The Issues

A Cell Transmitter by Every Home?

We are on the brink of the 5th generation of cellular technology - 5G - a global technological revolution promising effortless, near-magical communication. But like in all fairy tales, things that seem too good to be true often are. Most of us are not heeding the warning that wireless tech and 5G are causing irrevocable harm. This 2020 Macleans piece succinctly lays out the potential costs of 5G.

Let's begin where we are.

Do you want to protect your health and privacy and the well-being of your loved ones, all living things and the ecosystems that sustain us?

If your answer is "Yes", welcome to the safe technology movement. 

Big wireless has big plans. Across the globe, roughly 900 small cells per square mile will be installed by each 5G provider. They will be placed by our homes and schools, and in parks where kids play camouflaged as benches and trash cans. An estimated 50,000 or more 5G-enabled satellites will fill our skies irradiating every corner of the earth. All of this on top of existing wireless and cellular networks. 

We are electromagnetic beings. We resonate with all of life. Our growing reliance on electronic devices - which interfere with signals emanating from the sun and solar system - is pulling us out of balance with the essential rhythms of life.

We are at a crisis point. Our planet cannot support unlimited technological growth. Reducing our tech appetite and carbon footprint by using energy-efficient, life-enhancing wired technology when truly needed is the only sane choice.

Community-owned wired fiber-to-the-premises will always be faster, safer and more secure than wireless 5G. It's time to spread the word.


Small Cells, Big Problems

It's no secret that technology is hijacking our lives.

The very essence of what distinguishes humans from machines - our spark, our spirit - is being assaulted by the technocracy unfolding.

The good news?

We have the power to choose an authentic path. Don't be blinded by the promises of technological perfection. We are perfectly imperfect beings of resonance, so much more than Ones and Zeros could ever imagine.

The Issues  

To explore a specific Issue, click on its turquoise +

Researchers from the U.S. National Academy of Science have confirmed that the mysterious neurological symptoms experienced by American diplomats in China and Cuba are consistent with the effects of directed microwave energy. This affirms what scientists and everyday citizens have been saying for decades – it is not just the tissue heating abilities of wireless technologies that cause harm.

Learn more about Millimeter Waves and Health, and Canada’s outdated radiation exposure guideline Safety Code 6 in the WellBeing section of the Primer found here.

The Science

Not all science is created equal, and policy makers and industry often use this to their advantage. Rather than looking at other’s interpretations of the data, we will get a clearer picture by looking at the research directly. This short article: 10 Questions to Ask about Scientific Studies gives those of us who are not scientists the tools to better place science in context and understand the relationship between findings and facts.

There is a vast body of published peer-reviewed research documenting the harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) available. In January 2021, upon doing a review of the past 10 years of research, BERENIS, a group of scientific experts on electromagnetic fields appointed by the Swiss government concluded that exposure to a “low dose” of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields may cause “severe health effects” in the young and elderly and in people with immune deficiencies or diseases.

Recent update to the BioInitiative Report  a review by 29 MDs and PhDs from 10 countries – contains 1,800 new studies. Online you’ll find an impressive list of 30,000 studies and more than 6,300 summaries showing a broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR.

In March 2021, Dr. Christopher Portier, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and a scientific advisor for the World Health Organization (WHO), wrote this expert report for plaintiffs in the lawsuit Murray v. Motorola in which he examines many studies done since 2010, to find “RF exposure probably causes gliomas (tumors in the brain and spinal cord) and neuromas (growths or tumors of nerve tissue) and, given the human, animal and experimental evidence, I assert that, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, the probability that RF exposure causes gliomas and neuromas is high.”

 In short, internationally renowned independent scientists have concluded that the there is a very high likelihood that exposure to radiofrequency radiation causes harm.  

Nevertheless, RFR in our environment is steadily intensifying. Soon, instead of 2,000 satellites orbiting the Earth, there will be over 50,000 constellations of 5G-generating satellites polluting our night skies. Instead of cell towers every few miles, there will be cell transmitters in front of every third to fifth home, emitting 3G, 4G and 5G-radiofrequency radiation. Meanwhile, this 2021 study from Brazil links continuous EMF exposure from cell transmitters placed close to residences to higher cancer mortality rates. 

Electrosensitivity and Human Rights

A growing segment of the population is is completely debilitated by wireless frequencies.Forced exposure to 5G and other electromagnetic frequencies, be it from land or space, contravenes the Accessible Canada Act. The Rose Institute, where Dr Magds Havas conducts research on the effects of WiFi routers and cell phones on the function of the heart and brain, estimates 3-35% of the population respond “negatively” to wireless frequencies.

When it comes to 5G, and even 4G, no independent, long-term safety testing has been done to ensure the public is protected from all possible harm. Worse, just like Big Tobacco was back in its heyday, Big Wireless is heavily invested in a disinformation campaign aimed at making consumers believe wireless technology is safe.

Awakening the Regulators

Some governmental organizations are heeding caution in the adoption of 5G. This February 2020 European Parliamentary Briefing on the “Effects of 5G Wireless Communication on Human Health” warns that:

Research to date has not addressed the constant exposure that 5G would introduce… Accordingly, a section of the scientific community considers that more research on the potential negative biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and 5G is needed, notably on the incidence of some serious human diseases.

Meanwhile, industry and government bodies like Health Canada continue to deny the science that shows proof of harm. In fact, as shown by Canadians 4 Safe Technology Here and in more depth Here, Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are engaging in what might be termed a misinformation campaign. How can they justify their actions? 

Beyond the well-documented conflict of interest of those who sit on the radiation exposure regulatory boards, tech and government assume they can ignore the many causal links between wireless radiation and health as long there is no recognized mechanism explaining how radiofrequency radiation causes its many biological effects. Biochemistry professor Dr. Martin Pall has uncovered a key mechanism of harm, cited in numerous research papers and described below, but the final proof of his hypothesis has yet to be officially recognized.

Learn more about Dr Pall’s findings Here.

Clearly, a massive public awareness campaign to reduce RFR exposure to As Low As Reasonably Achievable, something we learned to do many years ago for ionizing radiation (X-rays), is essential, if we are going to protect public health and promote planetary well-being.

Resources on HEALTH

Science on Radiation from 4G & 5G Microcell Antennas

Scientific Research on Wireless Health Effects

Physicians for Safe Technology

Scientific Studies Showing Biological Effects of RF Radiation 

5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects

Dr Pall’s Paper on 5G, the Distinct Types of Harm Caused by EMF Exposure and the Mechanism that Causes Them

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What parent thinks their child needs more screen time and technology?

Children’s smaller bodies and thinner skulls make them about 10 times more vulnerable to microwave radiation than adults.Initial results from a $300 million US National Institute of Health study reveals that kids who spend more than 2 hours a day on screens score worse on language and reasoning tests. Those who spend more than 7 hours a day on devices show a thinning of the brain cortex.

And yet the social isolation and the requirements of remote learning resulting from the pandemic have caused our kids’ screen time to sky rocket, with experts linking increased sleep and eye problems in youth to their soaring use of digital devices.

Data from over a million US teenagers shows that the happiest teens use digital media for less than an hour a day.

Suicide-related ER visits doubled for US youth between 2007 and 2015. Young people are on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades, says Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. Suicide, loneliness, depression, and tech addiction are skyrocketing.

Electronic Cocaine

Brains hooked on tech look like brains hooked on drugs, which is why Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls screens “electronic cocaine”. Individuals in the know, including Silicon Valley tech developers, limit their family’s tech use in order to boost productivity, build stronger relationships, and create a more meaningful life.

Wake Up to Safe Tech

Our children will follow the examples we set. Setting healthy limits and using a predominantly wired communications infrastructure will profoundly affect our well-being, our quality of life, and our culture. 

To explore how to balance technology in your life, take our DIGITAL DETOX CHALLENGE.


Eliminating the Human

Humanity at a Crossroads

Our Minds Can be Hijacked’: the Tech Insiders who Fear a Smartphone Dystopia

Screen StrongA site dedicated to helping families develop healthy digital lifestyles

Why you can’t quit social media – CBC 2020 Massey Lecture – 2020

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All of life is bio-electric – a complex network of subtle electrical activity. A growing body of evidence warns that wireless devices and the electromagnetic frequencies they produce may cause irrevocable harm to all living things.

Vanishing Insects 

Worldwide, insects are disappearing at alarming rates. The scientific review carried out in this 2021 study shows that electromagnetic radiation should be considered as a contributor to the dramatic decline in insects, acting in synergy with agricultural intensification, pesticides, invasive species and climate change. Our bees especially are in trouble. A  complex interplay of diverse stressors is threatening them, and our food security as a result. Research done at Bristol University shows that bees use their electrical sense to determine if a flower has recently been visited by another bee, and that bees’ hairs are highly sensitive to flowers’ delicate electromagnetic frequencies.

Photo by Leigh Hilbert

Hello Ticks, Bye Bye Bees?

When researchers studied the effects of 5G’s millimeter wave frequencies on four different types of insects they found that 5G will heat insects’ bodies to levels that may affect their normal behavior and physiology. In this interview, physician and neurobiologist Dr.Dietrich Klinghard notes that as beneficial insects die off, other less-radiation sensitive species, like disease-bearing ticks are becoming more and more prevalent.

We Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

  • A landmark study done in Germany revealed progressive harm to trees from microwave radiation. Strongly irradiated trees, even those growing two miles from antennas, were injured, with damage usually starting on the side closest to the cell tower and extending to the whole tree over time.
  • A 2017 review of 49 studies done on the effects of mobile phone radiation on plants found 90% of the research showed that non-thermal radiation has physiological and/or morphological effects on living plants.
  • Experts have found that exposure to microwave radiation causes an increase in terpene production in monocots, or flowering plants and trees. Other scientists have linked these increased terpene levels to forest fires.  

    Art by Cécile Gambini

Embodied Network

We’re all — trees, humans, insects, birds, bacteria — pluralities. Life is embodied network….Our ethic must therefore be one of belonging, an imperative made all the more urgent by the many ways that human actions are fraying, rewiring, and severing biological networks worldwide. – David George Haskell

Our push for greater and greater wireless connectivity is causing a massive disconnect from the natural word that sustains us – at our own peril.

The Evidence

  • Research documenting the negative impacts radiofrequency radiation has on migratory birds, bats, bees, monarch butterflies. and myriad other wildlife, including antarctic krill, a major food source for whales, penguins and seals, may be found at the Resources links below.
  • For example, just 6 minutes a day of weak wireless exposure caused cell-death in insects in this 2016 study.

 5G in Space – a Threat to our Planet’s Precious Atmosphere

Plans are underway to deploy hundreds of thousands of 5G-generating, short-lifespan satellites via suborbital rockets propelled by hydrocarbon rocket engines. According to this 2010 California study, launching these rockets will spew enough black carbon into the atmosphere to pollute global atmospheric conditions and cause potentially significant climate impact. Plus, solid-state rocket exhaust contains chlorine, an ozone-destroying chemical. How can any government seriously concerned about climate change allow this?

5G satellites in space will also interfere with meteorologistsweather detecting equipment. And they will bring an end to the dark night sky needed by astronomers and all of us who love to watch the stars.  

This paper presented by scientists at the spring 2020 session of the Norwegian national assembly concludes that launching more low orbit satellites will damage life on Earth.

photo by Leigh Hilbert

Earth Wisdom or More Smart Stuff?

Clearly, non-industry-affiliated scientists across the globe are sounding a warning: Are we favoring wireless networks over biological ones, and if so, at what cost?


Environmental and Wildlife Effects

EKLIPSE Scientific Review – The Impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on Wildlife (Flora and Fauna)

Wireless Silent Spring

Bees, Butterflies and Wildlife: Research on Electromagnetic Fields and the Environment

Electromagnetic Fields Impact Tree and Plant Growth

U.S. Dept. of Interior: Cell Tower Radiation Affects Wildlife



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Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

Rising sea levels. Drought. Wildfires…  Faster data. The Internet of Everything. A “need” to buy a 5G Phone…

Our growing addiction to and dependence on wireless stuff is clear. What we don’t see — because it is so carefully hidden from the public eye — is the ecological impact of our social media usage and the wasteful consumption loop we’re trapped in, as we’re pushed to constantly upgrade our devices and turn simple electronics and appliances into “smart” machines.

Scholar Richard Maxwell says your Smartphone should have a tailpipe on it, so you understand it is connected to the physical infrastructure that affects our planet. It’s not just a magical box. According to a November 2020 report by InterDigital and ABI Research, the energy consumption of the wireless industry is poised to grow a staggering 160% by 2030, primarily due to 5G. A typical 5G base station consumes up to twice or more the power of a 4G base station, says Industry analyst MTN.

This 2019 report by the climate think tank The Shift Project shows the serious environmental impact of our digital revolution and calls for urgent action to reduce our use of cell phones, wireless and the internet of things (IOT).

The situation is alarming. We have a tsunami of data approaching. Everything which can be is being digitalised. It is a perfect storm. 5G, [the fifth generation of mobile technology] is coming, IP [internet protocol] traffic is much higher than estimated and all cars and machines, robots and artificial intelligence are being digitalised, producing huge amounts of data which is stored in data centres. – Andrae Anders, Huawei Technologies, Sweden 

IN SHORT, EXPERTS WARN that the phenomenal growth of interconnected wireless devices, data centers and networks, central to the digital revolution, could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering global attempts to meet climate change targets. 

Wireless is not Unplugged

Government and industry claim the astronomical amount of data generated from 5G-enabled “smart” cities and devices will equip us to save energy. But they fail to account for the mega energy footprint of the IoT itself. This includes the energy consumed by our devices, the energy needed to mine and manufacture them (embodied energy), and the energy needed to power the networks and data centers to which they are connected.

Experts warn that the energy footprint of the digital world will double, or even triple, over the next 15 years. Dr. Mike Hazas, Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications tells us that the IoT is “a significant concern in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions“ and that serious consideration must be given to limiting data growth before the IoT is unrolled.

A Facebook Data Centre in Luleå Sweden. Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand AFPGetty

Mending the Web

Love yourself. Then forget it.
Then, love the world. – Mary Oliver

Photo by Eugene Kalenkovich ~ Shutterstock

All of life is interconnected. Bees and butterflies, birds, and kids – so easy to love, so vulnerable to the harms posed by our current technological trajectory. Remedying the suffering our personal tech choices may cause is simple. Not easy, perhaps, but not complex. Make sustainable choices. Connect with nature. Live from the heart. And encourage government and industry to promote technology that supports and protects life.


Climate Change, 5G and the Internet of Things flyer, Environmental Health Trust

How Smartphones are Heating Up the Planet

Lean ICT: Towards Digital Sobriety: A report from the Shift Project on the Environmental Impact of Information and Communications Technology

Letters to Greta

Smart tech’s carbon footprint ~  Ecologist, April 2020

The Environmental Footprint of the Digital World Study

The Power of Wireless Cloud, Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), University of Melbourne

Want to help save the planet? Hang onto your old smartphone from CBC’s 2020 Massey Lecture on the Internet


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Mass data theft. Foreign cyber-intervention in elections. Smartphones doubling as surveillance devices that track your every move. Corporations peering into your personal information to exploit your online activities to advertise to you — and even try to influence your behavior. It sounds like a sci-fi thriller, but it’s real life. And it’s affecting you.

Your Toothbrush is Spying on You

And so is your egg carton, your mattress – you name it, if it’s “smart” it is a two-way communication device, continuously collecting and selling your data. Who stands to profit? Industry and government, as they pave the way for microcells and 5G by plying us with tales of energy self-sufficiency and Jetson-like road safety, while luring us to an automated heaven where we can stream as much video as we want into the lenses of our virtual reality glasses.

Although tech-addicted citizens may salivate at the promise that everything in this brave new world will be shinier and faster, are we really willing to have a cell antenna in our yard, and to trade the spurious benefits of fast data for ill health and corporate control over every aspect of our lives?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that one hundred percent of Facebook users have likely had their privacy compromised by “malicious actors”. 

The New York Times warns:

EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files….We are living in the world’s most advanced surveillance system. This system wasn’t created deliberately. It was built through the interplay of technological advance and the profit motive. It was built to make money. The greatest trick technology companies ever played was persuading society to surveil itself.

Canada’s privacy laws are so weak and out of date that our Privacy Commissioner is raising the alarm and calling on lawmakers to strengthen the law to stop companies from mining our personal data to influence behavior and turn a profit.

If we stay on our current trajectory, protecting our privacy may be a lost cause. The Internet of Things, “smart” cities and autonomous cars will depend on massive, 24/7 data collection to function. Wireless networks are much more vulnerable to data theft than wired ones are. And privacy laws won’t stop hackers.

As we become increasingly dependent on wireless tech, we usher in a whole new era of surveillance capitalism, a world where technology normalizes what we once considered immoral and invasive – Big Brother and Big Business harvesting our personal data for financial gain and control.

Resources on PRIVACY

O.K., Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today?

Silicon Valley siphons our data like oil. But the deepest drilling has just begun

Report: Without safeguards, Internet and IoT may create surveillance states in near future

Surveillance capitalism: Who is watching us online — and why? – CBC 2020 Massey Lecture

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy

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All wireless systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks. In 2017, a group of Finnish technicians laid out the security risks posed by 5G. As more and more devices are connected, they noted, “A security breach in the online power supply systems can be catastrophic for all the electrical and electronic systems that society depends upon.”

In 2018, the World Global Research Report ranked cyber-security as the third greatest global risk superseded only by natural disasters and extreme weather events. Canada has the third most cyber incidents in the world. With the arrival of 5G, the IoT and billions of new Internet-connected devices, cyber attacks will become inevitable.

Consider for a moment what the precise, always-on tracking 5G will facilitate might mean. Even if the companies storing every move governments and citizens make are operating with the highest moral scruples, there is ultimately no foolproof way they can secure the data from falling into the hands of a “malicious actor” or a foreign security service.

Nations across the globe have banned Chinese tech company Huawei from their 5G networks for this reason. But Huawei is already deeply embedded in Canada’s wireless networks, and despite Washington’s many warnings that Huawei presents a grave security risk, Canada has not made a final decision about whether or not we will rollout 5G using Huawei technology. It is estimated that removing Huawei equipment from existing networks in Canada could cost telecoms 1 billion dollars and taxpayers a hefty lawsuit.

Says journalist Andrew Nikiforuk:

The rise of Huawei and the imposition of 5G technology suggest that the technical noose on human affairs has just grown tighter. We should call 5G technology by what it will make possible: “technology-enhanced authoritarian control with global consequences.


Huawei, Big Brother and Technological Destruction                                                                   

5G hackers: These eight groups will try to break into the networks of tomorrow

Cyber-attacks are among top three risk to society, alongside natural disaster and extreme weather

The Terrifying Potential of 5G

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What happens and exactly who is liable when a utility pole or lamppost heavily laden with hundreds of pounds of wireless equipment comes down, injuring someone or damaging a resident’s home or property?

Who will assume financial liability for fire, loss of line workers’, public and environmental health, personal data breaches, and property devaluation caused by placing many microcells on our streets?  When the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico decided to install small cells, the Mayor received this letter about liability from a lawyer.

Storm in Boston~2018

No Assurance of Insurance

If the telecoms are indemnified, then the city is left holding the bag. And it is unlikely the city’s insurance policy will cover any wireless health-related claims. Insurance companies now categorize wireless radiation as one of the top risks for insurers worldwide, and many companies, including Lloyds of London, will not cover claims resulting in injury or harm caused by electromagnetic radiation.

Informed Integrity

The Model Municipal Access Agreement (found here) was negotiated by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in 2013 to facilitate telecom’s access to our rights-of-way. The Environment and Liability section of this agreement establishes that if municipal governments know that telecommunications equipment may cause environmental harm, but allow it to be installed anyway, they may be found negligent and held liable for damages. 

Image Source: NPR

Once elected officials are made aware of the dangers posed by wireless tech, continuing to promote it may even result in charges of colluding in the suppression of information. Are leaders willing to trade their integrity, their objectivity, and ultimately their reputation for industry’s agenda? 

Risky Business

Telecom providers know that wireless technologies are risky business, and their annual reports admit their fears. In this excerpt from their 2019 Management Discussion and Analysis, TELUS warns shareholder that litigation due to data theft, electromagnetic radiation, microcell siting issues, and more could eat into their profits, and that Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.”

Photo Credit_Alpha

Risk Management

Risk management from a health and safety perspective has the primary objective of eliminating or minimizing the risks of harm. Drawing on data from over 3000 scientific research papers on non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, scientist Steve Weller created a power-packed presentation on wireless technology and Risk Management in 2018. Some of his slides are below. The takeaway – there is sufficient evidence of harm to support governments in taking a precautionary approach to installing wireless transmitters on our streets. 

It may be time for elected leaders – and all of us – to get our heads out of the sand.

Resources on LIABILITY

Canada’s Cellphone System Vulnerable in Disasters, say Experts

Telecom and Insurance Companies Warn Of Liability and Risk

The Hazards Microcell, Wireless Transmitters, & 5G pose to Utility Line Workers

Swiss Re Institute ~ SONAR 2019: New Emerging Risk Insights

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The Stakes are High

Life on earth is an interconnected web, and we are at a crossroads. We must question the role our digital connectivity is playing in the collapse of species, eco-systems and diversity.

There is so much to gain from reducing our digital consumption and greatly reducing or eliminating our use of wireless tech: better health, better relationships, and the possibility for pollinators and so many other threatened species to rebound.

Remember - or imagine - the deep peace of a world that resonates with frequencies undisturbed.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better   ~  Mary Oliver, Sleeping in the Forest

The Good News? 

 “Hope is the remembrance of radiance, the assurance that Light will be Light, even when walking in dark places.” ~ Howard Thurman

People all over are awakening to the nonsense of 5G and wireless tech. You too can join the safe tech movement, re-envisioning what healthy, community-controlled telecommunications networks look like. 5G depends upon microcells. But microcells depend upon fiber optic cables, which transmit data at the speed of light.. 

Fiber installed directly to the premises offers the fastest, safest, most secure connectivity available, and we can get most of the perks promised by 5G's smart city sales pitch by using wired networks and devices instead of wireless ones. (See Safe Technology for tips on how to do this.)

We can wait for a public health disaster down the road, or start now to make wired fiber the new normal.

As individuals, Canadians don't currently have a choice about whether microcells are placed right by our homes, but together, we have the power to change this. 

The future is in our hands.  DONATE