Monday, January 3, 2011

Where Have All the Bumble Bees Gone? / Don't Use Your Phone As An Alarm / Sage Associates Smart Meter Assessment / EMF Militancy? / Smart Energy / Strange Occurrences / TV

W.E.E.P. News
Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News 
4 January 2011

Wildlife: Where Have All the Bumble Bees Gone?

Scientists call it the Beepocalyspe. (OK, not scientists, but I like to call it that.) In late 2006, whole hives of honey bees began dying overnight for reasons that are still unclear. Scientists called it colony-collapse disorder (CCD), and it's as scary as it is mysterious. Adult bees simply leave the hive, ostensibly in search of pollen, only to die somewhere in the open. Reported death rates in bee colonies in the U.S. were 29% in 2009 and rose to 34% in 2010. (Data from the Department of Agriculture's CCD Progress Report—download a PDF here.) It's still unclear what's behind CCD—recent studies have suggested that it might be due to a combination of viral and fungal infections—but there's no doubt about the impact that sustained bee loss would have on the agricultural sector. About 130 crops in the U.S.—worth some $15 billion a year—depend on pollination from the honeybee alone in the U.S., and it's scary to think what might happen to the world food supply if CCD can't be curbed.
Get ready for more bad news—it's not just the honeybees that are disappearing. North American bumble bees have been steadily dwindling, vanishing from their long-established habitat. Bumble bees aren't as well-known as honeybees, but they're important pollinators as well, especially for tomatoes and berries. While there have been anecdotal reports from beekeepers and other observers about population declines for bumblebees, however there hasn't been the same concerted effort to track bumble bees. But a new paper published in the January 3 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) contains the results of a multiyear study of bumble bee populations, and the numbers are sobering. According to the study, written by a team of scientists including entomologist Sydney Cameron of the University of Illinois, the relative abundance of four species of bumble bees over the past few decades has dropped by more than 90%—and those disappearing species are also suffering from low genetic diversity, which makes them that much more susceptible to disease or any other environmental pressures. (Download a PDF of the paper here.)
As with CCD, it's not clear why bumble bee populations seem to be declining. Cameron and her colleagues note the possible role of a parasite called Nosema bombi that commonly found in Europe but which hasn't been fully studied among North American bumble bees. It's not a smoking gun, but the PNAS paper found that declining populations of bumble bee species were associated with high levels of parasite infection, while stable species were less likely to show frequent infection. Still, the authors write that the parasite could simply be more common in species that are declining—correlative, rather than causative.
Indeed, while studies like this one can help us get a grip on the problem of declining species, it's still not clear what's causing it—which makes the vanishing that much more eerie. On a day when authorities are trying to figure out why thousands of birds fell from the sky and thousands of fish died in the rivers in Arkansas, the bee study is a reminder of all the ways we may be impacting the natural world for the worse—without even knowing it.


Health:  Don't Use Your Phone As An Alarm
Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation
Emissions from Smart Meters
Sage Reports
Notice of Availability

Sage Associates has published an on-line report titled Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation
Emissions from Smart Meters, dated January 1, 2011.  

The Report is available for download at:

About the Report (from the website)
This Report is prepared in support of open discussion on radiofrequency microwave radiation levels (RF radiation levels) that are produced by wireless electric meters (i.e., smart meters) in California. There has been virtually no information made available to the public, nor to decision-makers on RF radiation levels. Significant unanswered questions still exist about what levels of radiofrequency microwave radiation will be produced by these meters.
This question has very important consequences for public health and welfare, because the public may be subjected to exposures at levels that either violate federal safety limits, or face chronic exposure levels that have already been associated with adverse health impacts, or both.
This Report uses computer modeling to predict power density levels that may be present where smart meters are in operation. The methodology used in this assessment is consistent with FCC OET 65 equations for prediction of RF power density levels. Many scenarios are modeled, to bracket the range of reasonably predictable RF exposures in typical living conditions. Many variables must be considered (installation very close to occupied space, how many meters are installed on a single wall, how frequently they will transmit an RF pulse, how powerful the RF radiation pulses will be, how far inside a home they will penetrate and at what intensities, how much 'piggybacking' of RF signals will occur from neighboring wireless meters, reflections that may increase RF levels, and what amount of RF wireless exposure may already be present beforehand, etc.)
To date, California's electric utilities have told the California Public Utilities Commission only that they will comply with applicable federal safety limits.  However, there are substantial discrepancies in what the FCC compliance testing says is needed for wireless meters to comply with their safety limits, and the manner in which many meters are being installed and are operating.
People may use this assessment to further their knowledge about wireless meters, using the tables that predict RF radiation levels, the tables that highlight potential violations of safety limits, and the health study-related tables showing RF radiation levels reported to pose health impacts. Although the authors expect there will be differences of opinion about the content of this report, we believe it will provide a basis for more educated decision-making and full disclosure of impacts.
The Report is not intended to be a substitute for disclosure of RF radiation levels by the CPUC and the electric utilities it regulates. They are responsible to the public to provide reliable and comprehensive information on impacts from wireless meters.
Cindy Sage
First Arrests of Smart Meter Protesters in U.S. Made Today in Marin Co., California
Should the Wireless Sector be Concerned with Increasing EMF Militancy ?
Smart Energy Canada 2011 conference and exhibition
See how they have 'made' a multi billion dollar industry by selling dangerous meters to gullible people


The following Strange Occurrences all appeared on The Drudge Report on the same day:

Have scientists discovered how to create downpours in the desert?

Dead fish cover 20-miles of Arkansas River...

Blackbirds falling in the dead of night: Investigation under way after
1,000 tumble from Arkansas sky

Residents in Leixlip, Co. Kildare have reported large numbers of birds falling dead to the ground.

Kind regards,

John Weigel
Warning: Could your TV be ruining your health?

By Mrs Green

EMFs have been linked with miscarriages, birth defects, various cancers (particularly childhood leukaemia), chronic fatigue, headaches, stress, nausea and heart problems as well as other health conditions

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W.E.E.P. – The Canadian initiative to stop Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution