One way to identify good communities, maybe?

kevinoman0221
By kevinoman0221 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - 12:19pm

I saw this article in the paper about the town of Sebastopol getting ready to ban Smartmeter installations.

One thing that surprised me is that it mentioned 50 California cities have already instituted such a ban.

Personally, I am undecided about Smartmeters and I don't think of them as a very big deal, especially compared to some of the other challenges we will likely be facing soon, but I do wonder if this says something good about the cities that institute these bans. Maybe, statistically, these cities are more likely to have a community that is active in its own leadership, maybe it is made up of more informed/involved individuals, maybe it is more likely to be a place that cares about health, sustainability, building for the future, civil liberties, the right to privacy and autonomy, etc.

I googled for a list of these cities but can't find one. I'd very much like to see one, if anyone else can find one, that would be great. I'm curious to see who's on there. I'm also curious to know you guys' thoughts on whether this might be a useful metric for compiling a list of prospective communities to relocate to.

7 Comments

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Confused

I'm a little confused here as to why any city would ban Smartmeters. As far as my understanding goes, and I haven't devoted much time to thinking about them but what I do know is that one of the biggest weaknesses of our national power grid besides it general disrepair and vulnerability from EM interference is it's inefficiency. From what I've read Smartmeters can only help improve it for a relativley small investment. It's certainly not the best we can do and by no means all we should do but it's a start.

So I say again, I'm a bit confused. What is your understanding about why cities are having issues with them?

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 25 2008
Posts: 144
EM radiation, I think

I don't have an opinion either way, but I think the main issue people take with the meters is that they constantly emit EM energy in order to maintain their wireless link to the electric company. Some people are convinced this EM radiation can/does have a negative impact on their health. 

My main interest in the topic is how companies and towns are adderssing people's freedom of choice in the matter. I may not have a strong opinion on smart meters, but I do have a strong opinion on people having the right to choose other things, like consuming raw milk, minimizing the number of vaccines their babies get, owning a firearm, protecting privacy, etc. I wonder if a town that protects its citizens choice not to be exposed to EM radiation via smart metering might also be more inclined to protect raw milk producers, gun owners, people who want to label GMO foods, people who want to protect their privacy, harvest rainwater from their own roofs, etc etc.

signalfire's picture
signalfire
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
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Posts: 34
How much EM exposure causes cancer? We don't know.

If you don't have much opinion either way, you haven't researched the issues enough; this is causing a very big stir among people who have learned about it, and for very good reason.  Not only do they emit very strong EM radiation that can go right through the walls of your house for several dozen feet, continually exposing you to their effects (like a cell phone pressed up against your whole body 24/7) but they tell the power company what your habits are; when you use certain appliances which have their own energy signature, when you are home, when you are not home and when you're asleep.  If they know you're using a microwave or a coffee maker by the energy signature that appliance implies, they know when (and what kind) of food you cook, when you wake up, and can (and will) sell that information to all sorts of advertisers, etc.  Ditto for how much time you spend on the computer, how many of those are in the house, the tv, whether it's on continually or only at prime time; the list of invasions is endless.  In the same way that it turns out the DMV is now selling lists of registered drivers to hundreds of different buyers including tow truck services, car dealerships (who can tell from your registration when you might be ripe for a new car) to skip trace detectives, etc.  

It's an incredible invasion of both personal and bodily privacy and in the wrong hands could be used for burglary purposes or worse.  I imagine with a bit of tweaking it could easily be fitted with a bug that could listen in to conversations in the house, all without having to get inside. 

Yes, this is a very good way to determine which communities have more aware citizens and halfway decent legislators.  Same goes for places that have wised up to the threat of being put in cages that is the 'drug war'; the feds not only want to control your body, but also your mind and how far out of the box it's allowed to think.  

 

signalfire's picture
signalfire
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 18 2009
Posts: 34
So what you're saying is...

the big power companies have plenty of money for 'smart meters' placed on every house, but not enough to fix the national grid?  

Why are they not fixing first things first?  The old meters work fine.  Yes, they require house to house reading, but at least that is accurate.  Besides the issues in my post down below, there have been numerous reports of people getting staggeringly inflated bills after these things are installed.  They're not even accurate.

How long do we have to be residents in this insane country before we realize that 'smart meters' means, 'stupid, probably dangerous meters', just like the Patriot Act was anything but.  

Pay attention to the nomenclature.  It's all about the image, nothing about the reality. 

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 25 2008
Posts: 144
I mostly agree with you

I mostly agree with you Signalfire, I just didn't want this discussion to get bogged down in an argument about whether or not smartmeters are bad; I wanted it to be about whether this might be a useful metric to find conscientious and resilient communities. I was also hoping someone might post a link to a list of the other 50 California cities that have blocked them.

I think the meters could be installed in a much better way. Let them connect via telephone line, to avoid the EM radiation. Let them only report, say, once every 6 hours, so a person's personal habbits can't be discerned. And of course, better quality components could be used so they report accurately. But I think the details of this are better left to another discussion.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Random Acts Of Electric Usage

I guess I'll have to hook up my laptop to charge once in a while, then disconnect and use. And keep my TV on but muted at various random times... Maybe even buy a $100 UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to power my blender once in a while...

Poet

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Got my answer

Well I guess I got my answer...Smartmeter...Bad!wink

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