A dizzying array of new technological developments is about to sweep us all up in a whirlwind.

What is 5G? The name comes from the term "fifth generation" and is the latest wireless communication system being rolled out in major cities across the United States.

The New Mexico Legislature recently passed two new bills that will allow wireless communications corporations, like Verizon and AT&T, to place "small cell" antennas on our street lights, utility poles and other public property as part of a nationwide 5G initiative without community consent or remuneration.

On August 12, a free multidisciplinary symposium, "5G and our Community: The Future of Birds, Bees and Humanity," will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Taos Mesa Brewery Mothership. This symposium will inform and educate the Taos community about 5G and other invasive and hazardous technologies that will significantly alter our lives.

Several nationally known speakers in the fields of health and the environment, especially on the topic of Radio Frequency radiation, will present. The keynote speaker is Arthur Firstenberg of Santa Fe, author of "The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life." Other speakers include Nikki Florio, founder of Bee Heroic, Bud Wilson of Deep Nature Journeys and Michael Blanshan, founder of Doctors W.A.R.N. (Wireless and Radiation Network).

According to Makia Freeman, a contributing writer for "Wake up World," 5G "is designed to work in conjunction with the internet of things. The intention is to hook every single material thing on the planet, as well as humans themselves, onto a vast planetwide web where everything and everyone become nodes on the network."

The Environmental Health Trust notes in a recent bulletin on their website ehtrust.org:

• The 5G rollout will add to your cumulative daily radiation exposure.

• Millions of small cells would be built in front yards. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that millions of these wireless transmitters will be built in our rights-of-way, directly in front of our homes.

• Scientists worldwide are calling for a halt to the 5G rollout. In 2017, over 180 scientists and doctors from 36 countries issued a declaration calling for a moratorium on 5G cell antennas based upon scientific studies on the adverse health effects of RF.

And it's not just humans that are adversely affected, so are the birds, bees and trees.

Aspen's decline in Colorado began in 2004, after the radio towers of the digital trunked radio system, a public safety communications network, invaded "Aspen Country," the western mountainous part of the state.

Bee colony collapse and the disappearance of bird species are also attributed to RF radiation.

Recently, the power of citizen action was on display in a major case involving the Public Service Company of New Mexico, the largest utility in New Mexico. Several citizen groups, including New Mexicans for Utility Safety and Citizens for Fair Rates and the Environment, opposed PNM's proposal to replace analog meters with RF "smart" meters.

The little guys actually won. The hearing examiner for the PRC ruled that the PNM "plan presented in the application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest." It cited the excessive cost of installing RF "smart" meters, costs that would be passed on to consumers.

This case is especially relevant to Taos County, where Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has already installed RF "smart" meters on all new construction, in solar-powered systems and in outlying areas of Taos County.

An overwhelming body of evidence shows that these RF "smart" meters will increase rates and raise costs for the cooperative's members. These meters also pose health risks, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Pregnant women, young children and those with medical implants are especially vulnerable.

Please join us on August 12 for what promises to be an exciting symposium. Admission is free, but donations will be welcome.

If you would like to become part of our local working group on these issues, please write to me at steven@poetry-art.com

Steven Schneider, Ph.D., is a poet and critic, former Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellow and author and editor of nine books, including "The Magic of Mariachi," recently featured in an exhibit in Hunan Province, China.

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