STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
California Recall … Beginning of the End for Smart Meters?
By Staff News & Analysis - November 03, 2011

PG&E BEGINS REMOVING 'SMART' METERS DUE TO HEALTH EFFECTS … Widening Call for Immediate Return of Analogs; Disconnection of "Mesh" Wireless Network. SANTA CRUZ, CA—Just as PG&E enters the final phase of its deployment of wireless "smart" meters in California, the largest of the state's Investor Owned Utilities (IOU's) has reversed course, quietly beginning to replace the 'smart' meters of those reporting health impacts with the old trusty analog version. Consumer rights and health groups immediately seized on the news, demanding that millions of Californians unhappy with their new wireless meters get their analogs returned immediately at no cost. 'Smart' meters are new wireless utility meters being installed as part of the "smart" grid initiative, spearheaded by technology firms and backed by the Obama administration and the Department of Energy. Promises ranging from lower utility bills to enhanced renewable generation capacity have failed to materialize, with widespread reports of higher bills, privacy violations, fires and explosions, and commonly reported health impacts such as headaches, nausea, tinnitus, and heart problems associated with powerful wireless transmissions. – Press release from StopSmartMeters.org

Dominant Social Theme: Smart meters are very helpful for a green planet. So what's the fuss?

Free-Market Analysis: When we first wrote about these evil "Smart Meters" well over a year ago, they weren't receiving much attention. But we saw them as part of a broader plan of the Anglosphere power elite to continue their quest for control over every part of people's lives. We figured the deployment of Smart Meters would go forward for several years without much resistance but we were wrong.

The Smart Meter craze has been positioned as a subdominant social theme by the elites: There are too many people, not enough power and we need to control every aspect of our energy existence and use. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. You can see some of our articles here: "Smart Grid: Edge of the Authoritarian Wedge" and "Technocracy".

The world is swimming in energy – and oil, as a matter of fact. We've reported on the statement of one of the Forbes brothers of magazine fame that the US has enough oil domestically for centuries of use, but that discoveries and exploitation have been artificially reduced by "environmental" regulations and federal land ownership. The US fedgov owns about one-third of America's lower 48, mostly in the Midwest.

But far sooner than we figured, it seems the Smart Meter backlash has arrived. Turns out that people don't like the considerable hikes in their bills once Smart Meters are installed. Nor do they enjoy the health ramifications that are apparently involved, either. Thus we were both surprised and gratified to receive this press release from StopSmartMeters.org, detailing considerable pushback to the deployment of Smart Meters in California. Here's more from the release:

Widely disparate political groups- from members of the Green Party to the Tea Party and Occupy protesters have attacked the program, and dozens of grassroots organizations have sprouted up over the past several months to fight what they call an undemocratic, unconstitutional and dangerous assault on people in their own homes and neighborhoods.

Dozens of people have been detained or arrested for peaceful civil disobedience and even simply speaking out against deployments. In California, more than 47 cities and counties have demanded a halt to installation, and a dozen local governments have passed laws prohibiting the controversial technology. The 'smart' meter issue has further angered a public already seething at the utilities over repeated gas explosions, safety breaches at nuclear reactors, and an increasingly extortionate rate structure.

Word of California's 'smart' meter nightmare has spread across the country and around the world, prompting some utilities to place smart meter plans on hold, and recently Nevada's PUC to call for investigations into the health effects and other smart meter problems. Now in a dramatic turnaround that could signal the beginning of a widespread recall of wireless 'smart' meters, on October 28th PG&E re-installed a classic spinning disc analog meter on the home of Santa Cruz, CA resident Caitlin Phillips, who had been suffering headaches and other symptoms from her 'smart' meter.

The move comes in response to verbal directives from the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, who recently told members of the public that the utility "will provide for you to go back to the analog meter if that's your choice." The CPUC has been slow to respond to thousands of ordinary citizens reporting health effects from the new meters.

When a Wellington Energy installer (contracted with PG&E) came to install a smart meter at her home, Caitlin asked the installer to get off her property and not install, because of what a neighbor had told her about possible health damage and privacy violations. "When I returned home later, I discovered a smart meter on my house. That night I awoke to severe anxiety, headache, and buzzing in my teeth, and realized the new smart meter was on the other side of the wall from my bed."

Caitlin reported her experience to PG&E and the CPUC, who both declined to rectify the situation. When the symptoms persisted, Caitlin sought the assistance of the Scotts Valley based group Stop Smart Meters! who provided an analog meter and referred her to a professional who could help her remove her 'smart' meter. As soon as the analog was installed, Caitlin's symptoms disappeared.

Frustrated and outraged about her treatment by the utility and the PUC, Caitlin travelled to San Francisco to speak at a commission meeting on Oct. 20th. About a week later, PG&E crews were at her house replacing her temporary analog meter with a brand new official PG&E analog meter. This is believed to be the first time PG&E have willingly replaced an analog meter on the home of someone suffering from health effects.

An "opt-out" proceeding overseen by an Administrative Law Judge is underway at the CA Public Utilities Commission, yet those suffering (in some cases severe) health impacts have been stuck in limbo as utilities refuse to remove the harmful meters upon request- until now.

"There are hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of people suffering in their homes from forced 'smart' meter radiation," said Joshua Hart, Director of the grassroots organization Stop Smart Meters! "The utilities and PUC's must respond promptly to all requests that analogs be returned. The alternative is that people will increasingly turn to independent professionals to remove unwanted 'smart' meters from their homes, a reasonable action we assert is within our legal rights. Protecting your family's health is not tampering."

PG&E and other utilities have also been responding to health complaints by replacing wireless 'smart' meters with digital meters that are "wireless-ready." These digital meters have been associated with health problems from "dirty electricity" frequencies that pass into a home via the electrical wiring.

These "trojan horse" meters have been roundly rejected by those who report continuing health impacts after installation. Susan Brinchman, Director of San Diego based Center for Electrosmog Prevention. said "At this point, the burden of responsibility is on the utilities to demonstrate that any new meter they want to install on our homes is safe. Communities have the right to retain analog meters at no extra charge.

Smart Meters are an outgrowth of M. King Hubbert and the so-called Technocracy movement that was prominent in the mid-20th century. Hubbert is, of course, also the inventor of the concept of "Peak Oil" – the idea that oil production will at some point peak and then gradually begin to subside.

Is it any coincidence that Hubbert, a believer in the Platonic idea of the rule by a few wise men over the many, also invented the ridiculous notion of Peak Oil? It is evident and obvious to anyone who bothers to give even a few minutes of study to the issue that the Anglosphere power elite has been plotting this gambit for nearly a century now.

Peak Oil was supposed to be the problem. Smart Meters were supposed to be the solution. The idea was to figure out exactly what people were doing as regards their energy habits and then tax them and regulate them.

The idea that a handful of men can force billions to do their bidding is a fairly ridiculous notion in our view. As their dominant social themes have proven less effective in the 21st century, the elites have turned to violence and war. Yet violence is not only an ineffective way of moving society in a certain direction, it is an unpredictable one.

The Internet Reformation is a wonderful thing. Ten or fifteen years ago, a movement to dump Smart Meters would likely never have seen the light of day. There would have been no way to disseminate the information even if one could have concluded that Smart Meters were not what the authorities were claiming they were.

After Thoughts

That a backlash against Smart Meters could have come so soon is further proof of our observation regarding the new communication technology: It is a process, not an episode.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
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