Wireless wake-up call | Jeromy Johnson | TEDxBerkeley


Translator: Hélène Vernet
Reviewer: Rhonda Jacobs I’d like to begin
by asking a few questions. Who knows if they have a wireless
smart meter on their home? Okay. And who has their smartphone
in their pocket right now? Great. And who’s read the fine prints
in your owner’s manual that says that the smartphone should never
be within about an inch of the body? (Laughter) So today, I’m going to speak to
why we can no longer assume that our wireless technology is safe. Technology has allowed us many benefits. It has connected us
to people and to places, and it has brought us convenience that few could have imagined
just 10 years ago. It’s also brought us
tremendous economic benefits. If we can look at how technology
has increased in our lives in just the last eight years … It started with the iPhone, and then tablet computing, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, the smart meter and the smart home, and wearable tech, and now the Internet of Things. If we could imagine how this would look,
it would actually look like this: This is an artist’s rendition of what
Wi-Fi in our public spaces looks like. We could actually hear
what microwave radiation sounds like with a device like this. So if anybody would like to hear
what their smartphone or their smartwatch sounds like, come and see me at the end
and I can show you. But how does this affect our bodies? That’s the question I want to ask because this exponential rise
in microwave radiation can have effects, and that’s what scientists and medical
doctors around the world are now saying, especially when it comes to children, because they’re going to be
affected by this their entire lives. But today, I also want
to share a few solutions. I want to give everyone here
things that you can do in your own lives in order to reduce this type of exposure. So I actually got into this topic
about five years ago. Before then, I was a young
technology enthusiast. I always used my smartphone and Wi-Fi. I’ve worked in Silicon Valley and have
a master’s degree in engineering. So if anyone had told me that wireless
technology could have health effects, I would have thought they’re crazy. So if you’re thinking that
right now, I can relate. But this all changed for me
over the period of about one week. I started to experience headaches, ringing in the ears, insomnia, and a fatigue and brain fog
that I’d never experienced before. And I shared this
with a colleague at work, and she said the exact same thing
happened to her husband when a wireless smart meter
was installed in their home. So I went home that evening
and I checked downstairs, and sure enough, we had
a bank of wireless smart meters installed right below our bedroom
in San Francisco. So this started me on a journey to learn as much about this topic
as I possibly could. I now have a website about this, and I’m contacted by people
all around the world, every day, who are experiencing
the exact same things. It can be when they have
a wireless smart meter installed, or a new Wi-Fi router, or even a cell tower placed
across the street from their home. These are the common symptoms
that people start to experience. This is actually from a published paper on the health effects
of wireless smart meters. So, just here in the Bay Area, I’m in touch with dozens of people
who’ve had their lives changed by this: medical doctors, high school principals, teachers and students, IT professionals, and even entrepreneurs. These are people who had a normal life, and then over a short period of time,
went to where they could no longer work, where they could
no longer go to an office. Some of them actually
have had to move out of their homes because they can’t be in an environment
which is normal now for most people. I’ve been in touch with people
around the world who’ve become homeless
because of this. There are many people
that’s actually happened to. And, unfortunately, I know of people
who’ve actually taken their lives because there’s essentially
no place they can go, and this is something
that society does not yet recognize. My own life has been
tremendously changed by this. After that first exposure
to wireless smart meters, now I can no longer be in an environment
with strong Wi-Fi for very long. So I can’t go to my work
the way I used to be able to. Most environments are now
essentially toxic to me. So even finding a safe place to live
has become very difficult. Imagine not being able
to live in an apartment building where everyone has Wi-Fi, or to be able to live
next to a cell tower. This is actually a proposed
cell tower here in Berkeley. The residents have actually
stopped it for now, but most churches and most schools
now have cell towers on them. And so it exposes the people around them and of course the students
who go to those schools. This is a cell tower in San Francisco: that brown thimble on top
of the telephone pole is a cell tower. And these are being placed
every couple of blocks. So you could have an amazing home, and then one week, a company can come and put
a cell tower right outside your window. So this is something that’s happening
throughout the Bay Area, and it’s going to be happening
throughout the United States. So it makes it so that people like myself
have a hard time finding a place to live, but it also is ratcheting up
the exposure of the entire population. So you might be asking, perhaps some people
are being injured by this, but if you’re not feeling it,
it’s probably not that big of a deal. I think that’s a very common experience. But it’s not as simple as saying that just a few unfortunate people
are being affected by this. Because what the science shows
is that we’re all affected on some level, whether we can feel it or not. And the reason is because essentially,
our bodies are electric. Every cell in our body communicates
using tiny electric signals. It’s how our nervous system operates. So to think that we could
put an exponential amount of microwave radiation
into our environment and not feel effects, is simply false. To illustrate this, I actually
had many friends come to me when I started to experience
this, and they would say, “Jeromy, are you sure you aren’t
making this up in your head?” and I thought this too myself,
at the beginning. But then, a year or two later,
they would come to me and they’d say, “You won’t believe it, but now I’m feeling
pain in my arm when I use my cell phone, or when I put it to the head, or when a new Wi-Fi router is installed.” So this is something where
when people have more of an exposure, more people are being affected. And it’s not just headaches and insomnia, it’s much more serious things such as: infertility, DNA damage,
and eventually cancer. This is what the research
is starting to show. And you don’t have to take my word for it. I encourage you to start
researching this for yourselves. If you simply Google “EMF research,”
this is a screenshot of what you’ll find. The World Health Organization
is the first link there, and they actually, in 2011,
came out and said this wireless technology
is possibly carcinogenic. Now there are scientists around the world
that say it’s most likely carcinogenic. The third link there
is actually my own website. It’s there because the last five years, I’ve gathered research
from around the world that shows that we now
have enough evidence to at least take precaution
when it comes to this technology. So, isn’t this regulated? And this is one of the most
interesting things I’ve found: The Federal Communications Commission is who is supposed
to be regulating wireless technology. But if you look at the regulations,
they’re almost 20 years old. So that means our most advanced technology is using science
that’s at least 20 years old. But not only that, they’re based
on a concept which is nearly 50 years old, which says if microwave
radiation does not heat us, then it can’t possibly hurt us. But there are now hundreds of studies
that show that this is false. So how is it that we have
a regulatory body that’s not protecting the public? Well, like many public health
issues in our country, you end up having industry
influencing the regulatory body, and that’s what’s happening here. So you have a revolving door between the wireless lobby
and the FCC Commission. So that’s what’s happening. Plus, the science is heavily
influenced by industry funding. This is a study by Dr. Henry Lai. He looked at 326 studies based on the biological effects
of cell phone radiation. He found that about half of the studies
showed effects and half didn’t. That’s pretty normal for this type of research. But what he found that was interesting was that if you looked
at who funded the studies, 70% of the independent
studies showed effects, and only 32% of the industry-funded
studies showed effects. So you see that there’s an influence
in money on this topic, just like many other topics. Tobacco is another one where essentially
the industry funded science that was going to show
their products were safe. So, that’s the bad news. And now, I want to share some good news, and that is that
there are solutions for this. We are going to have to have the industry
start to create safer products, but there are ways that we can
both protect ourselves and move industry forward. So one of the primary things we can do
is to move towards fiber optics because this is a way
that we can make our homes safer, our businesses and our schools. So fiber optics are safe, they’re secure, and they’re one of the fastest
things we can use. Another way we can go is to design
products which are safer. So currently we have product designers
and engineers working together, but we could bring in biophysicists
and biologists to work together to create products that don’t just emit
right underneath the FCC regulations, but emit the least amount of any type
of electromagnetic fields as possible. If smart meters had been designed
to use either fiber optics or to emit just once or twice a day rather than the 10,000 times they do emit, then I wouldn’t be standing here today, and thousands upon thousands
of people around the world would not have been
injured by smart meters. So what are some things
that all of us can do? This is one of the most important things
because everyone wants to know how to essentially protect
themselves and their families. So, the first thing is to make sure
we use our cell phones wisely. I mentioned that you don’t want
to put the cell phone within about an inch of the body. The industry is telling us this now. So make sure you use speakerphone, get an air-tube headset;
and when it’s on the body, make sure that you put it
on airplane mode when it’s either in the pocket
or sometimes in the bra. And when it comes to kids, we don’t want
to have kids use cell phones. But if they must, then please,
teach them how use these wisely. We can wire our homes. Most people don’t need
Wi-Fi in their home. So move towards Ethernets,
move towards fiber optics. And if you must have Wi-Fi,
make sure you turn it off at night. You can get a simple timer
so you don’t even have to think about it. When it comes to kids, we want to reduce their exposures
as much as possible. So if they use an iPad, put all of the data on the iPad,
and then turn the Wi-Fi off. In schools, I simply do not think we need
to have Wi-Fi in schools because we’re filling those classroom
with microwave radiation. We can have amazing technology,
but it can be wired. And this is where I think
we’re going to have to go. When it comes to the smart meter
and the smart home, I recommend you to opt out. I’ve had wealthy early-adopting
families contact me who went all in on the smart home, and they ended up getting sick
within a few months. So this is something
that affects families, and I just recommend
that you don’t go down this path because it’s a technology we do not need. And one of the last solutions
I want to get today is to create a safe place to sleep. Because this is one
of the most important things. Because this is
when your body rejuvenates, and it’s when you can make sure
that everything’s off. So turn off all your wireless
devices, unplug things. If you have a baby monitor, I actually recommend that you turn
that off, especially at night. I just do not recommend those for kids. And if you do these things, I know many people
who’ve ended up sleeping better; they are much clearer during the day, and their fatigue is much less. So this is something I recommend
everyone can do. So in conclusion, I want to say that this
is a problem that we can solve. There are tremendous people
around the world working on this right now. And I believe we’re coming
to a tipping point where enough people realize
that this is an important topic, and that there are solutions. So I recommend that you share this
with the people who are closest to you. Because if enough people
wake up to this issue, then industry will start
creating safe technology. And once they do that, our entire society can move
towards a healthier future. Thank you. (Applause)

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