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Welcome to gozarks portal into the past, present and future of life as we know it.... researched, observed, intuited and empirically experienced from an isolated nook in a semi-rural cranny of The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

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We support, endorse and work to amplify all actions that role-model and empower the sustainable, happy and prosperous well-being of life among the people of all nations.

SMART METERS, DUMB IDEAS or STUPID CONSUMERS...????
The PR on Smart Meters goes like this: “A helpful device that connects your home to the electric grid, the new Smart Meter allows you to see how and when you are using energy in greater detail.”

Contact the Arkansas Public Service Commission and ask pointed questions about security, radiation and costs. How much is 'lost' to the local economy by eliminating all of the meter-reader jobs?  And where they get the chutzpah to assert that this new (computer-based wireless) technology makes 'the grid' more secure in an age when we can't get our smart phone to play nice with our stupid computer...???

REALITY CHECK

Come on people... let's THINK...!!!!

SMART GRID (wikipedia)

SMART METER (wikipedia)

SIEMENS

On October 14, 2011, I received notice from my 'member-owned' electric co-op that all of us 'members' would be getting a new electric meters.

Respectfully, I was pissed.

For starters, the letter was ambiguously deceptive, never mentioning the term “Smart Meter” which instantly raises the ire of every well-informed person I know.

So I called the office of my 'member owned' electric co-op to voice my strong objections, and – as the 'sales pitch' I was given on the phone did not change my opinion about the wastefulness and stupidity of this technology being thrust upon me against my will, a few days later I got this officail letter in the mail.

Sadly, there seem to not be very many 'well-informed' folks left on the face of this planet, and thus I shall enlighten you:

The big push for Smart Meters is the brain-child of the fourteen-member Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, in which such multi-national folks as IBM and Siemens are key players. The group's stated objective is in a nutshell “to change the way power is generated, distributed and used by adding digital intelligence to current systems.”

However, 'forced' Smart Meter installation -- such as what is now being done by our member-owned Petit Jean Electric Cooperative -- without benefit of open public discussion, sans any vote by the member-owners, by a Board of Directors that meets every month in private/closed meetings which 'members' are forbidden to observe – has raised serious concerns among those who have chosen to educate themselves on the subject. In general, these concerns involve the science, the law and common sense, and to understand them we must understand what Smart Meter technology does.

Smart Meters record how much energy is used on a moment to moment basis by each individual meter and then sends this information via two-way signals between each meter and the central system.

The two-way signals are transmitted omni-directionally as micro-wave bursts, meaning that each home, office, business, school, church or factory is constantly bombarded with EMF (electro magnetic frequencies) 24 hours a day.

The particular EMF bandwidths used by Smart Meter technology – 900 and 915 megahertz – are in the same frequency as cell phones and are now known to be extremely harmful to health. The World Health Organization now classifies this type of radiation as a potential carcinogen, meaning that there "could be some risk" from exposure and radiation advisory authorities recommend minimizing exposure as a precaution.

The microwave pulsing technology used by Smart Meters is more continuous than cell phone radiation and a variety of scientific studies show that this radiation detrimentally affects the brain, nervous system and hormones, disrupting bodily functions causing 'leaks' in our blood-brain barrier.

Radiofrequency (rf) radiation has been placed in the same category of carcinogens as lead, DDT, engine exhaust, pesticides, and chloroform.

Typical symptoms from exposure include migraine headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, forgetfulness and confusion, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) tingling, nausea and vomiting, constant thirst, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, limbic system disturbances, severe depression, anxiety or crying jags. For some, the endocrine systems go into hyper-arousal (as with severe stress), ultimately leading to a collapse known as "burnout" and damage to DNA.

The risk of developing serious symptoms (often referred to as "electrical sensitivity") increases in proportion to exposure. And critics say that once the Smart Meter / Smart Grid system is fully operational, there will be no place anywhere to escape its penetrating radiation.

From wikipedia: Panel-mounted solid state electricity meter, connected to a 2 MVA electricity substation. Remote current and voltage sensors can be read and programmed remotely by modem and locally by infra-red. The circle with two dots is the infra-red port. Tamper-evident seals can be seen.


But hey... we're only talking about our health, which we should all be prepared to sacrifice in the namesake of 'improvement'... right?

So what about the serious legal privacy issues? As the data collected by each Smart Meter accrues, those who have access to it can learn a lot about consumers: What time you wake up and go to bed; when you are away from home, for 10 minutes or 10 days; even when you watch TV or charge your cell phone. In other words, these devices enable a type of electronic monitoring of the activities that take place in the privacy of your home.

According to wikipedia, the respective Attorneys General of Illinois and Connecticut have come out strongly against Smart Meters because they see no benefit to consumers and several nations, including Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, have halted or are re-thinking implementation.

Seeing the plan as yet another device of 'social engineering' being thrust down the gullet of unwitting consumers by profit-driven energy conglomerates, at least two California communities have voraciously fought the 'forced' installation of Smart Meter technology, and won.

Even the Wall Street Journal, in “Smart Meter, Dumb Idea?” (April 27, 2009) questioned the value of the technology. “Not everyone thinks smart meters are such a smart use of money. Utilities are spending billions of dollars outfitting homes and businesses with the devices... (but) security researchers, however, have criticized the swift deployment of the meters because they say the systems haven’t been sufficiently hardened against hack attacks.”

According to the March 4, 2010, edition of Wired Magazine, Security Pros Question Deployment of Smart Meters, “The country’s swift deployment of smart-grid technology has security professionals concerned that utilities and smart-meter vendors are repeating the mistakes made in the rollout of the public internet, when security became a priority only after malicious attacks had reached mass levels”

But when it comes to the power grid, the costs of remote hack attacks are phenomenally more dramatic and having your Inbox dunned with unsolicited porn. “The cost factor here is what’s turned on its head. We lose control of our grid, that’s far worse than a botnet taking over my home PC,” said Matthew Carpenter, senior security analyst of InGuardian, speaking at a panel at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.

Still, utility companies (like our dear Petit Jean) are making out big-time. Federal grants (which come from our tax dollars) totaling $3.4 billion are earmarked for all the good little utility companies who comply with what big brother has decided is 'good for us': A nationwide transition to smart-grid technologies, ostensibly to make 'the grid' better for everyone.

At an installation cost hovering around $76 per meter (which is nearly what I pay for a whole month's worth of electricity), the promise is “to reduce energy costs for customers” with this wonderful new 'safe and secure' technology.

SMART METERS for water, gas, electricity planned for installation world-wide.

We note that there has not been a lot of mainstream press on the pitfalls of 'smart' meters here in the US, however the alternative press and noteworthy publications in other countries are rather vocal:

PRISONPLANET

DAILY MAIL (Great Britian)

HERALD SUN (Australia)

 


Strange then, isn't it, that the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois has been awarded an $18.8 million grant to fund a five-year research project to figure out how to make certain that the smart meters and other devices implemented by power companies can resist hackers and other attackers.

Note, however, that by the time the research project is completed, most of our nation will have already adopted untested and unsecured technologies. Sounds like a field-day for ill-tempered hackers and nefarious do-badders to me.

And then there is the little matter of 'interoperability'. Think of this like getting your 'smart phone' to talk to your 'stupid computer'. Now understand that the availability of electricity to your household or business will depend on things just exactly like getting a Mac to talk to a PC or trying to make a cell-phone call in a 'dead zone'..

Got your attention yet?

But hey... this is America... so the only question that really matters is “How much money is it going to save us?” After all, 'saving money' is the point of all of this, right?

Right... but whose money is it going to save?

According to Thierry Godart, Siemens North American president of Smart Grid Division, Infrastructure and Cities, when the smart-grid system (including wondrous new 'smart appliances') reaches 'maturity' the “bundled solution of hardware and software” will enable “utilities to realize the (economic) benefits...” with “optional rate schedules” (think of cell-phone plans or satellite TV packages, complete with pre-pay subscriptions and immediate disconnects).

Thus if the cost of electricity gets too high for you to afford, not to worry!!! You will be able to change 'rate plans'... eliminating such things are 'on demand hot water' or only allowing you to use electricity during 'non-peak' hours of the day. So if you can't air condition your home at 4pm on a sweltering July afternoon (because the 'smart meter' turned your AC off)... not to worry!!! At least with your downsized 'package' your refrigerator will be allowed to run 8 hours a day... which will keep some of your food from spoiling for a day or two.

Last but not least, we are supposed to applaud the fact that millions of paid employees (aka: meter readers) will be put out of their jobs. But don't worry about them. After all, unemployment benefits (aka: more of our tax money) will keep them in fine fettle until they can find new jobs!.

Get a clue, my friends... This is sophisticated 'social engineering' being promulgated as 'for our own good' by a league of multi-national energy and technology brokers who are up-playing 'consumer benefits' while plotting (just like the greedy Wall Street bastards they are) on taking us all to the cleaners for billions in (their) profit, behaving like bullies in the playground, picking on the (stupid) consumer because they know they (from experience) that 'we' won’t say a word.

Shame, shame, shame on us...

~ Christine Beems


~ celebrating professionalism in service ~

 

That you may be filled with strength and power, rooted and grounded in love that surpasses all knowledge: Be kind to one another; live with compassion, producing every kind of goodness; stand firm and hold your ground in truth, righteousness and peace; be courageous; embrace faith which is perfect trust in justice. ~Ephesians 3-6 (condensed)