back to article Euro report slates wireless comms, recommends smoke and mirrors

A Council of Europe committee has given voice to various trick cyclists and concluded that rural schools should be cut off from the internet, and that heliographs are the mobile technology of the future. The report comes from the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, and recommends that …


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  1. hplasm Silver badge


    What an enormous pile of shite!

    What a Warnke!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think they're right

    These people need to get themselves away from any source of radiation as soon as possible.

    Without wireless, cars, TV etc we should be reasonably safe from having to hear their drivel. Sure they could write a letter, but as the sun emits radiation could they step outside to post it?

    Do they realise the air around us is generally humming with radio on different frequencies, or that microwaves are everywhere?

    Are these the same type of people who won't allow their kids to have an X-Ray following a bad fall because of the radiation risk (and never mind what that possibly broken bone might do untreated)?

    What a waste of time (this comment and the report!)

  3. Graham Marsden
    Dead Vulture

    It's not that..

    ... I don't agree with the content of this piece, but frankly it reads like a rant rather than informed opinion. Come on, El Reg, you can do better than this.

  4. Christoph Silver badge

    Magnets good, electromagnetics bad

    "Magnets to Overcome Pain: The New Healing Method"

    Being near magnets heals you, being near electromagnetic waves kills you. Evidence? Try looking in his wallet.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      When life serves you lemons... might as well have a massive rant about how fucking stupid people are, and how rubbish modern journalism is. Who drinks lemonade anyway?

    2. Brian Morrison

      Graham, mate...

      ...when the twats write this sort of drivel and believe it, the only thing left to do is to prepare the B-Ark and tell them that it's an RFI-shielded dome for them to live in for ever.

      Someone needs to seriously consider extermination for the hard of thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Someone needs to seriously consider extermination for the hard of thought."

        Anyone who would write something like that IS "hard of thought".

  5. Cameron Colley

    Have they actually found someone who is "Electrosensitive" then?

    If not I think that alone should be enough to write the whole report off as bullshit.

    1. Jess

      Do they mean someone who can't use a mobile or cordless phone by their head?

      Because if they do, then that's me.

      But fortunately inverse square rules mean that using on speakerphone isn't a problem.

      1. Cameron Colley


        What were the double-blind trials like? When will the results be published in Nature? Are you planning on getting an agent?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Jess

        Really ?

        Do you have a copy of the double blind tests and he report detailing your sensitivity. I missed out on your TV interview as well. If you can give me a you tube link I would be grateful

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "best not bother with scientific proof when the risks are 'well known' "

    I love that quote - sums up the entire amount of credibility right there.

    In other words - zero, of course.

    1. JohnG Silver badge

      Paranoid feedback loop

      The Council of Europe report mentions public opinion regarding RF, but fails to mention that the same public opinion is influenced by newspaper articles - which are in turn, based on reports like that of the Council of Europe. It is like the dodgy dossier that was used to justify the war in Iraq - once enough people say something, it must be true, regardless of any inconvenient evidence to the contrary.

  7. Richard Wharram

    Randi's $1,000,000

    Anyone who is 'electro-sensitive' would surely be able to get a nice, free million from Mr Randi if he can re-produce his feat under controlled conditions.

    If not then it should be given all the credance due to magnet-healing, dowsing and Uri Geller.

    Anecdotes != evidence.

  8. Mage Silver badge


    Proper testing has been done.

    There is no evidence that so called "Electrosensitive" people are any more accurate at deciding a transmitter is on or off than a tossed coin.

    See also "random walks" as to why a tossed coin doesn't get it right exactly 50% of times and why a large number of trials are needed.

    Evidence that

    People are "Electrosensitive". No.

    Magnets are any better than Placebo . No.

    Masts have any more effect than Nocebo. No

    Makes any difference if Mast is live or off. No.

    1. JohnG Silver badge

      Blind tests

      One of the UK cellular operators (I can't remember which one) had a load of complaints from residents about a new base station. People were complaining of headaches, nausea, etc - all purportedly due to the RF radiation from the base station. Then the operator told them that the base station had never been switched on in the several months since installation, due to the receipt of a load of residents' complaints.....

      1. Frank Long

        BT Cellnet

        I worked with one of the people involved in that.

        i can see this report being touted as evidence for decades to come.


        By the way, if there's any one group of people that should be concerned about this, it should be mobile telecoms engineers involved in test of these systems, resulting in frequent constant exposure to high levels of EM radiation.

        It's the people living near Crystal Palace transmitter I feel sorry for, with an output of several million times the average mobile phone mast. The kids in the language school less than 100m away must have a life expectancy of a week.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          1 week ?

          So how long ago was this ?

          No reports of kids melting in Crystal Palace I call BS.

          1. Intractable Potsherd

            Sarcasm, AC...

            ... I assume you've heard of it?

            (We *really* need a sarcasm font)

  9. Frederic Bloggs

    Er.. Does that mean...


    As I sit here in my manshed (wonderful thing that it is) with my ring main running around it at about belly height, with the consumption thingy indicating about 430w, that I should be worried at all?

    After all that's far more power than a wifi or my mobile phone. Oh and what about the blue tooth dongle? And then there is the aircon, when that runs I must have over a kilowatt running around the shed!

    Oh and it already has tin foil insulation so it's all being radiated inside. Aaaaaaaaarrrggghhh! Run awaaaaaaaaayyyy....

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Wonder if this'll kill PLT?

    1. moiety

      For the benefit of reg readers...

      ...can you post hourly updates? That way if you drop off the net suddenly, I'll know that I'll have to do something about my own wifi sometime in the next decade or two.....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hope or action?

    "We can only hope it gets rejected by the Parliamentary Assembly"

    Is there anything we could actually do, would a letter to my euro-MP help or is this a series of committees that are beyond reproach?

  12. The BigYin


    Have the supposed "electrosensitives" been tested in double-blind trials? Surely that must be done first. If they fail the test (and I expect they will), send them off for counselling.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Why aren't people around Crystal Palace, Sandy Heath and Sutton Coldfield dying?

    Because electro-sensitivity is complete bull-plop. I have grown up in the shadow of Sandy Heath transmitter, which until last month, was pushing out 1 Million watts of TV transmissions. Crystal Palace in London and the Sutton Coldfield transmitters are also 1MW ERP transmitters until they power off their analogue services. If there were problems living with high-powered RF fields, there would have been massive numbers of people being taken ill in the areas around the transmitters. We're all fine thanks!

    1. John Murgatroyd


      at the moment....

      But since the power from the muxes is now at summat like 180KW, you will soon be frying in your own juices.

      All this digital stuff switching on and off so suddenly causes the fat cells in your brain to turn to strawberry jam....I read it in a green book was a page or two before the one that said the ideal population of the planet was a half million people.... :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Smaller numbers

        The analogue transmitters were pumping out 1 Million Watts of Effective Radiated Power. The digital signal is a mere 200 kilo Watts (ERP). You do realise that is a smaller number? It has gone from a lighthouse search-light to a candle!

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      They were tested

      There was at least 1 study (that I am aware of). It showed that an conspicuous -but unplugged- box induces unbearable headaches while a hidden transmitter happily churning out microwave radiations is no problem at all (or something to that effect).

  14. Michael 47

    Link to the express

    Unfortunatly, I read the linked article in the express and it made me sad. I particularly


    "When it came to household domestic appliances such as microwaves ... the body warned that leaving them on standby 24 hours a day meant that the products would constantly be emitting electromagnetic radiation"

    I'm going to go cry quietly into a pint that people who are even willing to consider this report as anything more than toilet paper (i.e. have no idea what they are talking about) have the power to make recommendations of any kind, on anything, ever

    1. Cameron Colley

      The scary part is it's technically correct.

      But phrased in such a way as to cause credulous people to get frightened.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Joke Alert

      > "When it came to household domestic appliances such as microwaves ... the body warned that leaving them on standby 24 hours a day meant that the products would constantly be emitting electromagnetic radiation"

      Leaving their brains on 24 hours a day would mean that they are constantly emitting electromagnetic radiation. Not much chance of that though.

  15. Chris Miller

    Point of Order

    The Council of Europe is quite distinct from the European Union (and its very own European Council) - well, except in so far as they're both composed of self-serving has-been/never-were politicos sucking at the collective teat ... as you were, then.

    BTW Dr Warnke, another example of nominative determinism?

  16. Colin Millar

    Off the scale!!!

    Thye ought to ship that report (and the rest of the EU) down the road to the LHC to see how much concentrated stupid it takes to create a black hole.

  17. davenewman

    Not the EU

    There is no point complaining to the EU Parliament, since the Council of Europe is an association of most of the states in Europe, from Iceland to the Urals, including many countries not inside the European Union.

    All its committees are manned by national diplomats, who then bring in experts. How this works depends on whether the particular diplomats have a clue about the subject. So you have the excellent Council of Europe report setting out minimum standards for e-democracy: and this badly researched report.

  18. Jay 12

    antipodes the solution!

    Seeing as only one mobico has guaranteed metro and city coverage you should all pop down here. No phone calls = no radiation ;)

  19. zerocred

    Better to ban diydrogen monoxide.

    Para 35 ... “The representatives of mobile telephony have for years espoused the same paradigm and the same line of argument, in which they invoke the soothing discourse of most international agencies and institutions ...[snip]...

    At very high levels, the radio frequency fields are plainly liable to produce harmful thermal effects on the human body, in the estimation of all parties moreover.”

    They say drinking a litre of water a day is OK, but drinking excessively large quantities of water is deadly, and everyone agreed.

    Maybe their time should be spent legislating against Dihydrogen Monoxide much nastier:

    * is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.

    * contributes to the "greenhouse effect".

    * may cause severe burns.

    * is fatal if inhaled.

    * contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.

    * accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.

    * may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

    * has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

    Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

    * as an industrial solvent and coolant.

    * in nuclear power plants.

    * in the production of Styrofoam.

    * as a fire retardant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just for additional shock

      you could have added "Is used in some forms of torture"

      Nasty, nasty stuff. Found some in the kitchen the other day!

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