Smart meters: Illegal, dangerous, un-American? Must be true â€“ it's on YouTube
By: SGN Staff
By Doug Peeples
SGN News Editor
A four-and-a-half minute video that surfaced recently on YouTube opens with a friendly yet earnest grandfatherly type who thoughtfully intones "We are now entering the brave new world of smart meters," and a sentence or two later, "The new smart meters are watching you."
From then on, the speaker turns what started out as a friendly but serious dinner table conversation into an all-out onslaught. And with a quarter million hits (along with 963 likes and a mere 92 dislikes the last time we looked), the video, SMART METERS â€“ A little too smart?, is obviously resonating with viewers. Here are a few more of the gems from the video if you don't want to take the time to watch it:
"This is about as Big Brother as it gets."
"This is not electrical metering. This is personal surveillance."
"Smart meters are no different from wiretapping devices."
You get the picture. While it doesn't qualify as a call to arms, it comes fairly close. Viewers are urged to deny consent for meter installations by copying a long letter included below the video and sending it to their electric utility.
So, what's to be done about it?
Industry observers pondering the smart meter backlash have come up with several interesting observations and suggestions for dealing with it. For instance, why not give consumers "dumb" communicating meters and thermostats and let them choose their own "smart" applications from the Internet? Another take is that customers can choose to allow utilities to control their thermostats, water heaters and so on â€“ or choose not to. Others have said that if the comments contained in the video are reflections of the public attitude toward smart meters, it shows that utilities, regulators and policy makers have done a pretty bad job communicating what they are and why they're beneficial.
By the way, if you do watch the video and admire its above average quality, there's a reason. The speaker is Jerry Day, owner of a video and media production company. While it's certainly not the only anti-meter video floating through the Internet, it may be one of the first to claim that smart meters are not only health hazards and that utilities are breaking the law by insisting on installing them, they're un-American.
We really shouldn't forget the plethora of studies like this one from the California Council on Science and Technology that found RF emissions from smart meters are a fraction of emissions coming from common household electronics like cell phones and microwaves. But it looks like science is still no match for closed minds.
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