During a recent city council meeting the Mayor of Danville, California admitted that the council had “lost control” of the 5G rollout to the federal government and Big Wireless.
On March 6, the Danville Town Council voted four to one to block a permit for an upcoming small cell wireless installation by Verizon. During the meeting, Danville Mayor Robert Storer stated that the vote was an effort to stand up to the federal government and telecommunications companies, like Verizon.
The Danville Town Council’s decision to deny the land use-permit for the small cell opens the town to possible lawsuits from Verizon.
“We’ve made a lot of difficult decisions over the years, and this one is right up there in my top three. But that is exactly why somebody elects us to do the right things,” Mayor Robert Storer said during the council meeting. “We’ve lost local control and this says: ‘You know what? We are sick of this and we’re not going to just sit here and be bulled over.’ We say no; we play our cards out. We’ve been in lawsuits before.”
The installation of small cell sites is taking place around the nation as the U.S. government and telecommunications companies roll out 5th Generation—or 5G—cellular technology. The new technology is expected to herald the beginning of Smart Cities, where driverless cars, pollution sensors, cell phones, traffic lights, and thousands of other devices interact in what is known as “The Internet of Things”. However, there have been a number of health and privacy concerns raised by opponents of the rapidly advancing 5G technology expansion.
The controversial vote came after the Town Council had been inundated with complaints and concerns from Danville residents who worry the new small cell site and other 5G related infrastructure could have negative health effects. The installation of small cells and other 5G infrastructure is opposed by Danville Citizens for Responsible Growth (DCRG), a local group who has been putting pressure on the Town Council since at least October 2018.
That month the Danville Planning Commission approved a land-use permit for the small cell site owned by Verizon. On November 2, DCRG filed an appeal challenging the approval. The group has been battling Danville officials since and was successful in convincing most of the council to vote against the permit. However, despite many of Danville’s residents expressing concerns regarding health, the council voted against the permit because the chosen location was intrusive.
Danville SanRamon reports:
“The Danville The decision to deny the permit was based on the council majority claiming that the proposed location was not the least intrusive site possible, that better alternative locations may exist and that the applicant had not adequately demonstrated the proposed facility would meet federal radio frequency standards — all of which went against the recommendation of town staff.”
In fact, Danville city attorney Robert Ewing noted that the Federal Communication Commission heavily regulates the installation of wireless cell sites and in the process limits local government’s ability to enact their own regulations.
“While potential health concerns are a huge concern, if that was the basis on which you were making a decision I would be fairly confident to tell you that you would lose, because that’s about as clear as the law can get,” Ewing said at the meeting. “As much as I understand the concern folks have over safety, what I can tell you is that if you make a finding based on potential health impacts of RF, then I will tell you that my opinion is you would lose.”
According to the FCC’s regulations, local governing bodies are not allowed to even consider health risks when making their decisions. This is because the federal law known as the Wireless Communications Act of 1996 prohibits local jurisdictions from considering perceived health effects when taking an action on a proposed facility. Instead, cities and towns can only regulate cell sites based on the aesthetics and placement of the devices. This problem was only made worse in September 2018, when the FCC passed a new rule which put the federal government in complete control of the 5G rollout.
This is why Danville Mayor Storer talks about losing local control. The federal government and their partners in Big Wireless have usurped local control of our communities. Danville Councilwoman Renee Morgan advised the people of Danville not to stop their efforts to expose this loss of power.
“What we need to do to make sure that we gain that local control. You cannot walk out of here and say we won by having this cell site moved somewhere else. The point is to go out there and talk to your state legislators, and make sure that they understand that we as the town of Danville, deserve to tell people where we want to put these things — not have them dictate it to us.”
Despite the difficulties in organizing to raise awareness about 5G, there are recent examples of resistance at the federal level. In early February, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and its impact on the American people and economy. At the hearing, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns with the lack of scientific research and data on the technology’s potential health risks.
On January 24, Frank Pallone, Chairman of the U.S. House Commerce Committee, accused the FCC of collusion with Big Wireless on the massive 5G rollout. Pallone sent a letter to the FCC asking for copies of communications between the FCC and the corporations involved in the current roll out of 5th Generation (5G) cellular technology. Pallone’s letter seems to indicate that the Commerce Committee had spoken with a whistleblower.
In early December 2018, Senator Richard Blumenthal and California Representative Anna Eshoo held a press conference asking the FCC to provide evidence that 5G technology is safe. “To ensure we communicate accurate information to our constituents we respectfully request you provide to our offices the 5G safety determination from FCC and relevant health agencies that you referred to during the field hearing,” Blumenthal wrote.
It’s clear there are many questions about 5G which are going unanswered. Help us get to the bottom of this important story by sharing this article.
To learn more about this topic see the following interviews:
Derrick Broze talks with Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust (EHT), about the health concerns around cell phones, wireless devices, and 5G.
Derrick Broze talks with Matt Cagle, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, regarding the privacy concerns surrounding the roll out of 5G technology and the so-called Internet of Things.
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.
California Bill Backed by PTSD War Veterans Groups Would Legalize Psychedelics Statewide
California could soon decriminalize psychedelics statewide if one legislator’s new bill is passed, marking another step by the Golden State to do away with laws seen by critics as antiquated vestiges of the failed U.S. war on drugs.
On Thursday, Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco introduced Bill 519, which would comprehensively decriminalize the use of and possession of psychedelics, following the lead of such places as Oakland, Santa Cruz, the District of Columbia, and Oregon, which have all decriminalized the drugs to varying degrees.
Under the proposed law, a range of psychedelic drugs including psilocybin – the hallucinogen in “magic” mushrooms – psilocyn, 3,4-MDMA (also known as molly or ecstasy), LSD, ketamine, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline would all be decriminalized. Like a previous law passed in 2018 that expunged cannabis-related convictions from the records of Californians, Bill 519 would also wipe clean prior convictions for the use or possession of drugs.
While the comprehensive decriminalization measure would open the door to any sort of use of the drugs, not limited to medical, it would also be tied to measures that endorse the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of psychedelics which have gained increased recognition from health experts and researchers in recent years.
“Given the severity of our mental health crisis, we shouldn’t be criminalizing people for using drugs that have shown significant promise in treating mental health conditions,” Wiener said in a statement. “People should be able to seek alternative treatment for diseases like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and we need to make science-based treatments available to those in need.”
The bill has also been heavily supported by two groups, the Heroic Hearts Project and VETS (Vets Exploring Treatment Solutions), both nonprofit organizations that assist veterans in addressing mental health challenges stemming from trauma, such as PTSD.
The strategy tout the medical benefits of the drugs is one that has been used with success in past efforts by drug policy reform advocates.
“That’s how it worked with cannabis,” Oregonian drug policy reform advocate Anthony Johnson told the Guardian. Johnson helped lead efforts in his state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of basically all illicit drugs through Measure 110, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November.
“It’s definitely a way to help people that need it first and foremost, but also then to educate the public about these substances of how the drug war has been a failed policy and how there is a better approach,” Johnson added.
In the case of Oregon’s Measure 109, which cleared the way for the all-out legalization of psilocybin mushrooms, petitioners highlighted the need to end the prohibition of the substance as a means toward treating mental health challenges through alternative methods.
“Healthcare professionals, veterans, mothers, people struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction and end of life distress, community organizations, and so many others answered to call for a new option to help so many who are suffering,” a coalition of Oregon advocates said in a statement last November following voters’ overwhelming approval of the legal psilocybin therapy bill.
As has been the case in other states, however, the largest obstacle to decriminalization has been law enforcement, who cite concerns over public safety, and the private prison industry which enjoys generous profits from state contracts to incarcerate drug users. However, state Senator Wiener hopes that the testimony of veterans will help convince opponents of the need to shed their preconceptions and biases toward users of psychedelic drugs.
“There’s a stereotype of who’s using psychedelics, but it’s much broader than that and when you have veterans coming into the Capitol talking about how psychedelics help them with PTSD and help them get their lives back, that’s incredibly powerful for legislators,” Wiener explained.
Among those veterans is 38-year-old veteran Juliana Mercer, who spent 16 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including 10 years of active duty service over the course of one tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
As a four-year member of the wounded warriors unit, Mercer saw unspeakable horrors that left an indelible impression on her psyche – ultimately resulting in long-term trauma that she was largely unable to address.
“I lost quite a few friends and just saw a lot of a lot of damage and destruction along the way,” Mercer said. “I put all of that stuff away and kind of forgot about it for a while, and once I slowed down it was all just sitting there and I didn’t know what to do with it.”
While her first experience with psychedelics was recreational, she eventually gained a sense of connectedness that had been absent for years. She eventually reached out to the Heroic Hearts Project a year and a half ago to undergo ayahuasca therapy, which she said had completely exceeded expectations in allowing her to release “years of grief.”
“I kept hearing that when you do some of these plant medicines, you’ll be able to do 10 years worth of work in one session,” Mercer explained. “Just one of my sessions really brought out all of that pain and the grief that I didn’t even know was in there and allowed me to just completely release it and expel it, things that I had no idea were there.”
For licensed clinical social worker Lauren Taus, therapies involving plants such as ayahuasca and psilocybin are simply strong tools rather than cure-alls for mental health challenges. However, with the ongoing pandemic compounding a mental health crisis that has long been felt across the United States, Taus is adamant that such potent tools must be decriminalized.
“The causes of trauma are multiplying way faster than the solutions,” Taus said. “Current treatment is generally not very effective.”
“Psychedelic medicine has been engaged with globally for eons,” she added. “This stuff works and we deserve to have access to solutions that will be sustainable.”
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