The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number is a Doctrine of Acceptable Losses

By Kurt Cobb, January 20, 2019 | Excerpted/adapted from an article published by Resource Insights here.

In the title of this piece, “the greatest number” implies a doctrine of “acceptable losses.” If the net benefits of any course of action are measured for society as a whole instead of for every individual, then actions which kill many people are justified on the basis of the benefit to those who remain living. Such benefits are presumed to outweigh the loss incurred by those dying and those related to the deceased. This is the bargain we continually make, and such "bargains" have led to mayhem everywhere.

A friend and colleague remarked that the modern corporation seeks to increase its profits by either raising prices or lowering quality or both. One frequent side-effect is that new hazards to human health and well-being are created. These are not intentional, but rather the result of lowering quality or of adding features or functionality that command higher margins, but which also cause harm.

Because so much of modern society runs on what is operationally the greatest-good-for-the-greatest-number principle, we are now faced with multiple categories of “acceptable losses.” Each purveyor of hazardous products or practices tries to play down the losses and ridicule the victims.

Much on my mind these days are Americans who are sensitive to Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) from cellphones, cellphone towers and other sources. Their numbers are growing as we continually increase the amount of such radiation spewing out into the environment. Many must leave the city and literally head for the hills or any areas poorly served by cellphone antennas. They are victims of an environmentally-induced illness, one that abates, when they are no longer subjected to manmade RF-EMR exposures. Such forced exposures to RF-EMR in their neighborhoods is creating an illegal access barrier to their homes, workplaces and communities. The Americans with Disabilities Act can stop this unnecessary and horrible "bargain".

Up until recently, the symptoms of EMS Americans were unfortunately dismissed as mere psychosomatic reactions or at the very least not related to RF-EMR exposures. Yet there is established science proving otherwise. Adding to the large body of the evidence (tens of thousands of studies since 1927) on the effects of RF-EMR on living cells is the final report of the $30 million, 20-year National Toxicology Program study November 2018 that concludes a clear link to cancer and DNA damage from RF-EMR exposures that are too low to heat living tissue. The heating of living tissue is the only effect of RF-EMR exposures that our short-sighted, scientifically-unsound, Federal RF-EMR exposure guidelines consider.

The next generation of cellphone deployment, is called 5G, but is actually extreme density 4G and 5G infrastructure, known as Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas or CPMRAs, for short. This 4G and 5G rollout has run into significant opposition for the many harms it creates:

  • Harms to property values of homes within 500 feet of a CPMRA
  • Harms to privacy, because CPMRAs in neighborhoods comprise an insufficiently regulated weapons system: a 24/7 surveillance and crowd-control grid
  • Harms to health and safety from forced exposures to RF-EMR, very similar to forced exposures to second-hand cigarette smoke, before that was banned from planes, restaurants, public buildings and other places

CPMRAs means close-up exposures from cellphone antennas placed on utility and light poles in neighborhoods — exposures that can be many orders of magnitude higher than current exposures from antennas mounted high up on what are called macrotowers. The key problems are the antennas are too close to where people live, work, heal and sleep and there are insufficient maximum power output regulations for these antennas.

With the envisioned extreme density 4G and 5G rollout into neighborhoods (one cell tower every two to ten homes), expect the number of Electromagnetic Sensitive (EMS) people to skyrocket as the biological thresholds of those not yet EMS are quickly breached for one large cohort after another.

We are told that all of this is being done to allow such whiz-bang technologies as driverless cars and the so-called Internet of Things. But these are just stalking horses for the real agenda of the wireless giants. They want to build the 24/7 surveillance and crowd control grid, while avoiding regulated pricing that comes from bringing fiber-optic cables all the way to your home—where you can decide whether to deploy a wireless system or not.

Rather these companies bring the fiber optic cables to a utility pole near your home, put up a powerful cellphone antenna on that pole, and then beam RF-EMR 24/7 into your home. They call it fixed wireless broadband, and they seek to build it because they can charge you anything they want. Wireless service prices in the United States are unregulated. (Fun fact: 95 percent of the “wireless” system is wired because wires are the most energy-efficient, cost-effective way to move data around.)

For this less-than-worthless bargain, you get around-the-clock exposure to far more intense cellphone antenna radiation even if you don’t buy the overpriced services. This is because many of your neighbors will be offered the service, and some of them will foolishly take it leaving you exposed no matter what you do. The wireless companies may put in these extreme density 4G and 5G antennas (one every two to ten homes) to gain full coverage for their system.

Big Wireless will attempt to sell you on how wonderful it will be to have an entirely wireless system. But you can have that with far less radiation from your Wi-Fi system (which still poses a danger to you, but you have the ability to turn your wireless router off when you are not using it).

The industry claims that extreme density 4G and 5G antennas and their predecessors are all safe. It is reminiscent of the claims for asbestos, the miracle fiber that allowed us to make fireproof building materials, but which became the source of widespread cancer and Mesothelioma.

It also reminds me of the argument over cigarettes. After all, cellphone use is voluntary just like smoking cigarettes. Alas, the ravages of second-hand smoke finally awakened the public to the widespread dangers of cigarettes. I believe that in the same way involuntary exposure to increasingly intense cellphone antenna radiation will awaken the public to a danger that is far more widespread than asbestos or second-hand cigarette smoke ever were.

The Surgeon General of the United States told the public in 1926 that leaded gasoline was safe. Today, the scientific arm of the U.S. government isn’t even making a pretense anymore that cellphones and cellphone antennas aren’t going to result in “acceptable losses.” Instead, we are told that the damage won’t be that bad.

We could blame all of these tragedies on unscrupulous individuals. But it was no secret to my father who grew up during the Great Depression that smoking was bad for his health and very addicting. Early production of lead in gasoline resulted in many workplace deaths and poisonings. And yet, these were ignored because the lead in the air from automobile exhaust was thought to be so diffuse that it would never hurt humans—and, not surprisingly, that the benefits of lead would outweigh any ill effects. So, too, we are told that cellphone antenna radiation is too diffuse to hurt humans, even the amped up 4G and 5G versions.

As we pile on more and more products and processes which undermine the health and well-being of segments of the population, we are certain to end up assaulting the health of every living thing on the planet — people, other animals, plants, insects, and microbes — in multiple ways. And, we will be doing this in the name of the greatest good for the greatest number.

It’s hard to see how this kind of thinking has done anything but the provide the most widespread damage to human well-being in pursuit of dubious benefits, benefits that are almost always about making more money and not about protecting and enriching human life.