Opinion: Green chile, coffee, sunshine and the 5G apocalypse

Posted 6/6/19

We live in an era of disinformation and bad actors assaulting our national security with impunity. The deployment of 5G is considered by some national governments to be not an evolutionary, but a …

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Opinion: Green chile, coffee, sunshine and the 5G apocalypse

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We live in an era of disinformation and bad actors assaulting our national security with impunity. The deployment of 5G is considered by some national governments to be not an evolutionary, but a revolutionary step for humankind. The bad actors seek to prevent us from participating in that by sowing fear through social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and the RT network (Russian television, aka "Putin's paw"). The goal is to stifle the deployment of 5G in the United States, making us less competitive on the world stage. Read the May 12 New York Times article "Your 5G Phone Won't Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise." My hope is that I live long enough to enjoy a 5G world.

Taos is a haven for pseudoscience, which is the act of substituting beliefs for facts. It walks hand in hand with the parroting of disinformation and conspiracy theories. It commonly includes paranoia, the denial of known science, the cherry-picking of data and the discrediting of reliable sources of information. Typical pseudoscience cults include windmill cancer, climate change denial, vaccines and autism, gluten danger, chemtrails and, more recently, the 5G apocalypse.

It is important to understand the scientific method. One video rant, report or anecdote does not form a conclusion. Several qualified institutions must repeat an experiment, review it with scientists having similar skills and achieve the same results. Over the last 50 years, government and university laboratories have performed tens of thousands of studies on exposures to broad ranges of radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic fields (EMF). These studies have not attributed one death to RF/EMF exposure.

In a May 9 Taos News opinion piece ("Radiation - are you out there?"), the author Tara Somerville uses talking points right out of the cherry-picking playbook. The author states that "The World Health Organization has classified Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields as Class 2B carcinogenic to humans" without explaining what that means. Class 2B defines a "possible carcinogen," meaning tests have presented inconclusive results. Other substances earning the WHO Class 2B label are: pickled vegetables, caffeic acid (found in coffee, green chile, many herbs), grilled meats and many common household chemicals. The WHO Class 2 identifies a probable carcinogen; Class 1 defines a proven carcinogen, making Class 2B a third-tier threat. Read the WHO article (who.int) "Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Mobile Phones."

The author conveys another blatantly false claim that "Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies (written by and reviewed by experts) link wireless radiation to several types of cancer, DNA damage, anxiety and depression, among other ailments, with heightened risks for children." You will not find this claim supported in any reliable scientific publication.

Another misleading assertion is that [wireless industry] "executives stated that $0 have been allocated for safety testing." The safety and dangers of RF/EMF exposure have already been documented for decades by thousands of studies. It is not the responsibility of the industry, nor is it necessary, to spend decades and millions of dollars to repeat those studies.

The author uses an unsubstantiated and simplistic assumption that with 5G "whatever dangers 1-4G pose are expected to be heightened and disease incubation periods shortened." Neither 4G nor 5G are new mysterious alien technologies. They are marketing labels for radio frequencies which have existed since the beginning of time, and have served other beneficial purposes for decades.

The FCC regulates how they are used and is reassigning the following frequencies for commercial applications:

•700 mHz was previously used for broadcasting UHF television. It is now used for public safety radio, i.e. police, EMT, civil alert. It will be used for large-scale, short-distance communications such as stadium events and vehicle communications;

•3.4-3.8 gHz was previously assigned for use in amateur radio, amateur satellite and aircraft to ground communication. It will be used for "smart city" and "smart grid" applications, such as managing power grid efficiency (smart meters), traffic management and other municipal infrastructure;

•26-28 gHz is used for satellite to earth communication, such as GPS, weather and scientific satellites including the Space Station. It will be used to increase personal cellphone data speeds by 10 times and signal distance to that of a powerful FM radio station.

We have long had a thorough understanding of which frequencies are a danger to humans. They are indeed "invisible rays," but their qualities are by no means mysterious. We know that the higher frequencies associated with 5G are less able to penetrate the skin. Overexposure to penetrating frequencies like X-rays, ultraviolet, and microwaves are well understood and used to our benefit.

By far the most dangerous source of radiation to humans is our sun. Over four million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, of which 90% are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Almost a half-million Americans die annually from tobacco use. Over 7 million Americans die annually from airborne pollution from coal-fired power plants and auto exhaust. Today, I'm not concerned about a radio wave that's been understood and used for decades.

I encourage everyone to research thoroughly their chosen subjects, searching for multiple articles with concurring claims from known scientific institutions and reliable news outlets. Ignore everything from the RT and Fox networks, and especially flyers handed out at a grocery store.

Stan Ubeki lives in Ranchos de Taos.

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