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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/22/18

Our Web of Inconvenient Truths

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Montgomery County, Maryland, will sue the FCC over radiofrequency emissions standards for small cell antennas. The County aims to force the agency to update its emissions standards. https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/government/county-to-sue-fcc-over-radio-frequency-emission-standards-for-small-cell-antennas/

Get informed about what's truly sustainable, and what's just hype. Energy analyst Kris De Decker's newest piece about the circular economy is very worthwhile: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-11-12/how-circular-is-the-circular-economy/

Report from the UN's July 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

In July 2018, I attended the UN's High-Level Political Development with 2500 others. The Forum focused on the UN's sustainable-development goals (SDGs). The 17 SDGs include ending poverty, providing universal clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, reducing CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss, increasing educational opportunities and affordable, clean energy.

Many presenters believe that technology will save us from our myriad troubles. They aim for universal access to online services. Few people have considered the harmful, unintended consequences of electronics or the Internet. A report, "Sustainable Energy for All," quotes the head of Energy & Extractives at the World Bank: "There needs to be increased financing, bolder policy commitments, and a willingness to embrace new technologies on a wider scale." A card from OpenDevelopmentMekong.net shows a lush picture of a river at the base of mountains and the statement: "Join the Ecosystem. Become a data contributor today."

A keynote speaker declared, "To achieve the SDGs, all we need is speed." Later, I asked this man how speed works with regulations to safeguard the public's life, health and property. He said it was a great question, and whizzed on.

Smart Cities are the rage. Dubai has proudly gone paperless. Many people said, "there's no reason to hold back from smart technology."

A few speakers admitted that in their country, "We will not be able to achieve the SDGs by 2030."

At several side panels, I presented my flyer about the Internet's footprint. After reading the flyer, most people said they'd never thought of the Internet's energy consumption, greenhouse-gas emissions or waste. (This flyer summarizes my forthcoming book, Our Web of Inconvenient Truths. The flyer is now available in English, German and Japanese at www.electronicsilentspring.com/flyer; if you can translate it into French, Spanish or another language, please let me know.)

When I explained, "As we shift from 4G to 5G, none of the TVs that operate at 4G will work. So they'll all go to the dump; and people will need to buy new TVs, which will require LOTS more electricity, water and raw materials." When I said, "4.5 billion people are now online; getting the remaining 3 billion online will require LOTS more raw materials, electricity and water. It'll generate LOTS more CO2, EMR and waste. If our goals include sustainability, reducing CO2 emissions and waste, how will we provide universal access?".... people recognized the massiveness of our dilemma.

When I shared An Electronic Silent Spring, my book about the health and environmental effects of EMR exposure, many people said they'd been looking for this kind of information. Ministers and laypeople from several countries would often then clutch my arm, because their child is addicted to video games. So then I offered "Calming Behavior in Children with Autism and ADHD," (www.electronicsilentspring.com/calming-behavior). I'd tell them about Victoria Dunckley, MD's book, Reset Your Child's Brain.

Attendees from India Climate Justice explained to me that in order to slow the climate changes and extreme-weather events that we now witness so frequently, we must reduce our consumption by at least 70%.

How on Earth do we reduce our consumption by even 25%? How could anyone reduce Internet use by even 25%? I kept asking these questions, and then I thought of the 3%-per-month idea: Reduce energy consumption and media use by 3% per month. I'll launch this campaign when SteinerBooks publishes Our Web of Inconvenient Truths. Meanwhile, here are two ways to shrink your footprint:

Biodigesters

Biodigesters take vegan kitchen scraps and turn them into liquid fertilizer and methane gas that 20 million Chinese families (and some American schools) use for cooking fuel and/or to power generators. For videos about Dr. T.H. Culhane and biodigesters at the University of Florida, visit:

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Katie Singer Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Katie Singer works on public policy with the Electromagnetic Radiation Policy Institute. A medical journalist, her books include The Garden of Fertility; Honoring Our Cycles, and An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits. 

Here websites include:
Katiesinger.com and electronicsilentspring.com
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