News Item (dateline: Joplin, Missouri, USA)

PRUDENT AVOIDANCE...............?????

In a recent conversation with an attorney, guru had occasion to reflect upon the horrible -- really horrible! -- imbalance that exists when one is attempting to obtain justice in an EMF litigation case. In a recent message, guru had said the financial imbalance was on the order of "1000 to 1" against the property owner.

Based upon the situation in Joplin, Missouri, then being discussed with the attorney ... that "hip pocket" estimate of "1000 to 1" is too generous where the property owner is barely able to make his mortgage payments. As far as he is concerned it could be "a million to one" when he wants to prevent the power company from placing a tower ... in his front yard 45 feet from his house ... to carry a 161,000 volt transmission line.

The company is using a 35 foot right-of-way (in front yard of property) ... so what is the owner so upset about ... he has ten feet clear!?

Assurances of "No Health Hazard"..........

The company denies that there is "any" EMF health hazard ... gave the property owner a brochure which "proves" that. (See comment below on the brochure.) And offered to pay the owner $2800 for the 35 foot strip out of his front yard.

Of course the 2 milligauss exposure level will extend out as far as 200-300 feet ... on a line that size carrying that much current. It certainly extends well beyond the 35 feet used by the power company.

Dr. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon (the "author" of "prudent avoidance") ... where are you???

*Is this an example of "prudent avoidance?"*

(While we do not for a minute believe that it was intended by the authors of "prudent avoidance" that the concept should be exploited in this way. ... In fact, it is ... and -- to our experience -- more often than not. >From time to time we hear "rumors" about "good" power companies who are genuinely trying to apply a "prudent avoidance" policy to avoid populated areas -- given the present state of the knowledge on the EMF hazards -- but we have yet to meet the first example of that "face to face.")


Surely -- when the power company feels that it simply MUST transit through a residential area -- it carries some obligation ("prudent avoidance" or not) to widen its right-of-way out of consideration of the risk it is passing on to the residents and property owners -- particularly to children.

The sad truth is that most companies are taking the easy way, the traditional way.....

*Let's just 'bully' our way through ... we know we can get away with it.*

In the Joplin case, the company is using an existing right-of-way that had been created some 40 or 50 years earlier for a small distribution line. Now a 161,000 volt 'transmission' line is being added in that same space. When the sun is in the west, the shadow of that line (built in the frontyard) will fall in the backyard -- BEHIND the houses.


The story doesn't end with the above example. There are dozens more just like it ... as this transmission line snakes its way through the front yards of many more homes in this fully developed residential area on its way to a substation more than a mile away.

As you probably have guessed ... there are a great many children living in these homes, including two below the teenage level living in the home described above.

So far as we have been able to learn ... there are no power company executives living on this street.

THE BROCHURE..........

The thing that really appears to have disarmed the property owners is the brochure: "Your Guide to Understanding EMF." (Emblazened with the logo of your 'friendly' electric company.)

As you might expect, the brochure (containing information that is five years out of date) is not intended to *inform* the property owners. It is intended to soothe and reassure. It reads very much like one of those paternalistic government brochures we have talked about before. (Was probably written by some of the same people.)

It uses the right words to sound authentic. In fact, it is "authenticated" by seven "name" academicians -- including Dr.Indira Nair, a colleague of Dr. Morgan's at Carnegie Mellon University.

This is what it says about EMF risk statistics: "Certain epidemiological studies report slightly increased cancer risks (1.5 to 2 times higher) for individuals exposed to higher levels of EMFs than the general population. For example, childhood leukemia affects about one in every 14,000 children per year. A leukemia risk that is 2 times higher would raise this figure to two children in 14,000."

Now the discerning reader will recognize that statement is conceding that *there is a health risk.* But the way it was packaged in this clever brochure it easily "disarmed" the uninformed.

Here is what it says about "Possible Health Effects": "Exposure to EMFs may produce changes in living cells under laboratory conditions, but research hasn't *proven* whether there may be any harm from these changes." [Guru supplied the italics.]

There's that "not proved" non sequitur again! (See EMFguru #1-96.)

As long as the power companies and the telecommunications industry can "hang their hat" on what *hasn't been proved* ... they are clearly confident that they can proceed to pollute as much and wherever they choose.


The human society seems to be confronted with a new kind of "divine right" in our time -- the divine right to pollute!!

At least until someone "proves" that society is being "harmed," they say.

Much earlier in this group -- before many of our present members had joined -- Dr. Mike Milburn (EMF book author) very nicely made the point that science really doesn't "prove" anything. Science creates hypotheses which either continue to stand up under experimentation and experience or they do not. In which case, the old hypothesis must be discarded and a new one offered to take its place.


The point is that the electric industry is not arguing its "case" within those accepted scientific precepts.

Those who 'control' the electric industry are insisting that EMF pollution must be "proved" harmful beyond "their" standards of reasonable doubt -- a standard of proof that exceeds even that of the scientific community -- before they should be under any compulsion to take any mitigating measures.

This posture is taken even in the face of highly condemning evidence that EMF is clearly doing some harm at some levels of exposure.

Even a civil court of law (as we are learning from the O.J. Simpson case) requires only a 51% probability verdict by the jury!! i.e., "More likely than not."

"1000 OR MORE ... TO 1".....

....And the electric industry has a HUGE pocketbook of financial resources, including literally tens of thousands of paid lobbyists, lawyers and public relations staff to "argue" their case in public, legal and governmental forums.

Who does the property owner have on his/her side???? ....Cathy Bergman. (She's a greeat lady ... but ... after all!!!! Note: Ms. Bergman is President of the EMR Alliance, an international activist organization seeking to educate the public about EMF health hazards. Phone: (212) 554-4073 in New York City, USA)

Society would be better served to turn the electric industry's "proof" assumption on its head.

*Society should consider making it the responsibility of the POLLUTER to "prove" that he is doing no harm before he is allowed to "dump" his products in our rivers, in our soil, or in our air (EMF).*


The property owners cited above were not given "facts" about the EMF health hazard situation. They were given the usual "spin doctor" filtered information that characterizes what the general public is being given by the U.S. government. (Such information used to be recognized for what it is -- propaganda.)

It may not matter though ... the property owners on Connecticut Street in Joplin, Missouri, don't have the money to fight the power company anyway.

Marion Telling has given us "the bottom line" -- the next generation will pay the price. (Wait 'til they try to sell those homes in ten or fifteen years -- after more people know the facts about EMF.)

(Of course the danger of leukemia being "doubled" is more important than the real estate. .......But, you see ......the leukemia victims won't 'know' that the EMF did it to them. The property owners will.)


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