The big push for so-called ‘smart meters’ is finally upon us in Scotland, it seems.
Smart meters, and the controversy surrounding them, have been on my radar for many years; after hearing so many horror stories following their roll-out in the US.
Over the past month or two, my energy provider (SSE) has sent me three different sets of promotional material, telling me…
‘Your handy new smart meter is just around the corner.’
‘With engineers working nearby, it’s easier to book your smart meter installation.’
…suggesting there is a man-in-a-van lurking ‘just around the corner’, waiting to install my new smart meter.
I’m sure we have all experienced the direct sales approach on our doorsteps, where they usually open with a line like “We are working in your area and have had a phenomenal response from your neighbours”. Well, this is all very similar and I urge anyone reading this not to fall for it and think for yourself.
Let’s just cut right to the chase, a friend of a friend works for SSE as an engineer and is about to be trained on how to install smart meters. They said, “It’s a farce, they don’t actually work!”
Granted, this is hearsay and just one person’s opinion, but it is a technician who works for a major energy company that is heavily pushing smart meters, who (I imagine) has inside info and knows the scoop.
In the interest of fairness here’s the official blurb on smart meters from SSE.
‘Smart meters are an exciting new type of energy meter that will help you save time, energy and money.’
All sounds pretty good, eh?
But let’s not just take their word for it, look online and search for ‘smart meter controversy’ and you will be shocked at what you discover. There are a whole host of issues ranging from health and safety to privacy. Here is a good place to start, with testimony from an ex CIA director, public health officials, the World Health Organisation etc about the safety and security of smart meters.
“The World Health Organization classifies RF as a 2B carcinogen, same as DDT and lead. Military studies here and here show pulsed radiation can cause serious health problems, including tinnitus, memory loss and seizures. Thousands of studies link biological effects to RF radiation exposure, including increased cancer risk, damage to the nervous system, adverse reproductive effects, DNA damage, and more. “
Myths such as ‘Smart meters help you make savings’ have been dis-proven, and in the States it has actually led to increased energy bills. They are going to cost tens of billions to roll out after all, all that has to be paid for – by you! Already in the UK there are rumblings of smart meters costing households more as they will enable energy suppliers to charge double at peak times – as British Gas has already trialled.
But this isn’t the most concerning aspect. They have been found to be unsafe, emitting very high levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) way beyond limits considered safe for ordinary mobile phone communications. Oh, and the meters themselves are prone to bursting into flames. They have even been banned in many counties in America and Canada.
So there’s nothing really good to say about them, not when any perceived benefits have already been proven false in the US.
Not only have the energy companies and government been pushing smart meters, so have the media. I was rather surprised to discover that The National has been among those engaging in pro-smart meter propaganda. Recently, while I was doing a bit of spring cleaning and going through a pile of old Nationals that I had kept I noticed the following…
Two almost identical articles, three months apart (Apr 19 & July 29, 2016), pushing what is clearly a government/industry funded agenda masquerading as an ‘art’ project: lamenting the end of the
old still current gas meter, and heralding the era of all-new digital smart meters. It really goes to town, tapping into the sentimentality of it all, even mentioning previous works of poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s, on first world war heroes and a well-known British football legend. Quotes from Sacha Deshmukh (chief exec. of Smart Energy GB) drives the sentimental point home, “There is a great British tradition of marking national moments with poetry”, whilst also emphasising the intention to do this nationally, en masse.
Really? Replacing current meters with a controversial new smart meter is a ‘national moment’? Hmmm. #ismellshite
There’s no mention of having any choice in the matter, nor is there any mention of any controversy – hardly balanced journalism. I’m sure The National aren’t alone in this sort of lazy journalism; derived from the convenience of regurgitating press releases. It just happens to be the paper I occasionally read.
And here’s the completed poem…
‘Meters’ by Carol Ann Duffy, courtesy of Smart Energy GB. All very rousing and sentimental, lovely in fact, but look beneath the surface and recognise this for the subtle propaganda that it is.
I’m reminded of the master of propaganda himself, Freud’s nephew Ed Bernays, who wrote about techniques involved in coercing the ‘herd’ (public) to graze in one field instead of another.
But wait, it gets even more bizarre, as ‘someone’ even commissioned the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to perform a piece titled ‘A Requiem For Meters’ – performed on instruments made from… meters! #couldntmakethisshitup
Now some may think I am ‘jumping the shark’ here and entering the realms of conspiracy theory, but let’s be clear about the fact that all this costs money and ‘someone’ is going all-out to promote smart meters (repeatedly) under the guise of a sentimental articles and art projects, trying to tap into the nation’s consciousness and sense of civic duty. Someone wants us to believe that current meters are things of the past and accept that new smart meters are inevitable, when they are not! You have a choice, well home-owners do at least.
I recall, a few years ago, when I still frequented Facebook, a friend shared a letter from an MP/MSP they had written to, asking them to clarify whether smart meters were compulsory or not. The MP/MSP responded that they were not, but then went on to sell the benefits of smart meters and more or less say, “Why on earth wouldn’t you want one?”
If I have discovered one thing on my time on this planet, it’s that people are too easily persuaded that things being promoted by government and corporations are good (when they are not) and politicians are in no way immune to this. In fact, with corporate lobbying and schmoozing being deeply ingrained in our political system, I would say they were more prone to being bought influenced and promoting corporate agendas. People seldom stop to question or do their own research.
As I read one commentator say recently, it takes 3 months to approve a toxic pesticide and 30 years to get it banned. Not to mention all the cancer and illness it may have caused in that time. So I ask everyone to bear this in mind when being asked to install a controversial device in their homes that could affect their family’s long-term health.
Everyone is being brainwashed into thinking that smart meters are a) inevitable and b) the best thing since sliced bread, oh and c) will help save the planet/save you money all at the same time. They aren’t and they won’t. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is!
I could post reams of links to support my case, but I’m not going to, as people are either concerned about their own and their family’s health, or they are not. If you are concerned enough, then you will be motivated to do some research – and I’m sure you will in turn be concerned enough to not want a smart meter installed. To anyone else who blindly trusts government/corporations/authority and believes that they would never harm us: enjoy your new smart meter!
I am fortunate in that I am a home owner, so I can (and will) refuse the offer of having a smart meter installed. However, I am aware that if my neighbours all get smart meters installed then I will still be getting bombarded with ‘bullets’ of intense EMR whenever these things communicate with the mother ship! So maybe a tinfoil hat is the best solution after all!
I feel especially sorry for those living in rented accommodation that will have no say in whether they have a smart meter installed; unless there is some way to avoid it by asking the help of a sympathetic MP/MSP or local councillor? Maybe even asking your landlord to sign a declaration accepting all liability if the smart meter is found to cause any future health problems will be enough to deter them installing one.
Incidentally, there is an organisation in the UK that is campaigning against the roll-out of smart meters, so maybe this is a good place to start for those who are concerned about having one forced upon them… http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/
As someone who suffers from tinnitus and EMF sensitivity, this is going to be pretty crap for me as I imagine it will only make my condition worse. I know that when I can escape areas with WiFi and mobile phone reception I feel a lot better and the tinnitus is barely noticeable.
Also, I haven’t watched this for a while but I recall the documentary ‘Resonance: Beings of Frequency’ being an eye-opening film, in terms of understanding the relationship between wireless microwave technology and our health, under constant bombardment from it. The film hears from Barrie Trower, former British military microwave weapons expert, expressing concerns, and also highlights a cancer cluster (in Carluke, if memory serves me right) surrounding a mobile phone mast.
So, just stop and have a think about this folks, before we expose ourselves and our communities to even more EMR. It might not have immediately noticeable effect, as different people have different levels of sensitivity. I see lots of people compassionate enough to care for the symptomatic effects of cancer, donating to various charities, even competing in races, but who barely pause to consider what the actual causes are, and how we can prevent it. Here’s an opportunity to reflect and consider and take steps to protect your family, if you choose to.