It starts out reasonable. Then we get this

Indeed, big wireless has borrowed the very same strategy and tactics big tobacco and big oil pioneered to deceive the public about the risks of smoking and climate change, respectively.

They’re obviously spouting bollocks then, all that is left is to work out which bollocks is being spouted.

41 thoughts on “It starts out reasonable. Then we get this”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Big Wireless? What Da Thunk?

    Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. We have been using mobile phones for over a generation. If there was an effect we would have seen an explosion in brain cancers among teenage girls.

  2. If its in the Gladrag it’s cockrot.

    The weather forecast is the most accurate info in that trashrag.

  3. Oh sheer bliss. The people who will be most convinced about harm from phone radiation will be the same people who live their lives through smartphones. Gullibility & obsession with social media seem to go together like picnics & wasps
    There isn’t enough popcorn in the world…

  4. “Mark Hertsgaard’s new book, Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden is published by Hot Books/Skyhorse”

    Snowden there. The long-time Russian asset who outed himself by accident and played the brave self-sacrificing noble whistleblower to scurry off to Moscow, avoiding awkward questions about the dozens of deaths on his hands

  5. And I must say the ‘respectively’ in that sentence seems ill advised. Missing the chance to link smoking to climate change is distinctly underachieving.

  6. The Unused Testicle

    It’s interesting how the Left create pejorative words.

    Big has belatedly become a sinister word, not as in the sense of Big Brother, which took the piss out of the Left, but as used above. If a business is Big, it’s out to fleece you or kill you.

    Unlike Big State, which of course is benevolent and kind, protecting you constantly from your own innate stupidity. Which is why you never hear the phrase Big State from the Left.

  7. I was talking to some of the “yoof” in Crystal Palace last year. About 200m from the TV transmitter.

    It did give me pause for thought.

  8. This is where the bollocks starts:
    “NTP scientists had exposed thousands of rats and mice (whose biological similarities to humans make them useful indicators of human health risks) to doses of radiation equivalent to an average mobile user’s lifetime exposure.”

    Similar to the “marihuana is lethal” *ahem* ..research.. , if you dump a lifetime exposure *of anything* to humans into a rat , even in its lifetime, you’re still exaggerating the dose by a factor of 25-30. Most research doesn’t have that kind of patience, so at say, 3 months of exposure, youre talking about an exaggeration factor of 300 or more.
    Might as well put the rat inside Chernobyl and see what happens.

    Given that the *only* results were still “maybe, if you’re unlucky” at even those exposure levels, even after a ton of waffling by “experts”, you can safely say the actual risk is exactly zero under the conditions we use mobile equipment nowadays.

    The simple fact that given the 100’s of million users of mobile phones in the past two decades or so , there hasn’t been any noticeable increase of brain cancer incidences or other boogeyman diseases attributed to mobile phones or wireless tech, you can simply toss this thing into the Urban Myth circular file.

    Given that the whole article is based on the premise that the *ahem* … research… is valid where it isn’t, anything after that is ….well…… bollocks..

  9. dimwit formulaic “campaigning”…. next door’s WiFi will stunt your kitchen window cacti, bluetooth headphones cause ingrowing toenails on women’s left feet.

    Is the tobacco campaign model a license / franchise ?

    The Gaurdian has an appetite for stupid, deeply dishonest scaremongery with an added “progressive” lefty twist that is truly epic on occasion

  10. The Left can’t prove they are wrong, so they brand them as EVIL.

    And when you are fighting against evil, anything is acceptable. Demonizing the opposition is what changes the fascist Left to Nazis.

    You can’t have democracy when one side thinks the other side is evil.

  11. @smfs.”If there was an effect we would have seen an explosion in brain cancers among teenage girls.” Not certain how you discover and quantify brains in teenage girls.

  12. As it becomes clearer to the statists that they can’t control people enough via social meeja so they will attempt to discourage its use. Trump’s Tweets give you cancer; a viral #freeTommy will make your fingers drop off.

    Far better (safer!) to just watch telly and read shit newspapers.


  13. With anything, it’s always worth looking for motivation.
    Motivation here is 1) Getting an article in the Graun pays. 2) And more importantly. Gets the writer’s name & photo at the top of the article. Status seeking. If it was purely money they’d do something pays better.

    Imparting information of use to the reader hardly figures.

    The above pretty well sums up journalism. And, as we know, the purpose of journalism is to fill up the spaces in papers between the advertising.

  14. Is this like how talc causes cancer over time?

    Experts disagree with each other and suggest that more study is needed and by the way who are you going to pay to do the study thank you very much what results do you want?

  15. Healthy: Bacchanalian chemsex with hundreds of anonymous partners a year as if you were living in a Frankie Goes To Hollywood video directed by those guys who made CALIGULA.

    Not healthy: Bluetooth headphones.


  16. The Guardian, yearning to be the National Enquirer for people with beards who despise and sneer at the National Enquirer.


  17. Tim–Why are you putting all the good stuff on Contins ( and getting the usual 1 to 3 comments) and Twitter?

    Put some on here and give us a go.

  18. “NTP scientists had exposed thousands of rats and mice…. to doses of radiation”

    I’m reminded of the experiment in which electrodes were attached to the testicles of chimpanzees and then high voltage electric shocks were administered.

    After three months the scientists declared that they had proved that the chimpanzees really hated it.

  19. It’s almost as if the photoelectric effect didn’t exist.

    The frequency of radiation in this case is too low to cause mutations, so exposing it to increased quantity wont make the blind bit of difference.

  20. @TUC

    “Big has belatedly become a sinister word, not as in the sense of Big Brother, which took the piss out of the Left, but as used above. If a business is Big, it’s out to fleece you or kill you.”

    Should the British government’s policies be determined by corporate interests?

    If you disagree with what those interests are trying to achieve, e.g. paying less tax, you will say that “Big Business” or “Big Corporations” or the “Fat Cats” behind them are “lobbying” for it (and if they are being particularly aggressive about it, e.g. announcing they may move location if the government do not comply, you may go so far as to say they are “threatening” or “bullying” the government).

    But if you happen to agree with them on this particular issue, e.g. they are against Brexit, then a linguistic metamorphosis will occur and you will say that “Big Employers” or “Big Exporters” or “Business Leaders” are “arguing” or “pleading” for it.

    To be fair this isn’t just a left-wing affectation either, plenty of right-wing Brexiteers have adopted more stridently anti-business language when the need has struck them.

  21. AndrewC
    that’s something I’ve long thought the Guardian could implement and link to the comment “likez” button

  22. Ha. The same methodology used a hundred or so years ago to “prove” that Absinthe was toxic.

    Take the substance which is present in the drink in single-digit PPM concentrations, and expose the rat to a massive dose.

    Look! Rat dies!

    So actually not quite the same, since the rats did actually consistently die of thujone poisoning…

  23. AndrewC
    that’s something I’ve long thought the Guardian could implement and link to the comments – a “likezzzz” button

  24. You mean me Tim?

    No I ‘m not but I don’t log on and esp don’t accept any “play nice” crap to please grade z advertising hacks. Scum gets labelled as scum and piss on their sales figures.. Nothing personal.

    This site is a bit more like its old self lately but the actual stuff you post on Twitter is better than your Contins stuff. Just repost the Twitter titles you post on here and things would really get a boost.

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    Its a while since I’ve been in to the weeds on this subject but I suspect nothing much will have changed.

    There are two parts to propagation, the near field and far field. Much of the early work, and scares was around the far field and safe distances from masts. There is near unanimity, the exception being the Elektro Smog crowd, that the general public are reasonably safe from the dangers of mobile masts.

    The near field is a bit different not least because scientists and engineers don’t fully understand what’s happening that close to an antenna. Despite that, from what I’ve read in the past there’s no need to apply the Precautionary Principle and ban mobile phones.

    But then what do I know, I once worked for, and have made money from, Big Mobile!

  26. “At the end of the study, survival was lower in the control group of males than in all the exposed males. Survival was lower in the control group of females for two of the three exposed groups.”

  27. Bloke in North Dorset


    Trump is right, but for the wrong reasons. He’s a protectionist at heart and that’s well documented and it started at least when the Japanese were in the ascendancy. I don’t even think its a case of a sinner repenting, just good old Trumpian trolling.

    Via Cafe Hayek, Scott Sumner: makes a very good point:

    I don’t know anything about roosting chickens, but I do know a bit about trade theory. Over the past 200 years, debates about trade have occurred on two levels. Academics insist that unilateral free trade is the best options. However the “very serious people” (VSP) who conduct real world trade negotiations act as if open markets are a “concession”. They act as if we were doing other countries a favor by letting them export goods to our market. They view the academic perspective as hopelessly idealistic, even as the VSPs have worked hard to gradually move the world toward the same goal of freer trade, one agreement at a time.

    Today it looks like the VSPs who believe in globalization made a big mistake, and that the idealistic approach of unilaterally moving toward freer trade was the better strategy. The VSP approach opened the door to protectionist populists, and Donald Trump walked through. Protectionists are using the “concessions” myth as an excuse to impose higher tariffs. Other countries then face a difficult choice. If they give in to pressure from Trump, it would just encourage him to make even more demands.

    It’s normally the case that one is better off standing up to a bully. When one does so, bullies tend to back off. But it’s not easy to do this without making the problem even worse, without triggering an international trade war.

    If countries had done like Singapore and Hong Kong, and adopted a unilateral policy of free trade, then they would not face this quandary. In that case, if the US wants to shoot itself in the foot with trade barriers, it’s free to do so. No point in compounding the problem by also shooting yourself in the foot. Unfortunately, the international trade negotiation establishment is deeply invested in the “concessions” view of trade, and this creates some difficult game theory problems. If they do the “right thing” (cut tariffs) they look weak and make the populists even more popular.

    Sometimes the most idealistic approach is also the most pragmatic.

  28. Even if mobile phones did cause cancer, it would be a worthwhile trade-off.

    Motor cars probably cause all sorts of evil (obesity, heart disease, various cancers), but they’re so bloody useful that we wouldn’t go without.

  29. Give a human’s lifetime consumption of chocolate to a rat over say 3 months. Don’t scale down the does to account for the body mass difference. And the results say there ‘might’ be some significant harm to the rat.
    Conclusion: big chocolate is out to kill its customers. As if that’s a good business strategy. But the little people who make chocolate are ok.
    Guardian logic. Someone gets it, just not you, but still, please give us your money.

  30. It’s no good all this logic.
    To anyone over the age of 75 it is obvious that the west is losing IQ fast.

    Things like Facebook and smart phones seem to be the swan song. Only persistent massive propaganda from your leaders keeps thing going till the Chinese take over.

  31. “Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. We have been using mobile phones for over a generation. If there was an effect we would have seen an explosion in brain cancers among teenage girls.”

    Its the same with agro-chemicals, the latest scare is glyphosate, which the usual suspects are trying to get banned. Mainly because its made by Monsanto I think, and they’re at the forefront of GM crops, so a suitably evil mega corp to rail at.

    The trouble is that if you look at the issue logically, there’s one section of society thats been using agrochemicals for decades, and glyphosate for as long as it has been around, and will have been exposed to far higher doses than anyone else, and thats farmers, and farm workers, as they’re using it on a regular basis for their entire working lives. And there’s no evidence that those people suffer cancers at a higher rate than the population at large. If anything they have lower rates.

    But that doesn’t count as evidence in SJW world…….

  32. Errr… using a mobile phone is voluntary isn’t it? So, if you don’t want to get lumg cancer, don’t smoke, if you don’t want to get liver disease, don’t drink, if you don’t want to get phone cancer, don’t use a phone. Personal choice.

  33. If EM radiation was a real problem, you wouldn’t be able to get near the Crystal Palace transmitter (>1MW) for dead bodies.

  34. @ Andrew M
    It has been proven that di-hydrogen monoxide is carcinogenic in rats at a dosage level far below normal human weekly consumption.
    However I regard giving up di-hydrogen monoxide as far worse than accepting the risk that it might cause cancer.

  35. Bloke in Costa Rica

    There has never been a plausible causative mechanism by which milliwatt doses of non-ionising radiation can cause cancer. Given that if you’re using your phone in a tolerably well-lit room you’re being exposed to EM radiation at a hundred thousand times the frequency and thousands of times the intensity without developing cancer (it’s called a light bulb) it’s hard to see how there could be one. Received signals are in the pico- to femtowatt range.

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