A local garlic farmer by the name of Lenny Levine has staved off the planned erection of an Eastlink radio tower, out of fears that its proximity to his garlic farm could cause issues with his crop. His evidence for this assertion? Well, he believes strongly that RF waves are a form of pollution.
Levine believes that microwave tower radiation is a pollution and she does not want to grow crops in those conditions. Saying that, “I think over a period of time it will change the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules.” He added that he moved in the rural town because he dreads pollution in the city.
He goes on to say:
“I view it with dread, fear and panic,” he said. “I don’t want to grow food under those conditions.”
Yeah, that’s right, Levine has a “gut feeling”, and that’s about all. This is tantamount to me having a strong belief that people should pay me tons of money on a daily basis, and expecting it to happen earnestly. Eastlink has obtained proper permissions, the landowners surrounding that area have signed onto the petition, and it would benefit all local internet / wifi users and help catapult the more rural areas near here into the present digital age. Yet, the Kings County council decided against this particular tower, the Chronicle Herald reporting the vote passing 8-1 against, siding with the farmer despite a dearth of evidence. The Chronicle Herald avoids mentioning what the CBC has noted though:
Kings County Warden Fred Whalen said he expects council’s decision will be overturned because the radiation from the internet tower is 60,000 times lower than the government’s accepted limits for organic farms.
The ultimate decision is in the hands of the government, and they regulate how much radiation is acceptable for a farm to be considered organic. It’s very likely the local council’s decision will be overturned as a result, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.
Interestingly, according to the FCC (yes, I realize this is a US body, but it’s relevant):
At relatively low levels of exposure to RF radiation, i.e., levels lower than those that would produce significant heating; the evidence for production of harmful biological effects is ambiguous and unproven. Such effects, if they exist, have been referred to as “non-thermal” effects. A number of reports have appeared in the scientific literature describing the observation of a range of biological effects resulting from exposure to low-levels of RF energy. However, in most cases, further experimental research has been unable to reproduce these effects.
So there’s no scientific basis for any concern about mutant garlic. I wouldn’t be surprised if the radiation from the sun or from the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang (the same stuff that produces the snow on your TV when it’s out of tune with a proper channel) was more of a threat. Ultimately, this is an exercise in conservatism due to fear of change. Such exercises sadden me, as I’m almost certain they will ultimately be our species’ downfall.