While access providers and manufacturers are already communicating on the absolute necessity of future connected objects linked to this energy-intensive technology, more than 500 scientists are calling on citizens to say “no” to all products directly or indirectly linked to 5G and its world.
That’s it, 5G is on. ISPs play who has the biggest coverage and the biggest billboard. We are already being sold 5G virtual reality headsets to watch sports, virtual visits to museums for our children and afternoons with friends in parks in the sun to… watch TV series on our smartphones. They want to persuade us that the scale or the connected trash can are among the essential objects, preparing a new “Internet of things” which will be based on 5G. To those who demanded a moratorium as long as the risks of 5G for health had not been assessed, the National Agency for National Food Safety (ANSES) has just announced that there is “no new health risks in the light of the available data ”(1). However, its report indicates that studies have not been carried out on the new frequencies used by 5G, and that it is hardly possible to extrapolate the results obtained with previous technologies. Uncertainty remains, therefore, in terms of health risk, but the deployment continues.
We will therefore be seated on the recommendations of the High Council for the Climate, on the moratorium request from the Citizen’s Climate Convention, on the opinion of several scientists who have expressed themselves on the subject, and quite simply on the right one. meaning: at a time when we have seven years of carbon budget left to stay below 1.5 ° C of global warming (2) it seems quite unreasonable to deploy energy-intensive technology, predatory in natural and human resources, not meeting any of our basic needs – far from it – and moreover, dangerous for our personal data. Whatever arguments 5G promoters may use, we must be clear on one point: no, of course not, it is absolutely not compatible with a transition to a sustainable world. Yes,cutting-edge data centers and robotics, 5G is accelerating the destruction of the planet. And not just because of global warming: the mining required to manufacture new technological gadgets has, in some parts of the world, dramatic consequences. In addition to the damage to ecosystems, they are men, women and children working in mines without protection, with rudimentary tools, for a pittance, sometimes under paramilitary or mafia control. Today, it is sometimes in conditions of modern slavery that humans die so that others collapse under connected objects (3).
There is therefore more serious than the uncertainty as to the possible health risks of the waves: it is the certainty as to the ecological and human devastation. At a time when we have no other reasonable solution than energy sobriety to ensure a liveable future, the very idea of deploying this network and the extraordinary industrial production that accompanies it is delusional, even obscene.
The business-as-usual continues, therefore, without that nothing and nobody could stop him. Agglomeration of economic interests, offensive lobbies, struggles for new markets and the race for consumerism, it persists in wanting to sell us anything. It is also a habitus-as-usual, made of denial or ignorance of the scale of the climatic and ecological catastrophe, of short-sightedness, of fear of downgrading, of blind faith in technological progress, of invisibilization of the devastation in the countries of the South, of untenable promises and of cynicism. Despite the major international announcements promoting the “ecological transition”, the route followed is always the same, and you hardly brake a little on one side, than, on the other, you set up the conditions for a new boost to start again.
It is extremely complex to resist the steamroller which inexorably leads the children born today, and all living beings, towards a world at + 4 ° C, with all the catastrophes that we, scientists, document in our work ( 4). So let’s choose not to play the game: if no one buys a 5G phone or connected objects, the extremely expensive deployment of this technology will be thwarted.
We therefore solemnly call on all citizens concerned about the future of present and future generations to boycott all products directly or indirectly linked to 5G and its world. If you’re being encouraged to switch to the phone or 5G plan, even for a low price, say no. If a colleague is retiring, find something other than a 5G headset to give them. If you are asked to promote 5G products as part of your job, disobey quietly. Choose non-connected appliances. Don’t buy a kid a 5G drone (and no drone at all, for that matter). In short, continue to live without 5G, as now. And revolve this recommendation around you, so that a collective movement emerges to resist conditioning as well as followingism.business-as-usual which persists in crushing the earth and its inhabitants: drying up the business and becoming (finally) responsible for our common future.
This text was signed by more than 500 scientists, a list of which can be found here . Additional references and a support form for this call are also available on the Atecopol website.
(1) “5G: no new health risks in view of the available data”, ANSES, April 20, 2021.
(2) The IPCC estimates that, in order to contain global warming below 2 ° C, we must not emit more than 1200 billion tonnes of CO2 in the future: this is our total “carbon budget”. At the current rate of emissions, this budget will be used up in 2027 to limit warming to + 1.5 ° C and in 2045 to + 2 ° C (IPCC preliminary report, 2020).
(3) Two emblematic but not isolated examples are gold washing in South America (Guyana, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, etc.) and cobalt mines in the Republic of Congo. In the latter, working conditions – including many children – are strictly speaking slavery. “The slaves of the mines of the Congo” – Free the Slaves. “Is your phone tainted by the misery of the 35,000 children in Congo’s mines?”, The Guardian , October 12, 2018. “Illegal gold panning ”, WWF. “Organized Crime and Illegally Mined Gold in Latin America”, Global initiative against organized transnational crime, March 2016.
(4) According to the projections of climatologists, if we continue on our current trajectory, without changing anything, this would lead to an increase in average surface temperatures of 4 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era. The consequences would be dramatic.
List of signatories: https://atecopol.hypotheses.org/files/2021/05/ListePubliqueScientifiquesSignatairesBoycott5G.pdf