Mongering FUD: about cell phones

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt make for good press it seems. Dr. Grumpy isn’t happy about it.

But here is what I am pissed off about. Notice that the story said “may possibly” cause cancer. But the way we think, it somehow becomes “does cause cancer,” and so we panic, and hold our cell phones a yard from our head, and scream into them.

The Silicon Graybeard examines the issue in This Week’s Worry: Do Cellphones Cause Cancer?

Fair enough: is radio dangerous? Certainly some of it is. We all know for sure that if we put Mr. Hamster in the Microwave oven, Bad Things happen. But is that transmitter down the road safe? How do we know?

But that doesn’t matter to those who want to worry. We don’t know, haven’t seen any effects, don’t know of any mechanism to support their worries, … but that doesn’t matter. They worry so they want us to worry. And, if we don’t, then they often seem to want the government to worry for us and that is where it gets into an issue of significant concern. cell phones, climate change, nuclear power, DDT, and on and on .. how many die and suffer when the worry becomes law and regulation? Is that a part of the worry? It is a part of an honest evaluation of risks and benefits.

Update:Another good posting on this by Trevor Butterworth, Cell phones – as (non) Cancerous as Coffee, Firefighting? “Does that mean we should avoid coffee, give up vegetables, and ban firefighting? “

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