Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Green MP uses abuse rather than debate
What happens when you challenge the co-leader of the Green Party in one of his blog posts?
He resorts to name calling.
Take this thread, where Russel Norman gets hysterical about cellphone towers, with scaremongering about them being near children's bedrooms etc.
The bogey is non-ionising radiation, and of course the Greens have decided the target on this one are cellphone towers which are commissioned by another bogey - evil privately owned telecommunications corporations (oh if only it was the Post Office, we'd still be testing to see if cellphones are safe or we'd have our own bespoke system with no roaming to rip people off when overseas). Russel even claims the group of bureaucrats and industry representatives involved in setting standards for such things was:
another committee dominated by industry and government departments with one health professional. A group dominated by those trying to reduce costs for telcos.
So a conspiracy of those who don't believe the pseudo-science. Playing the ball not the people again. If these people don't take it seriously then it must be vested interest, rather than being wrong.
Now let's be clear. I do think there can be issues with continuous high concentrations of non-ionising radiation from sources like cellphones or laptops. There is some evidence around very high volumes of cellphone use and effects on tissues that frankly tell me just to be cautious. However it is about handsets NOT transmitter towers.
Why? Well humanity has been testing non-ionising radio transmitters since the 1920s, and at transmission power many many many times that of any cellphone tower. West Auckland has been bathed in high powered TV transmissions from Waiatarua since the 1960s, as has Khandallah and Johnsonville in Wellington from Kaukau.
So I wrote:
Suggest you shut down the AM transmitters for National Radio, the AM Network and Newstalk ZB in Titahi Bay since they have been transmitting non-ionising radiation blanketing Porirua City at levels of over 100x the strength of cellphone transmitters since the 1940s. Mt Victoria has had radio transmitters on it for some years as well, and then Khandallah and Johnsonville have had nearly 50 years of Kaukau blanketing them.
I have a friend who was part of a detailed study into levels of non-ionising radiation in Australia. A group of unscientific cellphone site phobics demanded readings be made in one town, and it was found the local TV transmitter on the hill exposed residents to much more continuous exposure at higher volumes than those who would live within a radius of the cellsite. She told them the TV transmitter and local FM radio stations would need to be closed first before removing cellsites – naturally there was an outrage and people couldn’t stand losing TV and radio.
However, don’t let science and the fact that human beings have been bombarding each other with high levels of non-ionising radiation for a couple of generations get in the way of renewing scaremongering over something that hasn’t been remotely demonstrated to be dangerous to human health. Don’t confuse it with the issue of cellphone handset exposure to brains, which does have some merit as an issue (as people haven’t been doing that).
I’m amazed you haven’t jumped on cordless phones at the home, wifi base stations at home, electric blankets (sleeping on an electrical element), the people sitting in front of cathode ray tubes for the last couple of generations (LCD, Plasma and LEDs are ending this). How many of the people who you’ve scaremongered about cellphone towers happily have any number of these devices and let their kids use them and don’t think twice about it?
Or is this really about beating up privately owned telcos instead of a balanced rational debate about science? Otherwise you would have long campaigned for National Radio’s 500kW transmitter at Titahi Bay to be shut down years ago.
However, that doesn't matter to Russel. He doesn't want to tell people to turn off the radio stations or TV. It's a war against corporations as you can see by his response to me here: