Mast Hysteria takes over phone phobics in Nunhead.

by Guy Kewney | posted on 22 October 2004

Five mothers have apparently threatened to firebomb a church. They haven't been arrested; and the Vicar in the Nunhead parish has bowed to their threats, by cancelling the plan to put a mast on the steeple.

Guy Kewney

The Inquirer says that the church would have made £11,000 per year from this. It reports the T-Mobile masts will now be moved, making them even more intensely radiative (is that a word?) because on the church, they'd have been able to reach further. To cover the same distance on telegraph poles, they'll have to up the power.

So the mother terrorists have simultaneously extended the fear of phones, increased whatever damage may be caused (probably, none) and deprived their parish of the cash needed to employ a community worker - and will see this as a triumph.

The problem with fears about phone masts is that it isn't enough to counter the "threat" of wireless pollution. You have to counter the fears of wireless pollution, to the point that people feel happy trying to sell their house near a mast. Otherwise, it becomes quite rational to oppose the erection of something that would cut the value of your property.

Meanwhile, try the EMF Guru for a taste of why people are afraid. That's based on a report from Professor Sir William Stewart - a man who heads the Government's radiological protection board, and who has said that there is no evidence of possible harm.

That report includes a quote from a page of the Daily Mail, which is neither literate nor accurate, and which adopts the simple view that until it can be proven that phones cause no damage, they must be assumed to do so.

Should we keep our heads down and hope mast hysteria goes away? - You can discuss this article on our discussion board.