Protest in Santa Cruz County in August that Shut Down PG&E's Smart Meter Program
As you may have noticed, I have had to take a break from regular posts on this blog, as we mobilize communities against our utility in California, PG&E, who are attempting to force ‘smart’ gas and electric meters on everyone’s home- with or without their permission. Green on the surface, but rotten to the core, the more I’ve learned about this undemocratic program, and the dangers of wireless radiation, the more horrified I’ve become. Now more than 25 local governments have formally objected to the program, yet the state allows PG&E to continue. The worst part about it is that many of the approximately 3% of the population who are electro-hyper sensitive are being forced to leave their own homes, in some cases becoming refugees, living in their cars to avoid the emerging ubiquitous wireless radiation.
Climate change is an emergency. But from where I’m sitting, the even greater emergency are some of the false solutions they are coming up with to ‘respond’ to the crisis. Real solutions to climate change help re-localize, come from the grassroots, involve reduced consumption and foster stronger communities. The ‘smart’ grid -as its being implemented- does none of these. There is more information and regular updates on the site I am running, http://stopsmartmeters.org.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to put a halt to the wireless smart meter assault and return to our regularly scheduled programming of anti-car righteousness. I’m also pleased to announce that my Driven to Excess research is set to be published in the World Transport Policy and Practice Journal soon (social decay caused by motor traffic now in new improved statistically significant format!)
Thanks for bearing with me as we fight the machine. Look out San Francisco, it’s on your doorstep!
Welcome to the machine
I’ve settled down with my honey in the Santa Cruz Mountains now, and helped to start the Scotts Valley Neighbors Against Smart Meters (SVNASM). We are a resident-led local organization fighting PG&E’s plans to force inaccurate, potentially health damaging meters onto the nice people of California. If you haven’t woken up to the health impacts of cell phones, wifi, and now smart meters, now is a good time to start asking questions. I was truly appalled after reading the health studies over the past couple months.
On July 21st 2010, we successfully lobbied the Scotts Valley City Council to sign on to official petitions to the CPUC demanding a moratorium on the installation of smart meters. Listening to reason and evidence, the City of Capitola joined us the following evening.
Around the state of CA, there is a growing rebellion against these plans that- for a $2.2 billion project- don’t seem to have been all that thought through. We’ve been speaking out, highlighting the connection between SF’s recent cell phone radiation right to know law and the new wireless (not so) smart meters. Some awkward truths coming out for sure.
Read about PG&E’s illegal activities in Scotts Valley and take action. Come to the protest Aug. 12th 1pm at the CPUC in SF at Van Ness and McAllister.
Last week, we had a couple of victories as the cities of Scotts Valley and Capitola responded to growing public pressure, demanding that PG&E halt any further ‘smart’ meter installation until public hearings are held and investigations are completed. This is a major setback for PG&E, who were hoping to roll out their ‘smart’ meter program as quickly as possible without the public realizing that they are putting our health and finances at risk by trying to save a few dollars using wifi instead of safer, more reliable fiber optic technology.
It is astounding how one of the largest rollouts of technology in history- a $2.2 billion dollar project- on our own homes no less- has been approved with virtually no public consultation- and barely any notification. This is yet another example of the kind of false solution to climate change we’re seeing more of these days. Some people are looking at climate change, and instead of seeing a watershed moment in human history where we need to re-assess our relationship with the natural world- moving beyond seeing it as an object to be exploited, and instead to a more reciprocal, respectful way of interaction, they are seeing an opportunity for profit. I’m not against technology, but when governments and corporations offer up techno fixes for some of our most serious problems, we’ve got to be concerned. Just look at MTBE, a poisonous chemical that was added to gasoline several years ago to prevent air pollution- well it seeped into the ground, poisoning our drinking water. Catalytic converters have done a lot to reduce air pollution, but they have resulted in greater carbon emissions.
Many of these techno fixes are not solving problems– they’re just sweeping them under the rug. The nice things about greenhouse gas emissions and EMF radiation- as far as the industry and the government is concerned- is that they are invisible. People need to stand up and start resisting these attacks on our environment and health. It’s the same thing that led to the BP spill.
It’s great to see growing resistance to the ‘smart’ meter installations, as shown in the video above. People are beginning to realize the obvious truth- that the government is no longer looking out for our health and safety- they are only looking out to increase industry profits.
Me and Four of SF's finest. Thank you NYT for picking the worst photo of me you could possibly find.
Our Arco protests received national coverage in the New York Times today. Apart from being overly conciliatory to the station owner, who is really an aggressive and dangerous man, unfair in its portrayal of protesters shouting ‘where’s your bike?’ as being vitriolic (I think inviting- perhaps chiding- would have been more accurate), quoting Rob Anderson saying basically that we hate disabled people who can’t ride a bike (the most desperate and manufactured line in the book), and saying that Streetsblog is ‘anti-car’ (I wish that they were), the piece was welcome national coverage of the blind spot that obscures our own car addiction when it comes to analysis of the reasons behind the Gulf spill.
One can always criticize media coverage- I gave Scott James numerous relevant facts and reasons for our position, which were not included. But, at least there is discussion of this issue in the mainstream media- I mean when was the last time you heard about the ‘anti-car movement?’ from CBS, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, or The New York Times? We haven’t even had an article in the “Caronicle” (though they did publish some nice pics).
Join us this Friday and every Friday 5:30-7:30pm Divisadero and Fell Streets, San Francisco until we have safe passage for oil-free transport across the city.
I was on KPFA’s Terra Verde show hosted by Adam Greenfield last Friday. talking about surface travel, the Arco/BP protests, and what regular people can do in the face of environmental collapse. Listen here:
If anyone finds out what the past tense of ‘dive’ is, please let me know ;)
Posted in Advocacy, Car Dependence, Carbon Offsets, Critical Mass, Cruising Across the Atlantic 2009, Cycling, direct action, Global Warming, Livable Streets, Media, Nature, Oil Industry, Plane Dependence, Public Transport
By the way, I’m wearing the facemask and keffiyah to protect against all that pollution on Fell St.– any resemblance to an anarchist is purely coincidental.
We will return to the Arco station every week to peacefully block the Fell St. entrances until BP plugs the holes in the Gulf and until the City plugs the dangerous driveways on Fell and makes it safe for people to live less oil dependent lives.
Fridays 5:30pm-8:30pm Fell and Divisadero San Francisco
Special thanks to Janel Sterbentz for producing this video- if the BABC won’t put her talents to use then we certainly will!
Full text of speech available here.
Posted in Advocacy, Car Dependence, CarNage, corporations, Cycling, direct action, Global Warming, Globalization, Livable Streets, Media, Music, Nature, Oil Industry, Public Transport, Transport Planning