A controversial truth: the pros and cons of a 5G future

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Smart Cities and hyper-technology will kick-start the economy but who will be left to play the game?
Smart Cities and hyper-technology will kick-start the economy but who will be left to play the game?

The latest agreements between Saudi Arabia and South Africa, as the continent’s gateway, bode well for Africa in the fields of technological advancement and green energy alternatives, but Africa and the world’s 5G plans are set to come under fire at United Nations COP 27

With Saudi’s smart city, The Line, setting the pace as part of the Neom Mega City Project, and South Africa’s aspirations for three smart cities – Pretoria’s Mooikloof Mega City, the Eastern Cape’s African Coastal Smart City and Lanseria Smart City (interfacing Gauteng and Madiberg municipalities) – already well underway in the planning stages, things are looking rosy for South Africa’s chances for keeping up with world developments.

A controversial and economically ‘inconvenient truth’

But alongside the promise of billions of dollars in investments, increased employment and the ripple effect of an economic and technological boost for the country as a whole, we are faced with the moral issue of where to draw the line between upgrading our medical understanding and facilities towards improved conditions for human health and expanding our role in the technological developments, which are already counterproductively placing the survival of the planet and humanity in jeopardy.

For no matter how “green” we eventually become with alternative energy resources, how does it help if we are knocking ourselves out, meanwhile, by allowing the telecommunications industry to install 5G tower transmitters every few metres along our urban business and residential areas, and plunging residents into an unavoidable barrage of electromagnetic pollution, as some countries have already-approved plans for.

“Smart cities or not”, say the awareness campaigners, “if nobody is listening, we, the men and women in the street, may need to take a pro-active stand to protect, at least, our residential areas from what we are being given to understand is for our benefit and ‘social empowerment’.”

At least one town in England, Gateshead, has done that after doing their own research on the side effects emerging in their area, and have won their case for the removal of the towers.

However, in South Africa plans to install 5G masts in our larger urban areas are already well underway.

In 2019 pioneering data network company Rain launched its own plans to roll out 5G towers to become a full service mobile network operator (MNO), closely followed in 2020 by MTN and Vodacom which added their quota towards a total of well over 2 000 towers to be installed countrywide over the next few years.

“Bringing ultrafast broadband connections to homes and businesses at an affordable cost,” beamed a stakeholder confidently – lack of public support not withstanding.

Running the wrong ‘race against time’

We are running a “race against time”. But which race are we running? And “ultra fast”? To save the planet and the human race, yes. But not with 5G or by being the fastest technologically.

As observers in the medical profession are already saying, we are speeding up technology and commerce at the expense of our health, and our very humanness. And telecommunications companies worldwide are steering humanity towards a virtually robotic existence of pop-up smart living that has no time for heart or soul in its mix. Research scientist and campaigner Arthur Firstenberg dubs 5G as “radio waves on steroids”.

At the last count 18 countries were testing 5G, and it is thought that in South Africa it could reach 43% of the population by 2025. And then there’s the en-masse 5G satellites attack already happening in our ionosphere.

In what has been described as a callous attack on our planet, including our oceans (with 5G towers already on schedule for the ocean floor and destroying sea-life species), the Earth’s ionosphere is also coming under fire with up to 100 000 5G orbiting satellites having been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission for launch by the world’s leading telecommunications corporates and other institutions for material gain.

Africa vying for leadership in space

With more than 442 000 satellites already operating, approved and proposed globally, Africa’s Rwanda Space Agency is competing to put the continent into world leadership in space, with a further 327 320 in the line-up; and an estimated total of 96 000 additional launches are on the cards from just three competitors already in the race – from Amazon, One Web, and for Pretoria-born Elon Musk’s SpaceX plan of creating a 5G umbrella for Earth’s atmosphere. All just to speed up our internet, capture our personal and corporate data (please note), and facilitate various other forms of telecommunication in the name of progress and their own technological supremacy.

D-day at this year’s conference

So at COP 27, opening in less than two weeks’ time, it looks as if it’s going “to take a woman” as they say, “to tell it like it is”. Packing her bags right now for this hugely important global conference to be hosted this year on the African content by the coastal town of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, and armed with grim determination and all the glaring facts and testimonies to prove her case, Kathleen Burke, Executive Assistant to scientist and researcher on the dangers of 5G, Arthur Firstenberg, will attend the conference as delegate for Firstenberg’s Cellular Phone Task Force campaign, and as a voice and official observer not only for America’s League of Women Voters but for all concerned members of humanity globally.

Middle-aged, ‘no-nonsense’ Kathleen, who will, by example, be travelling and attending the conference without a cell phone, will carry Firstenberg’s research documentation to the event, and will spend time both inside and outside the official proceedings in support of protests and demonstrations. More than 40 000 people from across the globe are expected to attend the conference.

People must lead, not politicians

One of those representing the League of Women Voters at COP26, last year in Glasgow, Scotland, was environmental lawyer Lora Lucero. “Politicians and countries won’t and can’t act fast enough to move us off the destructive path we’re on,” she pointed out. “Business-as-usual, including the strength of the fossil fuel industry and the lack of political imagination will doom our future generations. We cannot let the leaders lead. People must lead -- and force the politicians to catch up with us, pressing leaders to act consistently with the climate reality. Public engagement will tip the scales.”

Firstenberg, whose research and campaigns to save the planet, humanity and our ionosphere have been reaching concerned South Africans on line since 2019, has in his own words opted to devote his work to creating awareness of the ongoing destruction of the life on earth by microwave radiation.

Focusing on the researched effects of 5G on the ozone layer, earthquakes and thunderstorms, and on the alteration of the Earth’s electromagnetic environment, Firstenberg says “the out-of-control 5G satellite industry is one of the stupidest things humankind has ever created. It treats the life giving envelope of our atmosphere as if we don’t depend on it. It poses an immediate threat to life on earth in so many ways.

“What everyone is completely blind to is the effect of all the radiation on the ionosphere and, consequently, on the life force of every living thing. The global electrical circuit that is generated by the ionosphere connects us to earth and sky and flows through our meridians giving us life and health.

“This circuit must not be polluted with the frequencies emitted by 100 000 satellites, some of whose beams have an effective power of up to 10 million watts. This is sheer insanity, and so far no-one is paying attention. No-one is even asking whether the satellites have anything to do with the worldwide decline in the number of birds and insects, and with the pandemic of sleep disorders and fatigue that so many are experiencing.”

Documented effects on human health

Scientists and doctors from more than 40 countries have expressed serious concerns about our steadily expanding exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMF), identifying 5G as presenting a direct threat to human health as well as to animal and plant life, and nature itself.

Findings have shown that extended exposure to cellphone radiation, whether 4G or 5G, causes an increase in harmful free radicals, brain tumours, damage to the DNA, alteration to the structure of proteins, effects on cell growth, damaged sperm as well as functional changes to the human reproductive system, and spontaneous abortions.

It also interferes with memory and learning, alters brainwaves, disturbs sleep patterns, affects the immune system, alters metabolism, damages tissues and organs, and increases the cancer risk. People who live in 5G roll-out areas have also been found to experience personality behavioural changes and mental illness through damage to the brain cells.

So is faster living and an irradiated environment all really worth it? Is it so, especially with the risk of fewer people left to benefit from this speed-smart lifestyle, resulting in complete desecration of the company’s profits. We leave the reader to decide on that.

I posed the question of emotion (hype) vs fact to a wise younger-generation planetary caretaker. She gave me a deep searching look and replied: “What does need to be sped up urgently is the evolution of humankind’s consciousness so that they will realise the cause and effect of every impact they make on the planet, and put the survival of people and nature above material gain.” Well let’s see what comes out of the COP 27 conference this time around!

V The comments in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers.

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