An Electronic Silent Spring – March, 2016 Newsletter from Katie Singer

An Electronic Silent Spring
March, 2016 Newsletter from Katie Singer

E-Invisibles Since posting Mark Mills’ amazing report about how much electricity the Internet requires, “The Cloud Begins with Coal,”, I’ve learned about

* The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET). Rod Tucker’s 2013 report, “The Power of Wireless Cloud” explains CEET’s finding that most electricity usage is required in telecom infrastructure–in broadband networks (etc.) between your device and a data center.

* The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition has old, still excellent reports about chemical hazards and waste from computers, including “Just Say No to E-Waste” and “Communities and Workers Beware!!” More recently, SVTC posted a report about solar power installations not being energy-efficient.

E-lephants on Our Hands: How Electronics Impact Climate Change, the talk I gave at the University of Oregon’s Environmental Law Conference March 4, 2016, based largely on reports from the above-mentioned sources, is now posted here:


For a new video from Brian Thiesen about “smart” meters that explains how they may cause fires,

Meanwhile, PNM, New Mexico’s electric utility, has just proposed installing “smart” meters in the area it serves.


For clear reports about how children’s health is negatively impacted by mobile devices and screen-time exposure,

* Child psychiatrist Victoria Dunckley, MD, describes how interactive screen-time causes more harm than TV:


* British educator Sue Palmer questions if we’re robbing our children of the ability to think.

* UC/Berkeley School of Public Health researcher Dr. Joel Moskowitz has recently posted a Korean study concluding that “mobile phone addiction is a health risk,” and that “early and continuous treatment and education should be provided for adolescents to prevent mobile phone addiction and depressive symptoms.” Sangmin Jun, “The reciprocal longitudinal relationships between mobile phone addiction and depressive symptoms among Korean adolescents,” Computers in Human Behavior, May, 2016.


Good News: some teachers are acting on the evidence:

* The Environmental Health Trust has compiled a spectacular list of schools, unions and PTAs that have taken steps to ensure healthier school environments.

* Some educators are offering

Forest Schools, where pre-schoolers and kindergarteners spend most of their days outdoors.

Teaching Drum, a year-long, outdoor school in Wisconsin for adults and children to learn bush crafts, hunting and foraging skills.


Meanwhile, new wireless deployments abound, including

* Wi-Fi installations in senior living facilities with seniors unable to turn off the routers in their small rooms. Could each router get an on-off switch?

* wireless barcode readers in Whole Foods exposing every cashier and customer to RFs with each person. Could any part of this be shielded?


For statistics about Internet use, visit

Want to read An Electronic Silent Spring? Despite claims, the book is in print.

If you’d like ten or more copies, I can pass on the discount that my publisher extends to me. Depending on your locale, this translates to a 30 – 35% discount in the cover price ($18), including shipping. Please contact me directly to order a box of books: katie @ katiesinger. com


Thanks to everyone who’s using electronics as safely as possible, reducing electronics usage and EMR-emmissions.

To keep this newsletter going, please contribute. Every donation makes a difference.

To healthier ecosystems and communities,

Katie Singer


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