Once again, the fearful fringe of WiFi opposition activists (“Wactivists”) in Santa Fe, led by the pied piper of public propaganda pablum Arthur Firstenberg, are obstructing technological progress. See Tom Sharpe’s New cell-tower plan meets resistance in the New Mexican.
The most important aspect of the tactics used by the Wactivists is this:
Several people in the audience, including Santa Fe’s best-known wireless foe, Arthur Firstenberg, made reference to possible health effects of electromagnetic frequencies.
But [city planner Dan] Esquibel quickly cut off those comments, noting that health effects of cellphone facilities are the domain of the Federal Communications Commission, and municipalities can’t consider these arguments.
The Wactivists have learned how to manipulate the political game. They keep playing the “possible health effects” card (which Firstenberg has dealt since 1996, regardless of the technology involved, from New York to California to Santa Fe) even though:
- legally, the FCC is the only agency that can render judgments regarding safety issues (as Esquibel objected); and
- scientifically, there is no basis for the Wactivists fears, save for a few crackpot fringe “studies” that are self-referentially referenced within the movement of anti-electromagnetic zealots.
And yet, by playing the simpleton’s fear card (much like the wholly discredited but still prevalent attempts to link autism with child vaccines), a small band of righteously well-meaning anti-technologists continues to dominate the publicity and public discussion surrounding wireless infrastructure.