Not my words but those of Susan Crawford, John A. Reilly Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School, author of Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It; Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, and co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance. She is writing in Wired magazine this week.
She draws the parallel between global warming and the current hype around 5G as the solution to all our problems. In each case we are required to trust in the power of ‘technology’ to solve the massive problems that both threaten.
‘As with climate change, where denial rhetoric has been driven by companies interested in maintaining the status quo, the wireless industry is vitally interested in assuring us that 5G poses no issues—or that there’s an unresolved debate, so we should trust the existing radio-frequency exposure standards.’
But…. ‘What if transmissions to and from 5G cells, which will need to be everywhere, and much closer to us than traditional cell towers, pulsing out very-high-frequency radio waves at high power levels, pose real risks to human health?’
What indeed? Susan Crawford’s article, which is well worth reading, goes on to explore these ‘very real risks’.
Meanwhile, the good burghers of Brussels – well, specifically Céline Fremault, Minister of the Government, responsible for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment and Energy – have already rejected 5G because they are worried about the health effects of the technology.
‘I cannot welcome’, said Ms Frenault, ‘such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.’
Not that health effects are many governments’ main concerns about 5G. They are more bothered about the security risks that the proposed 5G networks may pose, especially if they use products made by Huawei whose links with the Chinese government they deeply suspect. For this side of the argument, see this article in the Financial Times last month.
No problem. Those of us who worry about the long term health effects of man-made electro magnetic radiation do not care why the-powers-that-are start to worry about it too – as long as they do.