Wisdom raises her voice, because she is more precious than jewels, she loves those who love her, and dwells with prudence, knowledge, and discretion. Those who find wisdom prevent injury. (Proverbs. 8)
So how did each responsible person in British Columbia form an opinion about the smart meter so far? Did you consult science and health experts on the matter? If you have not, then you are missing crucial information about the smart meter, crucial information that, if there were a referendum, you cannot justify your vote, even if you would have a legal right to vote on this issue. Observation is the key knowledge here, and only the science and health experts in this specific field can point to the truth of the matter, which is based on facts.
So what is the factual truth about smart meters? No one really knows enough yet, not even science and health experts know enough yet, because it has not been tested long term on humans. This uncertainty of knowledge can easily be used in persuading for or against the use of smart meters. For example, if we don’t know the truth, we proceed as if everything will be fine; or, if we don’t know the truth, we can be cautious until we do know more about the truth. The latter is the path of prudence. But BC Hydro asserts and advertises as if they actually know the extent of possible health concerns, but the truth is, expert knowledge is least in regards to health effects. BC Hydro only knows a bit about the science, and imagines everything will be fine in regards to health. Since BC Hydro’s decision is not based upon a principle of precaution, it does not dwell in prudence.
Since we have such uncertainty about the truth of the smart meter and its effects, the opinions have therefore become so wide ranging, even on a matter which ought to be based on facts. Experts need more time to achieve certainty on this issue, like the effects of asbestos. This current diversity of opinion demonstrates at least three things. 1) Scientific and health experts do not know enough about smart meters; 2) Scientific and health experts disagree about their current knowledge about the effects of smart meters; and 3) This dispute of knowledge has not been well communicated to the public, at least not from the Liberal party nor BC Hydro, for this would be poor advertising and persuasion on their part.
Given that this truth is currently deprived in the public – that there are wide ranging disputes amongst the experts – proves the public is not yet ready to justify a decision whether to approve or disapprove the smart meter. No one knows the long term effects yet, and although the smart meter uses similar technology as other wireless devices, it is also different.
For example, is it common knowledge in the public that the pulsation of smart meters peak in their signals? This is more harmful than a low steady constant signal, which, when averages calculated, is equivalent to a cell phone. These details are vital, or we might as well compare a defibulator with a cell phone as well. A defibulator saves lives, but if every day your stable healthy heart was given an intense shock five times a day, for a total of 10 seconds per day, your body might give up over time. It is unfair to compare a defibulator to a cell phone without the numbers and other appropriate knowledge, but so is the avoidance of details pertaining to the smart meter, because it is not entirely the same as a cell phone.
Also, does the public know about non-thermal measuring standards which are not yet common to American and Canadian regulation? The smart meter points to much less safe numbers in this standard. We must be wise to dwell with the appropriate knowledge, and then we will be wiser. Without the appropriate knowledge, we cannot prevent injury.
BC Hydro’s smart meter campaign is mostly based on economics and efficiency, but not a discretion which prevents injury. If we are not informed by appropriate experts in science and health, we are not wise in this case. Most of us instead have submitted to an authority that merely asserts an imagined confidence and a strong advertising campaign. So far, it is obvious BC Hydro poured more than enough of our tax dollars into convincing us to give them an assured vote, at least in thought. However, we must hesitate in our approval, because BC Hydro is not giving us the whole picture. Avoiding the facts, avoiding disputes of science, and avoiding the unknown health concerns common to all experts, does not dwell in discretion. When it comes to our health, people deserve the use of a precautionary principle before principles of economics and efficiency.
So what is the truth about smart meters and their effects? In 30 years we will know, and for sure be wiser, but it isn’t necessary to be open to so many injuries along the way. Minimal mistakes and minimal injury is also more economical and efficient in the long term. A massive lab experiment into the unknown is not the wiser path for the next 30 years; preventing and prudently waiting until more accurate observation is found, this is where our confidence ought to dwell.