The focus of those fighting the illegal installation of smart meters in Santa Cruz County has by necessity remained on helping people sickened by PG&E's toxic deployment. Those areas throughout the US still with analog meters are being advised to make preparations to defend their communities and resist this dangerous technology. Santa Cruz County has in many ways become a statewide and national leader in this regard.
A Sheriff is not expected to cherry pick laws or interpret health science. Yet Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak has done both, subverting the democratic will of the people, arresting peaceful protesters while actively facilitating PG&E's unlawful installation at the cost of our health, privacy and safety.
Today, we renew our demand that Sheriff Phil Wowak enforce ordinance 5084 banning smart meters, a law enacted (and re-enacted) unanimously by our county board of supervisors and supported by the majority of County residents. We call on our state and federal elected officials to step in and protect public health, at the very least ensuring that existing FCC regulations are adhered to. (CA Assm. Bill Monning is considering introducing such a bill).
Our top County public health official- Dr. Poki Namkung- has confirmed that smart meters pose serious health risks and that scientific studies reveal real biological damage caused by wireless technology such as smart meters. Decision makers must heed warnings from health officials that are getting louder, and put the brakes on the wireless juggernaut. Should public buildings, schools, buses and libraries be places where the public is involuntarily exposed to a recognized class 2B carcinogen?
Link to download Dr. Namkung's report (pdf): http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Santa-Cruz-Public-Health-Official-Smart-Meter-report.pdf
It is clear that an 'opt out' program will still expose all residents to radiation from thousands of smart meters, which each have a range of more than one mile and pulse up to 190,000 times daily, according to PG&E's own figures. Concern is also growing about so-called 'dirty electricity' which is generated by the meters and travels into homes along electrical wiring attached to the grid. No one can opt out of this 'dirty electricity' and it can have profound health impacts, according to Samuel Milham MD in his book of the same name.
Word of California's smart grid debacle has been spreading through grassroots channels and hundreds of groups in the US and abroad have formed to fight installations. The UK has now made smart meters a voluntary, opt-in program in response to public pressure.
We have no regrets about launching this recall effort last year- at the least it led to a community discussion of how law enforcement tends to act in the corporate interest, often at the expense of the public; a discussion about the effect of wireless technology on health. It granted an audience with Sheriff Wowak at the Santa Cruz Freedom Forum- an audience that members of the public alarmed about this issue had been seeking for months.
Link to Phil Wowak/ Joshua Hart debate on smart meters at Santa Cruz Freedom Forum Sept. 21st 2011:
Smart meters are a false solution to climate change, a trojan horse health risk and spy into your private home life. Any fee being sought by utilities to avoid the smart meter is extortion, and is designed to prevent large-scale abandonment of this ill-fated technology. We join thousands of other PG&E ratepayers who refuse to pay and submit to PG&E's 'protection racket.'
We assert the rights of local communities to refuse to opt in, and we condemn the CA Public Utilities Commission for ignoring thousands of written and publicly voiced health complaints, illegally plowing ahead with no regard for human health and safety, environmental protection, or consumer rights. The poisoning of drinking water in Hinkly, CA as dramatized in the film Erin Brockovich as well as the San Bruno gas explosion (both caused by PG&E) may pale in comparison to the damage we risk if smart grid development continues unchecked.