5G—What’s Coming & Why We Need to Fight It
By Linda Mason Hunter
5G technology is the term used to describe the next generation of wireless networks. The G stands for “generation.” 5G is set to replace 4G Wi-Fi and ethernet networks in use today.
It’s not an easy subject to understand. Your home router is 5GHz WiFi, not 5G cellular, the new system carriers are installing now. Confusing branding and marketing combine several terms, in some cases innocently, in some cases on purpose. To clarify the terms, read here: https://www.pcmag.com/article/365754/5g-vs-5g-e-vs-5ghz-whats-the-difference?fbclid=IwAR3in4l_sK9OLtHJJGE9uUe0yoq2gcBpd3CW_h846lnAM4MiI66WKUKgNYw)
The new 5G uses unique radio frequency and microwave levels that are higher, more intense, and more directional than 4G. It’s 100 times faster, and is intended to tie all internet-connected devices together, the first step toward what is called “the Internet of Things,'‘ including driverless cars and remote surgery. When roll-out is complete, on the ground and in space, every person on Earth will have instant access to super-high-speed, inter-connected wireless communications. In order to use 5G you’ll almost certainly need a new phone and a new router for your computer.
5G wireless networks are scheduled to become commercially available next year, but several cities have already begun rolling them out. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have installed 5G infrastructure in many cities, including Minneapolis, Sacramento, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, New York, and Washington, DC. Verizon is planning to roll out 5G in Des Moines, Iowa before the end of this year. Because 5G airwaves don’t travel as far as 4G airwaves do, boxes containing antennas are installed in neighborhoods, on light poles and utility poles every 109 yards, about every two to ten houses. What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty, in turns out. There are three major concerns when it comes to 5G technology—health risk, interference with weather satellites, and surveillance. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) is up in arms about interference with weather satellites; every citizen should be upset about giving up their privacy, but the health risks are downright scary.
Published peer-reviewed studies already indicate that current 4G wireless technologies in use today—our cell phones, computers, and wearable tech—create electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposures which pose a serious threat. Once the concept of wireless technology was initiated, we began exposing the global public to frequencies akin to microwaves at 1 billion cycles per second.
While 4G was bad enough, 5G takes the game to a whole new level. 5G will expose people and ecosystems to levels of EMF and microwave radiation that are tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today. Before we never worried whether or not our drive-time shows would fry our brains. Planet Earth has never before been exposed to such intense levels of microwave exposure at such high frequencies.
5G uses a cocktail of three types of laser-focused radiation, ranging from relatively low-energy radio waves, to microwave radiation with far more energy, to pulsed millimeter waves with vastly more energy. The extremely high frequencies in 5G are where the biggest danger lies. While 4G frequencies go as high as 5 GHz, 5G exposes biological life to pulsed signals in the 30 GHz to 100 GHz range. The general public has never been exposed to such high frequencies for long periods of time.
This is a big deal. It turns out our eyes and our sweat ducts act as antennas for absorption of the higher-frequency 5G waves. Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies show that this type of radiation has both immediate and long-term health effects, including increased cancer risk, cellular stress, changes to DNA, memory deficits, neurological disorders, and insomnia, to name a few. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of serious risk to the planet—birds, plants, animals, every living thing, the entire ecosystem.
At first glance U.S. government websites (CDC, EPA, FCC) lead us to believe this high frequency, high intensity radiation is safe. Yet scientists all over the world are appealing to the World Health Organization to move the 5G wireless signal from a Group 2B Carcinogen to a Group 1, the same as asbestos and arsenic. In January, over 240 scientists and doctors from 41 nations appealed to the United Nations, calling for urgent action to reduce these ever-growing wireless exposures citing serious risks to humans and the environment.
Talking heads of the wireless industry even brashly admit, when forced in a U.S. Senate hearing, that they have not done any safety studies, and they don’t plan to. Yet they freely admit 5G will increase the levels of EMF and microwave radiation in the vicinity of the antennas. It’s a controversial subject fueled by propaganda put out by people willing to cause harm in order to make a profit.
Legal Issues Surrounding 5G
Letter from Robert C. Hunter (Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law, Drake University) to members of the Des Moines City Council.
Telecommunications corporations are in a big hurry to gain approval for 5G permits, limit health and aesthetic requirements, expedite the taking of private property, and cap fees they are charged by local governments. The corporations are seeking to rush this through with the assistance of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a federal regulatory agency that in the current political climate favors the development of surveillance capitalism and shows little interest in regulating, the actual job it is charged to do under the Federal Communications Act of 1934 and its amendments. This leaves much of the protection of citizens in the hands of states and municipalities.
Legal challenges have begun. Nearly 80 cities and counties are involved in a case pending in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The basis of the suit is that the FCC is exceeding its power by limiting local authority over 5G wireless. Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, has called local regulation “red tape” that threatens to “strangle our 5G future.”
Do the cities have a road to success? Yes. One factor is the power of numbers. The more cities that speak up through their city councils, the greater the chance to slow this 5G high speed profit program. Additionally, under our Constitutional system states and municipalities possess what courts call the “police power,” the power to pass laws for the health and safety of its citizens. The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expresses this concept. Safety is a distant concern, if one at all, of the telecommunications giants who are doing all they can to expedite permits with not even lip service to potential safety issues. Citizens and health experts, however, are raising safety concerns. Our mayor and City Council should pay attention to these safety issues before jumping on the bandwagon.
In addition to safety, there is the “taking” issue under the Fifth Amendment. Briefs in the 9th Circuit case have stated the issue: “Compelling state and local governments to grant providers access to rights-of-way and other government-owned property creates permanent, physical intrusions that constitute a taking for which state and local governments are entitled to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment.” And who is to say that some of these takings won’t include private property as well? The number of antennas involved is astronomical.
More information is developing and being published daily. We should slow the rush to 5G in order to protect the property and the health and safety of local citizens. Our City Council should consider joining other municipalities in acting on our behalf.
Many countries have far more protective and stricter radiation limits which will not allow the deployment of 5G. Massive grass-roots movements in Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are building momentum against the technology. In April, Brussels, Belgium became the first city to halt its 5G plans. In making the announcement, the mayor said, “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizens, are not respected. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We must not leave anything to doubt.”
Meanwhile, throughout the U.S., at local, state, and federal levels, new legislation and new zoning aim to streamline the installation of 5G “small cell” antennas in public rights-of-way. Because this high frequency nonionizing radiation is absorbed through the skin, it poses a health risk to everyone living near these antennas.
If the telecommunications industry’s plans for 5G—on the ground and in space—come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect, and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of EMF and microwave radiation that are tens to hundreds times greater than what exists today. Scientists caution that, before rolling out 5G, research on human health effects urgently needs to be done to ensure the public and the environment are protected.
These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the earth’s ecosystems. Let’s slow down and be content with what we have until more research is done.
Sources: “The Future of 5G,” Science Friday, National Public Radio, April 19, 2019. www.sciencefriday.com/segments/the-future-of-5g
5G Signal Could Jam Satellites That Forecast Weather. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/04/5g-mobile-networks-threat-to-world-weather-forecasting?fbclid=IwAR2szJwaXScV6amq7v_AbPDRi3GXGpkax7rCgS2u2LFFKrPNrl0wPXMH1jo
Environmental Health Trust, “Scientific Overview of Human Health Risks.” https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-phoneswireless/5g-networks-iot-scientific-overview-human-health-risks/
RF Radiation Scientific Studies: https://www.radiationhealthrisks.com/scientific-studies/
New 5G Cell Towers to Increase Microwave Radiation:: http://healthimpactnews.com/2017/new-5g-cell-towers-and-smart-meters-to-increase-microwave-radiation-invade-privacy/
5G vs. 5G-E vs. 5ghz—What’s the Difference?: https://www.pcmag.com/article/365754/5g-vs-5g-e-vs-5ghz-whats-the-difference?fbclid=IwAR3in4l_sK9OLtHJJGE9uUe0yoq2gcBpd3CW_h846lnAM4MiI66WKUKgNYw
Verizon to rollout 5G in Des Moines: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/verizon-adds-20-cities-to-its-list-of-5g-coverage-areas-042519.html
Canadian petition: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-2141
Encouraging Municipalities to Take Back Their Power
From: Take Back Your Power. “Empowering Municipalities to Meet the 5G ‘Land Grab’ challenge”
“Many municipalities are capitulating in negotiations with wireless companies when they are threatened or sued for wishing to protect their citizens from the harms of 5G EMF irradiation. Mayors and city councils across this country are convinced they do not have a right to say “no” to the dense call towers and antennas being erected in public rights-of-way.
“What if in fact they have viable options? How can municipalities in the U.S. negotiate more effectively and level the playing field, taking optimal advantage of federal and state law?
“A favored tactic now being deployed by the FCC and industry promoters of 5G is to establish false and invalid assumptions, a tactic designed to squander municipalities’ time and scarce funds, and sap vital and creative energy. The antidote for mayors, city councils, and citizens is to learn the facts, to bring the power, wisdom, and intelligence of heart and mind together to protect the safety of citizens.”
The article continues to list three assumptions the tech industry makes about 5G. Then documents practical actions mayors and city council members can take to protect the citizens of their community.
This information is vital for the leaders of the anti-5G movement to have.
5G Resistance: Electromagnetic Radiation, Affecting People and the Planet
Concern Grows over European Rollout
By Joyce Nelson
Global Research, June 20, 2019
Watershed Sentinel 13 June 2019
Resistance to 5G is rapidly increasing, especially in Europe where many are unwilling to roll over for a 5G rollout. Fifth generation wireless threatens to massively increase electromagnetic radiation, affecting people and the planet.
On March 31, Brussels (Belgium) became the first major city to stop a 5G pilot project because of health concerns. Refusing to increase allowable radiation limits, Celine Fremault, Environment Minister for the Brussels-Capital Region, told the press:
“I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen[s], are not respected, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit.”
A scientific NGO called the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE) – which has “special consultative status” at the United Nations Economic and Social Council – submitted a statement to the UN in February, revealing that allowable international “radiation limits will have to be increased by 30 to 40%” in order to make 5G deployment technologically feasible.
This move by Brussels was one of a number of steps taken in Europe to stop 5G during a recent three-week period.
Other actions include:
§ Florence, Italy applies the precautionary principle, refusing permissions for 5G
§ A district in Rome votes against 5G trials
§ The Russian Ministry of Defence refuses to transfer spectrum frequencies for 5G use
§ The Belgian Environment Minister announces that Brussels is halting its 5G rollout plans.
§ Germans sign a petition en masse to force the Bundestag to debate 5G.
§ Dutch Members of Parliament insist that radiation research must be carried out before approval of 5G
§ Four Swiss cantons adopt resolutions calling for a pause on 5G, pending an environmental report
These events may have been influenced by major petitions that have received attention in Europe since 2015.
But in an extraordinary move, telecom giant Swisscom defied local Swiss ordinances and on April 17 began activating 5G antennas in 102 locations. PACE’s Main UN Representative in Geneva, Olivier Vuillemin, told me by email that Swisscom’s action has caused “a huge backlash against 5G” across the country.
In February 2019, US Senator Richard Blumenthal grilled wireless industry representatives during a Senate hearing. Industry spokesmen admitted that the industry “has done no health and safety studies on 5G.” Senator Blumenthal memorably concluded: “We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.”
In January the FCC removed the public notice requirement – 5G would be installed “without public notice, hearings or appeals”
PACE considers this “an experiment on humanity that constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” in violation of more than 15 international treaties and agreements.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken extraordinary steps to ram through 5G over the past year. First, its unelected officials amended FCC rules in March 2018 so that deployment decisions regarding 5G infrastructure would no longer require public participation and environmental review.
Then in September 2018, the FCC voted to grant itself more power to
1) overrule all local and state governments in terms of siting 5G infrastructure,
2) enforce strict time limits on municipal approval, and
3) determine the (very low) fees that municipalities can collect from the telecom industry for the use of public infrastructure (streetlights, bus stops, sidewalks, buildings, utility poles).
These moves unleashed widespread resistance from the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and the Government Finance Officers Association.
Then in January 2019, the FCC removed the public notice requirement – meaning that 5G infrastructure would be installed “without public notice, hearings or appeals.” But on April 5, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a 2011 San Francisco ordinance requiring the telecom companies to get municipal permits before placing antennas on city-owned infrastructure.
Popular resistance in the US has likely been fueled by the fact that President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and his billionaire Palm Beach, Florida neighbours have obtained a key exemption from 5G rollout plans. Palm Beach Daily News (May 3, 2017) reported that Palm Beach obtained an exemption “from legislation that would limit local control on the installation of 5G transmission equipment … welcome news in Palm Beach, where [Town Manager Tom] Bradford and Mayor Gail Coniglio have warned the new law would be an aesthetic disaster.”
In Canada, such local decision-making has already been ruled out by the Supreme Court.
Rogers vs. Chateauguay
In 2007, Rogers Communications Inc. wanted to erect a cell phone tower within a residential area of the City of Chateauguay, Quebec. Because the tower was to be taller than 15 ft., by law Rogers had to hold a public meeting. Some 100 residents expressed health concerns about electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiation, so Chateauguay City Council established a land reserve on the site, while offering to buy a different property for use by Rogers.
But Rogers insisted on its original site. Backed by a powerful legal team of Torys (Toronto) and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin (Montreal), Rogers took the issue all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled on June 16, 2016 that since the telecom industry comes under the jurisdiction of the federal government – specifically, the Canada Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as regulator – municipalities have no say in the placement of cell phone towers or antennas.
A US expert on wireless radiation and health effects, has called 5G “the stupidest idea in the history of the world” Charles O’Brien, a lawyer familiar with Rogers vs. Chateauguay court history, told me by email that federal jurisdiction over telecommunications “is certainly not unbounded. Its exercise should respect the ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ as well as the Canadian and Quebec Charters,” which “guarantee the right to life, security of person, privacy, and the rights of the handicapped. The Quebec Charter further protects flora and fauna. The telecommunications power may not justify radiation poisoning of humans and the environment. That would also breach the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
But for Canadians, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and constitutional right to privacy may be most pertinent in challenging 5G.
Spying on Canadians
5G will expand “smart cities” and the Internet of Things (IoT). But a recent expose by CBC’s Marketplace revealed how easily “smart” home devices can be hacked to spy on residents.
In Toronto, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has recently filed a court application to stop (Alphabet/Google subsidiary) Sidewalk Labs’ “smart city” project as “unconstitutional” because it would allow “historically unprecedented, non-consensual, inappropriate mass-capture surveillance and commoditization of personal data.”
Sidewalk Labs’ proposed development of the eastern Toronto waterfront includes self-driving cars, robotic deliveries and garbage collection, snow-melting digital streets and sidewalks, and multiple sensors throughout the region to hoover up personal data from residents and pedestrians. In December 2018, Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the project “raises concerns in areas such as consumer protection, data collection, security, privacy, governance, anti-trust and ownership of intellectual privacy.”
New Space Race
Complicating the issues is the wireless industry’s insistence on the use of satellites for 5G.
The 5G network will blanket the earth via 20,000 low and high-orbit satellites. Elon Musk’s SpaceX project “Starlink” has received federal approval to launch 12,000 satellites. Other companies involved in the new space race for 5G include OneWeb (4,560 satellites), Boeing (2,956 satellites) Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper (3,000 satellites), and Telesat Canada (512 satellites).
The Economist (Dec. 8, 2018) has stated: “With a network of [5G] satellites encircling the planet, humans will soon never be off-line. High-quality Internet connections will become more widespread than basic sanitation and running water.” As Wendell Berry observed in his 1996 book The Unsettling of America (i.e. before even 4G wireless was introduced), the human body is becoming “marginal.” 5G takes us the next step.
Dr. Martin Pall, a US expert on wireless radiation and health effects, has called 5G “the stupidest idea in the history of the world.”
The Watershed Sentinel (April/May 2019) reports that many communities in North America (800+) are eschewing wireless (and the big telecoms) and building and operating their own “fiber-to-the-premises” wired networks, or “municipal broadband.”
This may be the best way to gain local control, unless you’re a Palm Beach billionaire.
A must-see video….
Senate Hearing on 5G
Wireless Technology is Harming Us
“We have created something that is harming us, and it is getting out of control. Before Edison’s light bulb there was very little electromagnetic radiation in our environment. The levels today are very many times higher than natural background levels, and are growing rapidly because of all the new devices that emit this radiation. Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely.”
DON’T BUY A NEW 5G PHONE
The May 7, 2019 issue of The New York Times reports on the new 5G cellular technology. They don't mention the health effects, which scare me, but they don't recommend 5G, either. Their conclusion? Don't buy a new 5G phone just yet.
The Times reports, "Although 5G could be useful in a few years, none of the devices coming in 2019 are worth waiting for. The phones will be big, inefficient, and expensive. Even if you end up with a 5G phone, it won’t work in many places. Carriers are years away from building out 5G networks to offer the same coverage as 4G, and 5G won’t even work inside without additional indoor network hardware. For the foreseeable future, 4G will offer a better overall experience."
5G HEALTH RISKS: THE WAR BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN BEINGS
5G AS HAZARDOUS AS ASBESTOS: SCIENTISTS
5G CLASS ACTION
5G ON EARTH AND IN SPACE
At least five companies are proposing to provide 5G from space from a combined 20,000 satellites in low- and medium-Earth orbit that will blanket the Earth with powerful, focused, steerable beams. Each satellite will emit millimeter waves with an effective radiated power of up to 5 million watts from thousands of antennas arranged in a phased array.
Although the energy reaching the ground from satellites will be less than that from ground-based antennas, it will irradiate areas of the Earth not reached by other transmitters and will be additional to ground-based 5G transmissions from billions of Internet of Things (IoT) objects. Even more importantly, the satellites will be located in the Earth’s magnetosphere, which exerts a significant influence over the electrical properties of the atmosphere.
The alteration of the Earth’s electromagnetic environment may be an even greater threat to life than the radiation from ground-based antennas.