Opponents to PG&E's rollout of smart meters are taking it to the streets.
Two women were arrested in Rohnert Park, California today for blocking a truck carrying smart meters. The arrests follow two earlier, similar ones in the area.
After the women were arrested, other protesters blocked the truck's exit. The truck then retreated.
“People are becoming increasingly angry and feeling frustrated and helpless over the continued deployment of radiation smart meters that threaten our finances, privacy and our health and safety," Sandi Maurer, founder of the EMF Safety Network, said in a prepared statement.
We weren't there, but will speculate that some of the protesters own cellular phones, which expose people to far more powerful electromagnetic fields (EMF) at a close range than a smart meter. But I digress.
The press release was delivered by email via a computer, another EMF-emitting tool.
Smart meter protests so far are not radically slowing down smart meter deployment, but the complaints certainly are going nationwide. Chet Geschicker yesterday wrote about how grievances filed by 20 Central Maine Power residential customers citing safety concerns over the wireless radios in smart meters led the Maine PUC to vote unanimously to investigate the feasibility of providing an opt-out option to wireless smart meter connections.
"We get 'zapped' when we walk into a Wi-Fi hotspot, drive through a Fast Lane toll booth, walk through those weird security door wands at the drug store, get x-rayed at an airport, or talk on a wireless phone. It may still be possible to get away from all that spectral inaudible noise, but you would have to go out of your way to do it -- for instance, to upstate Maine," Chet wrote.
Several scientific studies have found no connection between EMF and health risks, although some assert that some individuals can suffer from acute sensitivity to it. While some protestors seem amenable to opt-out provisions, others seek more drastic measures, like a complete rollback of the meter program. At the San Francisco Chronicle, David Baker reported that year that SMUD, a utility in Sacramento, gets a spike in complaints when there are news reports about PG&E's smart meters.
While the scientific claims of EMF antagonists may be tough to establish, their sincerity and commitment is genuine. Last August I attended a hearing on health risks and EMF.
--One individual allegedly died from smart meters, according to one witness. Granted, the witness admitted that the individual had cancer, but argued that smart meters accelerated the disease.
--Another person quoted Shakespeare and said that smart meters violated the U.S. constitution.
--Another analogized smart meter rollouts to the Nuremberg trials.
--Another witness said she felt anxiety and palpitations when visiting cities with smart meters.
--Another witness said that another person entered a home with a smart meter and felt sick. Then she put foil around the meter and felt 50 percent better.