Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bill of Wrongs, Passed

Open Letter to:
The Naperville City Council

RE:  Smart Grid Bill of Rights

Last night was another example of a city council out of touch with the community.  You keep bulling forward despite strong opposition in the community.  Now personally, the Watchman thinks the people who spoke last night claiming there is a health issue with the smart meters don't have a compelling argument based on science.  Yet they should have a right to opt-out even if their rationale for opting out is misguided.  Freedom must include the right to make wrong choices or it is not freedom at all.  

We shut down all nuclear power plant construction in this country based on fear mongering and bad science.  It was a bad public policy decision.  But you know what?  A majority of the public wanted it shut down and the majority should (and did) get what they want.  That's the way our republic should work.  The people have the right to be wrong and still have their rights respected.  The council's action last night -- paying nothing more than lip service to the citizen's concerns --  was an affront to freedom.  Passing that so-called Smart Grid Bill of Rights without an opt-out provision was just thumbing your noses at the citizens of Naperville and their rights.  Shame on you guys.

The item which is on nobody's radar screen -- neither the council or the public -- is the power over our daily lives that will be given to the city by these smart meters.  The ability for government to control, via rate structures, the time and the way that electricity is used by citizens is a totally frightening prospect.  Yet that is the express purpose of the smart meters.  It is the ONLY purpose of the smart meters.  The whole initiative was sold to the city as a way for citizens to save on power costs,  but the mechanism for that savings is by making power usage less convenient for citizens.

This is yet another example of the 90-year-old creeping socialism that is killing this country.  "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."  Sorry, pal, you don't need to run that air conditioning during high demand periods.  We're the municipal government and we determine what your needs are and when you can have air conditioning.  Oh sure, we would never be so brazen as to say you absolutely can't have A/C when you want to; we'll just tax you into submission by charging you more to use electricity when we think you shouldn't use it.  We don't care if it's hot outside.  Get with the program.  Our program.

Do you guys not see how genuinely anti-freedom and un-American the smart grid really is?

You've been sold a bill of goods that is a lie.  The smart grid is not about consumer choice, it's about giving more control to the suppliers of power (in Naperville's case, the government).  It's not even about being green.  The only time the grid is stressed is during the hot summer months due to air conditioning.  So the smart grid initiative's only real purpose is to ration air conditioning to consumers in the same way power is rationed to large commercial users in the summer.  Commercial users have tiered pricing in the summer depending on grid load and when things get really bad, some of them have their power cut off completely.  Smart grid's sole purpose is to do the same thing to consumers:  Charge them more during high utilization periods and, when the next phase of smart grid comes out, cut off their air conditioning altogether during peak periods.

One of the public speakers back in September, a highly credentialed gentleman, laid this all out before the council.  He explained with compelling evidence that smart grid is a farce that will never show a return on investment.  But the council was seduced by OPM (Other People's Money).  You saw it as a way to get the feds to pay for some infrastructure improvements the city needed anyway.  

Gentlemen, this kind of thinking has to stop.  There is no free lunch.  Where the hell do you think the feds get the money from? The taxpayers of Naperville paid for the smart grid upgrades whether from local or federal taxes.  The fact that some poor saps in other parts of the country are paying a bigger part of our infrastructure upgrade through their federal taxes than we are, is not a reason to pat ourselves on our backs for our shrewdness.  There was a time in this country when it was considered morally repugnant to make other people pay for things that it was our responsibility to pay for.  What right do we have to take money from people in Montana, Tennessee, Georgia, or 46 other states to pay for our grid in Naperville??  

Oh, that's right, the federal portion of our smart grid was paid for almost 100% with money we borrowed from China or money the federal reserve printed out of thin air!  So who cares!  Party today for tomorrow we die!!  What right do we have to saddle future generations with the cost of our smart grid?  None!  It's morally reprehensible!!

Every time the council holds meetings about the smart grid, fairly large numbers of Naperville citizens show up to oppose it.  Even more telling is that NOBODY shows up to support it.  You've made a mistake, council, in passing Smart Grid.  It's the biggest mistake any of you have ever made in your tenure on the council (and you've made some doozys!).  It's bigger than the snow plowing mistakes, bigger than the Children's Museum mistake, bigger even than the Carillon mistake.  It's bigger because the mistake involves more than money.  You are stripping away the fundamental right of Naperville citizens to consume power when and how they choose.  When they finally realize this is what you've done (and that might not be for another year or so), they won't stand for it.  And they won't forgive you for it. 

Did you notice how, even in the middle of a recession, Christmas lights blazed on more homes in Naperville than ever before?  This is trendy, upscale Naperville, gang.  Do you think we are really going to let you mess with our power consumption patterns?  You'd have better luck trying to ration gasoline here.  So the sooner the council does an about face on this and admits to the mea culpa, the less painful it will be for both the council and the citizens of Naperville.  Time is not on your side.

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  1. Did you see the last council meeting? Check out the summary at Garage door openers - are you kidding? Fieseler has missed the point. Its not about one device emitting more EMR than the other. Its about adding additional EMR on what scientists are saying is an already saturated environment. Perhaps we should consider removing one wireless technology in order to make room to add the wireless technology from smart meters. How about removing wireless from the schools, city buildings and residents homes and then assessing if we are in the safe limits to be able to add wireless smart meters. Choices have to be made all the time. Scientists say the level of existing EMR is breaking the DNA chain. So why would we choose to add another layer when we can choose a safe solution that allows us to collect the same data? The Seletun scientists state they do not recommend wireless technology in smart grid applications. These are the top scientists in the world. If we are not going to listen to them, then who do we listen to? In light of this study, why are we even considering a wireless solution anymore? The council needs to stop wasting time and money on the original wireless solution and start putting a plan in place for hard wired meters. The burden of proof for safety doesn't fall to the citizens. It shouldn't even fall to the council anymore. Listen to the scientists. Follow their advice - just like you would follow your docs advice if he/she told you you were going to have a heart attack if you don't change your lifestyle. Just like you expect your kids to follow your advice about how to behave and what to do in certain situations. These scientists have more experience and far more knowledge than anyone else in the world. They are not funded by the industry. They are speaking out about a global public health issue- far bigger the Naperville.

  2. JT2011,

    Sorry, but I don't think the weight of scientific evidence is on your side. They studied the effects of cell phone usage for years and found no evidence of injury to humans. If a cell phone, which is held inches away from the brain, is safe, how can a lower wattage emission from a meter outside your home be *more* dangerous?

    However, if you've got links to genuine scientific studies in this area, please post them for everyone to consider.

  3. Here's the scientific evidence:

    Believe what you want to about the health concerns. There are still many other issues surrounding the meters. Most of which is that taxpayers are bearing all the risk and all the burden. Now lets talk about the fact that city council has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on a technology is that wrought with problems (health only being one of them). And there seems to be no one watching the "hen house."

  4. Although I don't believe in science by majority rule, you seem to put a lot of stock in a report from only 7 scientists. If we are to believe these alleged hazards of electromagnetic radiation, shouldn't there be hundreds or thousands of scientists in support of the theory?

    However, I agree with you completely that millions of dollars are being spent with very little city council oversight.