Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cell Phones vs Trees and Bees

They have started building a cell tower in Woodstock. These photos show that we have lost what has been a long struggle. I have not been against cell service for Woodstock. In the sort of “Alice’s Restaurant” theory of consolidating trash, I assumed that the tower would be put in the same place as an old defunct Time Warner tower. Wrong. They have chosen a site about three hundred meters from the old site, running into beautiful woods on the edge of the mountain.Was replacing the old tower not an option because it is too close to Califronia Quarry residents (which is their excuse) or because it doesn’t get reach enough of the Hudson Valley? The location chosen by JNS is a pristine wooded ledge quite a bit further north from both the Time Warner tower and a temporary tower which is now aimed at Woodstock. Building a road, several maintenance sheds and a huge tower in a whole new patch of ground just didn’t and still doesn’t make sense to me. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of trees have been cut from the side of Woodstock's Overlook Mountain. That mountain is the most often painted site of the "Hudson River School". Many of the stumps have been bullodzed together into a pile. The road to the site is long and perplexing. Why is this site pointed AWAY from Woodstock? I think it is really aimed at Rt. 87 (the NY Thruway) and the cities north of us (Catskill and Hudson). Every day new cell technology is being developed (see the Wall Street Journal of March 26, 2007 with a special section about new wireless developments). There may be new options that will service the entire town, not just the center. Meanwhile the town has a legal reason to get out of what looks to many as a deal clouded with questions both technical and ethical. The town obviously doesn't want anytone taking pictures of the devastation.
Today I read the following article and the whole issue of cell phones is beginning to look very terrifying:

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross Published: 15 April 2007

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail. They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast. CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK." The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left". No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks. German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.

Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause. Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real." The case against handsets

Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up. Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.

Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives. Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant texting.Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out: Birds are also affected by the towers.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading about cell towers and their affects because I am suffering from some head pains and noises at my location suddenly. I have noticed them going up around here and it is scaring me. I wonder if there is something we can do to protect our heads? EMF and ELF are ruining the planet and the ecological cycles.

5:56 PM  

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