'I think the controversy has created a good teaching moment' - Macleans.ca

‘I think the controversy has created a good teaching moment’


Elizabeth May explains, at length, her feelings about electromagnetic radiation.

When I was first attacked and lambasted for expressing concern about various forms of pollution and human health, I was young and the attackers were brutal.  I was worried about things like Agent Orange.  Health Canada wasn’t.  I was concerned about lead in gas, but it was hard to get the government to act.  I worked to get certain pesticides banned, but they were “safe” right up to the day they were banned … There is no scientific consensus on EMF and health. But, it is equally not possible to make the claims many of Twitter have made today that Wi-Fi and cell phones are all proven “safe.”

Jonathan Kay notes that one of Ms. May’s wifi-related tweets yesterday was sent from her BlackBerry. Relatedly, Mike Moffatt takes the Green Party to task for its position on smart meters.


‘I think the controversy has created a good teaching moment’

  1. Any word on Harper’s trip to the US to play mini-golf?

    • Are you sure you’re commenting on the right story?

      • Quite sure.

        • If you’re implying that the PM is playing mini golf outside of the country instead of staying in Canada to deal with the threat to our lives posed by wifi, then I’ve got to say, I think the U.S. mini golf is probably a more productive use of his time.

          • LOL no, I’m saying that in a world of urgent real news, they’re both trivia.

  2. Hahahahahahaahaha. 

    Sounds like May thinks she single-handedly saved the world from environmental armageddon before lunch and now for her next act she plans on saving humanity from radio waves. 

    As far as cell phones go, I would advise people to use in moderation. I am not concerned with wifi but I would not keep a cell phone at my ear for hours every day either. 

    PJ O’Rouke ~ The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.

  3. You know, having read The Panic Virus recently, this has now prompted me to think I’d really, really like to know what May thinks about vaccines.

    • Not to mention homeopathy.  Ms. May won’t even comment on this subject because it’s such a divisive issue in her caucus.

      • What caucus?

        • Precisely.

  4. To the extent that we should keep doing studies on wifi in case new research shows some harmful effect that no research to date has ever shown I’d say that that’s a fine point.  To the extent that we should be making policy decisions (like banning wifi in public schools) despite the fact that no research has ever shown any harmful effect I think it’s a crazy point.

    May is correct that there are no studies proving that wifi is safe.  However, to my knowledge there are no studies proving that H2O is safe, but nobody’s suggesting that we yank all of the water fountains out of public schools.

    • In fact, there’s all kinds of studies suggesting consumer water in large enough quantities is potentially fatal (see ‘water toxicity’)

      • LOL

        You ruined my perfectly good metaphor!

        Then again, maybe not.  There’s all kinds of studies showing that consumer water in large enough quantities is potentially fatal, and virtually no studies at all suggesting that wifi is potentially harmful, yet I’d bet most schools that have yanked the cord on their wifi still provide their students with water to drink with virtually no regulation whatsoever!!!

        The horror.

        • Keep dihydrogen monoxide out of our schools!  This deadly chemical has already killed millions of people.

          • Remember Noah and the Great Flood?

            While Elizabeth May worries about invisible rays, a known menace that once wiped out almost every human being on Earth is allowed to just fall from the sky and surround all our continents and NO ONE DOES ANYTHING!!!

          • Don’t get me started on those scary vaccines.  I hear that some of them contain water.  I just bought some crystals, some magnets, and even some magnetized crystals (hematite) to ward off the harmful effects of the water.  Honestly, everyone knows that water is unsafe unless you dilute something in it a few dozen times. 

  5. Can’t wait to find out her “feelings” about climate change mis-information.

    A U.S. wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.


    • You’re going to be eating crow when it comes out that those polar bears died from being overexposed to wifi.

      • Elizabeth May, yesterday on twitter ~ It is one prevailing theory re disappearance of pollinating insects..

        • I’ll be shocked if we discover someday that it’s harming humans and, of course, my polar bear thing was a joke, but it honestly wouldn’t totally surprise me if it turns out that wifi is messing with pollinating insects.

          Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean no one’s out to get you.

        • It’s because bees are used to signalling where the primo pollen is located in miles, feet and inches, with a bum shake to the general direction; and wifi uses the metric system and GPS.

          • Indeed. 

            I have no idea what is causing CCD but I think viruses and fungus combo more likely than increased use of cell phones or wifi.I actually would be quite surprised if it was discovered wifi had anything to do with CCD. 

            PBS, Oct 2010:

            “Nearly four years after a mysterious die-off began decimating honeybee populations across the United States, researchers believe they may have a lead on a culprit — or rather, two culprits.

            A virus and a fungus working together may be behind “colony collapse disorder,” according to a study by a team of academic and military scientists, published this week in the journal Public Library of Science One ….. 

            Over the course of the next few years, researchers suggested many possibilities — mites, a virus, a fungus, pesticides and even some more far-fetched ideas such as radiation from cell phone towers. But none of the possibilities seemed fully able to account for the phenomenon.


            Superstitions arise as the result of the spurious identification of patterns. Even pigeons are superstitious …. Beliefs come first; reasons second … Mr. Shermer marshals an impressive array of evidence from game theory, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

            A human ancestor hears a rustle in the grass. Is it the wind or a lion? 


          • You write too much, too often, and provide too many links.

        • Doesn’t she know that they are really alien bees who are fleeding the planet before a horrible cataclysm orchestrated by the Daleks? Sheesh!

  6. I don’t understand. With global warming we have roughly a 9 to 1 ratio of scientists and climatologists that say there IS a problem. With wi-fi emissions we have roughly a 9 to 1 ratio (9.9 to 1?) ratio of scientists that say there IS NO problem (the biggie being Peterborough’s own Magda Havas- Go Trent!). 

    From Liz, we get ‘clear cut consensus’ with one and ‘no scientific consensus’ on the other. 

    Have we entered the Ezra Levant zone of intellectual whorishness (new word!) 

    • “intellectual whorishness”   

      Basically didnt really find anything conclusive and just wasted the research money on hookers and cheap whiskey,

  7. Every culture has a tradition of oral storytelling. The 35,000-year-old paintings on the walls of the Lascaux Caves are our earliest recorded evidence of storytelling1, and Aesop, a 6th century BC greek slave, wrote tales which even today are used to teach moral behavior to children. Stories are a means to pass on information, values, and knowledge. They provide the structure and framework through which humans sort, understand, relate and file information.2 In short, through stories people learn about the world and themselves.