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The short answer The rollout of the 5G cellular network requires A LOT of energy. In the United States, much of that energy comes from natural gas and fossil fuels. Higher demand for energy = more gas & oil = more environmental issues.

What we know 5G emits high-frequency (millimeter waves) between 30Ghz and 300Ghz and requires antennas to be in close proximity. Due to the lack of far-reaching signals, 5G will not replace 4G LTE completely. 5G, for now at least, will serve as a complementary tool to its predecessor. This means more radiation in the air and atmosphere.

Big picture 5G requires exponentially more towers and more energy than 4G in order to function properly. This means more radiation, that we don’t understand the long-term consequences of, and more gas and oil consumption, which we do understand the consequences of.

Why it matters It boils down to four words: your health + environmental impact. Research varies widely on the subject from A-Okay to Doomsday.

Some experts point to the fact that 5G EMF radiation is non-iodizing, meaning it does not carry enough energy to iodize atoms or molecules, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer recently stated that there is still a potential risk to humans for this kind of exposure.

While there is still uncertainty on the degree to which 5G radiation can impact health, the fact remains that it has an effect. What is not uncertain, however, is the massive amounts of natural resources needed to power this far-reaching network.  We should be hesitant to make our homes, businesses and cities ‘smart’ at the cost of future generations.

Next steps

 If you are concerned, consider the following steps:

  • Protect yourself by limiting exposure to 5G-enabled devices when possible. 
  • Sign a petition to delay the deployment of the 5G wireless network until institutions understand and enact regulations in accordance with the potential health hazards and environmental impact.

Dig Deeper → 5 min

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Big picture EF Schumacher warned us that Small is Beautiful. We ignored his message. Schumacher was a German-British Statistician and Economist who believed in a human-scale, decentralized approach to technological development.

In his book, Schumacher discusses the principles of Buddhist economics and addresses how modern economic thinking causes much of the emotional distress we experience in our 21st-century lives. Yes, the book published in 1973, but it is more relevant today than it was in its time.

Why it matters Our wealth has increased across the board, but we are no happier as a species. Positive human relationships, shared emotion, fulfilling purpose — these are the tenants of a progressive society.

Drones, phones, face ID, and VR are band-aid solutions for a dispirited population. Schumacher was a visionary. He saw the society's downward path and tried putting it to a halt.

Bottom line Let’s learn the lessons of our past and present through Small is Beautiful. We can start building cities with that appreciation for nature in mind. Not for some Romantic hippie-induced utopia, but for the sake of the rational economic mind.

Dig deeper → 7 min

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