So, these peeps, the usual nutters or what?

Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, a new report suggests, as environmentalists warned the 5G roll out could cause greater harm.

An analysis of 97 studies by the EU-funded review body EKLIPSE concluded that radiation is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and plant health.

However the charity Buglife warned that despite good evidence of the harms there was little research ongoing to assess the impact, or apply pollution limits.

Having absolutely no knowledge base from which to judge this, don’t know.

So, does anyone out there?

This the power lines cause leukaemia crowd? Or something even vaguely plausible?

42 comments on “So, these peeps, the usual nutters or what?

  1. Perennial story, isn’t it? Same one as for 2G, 3G & 4G. Put out by the people think a square root’s a plant disease.

  2. There is at least a vaguely feasible issue, as 5G will work at microwave oven-ish frequencies, so at high enough power will have a bit of a tendency to cook things, animals, people. But the same can be said of current mobile phones, and AFAIK nobody has found any decent proof of harm at real world power levels.
    The power line thing, on the other hand, is complete unmitigated b****cks.

  3. Sorry; I should have said that the power line thing is complete unmitigated, unhinged b****cks.

  4. I agree, there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife”… and “a need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies”, i.e., every thing that this fact-free, scare-mongering dross doesn’t provide.

  5. It’s people fearing stuff they don’t understand, and they can’t be bothered to try to understand, because it’s maths, and physics, and MY BRAIN HURTS! There are demonstrable effects of EM radiation all over the spectrum, but it requires energy levels far in excess of what you get from mobile phones, TV transmitters (funny no-one complains about them), etc. Just don’t stand in front of the radar at LHR.

    JD: 2.4GHz WiFi works on exactly the same frequency as microwave ovens but most people seem to value the utility more than any perceived risk.

  6. Eco-freakery is the middle leg of cultural marxist evil. It is the easiest to introduce the young to so the kids get Gaia shoved down their gizzard from day one at infants–or Year Zero or WTF they call it nowadays..

    The report is just wreckers trying to stir up trouble.

  7. “2.4GHz WiFi works on exactly the same frequency as microwave ovens”

    Presumably, if I could jack the power up a bit I could save on the central heating bills.

  8. There’s little current investigation of the issue because several decades of trying really hard to find anything has failed. Scientists don’t like null findings of known null issues, because it’s never going to get them a decent paper.

    There are also no known mechanisms by which electromagnetic “radiation” will badly affect non-magnetic bits of animals. (There was credible concern about migratory animals being affected, but it seems that’s not a thing either.)

    You know you have a scare-mongering report when power lines are said to give off “radiation”. Firstly, the electricity companies try to minimise that, as it is money lost. But all things give off “radiation” if you want to define it in that sense. People give off IR band “radiation”.

  9. The hatred of humans is strong with these people. All they care about is insects and birds, when anything that would provably harm them would surely also harm people. Unless there’s some amazing mechanism where humans are immune, and insects get fried.

  10. John Davies,

    Everything above 1GHz is microwave. That scare was used in the early ‘90s against 2G at 1800MHz and was bollocks then.

    One area of research that’s still (was? As I haven’t looked in to it for a while is near-field effects, but this is millimetre distances at 5G frequencies and needs radar scale power.

  11. What is really happening here is some berk has a brother in law who does exactly this kind of research but who is presently out of a job (sarcon) as his grant to study global warming and build climate models has not been renewed owing to a 97% consensus that the science is settled and needs no further study (sarcoff).

    As far as radiation goes, the most harmful thing you can possibly do to wildlife is expose it to solar radiation by putting it outdoors. One day’s exposure is about the same as working in a nuclear power plant for a year.

  12. @TG
    “ Just don’t stand in front of the radar at LHR.”

    Back in the day we used to fix the radar onto weather balloons by standing on the roof of the cabin and steering the dishes by hand. This was only raised as an H&S issue once someone had slipped and fell off the cabin onto the jack screw.

  13. They seem to be conflating a lot of things. Some extra radiation may affect insects’ navigation. Who knows? Does it mean they are DOOMED, DOOMED I tell you? Unlikely. Can they cope? Can they adapt? If something is happening.

    We are seeing a crash in the numbers of some insects but is there any evidence it is power lines? Not that I know. I thought it was farmers using commonly accepted pesticides. Hard to keep up with these people.

    In the meantime policy is being made by the Magic Thinking that most people put behind them when they left Africa.

  14. You are constantly bathed in radiation, from microwaves and up to X-rays, with proven cancerous effects.

    Ban the sun immediately!
    /sarc.
    I tend to see these claims as “Baksheesh”. Companies are making money and I’m missing out boo hoo… etc

  15. Correct, Bongo.

    Hitler considered Jews, etc., to be untertiere*, not just untermensch.

    *My attempt at German for “less than animals.”

  16. You could prove that it’s all bollocks and they would deny it and invent a huge conspiracy. There is literally no way you could convince these people so don’t bother even trying.

  17. And yet windfarms and solar collectors chopping up and frying protected species is proven, with actual corpses.

    But that’s different, because shut up.

  18. The report is quite surprising. It’s at

    http://www.eklipse-mechanism.eu/documents/15803/0/EMR-KnowledgeOverviewReport_FINAL_27042018.pdf/1326791c-f39f-453c-8115-0d1c9d0ec942

    Written by an ‘expert group’, it’s a study of papers of probable relevance which they found by doing a Google Scholar search (and they provided the search terms). This is not only good, it shows that anyone could have done the research.

    They criticise much of the available papers as being bad science. They give criteria for distinguishing good science from bad (eg, if you don’t have a testable hypothesis when doing your experiments, then you’re playing ‘shot in the dark’ and your results are liable to be useless.)

    They conclude that it’s all shit.

    Which strongly suggests that BugLife are morons, dishonest, or both.

  19. Complete waste of time.

    Its the same tired old ‘RF spectrum energy is bad because its bad’ crap.

    There’s no statistical evidence that exposure to RF frequency EM radiation causes disease, no causal mechanism by which it *could* cause disease.

    Sure, don’t stick your head in a microwave emitter horn – because then it’ll get cooked. But ‘5G’ is the same crap as ‘4G’ – just a little faster, a little more ubiquitous. But its not going to be out in the middle of nowhere anymore than cellphone towers already are.

  20. “Rob W
    May 18, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I agree, there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife”’

    I don’t. We’ve got a couple decades of data so far just from cell phones and couple generations of ubiquitous electrical presence – no indication that there’s a problem means that there’s no urgent need to go strengthen the lack of evidence.

  21. Any RF emitter is already regulated to hell for *human* safety, and the potential effect of RF on health have been thoroughly studied for that purpose. And birds and insects are a lot less susceptible, because they’re smaller. The body acts as an antenna, and antenna efficiency is heavily dependent on length. An insect makes a lousy antenna, and absorbs far less energy (even relative to body mass) than a 2 metre long human.

    The stuff about orientation I guess is some bizarre idea that electro*magnetic* radiation might somehow interfere with magnetic navigation. This is again, nonsense. The field is orders of magnitude weaker than the Earth’s magnetic field, and switches billions of times a second. Any biological method of measuring the field is going to integrate over far longer times than that. It’s like saying migrating birds might be violently blown off course by sound waves, because they’re, like, waves of air pressure, right?

    It’s nonsense, but that’s never stopped environmentalists before.

  22. “Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, a new report suggests, as environmentalists warned the 5G roll out could cause greater harm”

    What’s the BED?

  23. “The body acts as an antenna, and antenna efficiency is heavily dependent on length.”

    Not strictly true. Antenna efficiency is based on wavelength and the most efficient are exact multiples of wave lengths, although for lower frequencies it’s also possible to work at fractions eg half, quarter etc to overcome physical constraints.

    The claimed mechanism for harming humans is that the RF excites molecules in the body in the same way that microwave ovens work.

  24. I’ve done WiFi surveys in pubs. It doesn’t take much damage to the door shielding on the kitchen microwave before your rf spectrum is, well, toast.

    No, toast in a microwave?

  25. couple generations of ubiquitous electrical presence – no indication that there’s a problem

    Okay, this isn’t David’s gaff, but we do send quite a lot of time complaining about the stupidity of the current under-graduate generation.

    Correlation? Causality?

  26. @TimW

    It’s scaremongering BS.

    Earth receives huge amounts of EM and other radiation from Sun and Space.

    On grander scheme, human input is negligible.

    Same as your Global Warming, Climate Change, CO2 is poison scaremongering.

    We here do not believe AGW is true.

  27. “We here do not believe AGW is true.”

    Speak for yourself. I don’t believe all the bullshit projections, especially from watermelons, but at the same time I don’t believe that if man hadn’t existed the climate would be exactly as it is now.

    As Bill Shankly didn’t say: if man isn’t changing the climate, whacks he doing on the pitch?

  28. We have greatly improved the environment with the green fields and country scene of Britain and the world being largely man-made.

  29. NiV

    …and switches billions of times per second.

    Well – maybe 50 times (60 here in the new world) per second
    BiND

    …I don’t believe that if man hadn’t existed the climate would be exactly as it is now.

    Well, sure – but that’s a pretty low bar. The claim by the alarmists is that the current state of the climate is outside of natural variation, and that man is the predominant cause (and of that CO2 emission is the major contrbutor).

  30. @Bloke in North Dorset, May 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Speak for yourself. I don’t believe that if man life [plants, animals, fungi, bacteria…] hadn’t existed the climate would be exactly as it is now.

    FTFY

    Also, you ignored: “On grander scheme, human input is negligible.”

    Volcanoes & meteorites – nature – have more impact than man.

  31. Fixed

    @Bloke in North Dorset, May 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Speak for yourself. I don’t believe that if man life [plants, animals, fungi, bacteria…] hadn’t existed the climate would be exactly as it is now.

    FTFY

    Also, you ignored: “On grander scheme, human input is negligible.”

    Volcanoes & meteorites – nature – have more impact than man.

  32. “Not strictly true. Antenna efficiency is based on wavelength and the most efficient are exact multiples of wave lengths”

    The ratio of antenna length to wavelength, maybe?

    But you have a point. It’s what I was told when I asked about radar radhaz, but that was probably a simplification.

    “Well – maybe 50 times (60 here in the new world) per second”

    Are we still talking about 5G, wi-fi, and phone masts? Or just power lines?

  33. “I don’t believe all the bullshit projections, especially from watermelons, but at the same time I don’t believe that if man hadn’t existed the climate would be exactly as it is now.”

    What the hell are you talking about? Southern England has been Koeppen Cfb since time immemorial.

  34. I have no idea whether there’s anything in this, but here’s a fact – nearish to where I used to live was a field. Field one spring was weirdly covered in dandelions – literally yellow over, you could hardly see the grass. Except for two perfect tramlines directly underneath the high voltage power cables cutting through the field.

  35. Biological tissue is not particularly good at absorbing the frequencies concerned, especially as we move away from 2.4GHz. This is why emitted power in microwave ovens is 10000 times the maximum permissible for WiFi and it still takes a few minutes to cook your food. If human tissue were a strong microwave absorber you’d need to turn your head so it wasn’t blocking line of sight to the cell tower when you were making a call. The absorption lines are quite narrow as well, so they roll off with frequency very rapidly. Microwave photons are of the order of tens of microelectronvolts (i.e. non-ionising) and electric/magnetic field strengths are similarly minuscule (100V/m maximum at the source, and ambient from other people using their phones, utterly tiny, as in <mV/m, <μA/m and <nW/m²). When we move to 60GHz I expect to see the usual suspects claiming that oxygen molecules in the body are absorbing the RF and causing mischief. That’ll be bollocks too.

  36. If there were any significant health effects from RF, there’d be scores of extra deaths from people living near (say) Crystal Palace (1MW). There aren’t.

  37. “literally yellow over, you could hardly see the grass. Except for two perfect tramlines directly underneath the high voltage power cables cutting through the field.”
    Stuff dripping off the lines after rain maybe. Would there be an electronic effect that only operated in a direct vertical line?
    [Or, if this happened on a sloping field, maybe an electronic effect that operated at right angles to the nearest surface?]

  38. @NDReader, May 21, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Good supposition. The cables making the rain slightly metallic and maybe acid/alkaline too.

  39. Of course BiND is right. We’ve burned several trillion tons of coal and that must have warmed the place up. But AFAIK sunspots have a bigger influence on temperature and climate than coal.

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