Hello. My name is Adam Pogioli. I am a local philosopher and health counselor. You can read my work on the philosophy and politics of science at creativecoherence.org. I was asked to say something here about the next generation wireless technology we are installing around the city. I assume this is only being allowed to happen without resistance because the evidence suggesting dangerous health effects seems unconvincing. One of the main issues with the science surrounding the health effects of nonionizing field exposure, is that we are dealing not with a simple mechanical cause and effect relationship, as you get in acute physical trauma or with, for instance, ionizing radiation, but with what could be called “nonlinear” effects—effects that depend on the complex interaction of mechanisms in a body attempting to adapt to the stressors disrupting ideal organic function. This is always the case with long term chronic stressors and chronic disease, but unlike, say, with the diseases caused by smoking, the level of complexity in individual response is naturally going to be much more complicated given the nature of the stressor.
The TELECOM industry is in fact using some of the same players and games that were used in the fight against BIG TOBACCO, but they have even more room to sew doubt in this case, because unlike smoking, wireless radiation has effects that are markedly nonlinear. This means that the effect does not follow in a simple predictable linear pattern as you get by inhaling toxins in cigarettes. There too you have nonlinearity, or unpredictability as to how long if at all someone can smoke before getting the rather limited forms of disease associated with smoking. But with smoking, the complexity in response is easy to average out and simplify. With wireless radiation however, you have a stressor, not just primarily on one or two organ systems as in smoking, but a disruption in the communication between cells and therefore a stress on potentially every cell in the body. The nervous system tends to be the most immediately affected and those with nervous conditions tend to be the first to notice.
Given the confounding of factors in our environment, the ubiquity of these devices and lack of control groups, the idiosyncratic character of the way chronic disease expresses itself, and most importantly, the way our system diverts complex social problems into simple linear models and solutions that are little more than commodified cover ups, all this make the road to scientific consensus a tangled weave through the politics of science. But make no mistake, this issue is not going away; the number of both people in the public and the scientific community who wake up to this invisible disaster are only going to magnify as the power density in our environment skyrockets and our already toxic urban environments lose what semblance they have left of a harmonious integration with nature. While this may be impossible to completely stop, the communities that are aware of the dangers could make steps to force this technology down safer alternative lines of development.