Earth Day & How the Environmental Movement Went Off the Rails

By Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International, Image courtesy Floris Freshman

When I moved to Northern California, I observed how a friend kept empty jugs in the bathroom to capture a few gallons of water while she waited for the shower to get hot enough.

She used the water for her houseplants and garden. She had planted her herbs on a slope, organized by how much water each needed.

Her actions were not derived from fear of climate. She did not need to be incentivized by or controlled by an external authority.  Her habits were practical, reverential rituals, and acts of devotion to the waters of the planet.

She brought her full consciousness and presence to her choices.

Many EV drivers also feel a sense of satisfaction when they charge their vehicles.

But two scenarios of the water protector and the economic-growth driven EV roll-out (which outsources mining and disposal misery to other nations) are not the same. And neither is the misguided promotion of smart meters.

Environmentalism needs a consciousness reset.

Denigration of the Public by “Clean-Energy” Proponents

I read a book, at one point, about relationships. There was a story about the fact that a person who always leaves the lights on sometimes partners with someone always turns the lights off.

The person who always turns off the lights can feel slightly superior to the other partner on a subtle level, building a false sense of ego sourced from diminishing another.

This is one aspect of how the environmental movement lost its bearings. It wasn’t a random process.

The desire to safeguard the planet was co-opted by denigration.

One of the most significant errors of the technocratic environmental movement is the assumption that consumers demand increased data, automation, and convenience, and that they don’t want to have to think about or to invest time in their relationship with energy and resources.

The principles that underlie the green energy paradigm have overlooked the most important resource: pure devotion – to the greater good and the cosmos.

Most people are good.

The Current Environmental Movement is Not Coherent, Healing, or Harmonizing

The politics and economics of environmentalism have fallen off the tracks of stewardship of nature and the protection of human rights.  For example, a proponent of the smart grid was once discussing the pros and cons of either rewarding customers who are willing to shift their electricity demand to a different time, or to heavily penalize customers with a surcharge for using electricity during peak demand, ie the carrot or the stick.

A room full of clean-energy proponents erupted in laughter when he shared ‘The rats have to smell the cheese.”

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The disdain for the public was palpable, along with the entitlement that the decision-makers felt about controlling and dictating the lives of others, through punishment or reward. It was about the seduction of power over others.

Time of Use Billing and Supposed Bill Savings

Time of use billing is designed “to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high.”

On the surface, it sounds so benign.

News.Energy.Sage explains, “There are a number of ways to make the most out of a time-of-use rate. The simplest, and easiest to implement, is to use your appliances during the hours when electricity is least expensive. For customers who take the initiative to shift consumption habits, even slight changes could produce visible savings.

What Are Time of Use (TOU) Rates? How Do They Work? | EnergySage

This possibility for all consumers to save on their energy bill is used to justify the full roll out of smart meters as an equal opportunity “right.”

In truth, the ratepayers with the highest consumption (central air conditioning, swimming pools) benefit the most.

What this PG&E math supposedly tells us is that a cost savings of $12/year, for doing laundry 156 times/year, 3 times/week, is worth the cost of paying for the smart meters.

It is not.

The Meters Are Energy Consumers

The meters themselves come at a cost, and consume energy and resources.

Electrical Engineer Explains How “Smart” Meters Can Lead to Higher Bills – WESTVIEW NEWS

“Many people are aghast when they see their bill has increased, sometimes by as much a third, or even nearly doubled after a digital meter is installed. Here Bathgate explains some of the hidden factors that might be causing these increases:

Unlike the steady flow of power through an analog meter, the smart meter measures by sensors that must be converted to digital signals, with computer-calculated averaging of sensor postings held in computer memory over a period of time. These computations take energy and may be reflected in usage time. The sensors can be affected by temperature or humidity, while analog readings rarely are. If the smart meter tried to keep data in real time, the data would overwhelm the ability to process it. Collecting data once every 15 minutes will not ever accomplish the goal of being able to match capacity to demand in real time.

There is no direct ground connection in the meter for a zero EMF reference (i.e. as a base reading). Electronic circuits in the AMI meters have multilayer circuit boards where one of those layers is a “Relative Ground” reference, which refers to ground currents or voltage that may exist on the site where the house stands. In over 1,000 house surveys I’ve done more than 50% have serious wiring errors which can contribute to an unstable Relative Ground reference and affect the accuracy of the AMI meter reading. The analog meter is not affected by this characteristic.

With the AMI meter, when a light or appliance is first turned on there is a high but extremely quick surge of power, and that level is what is recorded until the next cycle begins. For example, if you open a fridge door and you cause the compressor to turn on you will be billed at the peak consumption rate of that appliance from that moment for the next fifteen minutes, or until the next measurement. This alone can add hundreds of dollars a year to your bill.

Real World vs. Theory

For time-of-use billing, a low pricing differential results in less behavioral change, a high pricing differential becomes an affordability issue for many customers.

High income customers can simply absorb the increased cost.

The industry didn’t account for the fact that if there was a significant differential in rates starting after 9 pm, if large numbers of consumers load-shifted until 9 pm, the marked increase in demand for power would pose problems for grid operators. Peaks are problematic.

The industry didn’t account for the fact that washing clothes at 9 pm is usually followed by placing them in the dryer, or leaving them overnight, which may not have been convenient for consumers.  Running a dryer with a heating element while asleep is ill advised, not removing clothes promptly results in wrinkles.

The industry is most likely not aware of the number of individuals who intentionally wash early in the day and dry their clothes outside in the morning sun.

The industry did not account for the fact that electric vehicle drivers who were charging their cars overnight while they were sleeping faced increased risk from unattended fire damage.

The industry didn’t account for the fact that increased use of appliances at night could disrupt and/or interrupt sleep, especially in multi-family housing.

Active Discrimination, Polluting the Grid, Household Wiring, the Electromagnetic Environment, and the Human Energy Field

Regulators are making poor decisions about the lives of individuals who will never have the luxury of charging their EV at the workplace or at home or anywhere, and who would have supported lower utility bills and investment in public transportation instead of charging infrastructure, given the choice.

In addition to the overlooked aspect of lack of affordability of EV car ownership, there is an issue of disability and discrimination. Real world conditions clearly indicate that a portion of the population experiences adverse health effects in the presence of artificial man-made electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation.

Not only are EVs not an option for them, but some of these individuals are being “driven” from their homes by neighboring installations of solar and EV chargers because the technology, including smart meters, is actually polluting the grid and household wiring, and impacting health.

Dr. Samuel Milham: “Smart meters are a public health hazard.” | Smart Grid Awareness

No amount of ridicule and marginalization can nullify the fact that health harm is occurring, in part due to lack of adequate checks and balances ensuring integrity and safety.

Safer technology including cleaner inverters and filters is already available and commonly used in industrial settings to protect sensitive equipment. We can also protect health.

True Environmentalism Does Not Ignore Late Lessons from Early Warnings, or Promote Mercenary Science

Utilities and utility regulators were among the industries to have been in a position to recognize and address the unfolding harm caused by polluted power quality and radio frequency radiation.

The epidemiology should have been quantified and addressed, and exposure guidelines should have been re-assessed, over a decade ago.

Instead, the industry employed experts from product defense, with roots in the tobacco industry.

This will not end well.

Even as the utility industry continues to seek to portray itself as being responsive to consumer demand for data about their energy usage, the truth of the matter is that at its foundation, the clean-energy movement is polluted by dirty science and dirty data.

Follow the Power and the Money

A central problem with a smart grid is that it is not a purely environmental effort; it is compromised by the demand to create a stream of revenue for stockholders and to create earnings for every entity that benefits from planned obsolescence, from the meter manufacturers to the politicians accepting money from the industry to block recognition of adverse health effects.

In addition, the smart grid was designed to monetize consumer data.

The wrong motivations from the wrong groups, from utilities to politicians in the pockets of industry, to environmentalists who feel that force is justified against the uncooperative masses due to a climate emergency, are making poor, unsustainable decisions about sustainability.

That is not to say that using power strips to turn off vampire energy hogs, and adding insulation are not useful strategies.

Decision-makers setting environmental policy on the basis of the theory that consumers are demanding convenience such as automation have overlooked the fundamental fact that those who care most about the nature environment seek to bring their presence to an active, conscious, reverential lifestyle, which in and of itself is the reward.

Many want simple, pure, effective ways to live in harmony with planet and with one another. They know when they are being lied to, they see that others are being harmed, and they want a different future for the earth and all of its inhabitants. That devotion is powerful beyond measure. We can hold ourselves accountable for protecting health and the environment. Don’t believe otherwise; don’t settle for less.

Listen here: Rap on Tech: Ocean, sky and war, BIG sigh! – Safe Tech International

Source: Safe Tech International

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