Something in the Air

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in General Insanity, Rants | 6 comments

Today’s rant is brought to you by the letters C, O, and E, as in, Council of Europe. In a brilliant move (I’m going to point out the sarcasm there, just so you don’t miss it) the Council of Europe released a report earlier this month and a statement today that encourages states in the European Union to limit their wireless emissions.

Those of you with a brain are now wondering if there was some study released that suddenly has made wireless something that we should be wary of. The answer is a resounding NO. There has been no study (and there have been lots of them) that at all incriminates the electromagnetic waves that we commonly use for wireless communication as a danger of any sort.

What this comes down to is that there are some people who have claimed that they are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. This type of kookery goes back long before cell phone towers and wireless routers, by the way, people have been claiming to be bothered by everything from fluorescent lights to toasters for decades. Let me make one thing very clear before I go on. Electrosensitivity has not been proven to exist in any form and has not been acknowledged by any reputable medical or scientific body. There have been repeated studies on this subject and not one has found any correlation, never mind conclusive proof, between electromagnetic emissions and the symptoms these people claim to experience. The Telegraph article fails to mention any of that, and instead presents Janice Tunnicliffe as some sort of martyr amid the treacherous world of technology.

So anyway, back to the CoE and their kneejerk reaction. Despite not having one shred of proof that there is any danger whatsoever, the CoE recommends that their member states treat wireless emissions as if they were as dangerous as asbestos or tobacco. Really? Come on now, asbestos and tobacco are PROVEN killers, and wireless signal is anything but.

Here’s an excerpt from their resolution, just so you can see how silly this all is:

Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.

Right, you definitely shouldn’t wait for proof before you go ahead and spend millions doing what exactly? Their suggestions include making “wave-free” areas, setting thresholds, doing risk-assessments and implementing campaigns to raise awareness of the potential harmful effects. Good luck with that guys. I’d be curious to see this list of potential harmful effects, since nobody has found any yet.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anti-technology reaction from them. The Council of Europe has a history of backlash against anything that might even smell like progress. Yes, let’s all go back to living our quaint village lives because this new century is just too fast paced for us. Can’t have any progress, goodness no.

This story by Ars Technica is where I first read about this lunacy in case you want a more rational view of this nonsense than the links above.


  1. I used to rock a tinfoil hat, but since I’ve grown my afro out I’ve found it works just as well.

    • I hope you at least recycled the foil!

  2. Hmm they have been up to a lot lately. I can’t recall the other item the commented on recently but it was as ridicules.

    But speaking of “Beetle Juice” (not that anyone was) which is a nice little story, I think you could do something with electrosensitivity .

    • Well they are rather outspoken about their dislike of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) but that’s not recent.

  3. This is rather disturbing. I like the part where they say the risk is ‘well-known’ but then say you can’t wait for well, you know, actual clinical proof.

    • Yeah, you definitely wouldn’t want to wait for actual proof, much better to just run around willy-nilly making knee-jerk decisions based on your gut and anecdotal evidence, especially with something so integral to modern life.


  1. Science Affliction #10 | Chaos and Insanity - [...] my rant from last year denouncing the Council of Europe’s stance on wireless emissions (if not, here’s a link).…

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