To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Of 75 films featured in the Berkshire International Film Festival, "Take Back Your Power" may portray the most far-reaching issue with the most direct impact on the lives of Americans.
Wide-scale installation of wireless utility meters has been justified under the banner of sustainability. While the Mass-
achusetts Department of Pub-
lic Utilities moves forward with "smart meters" as the "cornerstone to grid modernization," the green-washing veil is wearing thin in light of cost, security, safety, fire, health, privacy and environmental concerns.
Grassroots groups HaltMAsmart-
Massachusetts, Worcester Opts Out, the Facebook page
and Berkshire-based Sand-
aura.wordpress.com and NoSmart-
Meters.wordpress.com tell the other side of the story, along with 130 activist groups across the U.S.
Worcester is the site of National Grid's controversial $48 million pilot program, where a contentious battle over installation of an 80-foot tower housing multiple micro-
wave antennas in a residential neighborhood has been held up for more than a year at the Zoning Board of Appeals. Tobacco scientist Peter Valberg of the product defense firm Gradient testified to the purported safety of smart meters, further agitating the community. Valberg defended diesel fumes on school buses and the RJ Phillips tobacco company.
He is featured in the documentary "Microwaves, Science, and Lies" which criticizes the role of the U.S. military in the establishment of radio frequency safety limits. Many nations have established lower limits, including Italy, the site of the Vatican radio leukemia lawsuit. The Italian grid is hard-wired, as is much of Europe, and does not transmit private usage data to the utility.
Blake Levitt of the Berk-
shire Litchfield Environmental Council and Director Josh del Sol will participate in a Q and A after the film on Saturday. According to the BLEC, "The smart grid is increasingly understood as an over-engineered, ill-advised, financial boondoggle at taxpayer ex-
pense, capable of endangering the security of the entire national grid, violating constitutional privacy protections and endangering public health. In addition, the smart grid/metering has not been found to save energy when all the new variables in the system are factored in. Plus, time-of-use pricing is largely punitive to those who can least afford it. Time-of-use pricing is fundamentally a Wall Street model designed to maintain shareholder profits as we transition to more energy efficient models that will reduce demand."
As one of the increasing number of Americans experiencing adverse impacts due to exposure to the pulsed micro-
waves radio frequencies powering the grid, I hope you'll attend.