There is a belief that wireless technology is "green." It is not. With the current infrastructure of 1G-4G, which in the USA is currently estimated to be around 300,000 cell towers and 5G infrastructure requiring at least 800,000 more. Add to that the fact that the Internet of Things promises to bring unimaginable numbers of devices into our homes, you begin to see that we are on the cusp of unparalleled electro-smog exposure. View the information below to learn how wireless consumption impacts the environment. To include:
The unbridled energy consumption of our wireless revolution, 4G, 5G and the Internet of things is contributing to climate change. 5G requires millions of new cellular antennas called “small cells” -basically shorter cell towers- to be built in neighborhoods directly in front of our homes. These 5G antennas are to connect with billions of new wirelessly connected “smart” devices referred to as the Internet of Things (IOT).
Massive Increases in 5G Equipment = Massive Increases in Energy UseResearchers are warning us that the energy consumption of 5G and the IOT is growing and projected to skyrocket.
5G is NOT Sustainable.
The demand for technology is outstripping the increase in efficiency. The energy consumption will rise sharply due to the ever increasing IOT energy demands at every stage of the lifecycle of 5G equipment, from device manufacture to data centers to data transmissions, and networks.
In economics, the Jevons Paradox is when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, however demand and consumption increase as well. Thus- the end result is overall increased use of the resource, despite efficiency gains.
5G is an Energy Hog “A lurking threat behind the promise of 5G delivering up to 1,000 times as much data as today’s networks is that 5G could also consume up to 1,000 times as much energy.”-IEEE Spectrum, 5G’s Waveform Is a Battery VampireA typical 5G base station consumes up to twice or more the power of a 4G base station, according to a new report entitled “Operators facing power cost crunch.” Energy costs can grow even more at higher frequencies, in order to fuel the higher number of antennas and the denser layer of small cells. In addition, edge compute facilities needed to support local processing and new internet of things (IoT) services will add to the overall network power usage. Although exact estimates differ by source, MTN says the industry consensus is that 5G will double to triple energy consumption for mobile operators, once networks scale.This 5G energy report was featured in an article by Fierce Wireless entitled “5G base stations use a lot more energy than 4G base stations: MTN“
We Must Consider the Environmental Footprint of the Digital Ecosystem. “Behind each byte we have mining and metal processing, oil extraction and petrochemicals, manufacturing and intermediate transports, public works (to bury the cables) and power generation with coal and gas. As a result, the carbon footprint of the global digital system is already 4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s energy consumption rises by 9% per year.” – Jean-Marc Jancovici, President of The Shift Project, member of the French High Climate Council
Armed with an astronomical amount of data generated from the 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities, and Smart Regions, industry claims we will be better equipped to save energy. But what they fail to include in their analyses is the mega energy footprint of all these internet-connected things humming and buzzing 24/7. It is not at all clear that the IoT will ever succeed in offsetting its own fast growing and unbounded energy footprint. Not considered are:
An all-things-connected world is not the answer to saving energy. Resources on Energy With data centres set to have a bigger carbon footprint than the whole aviation industry, smart technology’s benefits need urgent re-examination. What Will 5G Mean for the Environment? Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations Energy Consumption in Wired and Wireless Access Networks 5G base stations use a lot more energy than 4G base stations: MTN
Many animals and plants depend on the earth’s magnetic field for navigation, breeding, food, migration and indeed survival. Recently reported research shows current levels of artificial radiation are already interfering with these biological processes. Cindy Russell, Physicians For Safe Technology. has relayed that "Biologists have discovered that wireless electromagnetic radiation disturbs internal magneto-receptors used for navigation, as well as disrupting other complex cellular and biologic processes in mammals, birds, fish, insects, trees, plants, seeds and bacteria with profound impacts on the natural environment,"
Radiation has also been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder. The shorter millimeter wave frequencies that will be used for 5G will be yet more perilous than 2G, 3G, and 4G, as insects are millimeter-sized creatures and will selectively absorb and amplify these frequencies. The destiny of all life forms depends on us making wise decisions now.
Resources on Wildlife
With the Internet of Things (IoT), household items such as washing machines, mattresses, tea kettles, plant-waterers etc. will join the ranks of e-waste. Will recycling be enough, and will our earth be able to “digest” this fast-growing volume of e-waste?In a Business World article, Nurit Kanti explains: “With lack of proper barriers to prevent this leakage [of toxic substances], and the high concentration of these toxic substances, the impact of the e-waste on the ecosystem is extremely long-lasting, irreversible and dangerous to the sustainability of everyone around that eco-system.”E-waste from discarded products is only part of the problem. A far more significant contributor to e-waste is the release of toxins from mining and manufacturing electronics. In an article in The Conversation, author Josh Lepawsky explains, “No amount of post-consumer recycling can recoup the waste generated before consumers purchase their devices.”Resources on E-waste Almost everything you know about e-waste is wrong Our Tech Addiction Is Creating a ‘Toxic Soup’ What Will 5G Mean for the Environment?
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cobalt-children-mining-democratic-republic-congo-cbs-news-investigation/ “They’re digging in trenches and laboring in lakes, hunting for treasure in a playground from Hell. Hard enough for an adult man. Unthinkable for a child.” CBS News finds children mining cobalt for batteries in the Congo.The production of our electronic technologies has fueled war, murder, rape, and child labor in the Congo. According to World Without Genocide at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, approximately 6 million people have died as a result conflicts fueled by the pursuit of rare earth minerals needed for our electronics.Children and women also suffer. Unicef estimated that in 2016, there were about 40,000 children working in mines across the Congo. Hundreds of thousands of women have been raped and sold back to villages for ransom. Casualties of a war financed primarily by the electronics industry.5G and the Internet of Things will likely bring more hardship, child labor, and deaths as the industry driven push for an all-things-connected world consumes and ravages us and Earth Resources on Conflict Minerals As incremental efforts to end child labour by 2025 persist, Congo’s child miners – exhausted and exploited – ask the world to “pray for us” Open letter to anyone who uses a smartphone, drives an electric car, or flies on a plane CBS News finds children mining cobalt for batteries in the Congo Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla and Dell sued over child-mined cobalt from Africa
There is a solution! “Wireless devices, antenna networks and data centers are consuming an ever- increasing portion of the global energy supply, based largely on coal…”-“Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks” According to the Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications;
A national wireline system can guarantee for everyone a superior foundation of Internet access, unequalled connectivity speed, safety, privacy, security, energy efficiency, and long-term sustainability.
The below studies are located on EHTrust.org
Waldmann-Selsam, C., et al. “Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations.” Science of the Total Environment 572 (2016): 554-69.
Breunig, Helmut. “Tree Damage Caused By Mobile Phone Base Stations An Observation Guide.” (2017).
You can also download the Tree Observation Guide at: Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy
S Sivani, D Sudarsanam, Impacts of radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) from cell phone towers and wireless devices on biosystem and ecosystem ? A review, Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 202–216, 2012
Haggerty, Katie. “Adverse Influence of Radio Frequency Background on Trembling Aspen Seedlings.” International Journal of Forestry Research2010.836278 (2010).
Halgamuge, M.N. “Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants.” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, 2017, pp. 213-235.
Martin Pall. “Electromagnetic Fields Act Similarly in Plants as in Animals: Probable Activation of Calcium Channels via Their Voltage Sensor”Current Chemical Biology, Volume 10 , Issue 1 , 2016
Shikha Chandel, et al. “Exposure to 2100 MHz electromagnetic field radiations induces reactive oxygen species generation in Allium cepa roots.”Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure 5.4 (2017): 225-229.
Halgamuge MN, Skafidas E, Davis D. A meta-analysis of in vitro exposures to weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phones (1990–2015). Environ Res. 2020;184:109227. doi:10.1016/J.ENVRES.2020.109227
Halgamuge MN, Davis D. Lessons learned from the application of machine learning to studies on plant response to radio-frequency. Environ Res. 2019. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2019.108634
Gustavino, B., et al. “Exposure to 915 MHz radiation induces micronuclei in Vicia faba root tips.” Mutagenesis 31.2 (2016): 187-92.
Halgamuge, Malka N., See Kye Yak and Jacob L. Eberhardt. “Reduced growth of soybean seedlings after exposure to weak microwave radiation from GSM 900 mobile phone and base station.” Bioelectromagnetics 36.2 (2015): 87-95.
“Tree Damage from Chronic High Frequency Exposure Mobile Telecommunications, Wi-Fi, Radar, Radio Relay Systems, Terrestrial Radio, TV etc.” by Dr. Volker Schorpp Lecture (about 31 MB)
Shepherd et al., Increased aggression and reduced aversive learning in honey bees exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 10
Balmori, Alfonso. “Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as an emerging threat to wildlife orientation.” Science of The Total Environment 518–519 (2015): 58–60.
Balmori, A. “Electrosmog and species conservation.” Science of the Total Environment, vol. 496, 2014, pp. 314-6.
Cucurachi, C., et al. “A review of the ecological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF).” Environment International, vol. 51, 2013, pp. 116–40.
Kumar, Neelima R., Sonika Sangwan, and Pooja Badotra. “Exposure to cell phone radiations produces biochemical changes in worker honey bees.” Toxicol Int., 18, no. 1, 2011, pp. 70–2.
Favre, Daniel. “Mobile phone induced honeybee worker piping.” Apidologie, vol. 42, 2011, pp. 270-9.
“Briefing Paper on the Need for Research into the Cumulative Impacts of Communication Towers on Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife in the United States.” Division of Migratory Bird Management (DMBM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2009.
“The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment.” Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, resolution 1815, 2011.
Engels, S. et al. “Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird.” Nature, vol. 509, 2014, pp. 353–6.
Balmori A. “Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from Phone Masts on a Population of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia).” Electromagn Biol Med, vol. 24, no. 2, 2005, pp. 109-19.
Balmori, A. “Mobile phone mast effects on common frog (Rana temporaria) tadpoles.” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, vol. 29, no. 1-2, 2010, pp. 31-5.