Please Don’t Donate to Organizations that Endorse Human Rights Abuses Based on “Tobacco Science” Expertise

By Patricia Burke

Many organizations including leading non-profit environmental and health advocacy groups promoting reduced reliance on fossil fuels have continued to endorse wireless smart utility meters.

Despite documented reports of harm and human rights abuses, as well as evidence of environmental damage, various groups have colluded with the same corporations that unleashed fossil fuel damages for decades.

These health advocacy groups and non-profits are now colluding with the fossil fuel corporations to suppress evidence of harm by relying on corrupt mercenary scientists.

Despite outreach and education from health experts and citizens groups, the smart meter economic growth agenda with resulting data mining and citizen surveillance capabilities has been enabled by organizations that citizens have traditionally relied on for environmental advocacy.

Liar-for-hire tobacco scientists working for product defense firms have been the source of claims of safety of wireless “smart” utility meters across the United States. Peter Valberg served as the health expert for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, which operated in the same manner as the notorious Tobacco Research Institute. Valberg provided decision-makers with industry-tailored testimony. Valberg was also the smart meter health expert for the Utilities Telecom Council.

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Gradient Corporation’s scientist Valberg provided testimony for the Maryland smart meter rate case, and his testimony was subsequently used in many other jurisdictions, including Michigan, Vermont, and Hawaii. The week that he testified for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in 2014, he also testified for Phillips Lights cigarettes. Valberg was investigated by the Center for Public Integrity in 2016 for his mercenary work for the chemical industry.

Exponent’s mercenary scientists testified about smart meter safety in Nevada, Maine, and Canada.

Ratepayers in a number of jurisdictions have been threatened with loss of access to essential services including heat, electricity, and water. Others have had their services terminated, despite issues of medical vulnerability.

Technologies deployed to address to the health and environmental damages of the fossil fuel have not been independently pre-market tested and monitored for health and environmental effects.

If you do not support the use of mercenary science for health and environmental policy, please abstain from donating to the following organizations, OR request that they divest from tobacco-science based policies and politics. Ask that they call for an independent science-based investigation of smart meter harm resulting from inadequate radio frequency exposure protections. Request that they advocate to overturn section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 so that citizens and communities can protect the ecosystem for unsafe exposures to microwave radio frequencies.

Let’s be clear. …  The problem is not technology, which unarguably brings countless benefits to modern life.   The problem is with the over-extension of claims for technology’s usefulness and the worshipful adulation of technology even where it has fearful consequences.  Most fundamentally, the problem is the willingness in Washington — for reasons of both venality and naïveté — to give technology a free pass. -Harvard Center for Ethics Study

Groups Endorsing Wireless Smart Utility Meters and/or Denying Harm Due to Radio Frequency Exposures Despite Evidence of Harm to Human Health and the Environment

Center for Biological Diversity

Conservation Law Foundation

Environmental Defense Fund

Green America, (formerly Co-op America)

National Cancer Institute

Natural Resource Defense Council

Sierra Club

The Nature Conservancy

Union of Concerned Sciences

Patricia Burke works with activists across the country and internationally calling for new biologically-based microwave radio frequency exposure limits. She is based in Massachusetts and can be reached at [email protected].

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