Screen grab via YouTube video
California residents are ramping up their efforts to stop, or at least slow down, the installation of smart meters. The state has already seen consumers incensed over smart meters, from central valley to the bay area, and there's even a bill introduced in the state that will allow consumers to opt out of wireless smart meter installations until health studies are completed. However, the latest action by Marin residents really takes the cake -- they created a road blockade that effectively turned around PG&E; trucks reportedly going into a town to install smart meters. And they got arrested.SF Weekly reports that about 30 members of the West Marin Citizens Against Smart Meters blocked the only route to Inverness, a tiny town that clearly won't be getting smart meters soon. The blocked trucks were subcontractors headed in to install Smart Meters, but their plans yesterday were changed.
The concerned citizens are worried about privacy. Katharina Sandizell-Smith, one of the women arrested during the protest, told SF Weekly, "Privacy -- I don't want to be watched all the time; health -- I want to see the peak pulse emissions from PG&E; and the under-the radar rollout -- they're installing them in our homes."
Under the radar? Smart meter installations have been news for years -- it shouldn't come as a surprise when a utility company that has been talking about their massive installation efforts finally shows up at your door.
While a moratorim on the installations have been requested, it was rejected earlier in the month by the California Utilities Commission. So... people are standing in the roads instead.
The woman says she's trying to protect her children -- is she also ensuring that they play far away from any telephone lines, ban wireless modems from the house, and treat cell phones like they're mini nuclear bombs?
While it's reasonable to do thorough studies on the health impacts of smart meters, it seems like an overreaction to fear for your child's health over smart meters. Smart meters are a key component to the smart grid, which will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our overall energy consumption, which means a bright spot for reducing GHGs. It seems that might be a bigger concern for our children's future welfare.
No small amount of blame over this incident can be put on PG&E;, however. Studies have shown that most consumer's know next to nothing about smart meters and the smart grid, and that consumer education boosts support for the upgrades. If PG&E; were doing a better job of educating consumers before installations, perhaps freaked out people wouldn't be blocking their routes.
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