On January 24, 2014, Intervenor and Complainants’ “reply briefs” were filed in the matter of the smart meter health investigation ordered by the Maine Supreme Court. These briefs were filed with the state of Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Intervenor Reply Brief
Of particular interest to SkyVision Solutions is the passionate conclusion section of the brief prepared by Dianne Wilkins which describes the “dogma” of the thermal paradigm. As described in the brief, it is where utilities, in this case Central Maine Power (CMP), parrots “the dogma being adhered to by the FCC, IEEE and the power companies and dutifully repeated by numerous government and international agencies heavily influenced by the power companies.” Specifically, the dogma is: “There are no effects of RFR on living cells other than bulk heating of tissue at high levels of exposure.”
What follows are several paragraphs of the “reply brief” that further describe this dogma.
“To biologists and physicians in the know who have read the literature, experienced electrical sensitivity directly themselves or have seen hundreds of patients with electrical sensitivity, such a ‘no effect’ statement is absurd. Not simply a propaganda statement made out of ignorance and wishful thinking, but an outright lie. What does one say when someone claims something of the equivalent of the earth is flat or the holocaust never happened? At first it seems hardly worth the effort of a response, except that hundreds of millions of people are being deliberately mislead. Where does one start? Errors in knowledge are difficult to correct when those who lie just come back with more, in this case, junk science to support their claims.”
“This dogma is stubbornly defended by automatically discounting all evidence to the contrary without honest consideration or scientifically valid rebuttal. This may have begun as blind ignorance, but now, now that they have been fully informed of facts, it is outright dishonesty. A litany in service of power and profit. They adhere to and defend their absurd dogma vehemently in spite of scientific logic based on truth. Remember, they feel it is their duty and obligation to increase profits for themselves and their shareholders. They think that they cannot afford to even consider that there are real health effects for fear it will bring their house of cards tumbling down. Do not let them mislead you. All of their arguments are based on fear and hollow logic, and devoid of the actual reality of the situation.”
“The government and international agencies that have looked into smart meters are very political and strongly influenced by industry pressures. None have concluded that smart meters are unsafe, but none are able to declare them to be safe either. Many other groups have issued strong warnings that smart meters do appear to be unsafe. There are thousands of animal and cellular studies showing adverse effects of low level RFR at the same frequency as emitted by smart meters. Aside from a number of surveys that showed ill effects, there have been no studies on the safety of smart meters for humans. Nor is there any on-going scientific or medical monitoring of health effects of smart meters. If the smart meter roll-out plan had been submitted as a proposal for an experiment on human beings, which it undeniably is, any Institutional Review Board, including the division of the NIH that handles such experiments on humans, would have rejected it outright.”
“To summarize, there are at least two smart meter health issues here, and they occur whether or not the person is aware that a smart meter is present:
- Very probable long term health effects on a significant percentage of the population (much more likely than not from the research on cell phones and cancer)
- Definite both immediate and long-term effects on persons susceptible to developing EHS (Electrical Hypersensitivity), and on those who already have EHS.”
“… The fact that EHS is self-reported does not invalidate it at all, just as the reality of migraine headaches is not invalidated by the fact that the only evidence for migraines is self-reporting.”
“… We have presented a massive amount of testimonial evidence and numerous surveys concerning EHS and RFR exposure in general, and EHS and smart meters. When confronted by this evidence, it would be extremely irresponsible – and therefore very poor judgment – on the part of any parties in charge of smart meter deployment decisions to simply forge ahead. Smart meters violate the right of susceptible persons to live in a healthy environment.”
The final statements in the brief are:
“There has already been enough research done on non-thermal effects, and enough testimonials collected on the reality of EHS and the serious impact of smart meters on the lives of those with EHS, for anyone of intelligence to see that smart meters are not safe.
We hope you will not align yourselves with those who refused to look into Galileo’s telescope; those who call us wrong without honestly and logically dealing with the evidence we have presented to you. Don’t let them fool you – there really are many valid and very red flags. Take heed and act accordingly, and right now. Otherwise in the near future you will wish you had acted more wisely, and many people will have been harmed. Act like real human beings, not like corporate machines. Don’t indulge in or participate in denial. Do the right thing – make decisions that prevent harm to humans.”
Complainants’ Reply Brief
In addition to the concept of “dogma” addressed by the Intervenor brief, the Complainants’ reply brief introduces the use of the term “echo chamber” (from page 21):
“Reminiscent of an echo chamber, the Vermont Report cites the CCST Report, the Monterey Report, and various other agency reports that rely on the Agency Reviews. As noted below, one of the Agency Reviews rebounds the echo by citing reports by the CCST, the MCDC, and Dr. Tell as authoritative. AGNIR 2012, p. 55. The Vermont Report appears to disregard the significance of the IARC 2B classification relying on the ICNIRP sponsored paper Mobile Phones, Brain Tumors and the Interphone Study: Where Are We Now?”
Also of note is a critical review of the smart meter-related report released by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT). This document has been widely used by utilities in other states as evidence supposedly demonstrating that smart meters cause no harm. Quoting from pages 24 and 25 of the Complainants’ reply brief:
“Public Utilities Commission of Texas, December, 2012. This is another staff report, which does not identify the qualifications of the author and similar to the Michigan staff report, the proceeding in which it appears was not a full investigation. There is no mention of any testimony, including expert testimony. Like the Michigan report, it also relies heavily on the CCST report and other agency and government reports, including the MCDC. Texas Staff Memo, p. 2. Following the lead of the CCST and the Agency reviews, the Texas staff based their assessment of risk on the conclusion that ‘decades of scientific research have not provided any proven or unambiguous biological effects from exposure to low-level radiofrequency signals.’ Id., p 62. No unambiguous proof, no risk. Similar to the Michigan report, it also uncritically accepts industry critiques of the Biolnitiative Reports and dismisses the IARC 2B classification. The staff’s logic about the IARC report is that many of the other items classified as 2B, such as DDT and lead, have still not been proven to be carcinogenic and there are common substances such as coffee and pickled vegetables on the 2B list. Perhaps, if the staff had the benefit of IARC Monograph Vol. 102, they would have drawn different conclusions or at least provided a more sophisticated rationale for dismissing the importance of the IARC conclusions.”
The final statements in the Complainants’ reply brief are:
“The Commission must reject CMP’s repeated invitation to look away from this record evidence and render a decision relying on the conclusions of other agencies and administrative bodies, including the FCC and the MCDC. These organizations cite to opinions offered by the industry and the Agency Reviews concluding that causation has not yet been established. They rely on these no-causation opinions to conclude there is no risk. The Commission cannot follow suit without shifting the burden of proof to Complainants and it cannot ensure safety based on the failure to prove causation. CMP may be correct in asserting that its customers cannot completely avoid exposure to RF radiation, but that is not a legitimate basis for concluding safety is ensured. All CMP customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable to RF radiation, have the right to seek safety in the only place where they can exercise some control over their exposure — their own homes and neighborhoods. This is about their health and safety, their right to secure it, CMP’s obligation to respect it, and the Commission’s obligation to ensure it.”