In an earlier existence, some decades ago, my friends and I were fond of a popular slogan from yuppie culture – “whoever dies with the most toys wins”. Although the religion of self-centered fulfillment and anthropocentric arrogance will never by itself lead to spiritual awakening or lasting happiness, there is a kernel of truth here worth exploring.
Everyone dies. The hourglass of this life is quickly emptying, like a river rushing towards the sea, a candle flame burning out. In searching for a happiness and deep existential meaning transcending mere material accumulation, our spiritual growth is nourished when – on a regular basis – we step outside of our limited historically and socially conditioned viewpoints, and actively seek transformational perspectives.
Meditation is one way people accomplish such an inner paradigm shift. Spending an hour, a day or a week in nature – unplugged from all of our devices – is another. Acupuncture or yoga can open the doors to awakening, and there are many other viable techniques. But inner transformation and contemplative practices are only half the path. When we deeply understand how interconnected and interdependent our life is with that of the biosphere and every single living being, we realize that true spiritual growth requires focused engagement – action – based on a sense of responsibility for all life. There can be no individual peace until everyone tastes it, until justice and truth prevail over selfish agendas of personal gain.
About a year and a half ago, I started hearing about the “smart” power grid, and the “smart” utility meter.
As I did research though, I discovered beneath the cleverly branded green (and “smart”) packaging, lies a cancer cluster of negative consequences and public misperceptions manipulated by corporate science and political front men. Reflecting back in time on my own relationship with communications technology, I purchased my first laptop computer in 1998, my first cell phone in 2002. At once I felt a sense of power, amazement, and social status in owning and operating these devices.
And yet, the internet and telecommunications revolution happened a mere blink of an eye ago on the scale of human evolution. We are all – as a collective society – like babies playing with toys– amused, completely absorbed in our mesmerizing private techie worlds, but lacking discernment, or sadly, in a state of active denial regarding the wider consequences of our radio-frequency devices and technology generally. Although Einstein famously said, “the splitting of the atom changed everything save man’s mode of thinking”, such commentary on the stunted level of development in modern society is equally applicable to technology in general. The Dalai Lama cautions Americans to learn to develop our heart more, to not mistake intellectual knowledge and technological power for wisdom.
Perhaps you harbor doubts and prejudices towards anyone who would question the much heralded advances of scientific “progress”. I certainly entertained these attitudes in my initial infatuation with the electronics age: “Those tin hatted crazies and their neo-Luddite non-conformity need to get with the program and embrace the information revolution.” What program though? What world are we embracing?
Smart meters are coming like a freight train down the corporate tracks and while some marvel at the perceived opportunities for controlling their household utilities remotely using a cell phone app, a growing number of individuals are questioning the hype and thin veneer of purported benefits obscuring the outright lies and deceptions. Certainly the industries poised to profit are salivating over the latest package of goods to be billed to the consumer. But there are safer technologies which do not subject people to high levels of radio-frequency radiation 24/7 or infringe upon Constitutionally protected rights of privacy. Last year I started a petition on Credo Mobilize urging the Seattle City Council to slow down the fast track rubber stamping of smart meters – a technology with profound implications for our health, safety, privacy, and national security. Please consider signing the petition here.
At a recent City Council meeting, the Council directed City Light to produce a report documenting the safety of smart meters. That’s like asking Exxon to prove that burning fossil fuels does not lead to anthropogenic climate change. Yes, City Light is a so-called public utility owned by the city, but that structure does not in itself guarantee policy in the best public interest. We need a moratorium on smart meters in Seattle now.
Take Back Your Power solutions. Local film maker, Josh del Sol has created an award winning documentary on the smart meter issue now being seen in communities around the globe. Stay tuned for local screenings and/or stream the film online.
An Electronic Silent Spring. Just released book documenting the emerging harm to living beings from electromagnetic radiation. Contact your local public library and ask them to stock.
Poised for Profit. Study commissioned by eight Pacific Northwest economic development agencies with support from major corporations (which stand poised to profit) like GE. Touting the coming “wealth creation” as a result of the smart grid, in their opening summary – they refer to the expertise of the Milken Group – founded by Mike Milken – the junk bond king who was indicted in 1989 for racketeering and securities fraud.
Nine Reasons Why Smart Meters are a Mistake. Extensively researched article written by Ph.D. Biochemist.