in the film, utility company employees have literally broken into homes to forcibly install smart meters. These are just some of the questions del Sol decided to find the answers to.
“Smart meters are part of a much bigger picture, a much bigger design,” B. Blake Levitt, an award-winning science journalist, says. “The smart meter is just really the attachment that goes on the outside of a home or a business — a two-way transmission device that ties into the larger smart grid plans that are built out across the world.”
I urge you to set aside the time this weekend to watch this excellent film. It’s quite compelling, raising many important questions, and revealing just as many provocative answers.
Many are still unaware of the magnitude of the problem with RF radiation — not just from smart meters but also your cellphone and other wireless devices — and we simply cannot afford such widespread ignorance. Everyone’s lives are at stake. Sticking our head in the sand will not be an option for much longer, considering the speed at which the world is being blanketed with wireless technologies.
The Smart Grid — A Massive Rip-Off Costing Taxpayers Billions
The smart grid promised to deliver enhanced energy security, greenhouse gas reductions, improved air quality and increased grid asset utilization. While this sounds good in theory, Levitt points out that there are many technical problems with the smart grid, and with the meters. Hundreds have caught fire. Most are installed by poorly trained employees without electrical degrees. Some have nothing more than a two-week training course under their belt.
Money, of course, is part of the equation. According to the film, some $11 billion of taxpayers’ monies have gone to fund the smart grid rollout. Estimates suggested building this grid could lead to a 4 percent reduction in energy usage by 2030, but real-world evidence shows smart meters result in no energy savings at all. According to a senior assistant to the attorney general for public utilities in Illinois, Susan Satter, “The report shows zero statistically different result in usage, compared to business as usual.”
In fact, real-world evidence shows the smart grid has artificially raised energy usage, resulting in thousands of homeowners complaining of ludicrous overcharges. In one instance, a homeowner’s bill went from $350 to more than $1,100 in the month following the installation of a smart meter. The power company, PG & E, insisted the smart meter was working properly.
According to a survey by Toronto Hydro, 80 percent of homeowners with smart meters reported price increases on their bills, which is the exact opposite of what the smart grid promised to deliver. In a June 21, 2011, Chicago Tribune article, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wrote: “The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars of benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit. I think the only question is: How dumb do they think we are?”
Smart Grid Vulnerability and Privacy Concerns Galore
Security experts have also pointed out that the smart grid is vulnerable to a number of potentially catastrophic security breaches. Not only could hackers get into your home, they could bring down the entire electric grid of a nation. In other words, the smart grid poses an unprecedented cybersecurity problem.
Remarkably, energy officials were aware of these weaknesses yet gave the green light to go ahead anyway. According to U.S. Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman, “The initial weaknesses had not always been fully addressed, and did not include a number of security practices commonly recommended for federal government and industry systems.”
With a long list of potentially catastrophic consequences, why are private power companies pushing so hard for the installation of smart meters in every home? According to Ian Crane, a British geopolitical researcher, the smart grid is part of a much bigger plan that involves the intimate tracking of people everywhere. In other words, it’s part of a clandestine surveillance apparatus.
Each appliance in your home has a unique code, allowing the meter to collect data on the exact time you turn on a light, use the stove, or anything else that happens inside your house. All of this energy usage data can then be used to create a profile of the residents living in the home. A Congressional research report, “Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity,” published in February 2012, concluded smart meters are in fact a violation of the Fourth Amendment, noting that:
“In no uncertain terms the Court has asserted that [a]t the very core [of the Fourth Amendment] stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable government intrusion …
With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and routines while in their homes, including their eating, sleeping and showering habits, what appliances they use and when, and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a host of other details.”
Who Has Access to Your Energy Usage Data?
In California, power companies are already selling private energy usage data to third parties, says Joshua Hart, director of StopSmartMeters.org. According to former CIA director David Petraeus, the U.S. government has the ability to “spy on you through your dishwasher.” Crane calls this “control freakery — the wet dream of the technocrats.”
In 2012, it was revealed that Verizon has a patent for what’s called “the smart TV detection zone” — a piece of technology capable of detecting sound and movement and making automatic recordings. With the addition of gesture recognition, facial recognition and voice recognition technologies, the TV is capable of determining who is in the room and what they’re doing and saying at any given point in time.
Just where do we draw the line when it comes to this kind of technological intrusions into our private lives? As noted by Thomas A. Drake, former senior executive of the National Security Administration:
“What you’re seeing is the establishment of a surveillance society; you’re seeing the establishment of a surveillance network. It raises the specter of soft tyranny … of automatic suspicion until we prove that you’re not [guilty]; it raises the specter of universal wiretap[ping] … and what happens if ‘they’ don’t like you? … That’s not the country I took an oath to defend …”
The smart grid is part and parcel of this clandestine surveillance network. And, as noted by former Apple executive, author and speaker, Jeffrey Armstrong, “There is no moral component to technology, unless humans insist that it be there.” Interestingly, as noted in the film, the smart grid could be eliminated rather quickly if only inventions for alternative forms of energy were to be permitted to be developed and released.
Alas, U.S. law actually permits the government to suppress such technology, and with great ease at that. U.S. Code Title 35 of the patent law, Appendix L, allows the government to make secret any invention it believes might be “detrimental to the national security.” So far, more than 5,000 different patents relating to alternative forms of energy production have been suppressed in this way, suggesting energy companies wield significant influence within our government (as do many other industries).
The U.S. is not the only nation where the energy industry reigns supreme. Spain raised many an eyebrow in 2013 when it decided to tax energy generated by privately owned solar panels.1 Collecting sunlight for personal use and evading the tax could lead to significant fines.
Radiofrequency EMF = Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans
After investigating the issues surrounding the “why” of smart meters, del Sol dives into the claims of health effects reported after the installation of these devices.
In May 2011, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified radiofrequency EMF — such as that sent and received by smart meters — a class 2B carcinogen, meaning it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.2 Utility companies claim the smart meters are only “on” for 45 to 60 seconds per day, when sending and receiving information — hardly enough to cause concern. But that’s far from the whole story.
David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment (a collaborating center of the WHO) and professor of environmental health sciences at Albany School of Public Health in New York, is an expert on human health effects of environmental contaminants. “Under court order, Pacific Gas and Electric admitted that their smart meters generate 14,000 spikes of communication per day,” Carpenter says.
He further explains that it doesn’t matter how frequently the smart meter communicates with the utility company. What matters is how frequently they generate RF fields.
“Clearly, the utilities have been hiding the fact that these smart meters generate these radiofrequency fields almost continuously,” he says. “They’re pulses, but they’re very, very frequent.” In other words, while the smart meter is sending and receiving information for a total of about 60 seconds a day, the utility companies conveniently withheld the detail that these 60 seconds are not consecutive — they’re split up into microsecond pulses that are emitted 24/7.
As technology progresses, the plan is for every single electrical household appliance and device to have a smart grid device embedded into it, such that it behaves like your cellphone. This way, each appliance and device will wirelessly transmit usage data to the smart meter located on the outside of your home, which in turn will transmit the data to the utility company via a receiving tower. Needless to say, this will exponentially increase RF exposure both inside and outside the home.
Health Effects Versus Public Safety Standards
Forty minutes into the film, del Sol reviews and summarizes some of the mounting scientific evidence showing RF microwaves do in fact have biological effects. Measurements show a single smart meter has a power density of about 7.9 to 8.0 microwatts per centimeter squared (μW/cm²) — FAR higher than the power density found to cause health effects such as:
- Altered calcium metabolism in the heart occurs at a power density of 2.5 μW/cm²
- Changes in the hippocampus, affecting memory and learning, occur at 4.0 μW/cm²
- DNA damage in cells occurs at 6.0 μW/cm²
I know it is highly unlikely you are currently familiar with these units. I hope you will watch my video below that shows a meter I use, which you can purchase if you like. I have two physician friends who purchased this meter and we all found hidden sources of microwaves in our homes. Fortunately, I have been able to find and remediate them, and my readings now rarely go above 0.010 μW/cm². I also sleep in a Faraday cage, which gets the reading below 0.003 μW/cm².
Despite the evidence showing serious health effects even at low levels, Switzerland has a safety standard of 9.5 μW/cm², and China’s, Poland’s and Russia’s safety standard is 10.0 μW/cm² — the same level at which behavior has been altered after 30 minutes of exposure, causing “reflexes of avoidance.” Banks of smart meters, such as those in apartment buildings, can emit power densities that are hundreds of times higher than those at which health effects have been found.
So, how can they get away with forcing these devices on everyone, you ask? The answer, del Sol says, is because Canada, the U.S. and several other developed countries have set the safety limit at 600 to 1,000 μW/cm². “This so-called safety limit is literally tens of thousands of times higher than levels that are known to damage health,” del Sol says.
Groundbreaking Research Reveals How Microwaves Biological Harm
More recent research3 by Dr. Martin Pall suggests the situation is even more dire than that. While evaluating studies showing you can radically reduce biological microwave damage using calcium channel blockers, Pall discovered a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies.
Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Turns out these VGCCs are activated by microwaves, and when that happens, about 1 million calcium ions per second are released. These ions stimulate the release of nitric oxide (NO) inside your cell and mitochondria, which combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which in turn creates hydroxyl free radicals.
Hydroxyl free radicals are the most destructive free radicals known to man. They decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are the brain, pacemaker in your heart and testes. So Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, ADHA, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility are direct results of excessive microwave exposure.
Pall has calculated that VGCCs are over 7 million times more sensitive to microwave radiation than the charged particles inside and outside the cell, which means the currently established safety standards for cellphones are off by a factor of over 7 MILLION.
This research explains why the argument that microwave radiation is not high enough to cause biological damage is fatally flawed. While the radiation does not cause thermal damage, it’s still capable of causing massive biological damage by activating VGCCs in your cells, creating a cascade effect that results in hydroxyl free radicals being produced.
How Microwaves Affect Your Mood and Mental Health
Depression and anxiety have skyrocketed in recent years, and it’s important to realize how your lifestyle is contributing to the problem. Based on the evidence, I now believe exposure to microwave radiation from cellphones, routers, cordless phones, smart meters and other wireless devices plays an important role in depression and anxiety.
The reason for this is because your brain is one of the organs with the highest density of VGCCs and when these VGCCs are stimulated by microwaves they release neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Others include your nerve tissue (like the pacemaker in your heart) and male testes, and cardiac arrhythmias, like atrial flutter or fibrillation, and male infertility have also been linked to microwave radiation exposure.
Failure to realize this and take steps to minimize exposure will not only damage your DNA and increase your risk of most chronic illness; it will also seriously impair your body’s ability to remove toxins, and significantly impair your immune response to address the large variety of pathogenic infectious assaults.
Take Control of Your Health — Avoid Unnecessary EMF Exposure
The take-home message is this: If you or someone you love struggles with a chronic health problem such as anxiety, depression, dementia or cardiac arrhythmias it would be wise to take whatever steps necessary to minimize your exposure to cellphones, portable phones, Wi-Fi routers, smart meters, wireless computers and tablets. You may also need to address other sources of dirty electricity in your home.
The relative rarity of brain cancer may lead you to believe that your cellphone and similar devices are safe. After all, when 91 percent of the adult population of the U.S. carries a cellphone4 and less than 0.02 percent5 develop a brain tumor, it may appear that using a cellphone is benign.
However, once you understand that the primary pathology behind cellphone damage is not related specifically to brain tumors (or even to cancer for that matter), but rather the mitochondrial damage caused by the reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrites, then the scope and potential for harm becomes quite clear.
Aside from depression and anxiety, the prevalence of which are rapidly rising, some 787,000 Americans die each year from heart disease,6 and mitochondrial dysfunction is a key factor. So, while you may not need to worry about developing a brain tumor from your phone, the risk of developing heart disease or dementia may be very real concerns.
I would strongly encourage you to invest in a microwave meter like the one I use and start exploring your home. Chances are you’ll be shocked at what you and your family are being exposed to. Probably your biggest exposure is Wi-Fi, which is great since you can easily turn it off and hard wire from your cable modem. There are also devices that you can plug into your outlets and your modem that can allow you to hook up your computers without running new wires in your walls.
Blood Work Confirms Adverse Health Effects Following Smart Meter Installation
As noted by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt in the film, blood testing reveals a number of measurable effects after the installation of smart meters. Observed symptoms include significant elevations in the inflammatory markers TGF-beta 1 and MMP-9.
Copper serum levels also rise, which is a sign of chronic inflammation, and hormones and neurotransmitter levels are adversely affected. “We have lab tests where we can show, here’s a patient, I monitored him for 10 years before; he was completely normal. The smart meter was installed and six months later [he] looks like a dying patient, from the lab work,” Klinghardt says.
Klinghardt goes on to state that in families where one spouse is feeling ill but not the other, lab tests reveal a decline in health is still occurring in both. Some are simply more in tune with their body and/or more sensitive to the effects, but everyone is affected nonetheless, and the blood work confirms this. Fifty-eight minutes into the film you can also see some fascinating footage using Darkfield microscopy, which shows how blood cells react in subjects standing 1 foot away from a smart meter for two minutes.
The cells are quite literally degrading, deforming and coming apart. Some of the damage seen is classic free radical damage, and as I just mentioned, the hydroxyl free radicals created when your VGCCs are exposed to microwaves are some of the most potent free radicals known to man. Here’s an actual visual to go with that piece of information. The good news is, your body has the ability to recover once you remove the source causing the trauma, which in this case was a smart meter.
Grassroots Movements Fight Smart Meter Installations Across the US
Thousands of people report being harmed by their smart meters. Doctors report measurable health effects. The scientific literature reports distinct and in some cases serious health effects from RF, microwaves and dirty electricity. Yet utility companies keep pushing forward, without regard for public health, privacy or cybersafety.
Utility personnel are caught vandalizing and breaking into personal property to forcefully install smart meters, and in some cases the local police force has arrested homeowners refusing entry to their homes to have the meters installed. Where will it all end? Fortunately, a majority of U.S. states and Canadian provinces have active groups fighting back against this corporate tyranny.
Some municipalities have enacted moratoriums on smart meter installations. Others have new laws on the books that forbid smart meter installation without the homeowner’s consent, and utility companies will be fined for forcibly installed smart meters. But utility companies are still charging forward. In some areas, the power company may insist you pay an opt-out fee, which is nothing short of extortion, since all you’re doing is refusing physical harm.
It is, however, important to realize there is no legal obligation for you get a smart meter, but you have to be proactive in refusing it, or else they will simply install it — probably without you even knowing it.
If you discover that a smart meter has already been installed without your knowledge, you do have the right to demand it be changed back to the old monolog meter. If tens of thousands or millions of people refused to participate, the control system that is the smart grid would quickly collapse. As noted by Emmy Award-winning producer Jerry Day:
“You can’t have radiation-emitting surveillance devices on everyone’s home if people want to assert their rights. So, we’re in a very strange time in history, where your power company, this innocent provider of electrical service, has become your assailant. And you are required, in order to protect yourself, to fight back. You’re required to stand up and say, ‘NO! This is wrong. I’m not going to permit it.'”
About the Director
I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the director, Josh del Sol, from “Take Back Your Power.” We sat down with Josh to learn a little more about what goes in to making these films. Thank you to Josh for sharing with us.
What was your inspiration for making this film?
When ‘smart’ meter installations started to ramp up in British Columbia, I kept reading about all kinds of privacy and health problems – especially from California. I reached kind of a tipping point when a good friend said how she got sick immediately when a meter was installed without her knowing. When she found out later about her meter change, she traced back and realized her symptoms started that same day and even hour.
At that point, I called a camera op friend, and said, “we’ve got to interview some of the people getting sick from these things!” I was rather dumbfounded that this could actually be happening under all of our noses, and was compelled to dig and verify the facts. As I learned about the other issues and risks, what I thought would be a 15-minute YouTube video evolved into a full-length feature, and the rest is history.
What was your favorite part of making this film?
I’d have to say the collaboration with Daryl Bennett – my editor, composer and post supervisor. The whole project was 2 years, start-to-finish. At the end of 12 months, I had all of this footage but no story – the intro I was trying to assemble was actually terrible. So, a week after being literally on my knees asking God to send a filmmaking partner, I meet Daryl. The next 10 months, we were on it 4 days a week.
Where do the proceeds to your film go?
Everything we have is going towards the “sequel” – which is actually a solutions-based organization called InPower Movement. We’re just about to launch a crowdfunding campaign, needed to get us over the finish line. I think many people paying attention, such as your readers, are now generally in a place of “corruption overwhelm”. The need for root-level solutions is obvious.
Even those within the “1%” are beginning to wake up and realize that if society itself goes down, they go down. So, we’re in it together – the human race, at this point. And equally obvious is that no one is going to swoop in and do it for us. So we need a tangible way to self-organize, get our game on and fix the problems for real. It’s time.
We believe the InPower Movement will help resolve the root of the ‘smart’ meter problem – which, like all such agendas, is money and corruption. We have seen some major indications of breakthrough with several of our pilot groups. We also believe the InPower strategy will then subsequently help resolve other major issues. I honestly believe that the time of corporate tyranny will soon be over, as people find out how much potential power they actually have.
But as we do need help with completion funds, every crowdfunding donation and DVD purchase is helping to get the solution out sooner. Viewers can join out mailing list, receive a DVD and tap into our crowdfunding campaign at www.inpowermovement.com.
Click here to learn more about supporting InPower’s IndieGogo Campaign