Friday, June 01, 2007

Round 1 to the bullies

I'm wasn't really surprised to see the crane roll out of the village yesterday having hauled the new telephone mast to vertical while it was bolted into position. The public meeting involved well-prepared bullies shouting down any opposition with a mixture of technical language and flagrant lies. Between the demonstartions stopping the work and the public meeting, the locals in the quickly-formed association who opposed the siting of the mast within 500m of houses were also nobbled. The association immediately became incomers versus locals, and that sealed the mast's fate. The clear divisions in the local community brought a smug smile to the faces of the guys from TDF and Bouyges Telecom.

So we have a new generation mobile phone mast capaple of delivering TV and streaming video to mobile phones locally, and of course transmitting signals around 20 miles to the others in the network. The nearest houses are 200m away, while in other parts of the world a precautionary distance of 500m is increasingly being recommended or imposed as part of planning consent.

The question now is what we do here. The association still feels that it's worth trying to inform the rest of the local community about what research we've found about the biological effects of these things, not least because there are still places where there is no coverage that will no doubt see the siting of more masts in the coming months. Some also feel its worth starting or contributing to a national campaign to get a precautionary distance of 500m set at national level.

Mind you, this is the country that denied for years that there were any effects from Chernobyl on France. The cloud somehow mysteriously passed throughout Europe, leaving France completely untouched. I'm not optimistic that they will go for a 500m exclusion zone for mobile phone masts.

If folks are interested, I can post links to the research we've found...

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