Note to my readership, to post a comment click on the title of this article and Typepad will offer you capability to comment from Typepad, Twitter and Facebook. Comments are reviewed before they are posted.
______________________________From Protest to Exercising Precaution - ElectroMagnetic Radiation Exposure
Hollywood and San Francisco are taking the headlines this month with Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco proposing radiation exposure labels be placed on cell phones; while Oprah has created a No Phone Zone on her website and television show dedicated to reporting on the dangers of cell phones that include dangers of use while driving in addition to reports on radiation levels.I know sometimes it takes a public figure to suffer with a problem like Ted Kennedy who died like Attorney Johnny Cochran of a glioma tumor often viewed as caused by EMF exposure. Larry King gave fame to Dr. Devra Davis on his talk show re: EMF and exercising precaution. These activities proved once again that if you want change in the US, use the mainstream media.
Someone tried to add to this list of fame for the "good of the cause," Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, founder of the Brundtland Commission and author leader for the Earth Charter and Precautionary Principle as a poster child, when it was announced, that Gro was EMF sensitive and did not permit anyone to come into her office with a cell phone.But a combination of my perseverance which some associate with me being patient and others define as my being stubborn led me to ask a question that no one wanted to answer:
"Why can't we create innovation and scientific response through manufacturing that will exercise precaution?"
EMF All Star Line Up
My first article on "Cell Phone Health Hazards: Threat and Opportunity," for Leading Ideas, Strategy+Business On line was published in 2006. This was after my participation and investigation into the hazards of EMF and Non Ionizing Radiation. My report introduced links, people, players in industry and non profits who were engaged in what is now described the post modern environmental movement where
1. Scientific researchers argued with each other on the validity of studies and published conflictual reports that often turned into arguments even the intelligent consumer could understand;
2. The philanthropists who funded the causes gave their support and funding to purist scientist who were investigating the growing impact of EMF exposure through cell phones, cell antenna placement on school building, firehouses and apartment buildings through out major cities; the idea was to fund a growing public media with quality scientific knowledge and intelligence that educated the public on the harm and potential harm of EMF exposure;
3. A growing group of citizens who formed a voice on listservs and exceptionally funded medical related non profits. Some of these scientists were hired to do studies or write reports and recommendations for communities and school systems on how to exercise precaution; one person successfully started a personal consulting to home owners on how to reduce risks.
Many of these people are intelligent people who had experienced harm personally or within their family.I ended up dedicating a specific email, email@example.com (which I no longer read). This email overflowed and was filled with conflicting reports, ideas on how people should and cannot communicate and pleas from people to assure that legislative policy was authored in the US, with the belief that
1. It would ultimately take new legislation and policy to protect people from harm and that quality scientific research could not be funded by corporations directly to insure accuracy of research and a style of reporting that could impact change;
2. Eventually you could read between the lines or through contact learn about the personal stories of researchers who were obstructed at NIH or in academic settings and more; and a view that this cause had to counteract the lobbyists and attorney's hired by Corporate America. The view was American and did not recognize the global nature of the business and how EMF was a global issue and not an American cause.
3. Then I developed a close friendship with two amazing people on line,Eileen O"Connor, Exec. Director of Radiation Research Trust and publisher of ReWire Me Emagazine and Dr. Olle Johansson, a dermatologist and researcher on EMF at the Karolinska Institute. With simple communications and following their work, I learned more rapidly and gained an understanding of possibility that can grow out of a community that does not operate based on the rules or opinion that
- Government is not doing its job;
- Corporations are greedy
- And if you are not a scientist established in a credentialed network funded by the top foundations, you can't make a difference. After all, "who the hell are you?" (Side bar: I did get that question in an email to me once)
Let's leap forward now to 2010 and how this year is shaping re: EMF exposure and related cell phone use and check on the relevance of my question today and where my thinking was at when I wrote my first article for Strategy+Business.The question remains for me how do we incubate innovation that can reduce the risk of EMF exposure and educate people to this very complex area of science that would lead to many forms of "exercising precaution?"
While Oprah and Mayor Newsom are using an effective proven method of education and publicity as we did for dealing with the growing harm of tobacco in the 1980's - EMF exposure is everywhere and something individuals and even small communities cannot control.
Will labels on cell phones, talk shows and web articles from Dr. Oz make a difference. Of course they will. So does all the work of the modern environmentalists who protest, debate, research and write for hours and send out hundreds of press releases. I can honestly say I have witnessed a history of over 10+ years of press releases and articles in media back to the start of Louis Slesin's best reports at Microwave News. Time Magazine and Whole Earth catalogue have long recognized the thoughtful magazine quality of this website.What has changed? and what is needed for response:
A few years back, I interviewed a physician specializing in oncology at a hospital who had reported his concern on EMF. I called him after the interview, to find out how he talked to parents about radiation therapy when the only choices were radiation therapy or a death sentence for a child.I had seen someone quote him as saying how toxic EMF was and I knew he was an oncologist. This remarkable man conversed with me in email and talked about the role he served as a physician and the privilege it was to educate parents on what they need to know to make decisions.At this time, I can acknowledge the American Post Modern Environmental Movement that I am often so at odds with for their dedication on improving the accuracy of reports and information to the public. This much I can do.
Yet, with the recent reports from Copenhagen 15 and Davos, I continue to see so many say we need a new role for government and corporations are not dealing with climate change let alone what I report on that is medically related and so important to improving health around the world.I am still asking my same question how can corporations, government officials and representatives of the non profit voice work together and form incubation centers of innovation that have a much great impact in a shorter span of time than has passed since 1981 when Louis Slesin began Microwave News.I offer my hub or learning and links internationally to any investors who want to fund innovative solutions to the growing use of wireless technologies for communication and health care and all that is associated with this.
If the press has showed us anything at the present time in the world of environment and health, the old system described by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger of the The Breakthrough Institute, we need a new contract for to build change in response to environment and health destruction that is a social contract that assures financial security and the resources to achieve the innovations we need to respond to toxicities, e.g EMF from a much more rigorous discipline of strategy and action than most of our educational institutions are currently mentoring our next generation of workers.My hats are off to any politician and Hollywood icon that want to educate the public and we need more resources to support the education and activity of our new workforce with job creation to step up and respond.
It seems that is my personal mission and the path I am on. Even when I quit this mission I am guided by others to step up to the plate and invite others to join my network hub and weave their activity into our non-monetary incubator to create an industry and scientific responsive innovation to reduce the harm of EMF exposure.
Europe is once again ahead of the United States. Their Parliament chose to exercise precaution and rather than to author "laws of fear". The EU Parliament's recommended levels of toxicities that will push the manufacturers to innovate in the context of exercising precaution based on the recognition of conflicting science and significant amount of reporting.
In the US we need more progressive and precautionary exemplary action like this and less time spent on arguing how to change our government or operate from an environment of no trust accusing all companies guilty of greed before we give them the education on opportunity.
EMF for me is up close and personal. It took me 2 years to find out that pesticides and EMF were the ultimate cause of complicating my health and bringing me near to kidney and liver failure. I have since suffered numerous other setbacks due to EMF exposure from Cell and Cable Antenna located on the roof of the apartment building I lived in up to 2007 in Boston MA. I have not found it easy to be public about this and formed a practice in life of quietly taking care of myself even when an real estate management event forced me to move.
Within the next few weeks, I am going to produce an entry on the opportunity of moving from a Culture of Law of Fear to a Culture of Legislative Possibility that I believe can create a tipping point of sustainability.
Please join my readership if this is something you value in your life or invite me to help you on projects you care about. Just write me at Linkedin.com and invite me to be a contact through coregroup ampersand workecology.com.