Australian 5G inquiry report ignores the science

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts’ report, entitled The next gen future: Inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia, was presented to Parliament on 12 May 2020.

The chair of the Committee, Hon Dr David Gillespie MP, enthusiastically opined in his address to Parliament (Hansard, pp. 44-45) that “This report is an excellent report”, going on to say that “It establishes that 5G is coming and it’s going to revolutionise so many parts of industry”.  Dr Gillespie asserted that 5G is safe technology, dismissing “the concerns by some people in the community” as having “been influenced by misinformation about the technology”.

As foreshadowed by the Australian Government’s decision in December 2019 to establish a new community information campaign on 5G, the Committee’s report fails to give any credence – whatsoever – to concerns voiced by the majority of the inquiry participants about the wisdom of hurtling down a path that clearly offers no assurances of safety.

Instead the report’s recommendations focus on facilitating an early uptake of 5G technology.

Recommendations 10 and 11 reflect the Committee’s blinkered view that “Better communication of 5G mobile technology is essential to help dispel some of the myths that exist around 5G”.  The report contends that “The communication of the reality of 5G has been neglected, however, allowing fears over health and safety, the technology involved and the application of 5G to take hold. Misinformation has filled the vacuum and public confidence in 5G has been shaken”.

ARPANSA is called upon to implement a mechanism to consult with members of the community in regard to safe levels of electromagnetic radiation.  The Committee also recommends that the Australian Government work closely with the ACMA to develop a campaign that can respond to concerns about 5G.

Recommendation 14 calls on the Australian Government to work with carriers to develop campaigns to boost industry awareness about the advantages of 5G to businesses to help realise the benefits quickly.  The Committee stipulates that the campaign should also lift 5G awareness within local government.

The Committee acknowledged that it accepted a “large number of submissions which solely addressed concerns over how the deployment of 5G may affect human health”. However, it stated that, “As the Committee is not a health committee, it was limited in its ability to investigate this issue fully”.  Nevertheless, the report claims that, “The Committee sought to inform itself about this issue…”.

The assertion by the Committee that it sought to inform itself about potential health risks stretches credulity, as illustrated in SSMA’s posts entitled Inquiry into 5G in Australia: Misinformation by whom? and Federal Government announces $9 million splurge to ‘build public confidence’ in 5G safety.

Sadly, it appears that the government has been blindsided, yet again, by industry interests.

SSMA website followers who are residents or citizens of Australia may wish to sign an e-petition to the House of Representatives calling for the House to suspend further implementation of the 5G network and an inquiry into its potential health risks. The petition asks that the number of Australians opposed to the deployment of 5G be taken into consideration.

The petition can be accessed at: https://www.aph.gov.au/petition_list?id=EN1490

The closing date for signatures is 10 June 2020.

Note that after signing the petition an email with a link will be sent to you.  The link must be clicked within eight hours in order for your signature to be valid.

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Open letter of complaint to The Guardian: Safety of 5G is NOT proven!

The EM Radiation Research Trust, an independent UK charitable trust, has lambasted The Guardian for falsely claiming that 5G is completely safe.

In an open letter to The Guardian and to the UK’s largest independent regulator of newspapers and magazines, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), EM Radiation Research Trust alleges that The Guardian has failed to provide responsible, balanced and accurate reporting in its articles on 5G.  EM Radiation Research Trust has called on IPSO to investigate the breaches.

EM Radiation Research Trust writes that ‘It is highly irresponsible to provide a one-sided biased opinion’ and points out The Guardian’s error in relying on assurances of safety from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  EM Radiation Research Trust’s letter states:

‘In truth, the ICNIRP guidelines are deeply flawed and obsolete. The guidelines are set by a small, non-governmental organization of invitation-only, unelected private members who set guidelines for thermal heating for short term acute exposures only. We feel the last part of the sentence bears repeating for emphasis: ICNIRP sets guidelines for thermal heating for short term, acute exposures only. That means ICNIRP is only concerned whether or not 5G causes burns, heatstroke, or shocks.’

However, as pointed out in the letter, ‘when the general public thinks about health concerns from a phone mast/cell tower, they are not thinking shocks and heatstroke. The general public’s concern related to RF radiation have to do with cancer, immune suppression, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, birth defects and infertility. When a Guardian reader finds reassurance in Alex Hern’s [the journalist’s] words that the evidence that 5G is safe is “overwhelming”, it might also be advisable that The Guardian mention ICNIRP’s timeframe for testing.

‘ICNIRP’s latest paper published May 2020 repeatedly highlights the fact that 6 minutes is the normal time frame to a small area of the body, plus a 30-minute window for whole-body exposure in assessing any health effects associated with thermal effects to the flesh area of the body. The Guardian is, therefore, supporting safety claims for everyone exposed to 5G based on the fact that the public will not feel any heating effects during a 6 minute exposure. The public will be exposed to this form of radiation 24/7 for a lifetime, not 6 minutes. The ICNIRP standards are woefully inadequate in offering any form of protection in the real world, real-life settings for public long term exposure and especially children.’

To read the full letter, go to https://www.radiationresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RRT-Letter-to-Guardian.pdf

In Australia, the Australian Press Council is the principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints from the public about content in Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets.  The Council’s Standards of Practice require publications to take reasonable steps to ensure that factual material is accurate and not misleading, and presented with reasonable fairness and balance.

In addition, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) can investigate journalists who are members of its organisation for breaches of MEAA’s Journalist Code of Ethics.

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ACNEM Online Global Conference: Environmental and Viral Disruptors

The Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM), based in Melbourne, Australia, is hosting an 8-week online conference during May and June 2020. The conference kicks off on May 4 investigating COVID-19 around the world and what environmental medicine looks like in 2020.

The education sessions are aimed at individuals seeking wellbeing in addition to medical professionals, health policy makers and educators.  Conference experts will explore optimising immune function and the personal environment as well as looking at environmental causes of illness including EMFs (weeks 5 and 6) and impacts of the global environment on human health.

Dr David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York at Albany’s School of Public Health and author of more than 450 peer-reviewed studies will be presenting ‘The Big Picture of Environmental Medicine’, ‘Electromagnetic Disruption: What’s the Issue?’ and ‘Environmental Influences in Chronic Illness’ in addition to participating in a panel discussion on the 5G rollout and its implications.  Other conference presenters include Nicole Bijlsma, Dr Priyanka Bandara, Dr Julie McCredden and Dr Don Maisch.

The $295 cost provides participants with livestreamed presentations, recordings and weekly live Q&A sessions, and includes a 3-month pass to access all content.

If your own medical practitioner needs to further their knowledge on the effects of EMFs, perhaps it would be worthwhile pointing them to the ACNEM 2020 online conference?

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France is right: Kids at home during pandemic shouldn’t use mobile phones for hours – Dr Devra Davis

In these worrying times when a new highly contagious virus has ended life as we once knew it, we increasingly rely on mobile phones to allow us some sense of connection to those we care about. But, asks Dr. Devra Davis, just how safe are these now-ubiquitous, essential devices and the networks on which they rely?

Across the United States, children are being asked to use phones for school in ways that would be illegal in France and Israel, where phones are not permitted to be used for educational purposes.

Last summer a Chicago Tribune investigation showed that when phones are tested directly next to the body, some of the most popular devices released up to five times more radiation than the FCC’s [US Federal Communications Commission] two-decade-old limits would allow.

Why does this matter? Every single millimetre off the body results in 15% less exposure.  In fact, when the agency responsible for phone testing for the government of France, (yes they have an actual agency that tests hundreds of devices), examined phones close to the body, radiation levels were found to be four to 11 times more than FCC obsolete standards allow.

The test results of the Chicago Tribune, the law firm of Fegan ScottCBC Broadcasting, and the government of France leave no doubt that phones exceed radiation limits when tested the way we use phones – in body contact positions. Had the FCC tested phones close to the body, most phones would have exceeded allowable limits.

In sharp contrast to the FCC’s stale position, the government of France is calling for phones to be tested with zero spacing between the phone and the body. Moreover, France recommends the public reduce cell phone radiation exposure, especially for children and pregnant women. In fact, the European Union strengthened compliance tests in 2016, limiting the phone/body test distance to no more than 5 mm (whereas the US allows up to 25 mm).

Over a dozen smartphone models have now been withdrawn from the market due to excessive radiation levels. These actions were spurred by the dedication of Dr. Marc Arazi and the organization Phonegate who pressured the government of France to release cell phone test data showing excessive radiation when phones tested at body contact.

Since 2010, the French have insisted that all phones sold include labelled radiation levels and wired headsets. Along with Belgium, manufacturers in France are banned from marketing or advertising phones for young children. Cyprus and France have also removed Wi-Fi from kindergartens, restricted Wi-Fi in classrooms, and banned phones in schools.

While we must remain on guard to slow viral transmission through social distancing, we also must stay equally vigilant about reducing exposures to our children to radiation never tested for their young bodies and brains. Rather than accept false assurances that all is fine with dousing youngsters in these unprecedented wireless exposures, we must make efforts to help them and take time out from screens to save their young eyes and ears, make sure tablets remain on tables and not on young bodies, and also ensure that devices are used on airplane mode whenever possible.

We can’t default to the wireless babysitters seductively lurking within these devices. Now more than ever we should connect with our children without electronics and enjoy the moments we have with them.

Dr. Devra Davis, founder of EHTrust.org, served in the Clinton administration from 1994-1999 and was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Abridged from article published by EU Reporter.

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Inquiry into 5G in Australia: Misinformation by whom?

Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into 5G, which was announced in September 2019 with submissions due at the beginning of November 2019, continues to trundle on.

Over 500 of the responses have now been published on the parliamentary website.  An overwhelming majority of these have raised concerns about the deployment of 5G technology.

The parliamentary committee charged with undertaking this inquiry held public hearings in Queensland and the ACT last year, followed by hearings in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in February.  According to Parliament’s webpage on public hearings, witnesses are called to a hearing so that the committee “can hear from people who have experience or expertise that is relevant to the committee’s inquiry”.

Given that the lion’s share of submissions highlighted evidence of potential harm as a result of the rollout of 5G, and the authors of the submissions included a number of highly credentialled members of the public, why has the committee chosen to instead hear, in the main, from 5G proponents?

Analysis of time allocated at hearings shows that telecommunications companies and other supporters of 5G have been granted a staggering 91% of timeslots.  To add insult to injury, witnesses who have refused to jump on the 5G bandwagon were shunted into giving evidence at public hearings located in cities other than their own, even when there was a nearby hearing scheduled.  This is grossly unfair – obviously being able to present in person beats having to participate by teleconference.

Although the volume of submissions meant that some submitters waited a number of months for their submissions to be published on the parliamentary website, to the committee’s credit, it is also evident that late responses were accepted.  Steve Weller, author of submission 530, and current executive team member of the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association, used this opportunity to rebut pro-industry spin contained in earlier responses.

Preposterous claims, such as that made in Vodafone Hutchison’s submission, which states that “Australia has some of the most comprehensive and stringent radio frequency safety and electromagnetic energy (EME) compliance requirements in the developed world” are called out in an appendix to the submission.

Surely the millions being spent by the government to build public confidence in the safety of telecommunications and 5G, and to address ‘misinformation’ about electromagnetic emissions, would be better spent confronting the reality that wireless technologies are harmful to health?

The engineers responsible for a paper entitled “Electromagnetic Radiation due to Cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies: How safe are we?”, which has been accepted for publication in a future issue of IEEE Access, a scientific journal published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, contend that “Both individuals and governments must be aware of the fact that the current population has already been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation and the resulting adverse health effects may surface in people at any time”.  The point is made that “Without thorough research and well-designed safety measures in place, wide-spread deployment of 5G networks could prove to be dangerous” (SSMA emphasis).

Scientists have been sounding urgent warnings regarding ubiquitous and increasing exposure to electromagnetic fields for decades.  Medical practitioners are coming face to face with the consequences.  Engineers are now recognising that wireless technologies must be avoided as much as possible and urging us to instead favour “new and innovative wired solutions which provide the same level of user-friendliness”.

In light of this groundswell of awareness, how much longer can the Australian Government continue to aid and abet wireless industry interests?

 Stop Smart Meters Australia’s submission to the inquiry into 5G can be viewed here.

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German Federal Office for Radiation Protection calls for more research on influence of electromagnetic fields on plants and animals

Further to an international workshop on environmental effects of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Germany’s Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) says that “there is still a considerable need for research”.

The workshop, which was organised by the BfS, took place in Munich at the beginning of November 2019.

The BfS’s press release says the findings of the workshop are particularly important in light of the ongoing expansion of electricity grids and the introduction of 5G.  Although the BfS reported “Overall, the studies presented in the workshop support the current state of knowledge that there is no evidence of harmful effects on plants or animals caused by high-frequency electromagnetic fields below the applicable limit values”, it added that “there are isolated indications that radiofrequency fields may influence insects.  In a field study, for example, changes in the frequency and biodiversity of pollinators near base stations were observed”.

The BfS went on to say “it is conceivable that the higher frequencies that may be used in a few years’ time could increase the energy absorption of insects”.  Plants could also be affected.  Although the BfS cautions that the results here were partly contradictory, it reported “under laboratory conditions, high-frequency fields can trigger a stress reaction and influence growth” (SSMA emphases).

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) had a representative at the international workshop.  Dr Ken Karipidis, ARPANSA’s Assistant Director of Assessment and Advice, attended.

Dr Karipidis, however, appears to have come back with a somewhat different take-home message.  ARPANSA’s write-up of the workshop says  “Studies that have been conducted in the natural environment generally report little or no evidence of impact on plants or animals”.  No coverage is given to the studies that do show effects.

As pointed out by Attorney-at-law Christian Jensen in this post, research that shows effects is “inherently of much greater significance than examinations which have been incapable of identifying a damage or risk thereof, since the latter group does not in itself exclude the possibility that there exist real damage or risks”.

SSMA wonders if Dr Karipidis attended the international workshop session titled “Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations“, presented by Dr Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam.  The paper of the same title found “a high level of damage to trees in the vicinity of phone masts”.  Two pictorial examples from the study are available here.  An overview of the data from the study is available here.

ARPANSA’s report on the workshop concludes that “ARPANSA will continue to evaluate relevant research as it becomes available, working with international counterparts to ensure ongoing review of scientific evidence related to radiation and both public and environmental health”.  This statement is hardly reassuring, given its past performance.

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Tower of terror: Father accuses NBN of “assault”

According to an article published in the Sunshine Coast Daily, a father living in fear of an NBN tower near his home has taken the telco giant to court in a bid to stop them from switching it on, with claims the health impacts would be so severe he would end up homeless.

News reporter Amber Hooker states that Barrister Raymond Broomhall told Maroochydore Civil Court two doctors had diagnosed his client David Evans of Peachester [Queensland] with electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which would be exacerbated by the tower’s emissions to the point his home would be “uninhabitable”.

A GoFundMe appeal has been set up to request financial contributions to fund and support the legal process.  The first court hearing was held on 19 December 2019 with the next court date set down for 23 January 2020.

Mr Evans writes in his fundraiser that he is a qualified high voltage electrician.  He has several decades of experience in working with the technical complexities associated with electricity, electromagnetic fields and radiation, including managing the many associated risks.

He is seeking to protect his family, home, neighbours, community and himself from the tower’s artificial electromagnetic radiation fields.

To access the David v. NBN Co GoFundMe appeal, and to make a donation, go to:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/david-v-nbnco-a-david-amp-goliath-battle-peachester?member=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B invitesupporters

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Federal Government announces $9 million splurge to ‘build public confidence’ in 5G safety

In an astonishing move, given that an Inquiry into 5G in Australia is currently underway, a joint media release from the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts and Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, who has portfolio responsibility for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), has proclaimed that the Morrison Government will be spending $9 million over four years to build public confidence in the safety of telecommunications networks – including new 5G mobile networks – and to address “misinformation” about electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions.

Does this largesse smack of a government in panic mode?  Certainly, its failure to observe due process, by pre-empting the findings of the inquiry into 5G, suggests that the inquiry is a sham.

The parliamentary webpage for the 5G inquiry reveals that over 400 submissions were received by the committee responsible for inquiring into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia.  The vast majority of these submissions have raised issues related to health.  An impressive body of credible scientific evidence supporting the need for a precautionary approach was referenced by submitters as well as many personal accounts of the harm that has already occurred due to exposure to EMF.

Despite this, to-date, the Committee has not heard from a single scientific witness who might substantiate the community’s insistence on an unbiased assessment of the current science.  Instead, with Through the Looking Glass logic, the Committee has chosen to reaffirm its belief in this “wonderful technology”, as the Chairman described it in its 6 December 2019 public hearing, by taking advice on health from organisations with vested interests, such as Telstra and the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.

For instance, in its 19 November 2019 public hearing, the Chair moved “that we accept the new ICNIRP radio frequency guidelines and their implications for 5G, which were so kindly announced by the WHO and provided to us by Telstra”.  Never mind that Telstra provided the Committee with a garbled – and highly biased – account of how safety standards are set by “national and international health agencies”.

As this paper, published in the International Journal of Oncology, makes abundantly clear, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which ARPANSA chooses to take its direction from, is a private organisation based in Germany with strong ties to industry.  It is a closed group, and only allows new expert members to be elected by existing members.  Not surprisingly, ICNIRP has seen fit to ignore the vast body of scientific studies attesting to non-thermal biological effects. ICNIRP has also successfully penetrated the World Health Organization, via the WHO International EMF Project.

Facts such as these, however, are unlikely to come to the Chair’s notice, given his eagerness to accept industry spin.  At the Committee’s 6 December 2019 hearing, in response to an explanation about 5G from the Chief Executive of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, Hansard records the Chair as saying, “Just so that everyone’s left in no doubt, I was really pleased that you said it was totally safe”.

In addition to taxpayers’ funds being allocated to EME “public education”, part of the $9 million kitty is to be provided to ARPANSA for “continued research on radio frequency safety”. 

SSMA hopes that this funding might allow ARPANSA to lift the bar; many of its previous research efforts have fallen woefully short of what the community expects from the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection.

For instance, its Technical Report Series No. 163, titled ARPANSA Preliminary Measurements of Radiofrequency Transmissions from a Mesh Radio Smart Meter, which was authored by ARPANSA staffers Don Wijayasinghe and Ken Karipidis, provided details on emissions from a single (!) mesh smart meter.  Given the characteristics of mesh network topology, this study-of-one gave rise to conclusions akin to those reached in the Blind Men and an Elephant parable.  By contrast, Total Radiation Solutions’ 2015  report, Quantifying Smart Meter RF EME Levels in Victorian Homes, which had included 32 mesh smart meters in its study, shines a light on the variance across meters (for instance, refer to pp. 21 and 80 of the report).

Analysis in ARPANSA’s Technical Report Series No. 164, Review of Radiofrequency Health Effects Research – Scientific Literature 2000-2012, which came to the convenient conclusion that ARPANSA’s 2002 standard continues to provide adequate protection, appeared similarly lacking in rigour.

A recent study that failed to find a link between the use of mobile phones and brain cancer, which lists ARPANSA’s Ken Karipidis as the lead author, is equally tainted.

A reply to SSMA from a spokesperson for the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, dated 15 July 2019 informed SSMA that “the ACMA and ARPANSA are independent statutory agencies and are not influenced or controlled by the telecommunications industry”.  On the face of it, nothing could be further from the truth!  Instead, it would seem that our Government is so closely aligned with industry interests, similarly to the situation in the U.S., that it lacks the perspective to see that it is held captive by the very bodies that it seeks to regulate.

SSMA was also assured “that revenue maximisation is not an objective of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (known as the ‘objects’ of the Act), and the ACMA does not seek to maximise revenues collected at auctions. Instead, as per the objects of the Act, the ACMA seeks to maximise the overall public benefit derived from using the radiofrequency spectrum”.

If this is the case, why has the deployment of 5G and the encouragement to drive more Australians towards wireless solutions not been subjected to rigorous cost-benefit analysis?  At a minimum, this should include an assessment of the increased burden to the community as a result of more people developing electro-hypersensitivity and escalating cases of cancer, including brain cancer, in addition to looking at factors such as the massive pressure on electricity supply that the uptake of 5G and the IoT is forecasted to create.

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A snapshot of living with Environmental Sensitivities in Australia in 2019

Dr Sharyn Martin’s latest report meticulously analyses data collected from people who have registered their environmental sensitivities with the Australian National Register for Environmental Sensitivities (ANRES).  Environmental Sensitivities (ES) describes a variety of reactions to chemicals, electromagnetic fields and other environmental factors.

ANRES’s goal is to create an independent national register that provides Australian prevalence data on environmental sensitivities, to assist in gaining recognition of ES as a disability and facilitate moving forward with issues such as access to medical and disability services.  Statistics are needed for reform, particularly at a political level, and provide an essential first step in gaining recognition of environmental sensitivities.

Section 1.0 of the report’s introduction states that:

“The results from the ANRES register shows that people with Environmental Sensitivities have a number of co-morbid diseases and have significant hardships and disabilities that occur in all aspects of their lives. These disabilities are, apart from ill health symptoms, an inability to earn an income, inability to find safe and affordable housing, inability to socialise and function in society particularly in public areas where chemicals and EMFs are prevalent.

For those with Environmental Sensitivity institutional denial and stigma have become a barrier to medical care, employment, education etc. This is a major ongoing and developing crisis for those with these conditions. These conditions lead to a reduced quality of life and often result in a loss of employment and consequent poverty, possible homelessness, isolation and exclusion from society.

The lack of consensus amongst the medical profession on the diagnostic criteria for these conditions means that many people do not have a diagnosis and so their condition/s are not included in health surveys or hospital records and therefore there is no evidence of their presence in the community. Environmental Sensitivities have far reaching implications if left undiagnosed and untreated. It not only affects the health of the individual, it also affects that person’s lifestyle, family situation, financial situation, ability to socialise, ability to support oneself or family, and their ability to access and utilise facilities such as hospitals, schools, libraries, shopping centres, health care facilities etc. Add to this is the millions of dollars in lost productivity to society.

Many people are suffering hardships and continue to be ignored because there is no evidence that they exist, and there are people in the community with symptoms of these conditions who are not diagnosed and do not know what is causing their chronic ill health and continue to be exposed to triggers and develop more sensitivity.

The Australian National Register for Environmental Sensitivities (ANRES) want to show the Australian Government, employees and Health Services that there are Australians from all around the country suffering from these conditions. We need Environmental Sensitivities to be recognised as a disability and facilitate moving forward with issues such as access to medical and disability services for people with Environmental Sensitivities.”

To access the 27-page report, go to https://anres.org/2019-anres-data-update/

If you would like to join ANRES, in order to register your sensitivities on the ANRES register and therefore contribute to this important project, go to https://anres.org/   Note that persons who register on this site are not individually identified.

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Why aren’t more climate change activists fighting 5G?

While most climate change activists are focused on limiting emissions from the automotive, aviation and energy sectors, it’s the communications industry that is on track to generate more carbon emissions than all of the aforementioned sectors.

In 2016, it was reported that the world’s data centres used more than Britain’s total electricity consumption – 416.2 terawatt hours, significantly higher than the UK’s 300 terawatt hours. At three percent of the global electricity supply and accounting for about two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, data centres have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry.

Recent predictions state that the energy consumption of data centres is set to account for 3.2 percent of the total worldwide carbon emissions by 2025 and they could consume no less than a fifth of global electricity [SSMA emphasis]. By 2040, storing digital data is set to create 14 percent of the world’s emissions, around the same proportion as the US does today.

Current statistics show that only half of the world’s population is connected to the internet and therefore contributing to this data deluge. Despite this, IDC noted that the number of data centres worldwide has grown from 500,000 in 2012 to more than 8 million today. The amount of energy used by data centres continues to double every four years, meaning they have the fastest-growing carbon footprint of any area within the IT sector.

The launch of 5G, the new wave of IoT devices, and a thriving cryptocurrency scene will only compound the problem. As more devices become connected more data will need to be processed than ever before.

Abridged from Computerworld: Why data centres are the new frontier in the fight against climate change by Charlotte Trueman.

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