August Harvest vs. EMF/RF/5G, Black Swans, Cherry Picking, and Decision-Based Evidence-Making

By Patricia Burke

We Know “Swans are White”… Until Black Swans Are Discovered; Then, Science Evolves and Corrects its Hypothesis, Unless Corruption is in the Driver’s Seat

As our August Harvest Series continues, we have been looking at the de-evolutionary process of society’s focus on harvesting data vs. harvesting the earth’s abundance, with a lens on EMF/RF/5G.

This brings us to concerns about the weaponization of data as well as science.

Justifications for the urgency in deploying a 5G network worldwide are turning out to be manufactured mirages.

From a sustainability perspective, the environmental footprint of resource and energy consumption, to fuel the infrastructure that provides the backbone for the global spider web negates sustainability claims.

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It turns out that there is no “5G” race against China, although the claim enjoyed widespread press under the Trump presidency. Under Biden, 5G justification is being translation into supposed Democratic ideals, like environment, jobs, and civil rights.

But, it turns out that the 5G narrative is exploiting rather than addressing the issue of race.

Dirty Data and Soiled Science

It also turns out that the data collected from all of the devices and infrastructure can be weaponized. In a 2019 article for Forbes, “Data Science Has Become About Lending False Credibility To Decisions We’ve Already Made” Kalev Leetaru wrote,

“…we no longer see data as yielding answers, but rather as a veneer of credibility to wrap around the answers we want.

Data scientists no longer turn to statistics, rigorous methodologies and the scientific method to interrogate large datasets they understand deeply and yield findings that have been carefully normalized, scrutinized and verified.

Instead, data science has become two things: hyperbole and lending false credibility to decisions that have already been made.

Hype has become synonymous with how the research community increasingly views data science. Researchers sprinkle data science buzzwords over their proposals, publications and grant submissions like some sort of magical fairy dust, confident in the unfortunate truth that the mere presence of phrases like ‘big data,’ ‘social media analytics’ or ‘deep learning’ will massively improve their odds of success, regardless of the actual question being asked or the accuracy of their results.

Data science has become about hype-fueled fairy dust that can boost the prospects of a resume or report with its trendy buzzwords.

Most dangerously, it has become about the misuse of statistics, data, research methodologies and the scientific method to lend false credibility to decisions that have already been made.

We no longer devise a hypothesis and test it using data. We start with the conclusion we want and find the data and methods to support it.

As data science becomes about false hype and conscripting data in the service of preordained conclusions, we risk undermining the public’s trust in data and halting the data revolution just as it has begun.” – Kalev Leetar

(As an example, one very visible show of decision-based evidence-making occurred when the results of the National Grid smart meter pilot in Worcester MA were boldly manufactured by Navigant Consulting, to justify state-wide meter deployment.)

Magda Havas, Cherry Picking and Black Swans

In 2012, Magda Havas explained the difference between accusations of “cherry picking” and the implications of finding a black swan. Nine years later, we’re still falling for it.

Science 101: Cherry Picking & Black Swans

“A typical statement might be, ‘We have no conclusive, consistent, convincing evidence that bla-bla-bla is harmful below guidelines.’  As soon as you hear these words you recognize that evidence does exist but the person making this statement doesn’t hold that evidence in high regard.  That person seldom expands by indicating what kind of evidence would be classified as conclusive, consistent or convincing, because if that evidence were available s/he would be in a quandary.” – Magda Havas

“Scientists are criticized for cherry picking their studies when in fact they are falsifying a hypothesis.” – Magda Havas

Environmental Working Group: “Feds Should Lower Kids’ Exposure Limits to Wireless Radiation”

On August 5, Public News Service reported:

“– A new study argued the current federal limit for exposure to wireless radiation should be hundreds of times lower than it is, for children.

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group took methodology developed by the Environmental Protection Agency to assess human health risks from toxic chemicals, and applied it to radiofrequency (RF) radiation from wireless devices, including cellphones, tablets and 5G networks.

Dr. Olga Naidenko, vice president for science investigations for the Environmental Working Group and the study’s co-author, said standards should be updated, and in the meantime, she suggested parents take simple steps to reduce their kids’ RF exposure.

The wireless industry countered its products are safe and comply with Federal Communications Commission rules, and the FCC reviewed and upheld its original RF radiation standard in 2019. But Naidenko noted the studies underpinning those standards are 25 years old and apply only to adults.

2018 study from the National Toxicology Program linked wireless radiation to heart and brain tumors in rats.”

(In regard to the claim by the industry that the FCC “reviewed and upheld its standards in 2019,” on August 13, 2021, “the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in the historic case EHT et al. v. the FCC that the December 2019 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to retain its 1996 safety limits for human exposure to wireless radiation was “arbitrary and capricious.”   The court held that the FCC failed to respond to “record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer.” Further, the agency demonstrated “a complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.” Read about it here. )

Simon Books reported,

“Since 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has required that all the mobile phones, tablets, and other moveable electronic devices sold in America meet the federal minimum standards for radiation safety. These standards were developed to reduce the risk for unsafe human contact with radiofrequency (RF) radiation. The standards stipulate contact limits with regard to Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of RF energy the body absorbs. For kids and adults alike, the acceptable FCC SAR limit for whole-body contact with RF energy is 0.8 W/Kg or watts per kilogram, and 1.6 W/Kg for certain parts of the body, for example, the brain.

According to EWG’s study, FCC’s SAR limit is 200 to 400 times higher than it should be for kids’ exposure and 20 to 40 times higher than it should be for adults. As it appears, the FCC’s minimum standards for wireless radiation are outdated, as the standards were reviewed more than two decades ago when wireless devices were not present everywhere or as heavily used as they are nowadays.

EWG’s radiation safety recommendations are based on current information from a revolutionary 2018 study done by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).” – Simon Books

For more information about the EWG see:

Industry Response, Deny, Defend, Attack

An industry hit piece about the work of EWG was published by the American Council on Science and Health, stating,

“Last week with little fanfare, the Environmental Working Group released its latest ‘report’ on the putative harmful effects of cellphone radiation. Right from the start, it features two eye-catching words, ‘radiation’ and ‘children.’ The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit with an agenda to shine ‘a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices, and industry loopholes.’ Like others in the scientific ‘scare space,’ they believe that BIG government regulations are evil, biased by BIG business; their equally biased special interest regulations are ‘better.’

The fight over the safety of cellphone radiation mirrors similar skirmishes over tobacco, chemicals, and our all- too-human behavior.

  • Distrust of authority, both scientists and public health officials, in and out of government.
  • As reported by the NY Times, outside agencies, i.e., Russian propaganda, has fostered discontent with articles on the harm on 5G networks
  • Accusations by both sides of cherry-picking findings from studies that support their views while ignoring other research
  • Appending the name Big to the wireless communication industry to suggest a monolithic, evil force.” – ACSH

The CIA and Conspiracy Theory

As reported by Top Secret Writers, there are strategies for attacking those reporting evidence of black swans, or this case, risk, injuries, and damages caused by an inadequately regulated industry.


This is Not Just About the Question of EMF/RF Safety

We can see that we have left the realm of reason with the ACSH efforts.

We can regain our capacity for intellectual investigation, and the evolution of society and culture.

The wireless industry hears a complaint about health damages, and they take the temperature of a dummy head filled with Jell-O, or they take an engineering measurement with a meter. This is not a researcher investigating biological harm. This isn’t science, its product defense.

Those not yet questioning the safety of the wireless technologies are on the wrong side of history.

Top swam image courtesy Lori McCray

See the complete August Harvest Series HERE.

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