Controversy echoes cigarette debate

I phoned BC Hydro today to voice my opposition to, and deny my consent for, the installation of a smart meter at my house.

I phoned BC Hydro today to voice my opposition to, and deny my consent for, the installation of a smart meter at my house. The hydro representative immediately launched into a sales pitch for the meters which I had to interrupt several times, as I pointed out that my call was to deny consent. The representative became increasingly agitated, with language that bordered increasingly on abusive, so I finally restated the purpose of my call and hung up.

What is disturbing is that the arguments the representative made were so reminiscent of the arguments made by tobacco companies in the early days. EM radiation is all around you (smoke is all around you) so our product can’t be as harmful.

We have scientific studies (we have scientific studies) to show our product is safe. Others have used this product for decades (others have used this product for decades) with no demonstrated health problems. We have studies which show that this will actually save you money (there are actually health benefits). And on and on and on.

I, for one, was glad to see the eventual recognition of the harmful effects of smoking and the class action suits brought on by public pressure. I hope to see smart meters experience a similar backlash, especially given the heavy-handed corporatist methods involved in their implementation in the first place.

Rick Shea


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