The Pirates of Privacy – Can they Crack the Smart Grid?

The Vermont chapter of American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the privacy issue of Vermont’s new Smart Grid. The following highlight is the ACLU-VT e-update on VT legislation S.78 – The Advancement of Technological Infrastructure in Vermont.

“Smart Meter” Privacy Threats Highlighted

S. 78, a technology infrastructure bill, envisions big changes in the way Vermonters access the Internet, make calls, and use electricity. It’s the build-out of a “smart grid” by electric utilities that raises significant privacy issues. In a smart grid, there are “smart meters” in everyone’s home, to monitor and hopefully moderate electricity use. The meters record exactly how much electricity is being used by which appliances when — and transmit the data to utility headquarters for monitoring and analysis. The ACLU is worried about the collection of energy use data, and who will have access to it. As we found with cell phone tracking data, police often want access to databases with information about individuals’ whereabouts or activities. We want to make sure police have a warrant before any smart meter data is turned over. We will follow this issue through the utility regulatory process.

Link –

One of the contradictions in the privacy issue of this “debate” is whether or not Smart Meters will specify the appliance being used. Why would GMP Spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure have “stressed that the smart meters do not give the companies any additional information on what appliances are using the power.” if they do?
The White House released A POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR THE 21st CENTURY GRID: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future this June. Section 5.4 Data Privacy on Page 46 does not set a regulations on handling such data, it states,
“energy usage data likely does not fall within the scope of existing, sector-specific Federal privacy statutes”
Then it lays out the “shoulds, likeliness and considerations” of the various potential state and private sector abilities to protect this information, then stating that the administration has called on congress to pass a “consumer privacy bill of rights”… Even if congress passes such legislation I believe the Patriot Act effectively usurps it. The privacy issue is the least of my concerns with the Smart Grid, though it is a valid concern.

My #1 concern is the non-thermal effects of Radio Frequency technology that have NO regulation. FCC regulations only address the Thermal effects of RF tech. W.H.O. recently rescheduled RF tech as possibly cancer causing, we need more research to ensure that this is a Safe upgrade of our grid. Here is a page with many testimonies of people living with the effects of RF Tech –

Vermont has received $70 Million in federal funding for installing the Smart Grid… According to Title XIII of EISA SEC. 1306, we will only be reimbursed 20% of the cost of the “qualifying” expenses of the Smart Grid by federal monies. That means we will be required to “Change our Behavior” of energy use to “save” money to pay off the leftover 80%. It is the ONLY way “Smart” Grid saves money, by informing us of our energy use so we can shift some of our “peak usage” to non-peakusage hours. We MIGHT save money if we change our usage, but this “upgrade” won’t save energy, None! How many years or decades of changing our energy usage will it take to pay off the Smart Grid?

Is “Moratorium” just a word? Or do they actually exist? 

Free Survival Workshop – Hardwick VT – UPDATED


This will be the first of its kind. These free workshops/classes are center on building a SID (Subterranean, Indigenous, Domicile) and includes many other aspects of survival.


This first SID uses both conventional and indigenous building techniques and starts Aug 27 (weekends only) and goes to Oct 24 (end date not set yet).


The everyday purpose of this first SID will be used as a root cellar and used for survival when needed. All SIDs will have more then one use thereby making them very efficient.


These underground structures are free or very cheap to build and will protect you and your family from almost anything. They are invisible from above ground, safe, dry and warm.


The workshops/classes will take place only on weekends (Friday through Monday afternoon) rain or shine. Closer to the start date a schedule will be available for those interested in attending.


Check our Calendar after Aug 22th:


 See what you’re interested in and register with us by emailing:


 More info –


Big Article on Labeling GMO Foods!

Monsanto’s Achilles Heel    –    By RONNIE CUMMINS     July 29 – 31, 2011

The Achilles heel of Monsanto and the biotech industry is consumers’ right to know…

In the EU there are almost no genetically engineered crops under cultivation or GE consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Not because GE crops are automatically banned in Europe. But rather because under EU law, all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients must be labeled….

If Vermont passes a state labeling law though its legislature in 2011, or California voters put a GMO labeling initiative on the ballot in 2012 and pass it, the biotech and food industry will face an intractable dilemma. Will they dare put labels on their branded food products in just one or two states, admitting these products contain genetically engineered ingredients, while still withholding label information in the other states? The answer is very likely no. Withholding important and controversial information in some states, while providing it to consumers in other states, would be a public relations disaster.

A clear precedent for this situation was established in California in 1986 when voters passed, over the strenuous opposition of industry, a ballot initiative called Proposition 65, which required consumer products with potential cancer-causing ingredient to bear warning labels. Rather than label their products sold in California as likely carcinogenic, most companies reformulated their product ingredients so as to avoid warning labels altogether, and they did this on a national scale, not just in California.

This same scenario will likely unfold if California voters pass a ballot initiative in 2012 requiring labels on food containing genetically engineered ingredients. Can you imagine Kellogg’s selling Corn Flakes breakfast cereal in California with a label that admits it contains genetically engineered corn? Or labeling their corn flakes as GE in California, but not divulging this same fact to consumers in the other 49 states or Canada? Of course not. How about Kraft Boca Burgers admitting that their soybean ingredients are genetically modified? How about the entire non-organic food industry (including many so-called “natural” brands) admitting that 75% of their products are GE-tainted?

Once food manufacturers and supermarkets are forced to come clean and label genetically engineered products, they will likely remove all GE ingredients, to avoid the “skull and crossbones” effect, just like the food industry in the EU has done. In the wake of this development American farmers will convert millions of acres of GE crops to non-GMO or organic varieties.

The biotechnocrats and their allies have indeed used their vast resources to buy off Congress, the White House, and most state legislatures with campaign contributions. Monsanto, DuPont, and other corporate giants have used their enormous clout to send their lawyers and scientists through the revolving door into jobs as government regulators. Biotech’s financial power has polluted state and federal governments, along with trade associations, universities, research institutions, philanthropic organizations, and media outlets.

But there are two things Monsanto’s money can’t buy: Our trust, and our votes.

Polls Show Consumers Overwhelmingly Support GE Food Labels…

Read the whole Article –

To support or join up with the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign, go to:

Ronnie Cummins is the International Director of the Organic Consumers Association.

Where is the GMO Labeling in Vermont? Shopper’s guide to non-GMO Foods

Embedded Below is a comprehensive list (by category of food type) of Brands that are GMO Free. It also includes brands that may have GMO ingredients. Save it, Print it, Share it.

GMO Free Shoppers-Guide

Search – Verifier Non-GMO Products

Vermont’s GMO Labeling legislation:

Excerpt from: House Bill 367


“Genetically engineered ingredient” means a component of a larger substance meant for human or animal consumption that has been produced according to procedures described in subdivision (1) of this section

Genetically engineered food or food products that contain one or more genetically engineered ingredients and are offered for sale within the state shall be labeled as follows:

food sold in packaged form shall be identified as genetically engineered food by bearing a conspicuous label on the package that lists all genetically engineered ingredients therein; or (2) food sold in unpackaged form shall be conspicuously identified as genetically engineered food by placing a notation that is visible and easily identifiable by a consumer in close proximity to the displayed product, or by issuing a verbal disclosure to consumers when a notation is not feasible.



If it is a genetically engineered food or a food product containing one or more genetically engineered ingredients as defined in V.S.A. § 5701 and is not labeled in compliance with chapter 151 of Title 9. Sec. 3.


This act shall take effect on July 1, 2011. 

(emphasis added)

Link to the Bill –

60 Million Dollars of Presumption on Preemption

Donald M. Kreis, attorney and professor at the Vermont Law School said “I flat out predict that they [Entergy] will, in fact, order their fuel rods” and keep the plant running past 2012,

Quote from VT DIGGER article analyzing the injunction

An end quote in the embedded “News Report” below on Vermont Yankee re-fueling:

They’ll be missed if they give up.

Really?…. this is the objective news informing the people? … VY didn’t “give up” after loosing the injunction hearing, (which would have allowed them to keep the plant open during the proceedings of the Entergy vs Vermont case.) they decided to spend $60 million to refuel the plant this October, despite the uncertainty that the operational relicensing is lawful.

Take action –

Vermont Yankee Propaganda

Rural Vermont Update July 22

As many of us know, consumer interest in healthy, natural or organic foods is growing. As a result, many food companies are selling “All Natural” products which are priced higher than similar products despite the fact that they may be filled with SYNTHETIC and GENETICALLY ENGINEERED (GE) ingredients.

Relevant studies and data indicate that consumers are more likely to purchase products that prominently display the words “All Natural” on the front of food packages, despite the fact that the “All Natural” claim may be misleading at best, and fraudulent at worst.

Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC, which is selling its Log Cabin brand “All Natural” syrup in Vermont, is one such company using an “All Natural” labeling claim to win over consumers.  Log Cabin brand “All Natural” syrup contains synthetic ingredients. 

While Vermont farmers spend hundreds of hours boiling sap to make truly “All Natural” Vermont Maple Syrup, they are loosing out to brands like Log Cabin who package and label syrup “All Natural” so as to appear like real Vermont Maple Syrup despite synthetic ingredients.

Rural Vermont and  Law for Food are looking for individuals who have purchased Log Cabin brand “All Natural” syrup in the last few years. If you have purchased this product believing it to be “All Natural” and not to contain genetically engineered or synthetic ingredients, please contact us at or right away as we may be able to address this failure on the part of large corporations like Pinnacle Foods to properly label their products.

Allegedly “All Natural” products often mislead consumers about healthy food choices and cause them to purchase products they wouldn’t otherwise buy.  In addition, these often misleading tactics harm Vermont farmers who produce truly “All Natural” and non-GE products because they are forced to compete with multi-national corporations and their industrial scale marketing tactics.

Vermont Farmers and Vermont Consumers deserve better. Please act now and let us know if you or anyone you know has purchased “All Natural” Log Cabin Syrup.

Best, Jared

P.S. Check out our website at for info, on our great fall internship opportunities! As well as a the calendar of events.

Fairewinds Update July 19

While many radioactive cattle have been discovered large distances from Fukushima, what is more important is where their feed is coming from. “It’s not only about the radioactive cattle in Fukushima Prefecture; its also about the radioactive straw the cattle eat that was grown elsewhere”. Straw found 45 miles from Fukushima is highly contaminated with radioactive cesium, which is an indication that radiation has contaminated large portions of Northern Japan.

More than half a million disintegrations per second in a kilogram of straw are comparable to Chernobyl levels. This proves that the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission was correct when it told Americans to evacuate beyond 50 miles and that the Japanese should have done the same. An Ex-Secretariat of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission blames this contamination on “Black Rain”. Rather than minimize the information the Japanese people receive, Gundersen suggests minimizing their radiation exposure.”


Smart Grid On “Track” VT

Excerpt from : Smart meters will allow Vermonters to track electrical use

By HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN                            July 21, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — Some Windham County home and business owners could see the first smart meters by the end of the year, after the state announced a new agreement with Vermont’s largest utilities Wednesday…

The new meters transmit information from the homes and businesses to the electric companies over a wireless broadband connection, and will eventually allow users to see how much electricity they are consuming, and when that power could possibly be purchased at a reduced rate.

“The real promise of smart grid for Vermonters is to reduce peak demand on our electrical distribution system by giving consumers the information they need to change electric use patterns, integrating clean renewable power generation, and eventually supporting the adoption of electric vehicles,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said after announcing the new deal….

GMP Spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said the company would contact homeowners and businesses before installing the new meters.

The installation of the new meters is the first step in connecting all GMP and CVPS customers to the advanced technology…

full article –

VT For Evolution Responds –

This article doesn’t mention the “opt-out” policy, public service commissioner Elizabeth Miller said the state would implement, it just says they will contact you before they install it…??? If it is like California you will PAY to opt-out…

What is clear in this and the rest of the VT Smart Meter articles, is that the only way Smart Grid will save energy is by offering consumers information to change their behavior… Do we really need a Smart grid to tell us when people use the most energy… The peak time of energy consumption for residential during the week is morning and evening, weekends and holidays in the middle of the day… No?

The way they are selling this technology is simply by offering reduced rates on non-peak usage hours. Which they could do with out Smart Meters. So, now you will be doing your laundry at 2:00 am to save 50¢… I doubt it. We are a people of habit, and tight schedules. To say this is a “sustainable” solution to reduce our use of out-of-state dirty coal electricity is a far reach. As far as using renewable energy technology and electric cars, Smart Meters have nothing to offer other than a data interface.

The article also says, “Schnure stressed that the smart meters do not give the companies any additional information on what appliances are using the power.”

Watch – The Dark Side of ‘Smart’ Meters 

It isn’t that smart grid tells you outright what appliances are used, but each appliance leaves a signature usage in the data that can be identified. I have heard that many new appliances already have Radio Frequency technology built into them and will communicate with the smart meters, I guess they are called smart appliances. Whether or not it is something you could buy and not know it, isn’t clear to me.

I could care less about the utility company seeing what appliance I am using, but if they sell that information to big corporations to turn a buck I do. More important to me is that RF tech has been rescheduled as possibly cancer causing.

Let just hope Vermont at the very least comes out with a FREE opt-out for those who wish to keep their analogue meters.

Vermont Yankee – Shut it Down

Excerpts from Entergy injunction request denied; trial set to begin on Sept. 12   by Randolph T. Holhut

Last month, lawyers for Entergy appeared in federal court in Brattleboro asking for an injunction that would allow the plant to stay open past the expiration of the Vernon plant’s original 40-year operating license on March 21, 2012….

On Monday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha issued an 18-page decision denying Entergy’s request. He also set Sept. 12 as the trial date for the Entergy v. Vermont lawsuit. (end of excerpt)

As the scale of justice tips to the side of Vermont, new research is coming out linking; living in proximity of nuclear reactors to higher cancer rates … Excerpt from the 5 page report: The nuclear-safety debate hits home   by Bill Cummings

…Indian Point, with more than 17 million people living within a 50-mile radius, has long been the focus of health studies, many of them conducted by antinuclear groups.

Recent, yet-to-be-released testing by such a group in Fairfield County and nearby New York areas has found low levels of two types of radioactive strontium in the milk of goats, cows and humans. The results, expected to be released within weeks, were termed “striking” by one expert who reviewed the data….

RPHP (Radiation and Public Health Project) says it found similar cancer spikes in counties nearest the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire and Vermont Yankee. Cancer rates in Rockingham County, N.H., where the Seabrook nuclear power plant is located, were found to be the highest of all 10 New Hampshire counties and the county rate for thyroid cancer was 23 percent above the U.S. rate.

In Vermont, the RPHP said state health department statistics showed that the cancer death rate in Windham County, where the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is located, was five percent below the national average when the plant was built three decades ago and is now 10 percent higher.

full article –

Read the RPHP 2010 Report on Indian Point 

The Radiation and Public Health Project is a nonprofit educational and scientific organization, established by scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding the relationships between low-level, nuclear radiation and public health. Check out their site which also has their findings on Fukushima.

VT4Evolution – When I ponder a world free from possible Radioactive Catastrophes it gives me a sigh of relief and a new sense of the Future, envisioning a happy and healthy Humanity. Germany, Switzerland, Italy and others speak about phasing out this far reaching generationally impacting technology, Lets do the same!

Thermal Discharge information Connecticut River Water Shed Council

Treating Cancer at Home?

Cancer treatment at home? It sounds far fetched, but it makes sense that where ever there is a conflict in Nature there is a solution. I haven’t researched Cancer much, but with the warnings from Arnie Gundersen about Fukushima and Hot Particles, it seems like this is an essential knowledge for the present and future. From everything I have heard about the “conventional treatments” such as Chemotherapy and Surgery, they aren’t effective and in many cases can be worse than the cancer itself. I came across a claimed “Miracle food” that melts cancer by creating a bond between our cells and Oxygen, which kills cancer… Does it work? I couldn’t tell you, though it makes sense to me, here is a video receipt to make this “Miracle Food”….. For those with laco-intloerant I don’t know what to say, and if your are allergic to nuts I would obviously leave them out.


Check this One TOO – Another Home-made Cancer Cure

Hydro-Fracking is Polluting our Fresh Water and Air

In this post I am exploring the world of Hydraulic Fracturing or Hydro-fracking. Excerpt from: Hydro-Fracking Company Nixes New York State Kids’ Coloring Book Propaganda

by Sydney Brownstone Jul 14, 2011

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a way of extracting natural gas from the earth by shooting jets of sand, water and chemicals into Marcellus Shale rock deposits in order release pockets of the trapped fuel. The problem occurs when fracking fluid contaminates the groundwater—like this Duke University study showed when it found methane levels 17 times higher in the groundwater near Pennsylvania fracking wells than groundwater elsewhere. Then there’s the whole greenhouse gas emissions thing (you know, melting the Arctic ice cap, acidifying the oceans, contributing to rising sea-levels and extreme weather), in which ecologist Robert Howarth’s Cornell University study published in May of this year found that because of the emissions released in the process of extracting and then burning, “shale gas is worse than conventional gas and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil.” ….

what the flip is going on when the water coming out of your sink can be set on fire.

Full article –

GASLAND – (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize – Best US Documentary Feature – Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010.

It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well – rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

Protesters oppose the by invitation only, and without media “forum” on shale gas exploration organized by the N.B. Government on June 23,2011. 

Tell the EPA to support a moratorium –

Study Shows Conventional Farming Increases Pest Pressure

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2011) A study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has linked the growth of industrial farming systems to increased pest pressure and higher pesticide use, highlighting the importance of biodiversity in agriculture.

The researchers found that “landscape simplification” in the form of conversion of natural areas to intensive monocultural crop production results in increased pest populations through the removal of natural habitat for pest predators. This in turn leads to higher rates of pesticide application by farmers in response to the increased pest pressure.

As wild areas providing natural habitat to a range of wildlife and beneficial insects are destroyed and converted to conventional crop production, pest populations in the area will be robbed of their natural predators. This leads to pest population booms and to a corresponding increase in pesticides in an attempt to control them. Monocultural crop production –growing a single crop on hundreds and often thousands of acres– presents a uniquely perfect breeding ground for pests as it provides acres upon acres of food and habitat with no natural checks or barriers.

full article –

related article – The Vermont Legislator can Help Save our Honeybee Population

NRC Recommends “Upgrading” Safety Standards on US Reactors

The NRC granted Vermont Yankee a 20 year extension of its operators license just 10 days after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan. Now 4 months later the NRC wants the US nuclear industry to “upgrade” their reactors. Excerpt from the VPR article:

(Dillon) An NRC task force says that in light of the Japanese disaster, U.S. plants should have systems in place to keep fuel cool for 72 hours.

The task force also made specific recommendations for U.S. reactors, such as Vermont Yankee, that share the same design as the stricken Japanese nuclear power plants.
The commission says vents need to be strengthened so the hydrogen gas can be released before it explodes…

(Gundersen) “The industry’s position is that letting the radiation out is better than blowing the containment up. And my opinion is that neither are acceptable and that the containment is the problem, and that it either needs to be fixed – strengthened – or shut down.”

(Dillon) Gundersen says all the changes recommended by the NRC will cost Yankee about $100 million. That’s on top of other expensive repairs needed if the plant operates for another 20 years. Gundersen has a prediction about Entergys Vermont Yankee’s response

(Gundersen) “I think if Vermont Yankee is allowed to operate, the net effect will be it’ll be too costly to make the repairs and Entergy will make an economic decision to shut it down.”

(Dillon) Entergy is still committed to keeping the plant operating for another 20 years. Yankee spokesman Larry Smith says the industry wants to work with the NRC to implement the changes. He says it’s too early to come up with an accurate cost estimate.

full article  –

NRC Post-Fukushima Report –

VT4Evolution – This is just a simple move to make people feel the NRC is doing their job, assessing the Fukushima disaster and making appropriate changes. Even if these reactors have uninterrupted energy to their cooling pumps and improved vents, it still doesn’t change the fact that the containment vessel CAN leak.

Arnie Gundersen a Nuclear Industry veteran and Nuclear advisor from Fairewinds Associates has been confronting the NRC about Containment leakage for years.

The NRC’s safety standards in the case of leakage are based on the idea that only 1% of the fuel can “fail”, and only 1% out of that 1% of failed fuel can leak from the containment vessel. 70% of Fukushima’s fuel failed and much more than 1% of that has leaked. Nuclear Energy production with our current technology can not assure any safety. SHUT IT DOWN!

VT Digger Article –

Videos From Fairewinds Associates: