Comments on Climate Change Bill tabled in Parliament, February 2022

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Comments submitted by EMFSA in 2022:

The bill is important to us because we are concerned about increasing pollution caused by ionizing and non ionizing radiation, as well as light pollution.

We support this very important bill, however we have some concerns and suggestions:

There is a lack of research on the effects of co- exposures of non ionizing radiation and other pollutants, for example radon, light pollution, and air pollution.

The bill should incorporate interdisciplinary science:

Electromagnetic / sub-molecular medical science treatments can be implemented in an economically affordable and sustainable manner within the Climate Change Framework.

The number of EMF and Climate Change related complaints received by various government departments has been increasing over time. In the past, these have not been handled optimally, but there is now a general consensus to strive toward cooperative solutions and synergy. One of the proposed means employed is to increase both technical and non-technical communication strategies. 

Magnetic field drop zone:

NASA has been observing an unusually large weak spot in the Earth’s magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA. Initially, over South America, it is migrating and extending over Southern Africa. Particle radiation in this SAA region can knock out onboard computers and interfere with the data collection of satellites that pass through it. Research groups must take into account current observations and model the behavior of the SAA in order to monitor and predict future changes. This will help prepare for future challenges to satellites, humans, and agriculture affected by the SAA. It is not only the magnetic field drop that is of importance but solar photon levels as well.

The bill should address the vulnerabilities of the unique diversity of the South African public – priority should be given to Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the role of coupled and uncoupled haplotype groups. What works in the rest of the world might not work for South Africa.

Mobile Telecommunications Industry

The bill should include and ensure that carbon emissions by the technologies (as used by the mobile telecommunications industry in South Africa) be captured, quantified and easily accessible to the public. A pathway that emissions will be reduced over a period of time should be clearly indicated.

There is concern in South Africa as in the rest of the world of the impact of 5G on climate change and it would be reassuring to know that these concerns are being addressed.

Department of energy’s role:

The bill should address concerns about renewable energy:

•Utilities SMART meters: Similar to both France and the Netherlands in SA some members of the public, and municipal pilot projects have submitted complaints about SMART meter installations. One of the main complaints surrounds RF emissions. Both in FR, and the NLs some members of the public have been granted the “old” or digital meter system over the newer SMART meters. In the SA High Court 2017, it was suggested the primary setting default to ethernet (hardwire) for utility SMART meters. This brings about advantages synergistic with other promoted services, i.e. increased data security, faster-broadband infrastructure, and reduced RF spurious emissions. However, according to USA court case reviews, there may still be an issue of voltage transients. If this is still the case it can have detrimental effects on electronics and or sensitive medical or scientific research equipment. 

•Energy transmission: Similar to Germany, with increasing electrical energy demands and services the generation and transmission of power is requiring increasing proximity between the generating source, transmission line, and the population. This is also evident with the expansion of renewable energy and the upgrading of existing infrastructure. There is general consensus that additional precautionary and safety measures are required when erecting or significantly altering low-frequency installations and direct current installations. Possibilities must be exhausted to minimize the EM and EMF generated by the respective installation using state-of-the-art processes taking into account the circumstances within the respective installers’ sphere of influence. Installations of low-frequency electricity transmission infrastructure (with a frequency of 50 Hz and a rated voltage of 220 Kilovolt and more) which are being erected in new areas are not allowed to be erected over buildings or parts of buildings intended for the long-term occupation of humans. Recent advances in technology, unified with the requirements of the state promise substantial reductions in project CAPEX and ongoing operating costs.

•Electric vehicles (EV): EVs require an expanded and accelerated rollout of necessary infrastructure. After reviewing the positive and negative concerns raised in the literature, there seems to be an emerging consensus that EVs design can be modified with minimal effort to address negative factors. In the context of the RSA, the opportunity to export EVs into the AU presents a number of economic opportunities. At the same time, it presents an opportunity to address environmental concerns related to EVs. EV’s are here to stay and the field must be addressed.

The bill should make strong provision for regulation of renewable energy products, for instance as EMFSA we encounter some products sold as having a “pure sine wave” when in our opinion, it does not. 

The bill should incorporate the effect of renewable energy products on wildlife:

•Wind power: eagles, bats etc.

•Marine life:

Powerships, gas exploration, underwater cables etc.

As well as how fishing communities will be affected.

Partially referenced from:

World Health Organization – International EMF Project – International Advisory Committee (IAC) – 25th anniversary of the International EMF Project and the 10th Optical Radiation meeting, South Africa National Report 2021

Lech, James; Krüger, Tjaart; Boros, László; Venter, Derik; Obajuluwa, Adejoke; Abrahamse, Heidi; et al. (2022): World Health Organization – International EMF Project – International Advisory Committee (IAC) – 11th anniversary of the International Optical Radiation and 26th anniversary of EMF Project meeting, South Africa National Report 2022. 

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