The Invisible Rainbow – Review by Jennifer Wood

Reprinted from Environmentalists Against War, May 19, 2018

The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, by Arthur Firstenberg, is not only a marvelous opus. It is one of those once-in-a-millennium books that turn into classics.

Easy to read, hard to put down, sublimely poetic and scientifically rigorous, with a bibliography almost one-third the size of the book itself, this is a history of electricity which has never been told. It’s not only that it has been written from an environmental and biological point of view; nor that it’s mostly unspoken reverence for life is so understated that its power is hard to resist.

In the end, the power of this book lies in the meticulous care with which the author has done his research, corroborated his data and revealed his stunning findings.

We rediscover not only the ancient Chinese Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine but western doctors and scientists from the 1700s to the present day: what they’ve had to say about electricity, how it has been harnessed, and which direction it has taken in the west and in the east.

We meet Yuri Grigoriev, first assigned to research the biological effects of atomic weapons at the Institute of Biophysics in the former Soviet Union before going on to write a book about the dangers of microwave radiation from cell phone use; Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtalnd, three-time Prime Minister of Norway and former head of the World Health Organization who banned cell phones from her office for health reasons; and Dr. Samuel Milham, who showed that rural electrification caused a shocking increase in cancer rates during the 1950s.

In light of imminent plans to bring us all 5G cell phone technology on the ground and to launch thousands of satellites into space to provide wireless Internet on a global scale, The Invisible Rainbow could not have arrived at a better time.

Expecting to read about the groundbreaking work on the bioeffects of non-inonizing radiation by scientists like Martin Blank, author of Overpowered, I instead found new, comprehensive, and thoroughly documented information dating back to the 1700s.

Prior to 1889, for example, we learn that influenza epidemics occurred not annually but years or decades apart and were highly correlated with sunspots, and that the 1889 pandemic of influenza, which altered that pattern occurred in the exact year the widespread use of alternating current began.

“In that year exactly,” Firstenberg writes, “the natural magnetic activity of the earth began to be suppressed.” The earth’s magnetic field now bore, for the first time in history, the imprint of power line frequencies and their harmonics. The marvelous harnessing of electricity for humans had begun but it had a byproduct: certain precautionary measures could perhaps have been taken but were not. Each step in that development had important consequences.

I found the story of influenza particularly riveting. We go on to learn that in 1918, the radio era began, ushered in by the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. The radar era, we learn, began in 1957 with the building of hundreds of powerful radar stations in the northern hemisphere “hurling millions of watts of microwave energy skyward;” low-frequency components of these waves rode on magnetic field lines to the southern hemisphere as well.

The radar era was ushered in by the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957. In 1968, we learn the satellite era began with the launch of dozens of satellites “with relatively weak broadcast power but since they were already up in the magnetosphere they had as big an effect on it as the small amount of radiation that had managed to enter it from sources on the ground.” The satellite era was ushered in by the 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemic.

At the end of the twentieth century came the beginning of the wireless era and the establishment of the High Frequency Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Firstenberg describes the environmental effects of these two technological developments in depth. He brings together history, epidemiology, and cutting edge science, but he does much more. He goes to the heart of his subject, documenting the path that led to the public health crises we are facing today.

Brilliantly researched, The Invisible Rainbow explains why cancer, diabetes and heart disease rose from their previous rarity to become major killers of humanity, painting a vivid picture of what is happening at the cellular level in terms everyone can understand.

The author is uniquely situated to write such a book, perhaps by temperament, certainly by education, fate and circumstance. A top student whose medical career was cut short by injury from x-ray overdose, the author experienced firsthand, in the early 1980s, the effects of radiation poisoning, and experienced them again in 1996 with the advent of widespread commercial cell phone use. He was not alone. As he has carefully documented, millions of people were affected.

Firstenberg writes with a passion and tenacity that only a man with his particular background could summon. This is science at its best, supported by an untold personal story that few of us know or could imagine. That Firstenberg could write such a remarkable book under the appalling conditions in which he has lived for over three decades is astounding.

Rarely do we see such an unusual and integrated work of both art and science, augmented with tables, line graphs, historic etchings and contemporary photographs. Centuries of forgotten knowledge and the careers of important scientists — from Isaac Newton to Luigi Galvani to Albert Szent-Gyorgyi to Robert Becker — are woven into an unforgettable story.

The story of electricity and its previously ignored effects on humans, plants, animals and the earth’s magnetosphere open the door to a better, more informed future. Despite thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies, much of the population is presently unaware of this issue.

This book is an awakening: perhaps the equivalent to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic for our age of electricity. Buy the book and read it. You just might come to realize that your life and

The Invisible Rainbow – Review by Alasdair Philips

Reprinted from Caduceus, Issue 98, Spring 2018.

Almost 30 years ago, back in 1989 when I was running the electromagnetic hazard group of Electronics and Computing for Peace, Dr. Cyril Smith and Simon Best published the ground-breaking book, Electromagnetic Man: Health and Hazard in the Electrical Environment. It was the first comprehensive overview, pulling together a vast number of threads of different information about a wide range of natural phenomena, citing source references where possible. The main premise of the book was that the human body relies on internal electromagnetic systems and it would be surprising if people were not affected by electromagnetic fields.

In recent years there has been a plethora of books about EMF effects on health of very variable quality and usefulness. Some of the practical guides to reduce personal exposure are helpful, but none I have read came close to Electromagnetic Man as a ‘foundation primer’. With the publication of The Invisible Rainbow, that has now changed.

I am in awe of this new, 560-page, comprehensively referenced book by Arthur Firstenberg – it is a veritable mine of information about the history of the interactions of people and electricity (both natural and man-made) and the effects on their health and well-being right up to our current time. The author holds degrees in mathematics and medicine and is electrosensitive; thus, the text is written with knowledge and understanding.

Over the past 60 years I have been fascinated by electricity, electronics and radio. I already knew a great deal about the early history from Faraday onward. However, this book has been a mind-opening experience for me regarding human health and exposure to electromagnetic fields over time. It amazes me just how determinedly blind society has been about the already-known effects on life of electromagnetic field exposures. Commerce, trade and profit motives always seem to dominate decisions.

The book starts in Leyden around 1745 when it first found that electricity could be stored. That led to simple ‘electrotherapy’ machines that generally delivered an electric shock to the patient. The chapter contains a list of positive and negative effects of electricity as reported in the 18th century. Over 30 negative effects are reported and completely match agreed modern electrical hypersensitivity symptoms.

Electricity was also used, as a party trick, to charge up a woman standing on an insulating pad so that when she kissed someone on the ground, both people would receive pleasurable tingling sensations! Many doctors and ‘quacks’ started to use electric shocks to treat a wide range of conditions including pain relief, poor muscle tone, ‘female problems’, urination problems, etc.

They also started to report many adverse non-therapeutic effects such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, muscle and joint pains, nosebleeds, ringing in the ears, etc. In the late 1780s one experimenter, Sigaud de la Fond, declared: ‘There are people for whom electricity can be unfortunate and very harmful.’

Part One (“From the Beginning”) comprises the first 10 chapters and sets the effects of electromagnetic fields on people, animals, birds and plants into a very helpful, historical context and takes us up to about the 1920s. It includes a very challenging and controversial section that suggests that influenza outbreaks re triggered by solar storms (hence the original ‘influenza’ name) and now also by environmental, RF exposure changes. This accounts for outbreaks occurring almost simultaneously around the world. The claim is that apparently almost all of us have dormant influenza virus inside us and it is triggered by external environmental signals. The work done to test infection and contagion routes of transferring the disease to others has not shown how it spreads. Indeed, in a household of four people often only one or two will succumb to ‘flu’ during an outbreak.

The final seven chapters constitute Part Two (‘To the Present’). These include covering heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, longevity and ageing, hearing effects and recent developments in technology from vast satellite arrays, Internet of Things in our homes and workplaces, wireless chargers and induction hobs.

He concludes: ‘As awareness spreads, it will become acceptable to turn to your neighbor and ask them to turn off their cell phone or unplug their WiFi. And that will be the beginning of recognition that we have a problem.’

This is an important book. It is a well written, interestingly informative and enjoyable read.

Alasdair Philips is an engineer and scientist who has studies the effects of electromagnetic fields on life and health for over 40 years. He is Director of Powerwatch, Technical Director of EMFields Solutions Ltd and a Trustee of Children with Cancer UK (national charity).

Frequently Asked Questions

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is wireless technology?

Wireless technology is any means of sending information or energy through space without wires. It includes:

satellites, radar, radio, television, cell towers, cell phones, cordless phones, microwave ovens smart meters, WiFi, Bluetooth, fitness trackers, smart watches, baby monitors wireless keyboards, mice, printers, headphones and speakers, wireless security systems, wireless car keys, wireless garage door openers, wireless battery chargers, remote controls, wireless microphones RFID chips in credit cards and driver’s licenses, radio collars and chips in wildlife, cattle and pets, chips in home appliances wireless hearing aids, assistive listening devices, medical alert pendants, chips in medical implants, wireless pacemakers autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots numerous other radio-enabled devices that are proliferating in today’s world

Every one of these devices, without exception, emits radiation.

What’s wrong with wireless technology?

By substituting radiation for wires, we are swimming in an ocean of artificial electromagnetic fields that are interfering with life itself. We are in effect electrocuting ourselves, our children, our pets, the insects, birds, animals, trees and plants around us and all of living creation. We are killing our planet.

This is about long-term exposure, right? Cancer that takes years to develop?

No. The effects are rapid. Heart rate changes immediately. Blood sugar rises in minutes. Having wireless devices on in your house interferes with your sleep and your memory. Using a cell phone destroys brain cells in minutes to hours, and can cause a stroke or a heart attack. Studies show that even cancer can develop within months of first exposure. When a cell tower is turned on, birds leave the area immediately. Insects disappear. Even slugs and snails vanish. Most of this takes no time at all.

What types of radiation are used in wireless technology?

All frequencies of radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, lasers, sound waves, even nuclear radiation. Most home devices use microwaves.

Isn’t microwave radiation natural? Don’t microwaves come from the sun and stars?

Almost all the radiation we receive from the universe is the light and heat from the sun, not microwave radiation. The microwave radiation a person receives from an average cell tower is millions of times stronger than all the microwave radiation from the sun and stars. The microwave radiation a person’s brain receives from their cell phone is billions of times stronger than the microwave radiation from the sun and stars. And at any particular frequency it is trillions of times stronger than the microwave radiation he or she receives from the sun and stars at that frequency. And the faint microwaves from the sun and stars are not pulsed and modulated. It is the pulsations and modulation that cause much of the harm.

Aren’t light and microwaves both electromagnetic? Therefore isn’t microwave radiation safe?

No. That is like saying arsenic is safe because oxygen and arsenic are both elements, or that cyanide is safe because water and cyanide are both chemicals. But oxygen and water are necessary for life, while arsenic and cyanide are deadly poisons. It is the same with electromagnetic radiation. Visible light is necessary for life. Microwave radiation is a deadly poison.

Aren’t toxic chemicals more harmful than electromagnetic radiation?

Electromagnetism is more complex and more fundamental than chemistry. Electromagnetism shapes the sun and stars. Electromagnetism animates life. Electromagnetism is behind chemistry. There is no “chemical force” in the universe. Outside of atomic nuclei, there is only gravity and electromagnetism. Electromagnetism guides everything we see, including ourselves. Chemistry is an effect, not a cause.

Can’t we find safe frequencies? Won’t that solve the problem?

That is looking at both wireless technology and life too simplistically.

Most wireless technology has only one goal: to transmit information to computers, information of great complexity and variety. It is not simple, constant radiation of one amplitude and one frequency: such radiation would carry no information. Instead, it is multiple large frequency bands, each divided into hundreds, thousands, and millions of individual frequencies of all different bandwidths, overlapping and interacting, pulsed at an enormous variety of intervals, in an enormous variety of shapes, patterns and durations, all over the world. Even a single signal from a single device has a variety of amplitudes, frequencies and pulsations, and is modulated in complex ways in order to carry all the information needed to be read by a cell phone or computer.

Life has to also carry an enormous, almost infinite complexity of information in its nervous systems and its meridians, and to store and process this information in its cells, organs and chakras, and in its DNA which is shared and circulated among trillions of individuals of 50 million different species, all connected to one another and to the earth, sky and universe in a grand circuit of energy and information.

The artificial cloud of energy and information is interfering with, overpowering and destroying the natural, living circuitry of energy and information. It cannot be otherwise.

What about LiFi? If light is safe, why not use light instead of microwaves?

Light is a nutrient. We absorb it with our eyes, and into our blood. It is necessary for health. It regulates our biorhythms. Green plants need it for photosynthesis. We absorb more of the pulsations and modulation frequencies when they are carried into our bodies by light than when they are carried into our bodies by microwaves. LiFi is more harmful to life than WiFi.

Cell phones are much smaller than cell towers. Doesn’t that mean they are safer? Doesn’t it mean the radiation does not travel as far?

Cell phones and cell towers emit the same radiation; size has nothing to do with it. The main difference is that a cell tower emits as many signals simultaneously as there are cell phones communicating with it at that time, whereas a cell phone only emits one voice channel and one data channel. A cell tower therefore emits stronger


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The Invisible Rainbow in 9 languages

Update on Satellites, Birds and Bones, May 24, 2022


Would You Stick Your (Head, Food, Anything) in a Microwave Oven? May 19, 2022

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Wireless Radiation and Osteoporosis, May 11, 2022

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Saving the Planet – Next Step, May 3, 2022

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Supreme Court to consider our case this Friday, March 1, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions, February 16, 2022


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History of the Anti-Wireless Movement, January 26, 2022

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Cell towers on the ocean floor, January 12, 2022

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441,449 Low Earth Orbit Satellites, January 5, 2022

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Organizations Worldwide Sign Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court, November 30, 2021

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Four Days Left to Join Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court, November 17, 2021

The Most Dangerous Technology Ever Invented – Part Three, November 3, 2021

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The Most Dangerous Technology Ever Invented – Part Two, October 27, 2021


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Appeal Filed in Supreme Court Yesterday, October 26, 2021

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Update on Supreme Court Case, September 25, 2021

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6G – Closer than you think, August 12, 2021

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Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court Being Prepared, August 3, 2021

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SpaceX to Begin Worldwide Service in August, July 15, 2021

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Interfering with the Fires of Life, June 30, 2021

Cell Phone Apocalypse, June 9, 2021

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Satellites, Data, and Nature, May 11, 2021

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Survey Results, April 15, 2021

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Spaceport Genocide, April 6, 2021

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Update on Satellites, March 27, 2021

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Beginning the Healing, March 17, 2021

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The River of Life, February 23, 2021

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The Wrong Pandemic, December 21, 2020

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Outreach to Environmental Organizations, November 10, 2020

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Restoring a Vibrant, Living Planet, June 18, 2020

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Putting the Earth inside a High-Speed Computer, June 3, 2020

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The Evidence Mounts, May 5, 2020

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5G Satellites: A Threat to All Life

by Arthur Firstenberg


In 2019, at least eight companies and governments are competing to send up fleets of from 150 to 42,000 satellites each.

SpaceX, based in the United States, has plans for 42,000 satellites, is already launching 60 at a time, twice a month, and is developing a larger rocket that can launch 120 at a time. As soon as 420 satellites are in orbit, it plans to turn them on. That could be as early as February 2020.

OneWeb, based in the United Kingdom, has plans for 5,260 satellites and intends to launch 30 at a time every three to four weeks beginning in January 2020. As soon as 300 satellites are in orbit, in late 2020, it plans to turn them on.

Telesat, based in Canada, has plans for 512 satellites, and intends to begin service in 2021.

Amazon has plans for 3,236 satellites and intends to begin service as soon as 578 are in orbit.

Lynk has plans for “several thousand” satellites and intends to begin service in 2023.

Facebook has plans for thousands of satellites but has not disclosed its plans to the public.

Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, has plans for 640 satellites, to be deployed between 2022 and 2026.

Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., a Chinese state-owned company, has plans for 156 satellites, to be in place by 2022.

In addition to these satellite plans, Loon, a subsidiary of Google, has a contract to provide Internet to remote areas of the Amazon rainforest in Peru from stratospheric balloons.


Most will be located in the ionosphere, which is the lower part of the Earth’s magnetosphere. SpaceX’s satellites will orbit as low as 340 kilometers (210 miles) in altitude.


They are for 5G, the Internet of Things, and to provide high speed Internet to every square inch of the Earth. Because data travels faster in space than in fiber, all cell towers will transmit their signals to satellites, to be routed through space to their destinations.

The satellites will also be used to populate all remote areas on Earth with cell towers. Every satellite customer will purchase a small “user terminal” they they will mount on their house or their car, where it will function as a small cell or mobile base station for use by the public. SpaceX has already applied to the Federal Communications Commission for permission to sell 1,000,000 user terminals in the United States, and OneWeb has applied for 1,900,000.

The only exception is Lynk, whose satellites will be able to connect directly to cell phones, and will turn every cell phone on Earth into a satellite phone. “The artificial divide between satellites and terrestrial systems is about to end,” says Lynk.


Yes. They will use phased arrays, beam-forming technologies, and millimeter waves with frequencies from 10 GHz to 80 GHz, just like 5G antennas on earth.


The Earth’s electromagnetic envelope—the magnetosphere—will be massively polluted. Millions of pulsed, modulated digital signals covering 80 GHz of spectrum will be emitted day and night into the magnetosphere by tens of thousands of satellites, each emitting multiple laser-like beams directed at the surface of the Earth. This will have several kinds of effects: (a) the direct radiation arriving at the ground; (b) pollution of the global electrical circuit; and (c) alteration of the magnetosphere itself.

Direct radiation. In 2001, Ukrainian scientists warned against the use of millimeter waves by low-orbit communication satellites using phased array antennas. “Observed higher resonance frequencies of a living cell coincide with [these] frequencies,” they wrote. “The power densities and duration of radiation created by these satellites will significantly exceed (by ten or more orders of magnitude—such irradiation is possible over the course of a whole lifetime) the energetic doses inducing change in living cells… Negative consequences of this may be changes in cell structures and physiological processes, genetic changes, and alteration of psychophysiological conditions and behavior.”[1]

Effects on the magnetosphere. The Earth’s magnetosphere already bears the imprint of 50 and 60 Hz and their harmonics from power lines. This phenomenon, known as power-line harmonic radiation (PLHR), has been extensively studied.[2],[3] When power line radiation reaches the magnetosphere, it is amplified thousands of times and interacts with the Van Allen belts, draining them of electrons, which rain down over the earth, modifying the electrical properties of the atmosphere. Not only may this increase the frequency of thunderstorms,[4] but it may shift the values of the Schumann resonances to which all living things are attuned.[5] “Continued expansion of the electrical power system threatens the viability of all life on earth,” wrote Dr. Robert O. Becker in 1985.[6] Tens of thousands of satellites, located in the lower magnetosphere, will be an even greater threat to all life.

Effects on the global electrical circuit. A current of electricity flows at all times through the ionosphere, down to the Earth in fair weather, through the Earth, and back up to the ionosphere in thunderstorms. This global circuit, studied today by atmospheric physicists, was first described in the fourth century B.C. in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: “The pure Yang forms the heaven, and the turbid Yin forms the earth. The Qi of the earth ascends and turns into clouds, while the Qi of the heaven descends and turns into rain.” At National Central University in Taiwan, and at Shangai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fujian Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and elsewhere in China, scientists are confirming that the substance called Qi that flows from sky to Earth and circulates through our meridians, giving us life and health, is electricity.[7]

The ionosphere is charged to an average of 300,000 volts at all times and

Planetary Emergency


The Earth needs your help. Now.

Many are the assaults on our planet. The oceans—Jacques Cousteau said it already in 1970—are dying. The majestic wilderness is no more. The very oxygen we breathe is being converted to carbon dioxide.

Others are wrestling with those problems, and they are not going to be solved overnight. But there is one that must be: we must leave space alone.

On March 29, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission gave its approval to SpaceX’s plan to launch an unprecedented 4,425 satellites into low orbit around the Earth. And that’s only the beginning. SpaceX has applied to the FCC to increase the number of satellites to 42,000 in order to provide “ultrafast, lag-free Internet” to every square inch of the earth. 5G from space. The name of SpaceX’s project is “Starlink.” As of May 2022, Starlink already has about 2,500 operating satellites in low-earth orbit.

The global electrical circuit, which sustains all life, is about to be seriously disturbed unless we act.

Recent History

In 1997, in my first book, Microwaving Our Planet, in the last chapter, titled “The Danger from Satellites,” I wrote: “The proliferation of satellites we are about to witness—unless this world wakes up soon—is mind boggling, and nobody seems to have considered that popping thousands of them up there like so much confetti might have consequences for our atmosphere and our climate.” I wrote about the expected ozone loss; the destruction of the Van Allen belts; global warming from the addition of water vapor to the stratosphere; toxic wastes; groundwater pollution; space junk; microwave radiation; and the vandalism of the night sky. My 1997 book is posted here, courtesy of the Spanish website AVAATE, one of the best websites on this issue:

A year later the radiation problem asserted itself. On September 23, 1998, the world’s first satellite phones became operational. Service was provided by 66 satellites in low orbit around the Earth, launched by the Iridium Corporation. They unleashed a new kind of rain that turned the sky red and emptied it of birds for a couple of weeks.

A six-nation telephone survey was done of electrically sensitive people, support groups, and nurses and physicians serving this population. The results: 86% of electrically sensitive people and a majority of patients and support group members became ill on Wednesday, September 23 exactly, with typical symptoms of electrical illness including headaches, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, nosebleeds, heart palpitations, asthma attacks, ringing in the ears, etc. Follow-ups revealed that some of these people were acutely ill for up to three weeks. Some were so sick they weren’t sure they would live. In the United States the national death rate rose by 4% to 5% for two weeks. During those two weeks, very few birds were seen in the sky and thousands of homing pigeons failed to return home in pigeon races throughout much of the country. This was all documented in No Place to Hide, Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb. 1999, pp. 3-4.

The second satellite service, Globalstar, began commercial service on Monday, February 28, 2000. Widespread reports of nausea, headaches, leg pain, respiratory problems, depression, and lack of energy began on Friday, February 25, the previous business day, and came from people both with and without electrical sensitivity. See No Place To Hide, Vol. 2, No. 3, March 2000, p. 18.

Iridium, which had gone bankrupt in the summer of 1999, was resurrected by a contract with the United States Armed Forces. On March 30, 2001, commercial service resumed. Again the sky turned red. Again came reports of nausea, flu-like illness and feelings of oppression. But the events that made the news were catastrophic losses of race horse foals that were reported throughout the United States and as far away as Peru. On June 5, 2001, Iridium added data and Internet to its satellite phone service. Again came widespread reports of nausea, flu-like illness and oppression, and this time also hoarseness. See No Place To Hide, Vol 3, No. 2, Nov. 2001, p. 15.

Additional details are provided in chapter 17 of my new book, The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life (AGB Press, 2017).

Between 2001 and 2019, our skies did not essentially change. Iridium and Globalstar, operating 66 and 40 satellites respectively, were still the only providers of satellite phones. The amount of data raining on us all from space was still dominated by those two fleets. The predicted fleets of thousands of satellites had not materialized. But they are doing so now. Everything we know and love is at stake—not just hawks and geese, pigeons and race horses, not just the human race, but life itself. This is a mortal threat not just to our children and grandchildren, but to all of us.

The Details

The biggest planned fleet of satellites is the Starlink constellation being launched by Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX. But there are about 150 other companies competing with Starlink, several of which are already launching satellites. The number of satellites proposed to be operated by all of these companies totals, incredibly, more than 442,000. Almost all are proposed to be orbited at altitudes ranging from 210 to 700 miles in altitude. They will all operate at millimeter wave frequencies and they will all be phased arrays. Each satellite will have thousands of antenna elements that will aim focused, steerable beams at any desired point on the surface of the earth. The effective radiated power of each beam from each of the satellites can range up to 5,000,000 watts, depending on its altitude and how many simultaneous customers it is serving. The satellites will communicate both with individual users and with gateway earth stations, of which there will be several hundred just in the United States for just the Starlink constellation.

One of the other companies planning a megaconstellation is the UK’s OneWeb. Its founder and Executive Chairman is Greg Wyler. To build and launch its constellation of 7,088

CELL PHONES: Questions and Answers

by Arthur Firstenberg

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How much radiation does a cell phone emit, compared to what exists in nature?

If Neil Armstrong had brought a cell phone to the moon in 1969, it would have appeared from earth to be the brightest object in the universe in the microwave spectrum. In the daytime, the sun would have been brighter, but at night, the cell phone would have outshone every star.

There is a reason cell phones are outlawed in Green Bank, West Virginia: even a single cell phone, even from miles away, would blind the radio astronomers there and make it impossible for them to see the stars. Astronomers measure radio waves in units called janskys. A typical star shines at 10 to 100 janskys. The Sun shines at about 500,000 janskys. When you hold a cell phone against your head, you are pumping energy at the rate of about 100,000,000,000,000 janskys into your brain.[1]

How does that compare to radiation from a cell tower?

Suppose there is a 2,000-watt cell tower two blocks from your house. The part of your brain next to a cell phone is absorbing up to one hundred thousand times as much radiation from the phone as it is from the tower.[2]

Are the FCC’s exposure limits the same for cell phones and cell towers?

No. Cell phones are exempt from the limits imposed on cell towers. The FCC measures exposure in milliwatts per square centimeter. Depending on frequency, the FCC’s limit for whole body exposure to radiation from distant sources is about one milliwatt per square centimeter (1 mW/cm2). The limit for partial body exposure to a cell phone is approximately 20 mW/cm2 (for the brain), which assumes the phone is held at least one and a half centimeters away from your head. It is 50 mW/cm2 (for the hands, wrists and ears). If you hold the phone flush against your head, like most people do, or tightly between your head and your shoulder, the exposure to the brain can approach 50 mW/cm2 also.[3]

Who set the exposure limits?

A radar scientist named Herman Schwan who was brought to the United States from Germany after World War II as part of Project Paperclip. He made some assumptions about the rate at which the human body is capable of getting rid of heat, and on that basis he estimated that the body could safely absorb an amount of radiation equal to 100 mW/cm2. His assumptions were soon proven wrong, since experimental animals died within minutes when exposed to that much radiation. So over the years, the safe level was reduced first to 10 mW/cm2 and later to the current limit of 1 mW/cm2.

Why is the brain exempt from those limits?

Because those limits would make cell phones impractical. And because new assumptions were made about how much heat the brain could safely absorb, and the rate at which the body could dissipate that heat. It was decided that the brain could be safely heated by up to 1° C (1.8° F).

Have these assumptions proven correct?

No. A 1° C rise in temperature is usually considered a fever. And although the brain as a whole is heated less than 1° C by a cell phone, the absorption is not uniform. DNA, for example, resonantly absorbs microwave radiation. In experiments done at the Food and Drug Administra­tion during the 1980s, DNA absorbed 400 times as much radiation as expected.[4] Research done at the Max Planck Institute in Germany in 2006 found that brain synapses may be resonantly heated by up to 100° C while the brain as a whole is heated by only 1° C.[5]

I don’t get a headache from my cell phone. Can it be that bad?

Because brain tissue has no pain receptors, we don’t feel the injury. Even a headache doesn’t tell you what’s happening inside your head. Neurosurgen Leif Salford and his colleagues in Sweden found that a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone permanently destroys up to two percent of a rat’s brain cells.[6] Superficially the rats are fine, but two percent of their brain is gone. The experiments gave similar results even when the exposure level was reduced a hundredfold. And in experiments on the blood-brain barrier, they reduced the exposure level ten thousandfold and found that damage to the blood-brain barrier was worse when the exposure level was reduced.[7]

That means that holding the phone away from your head does not protect you. It means that if you use a Bluetooth headset, which emits only 2.5 milliwatts, you are doing more damage to yourself than if you hold the phone to your head. The blood-brain barrier keeps bacteria, virusus, and toxic chemicals out of your brain and maintains the brain at constant pressure. Too much intracranial pressure can lead to a stroke.

How fast does the damage to the blood-brain barrier happen?

Leakage of the blood-brain barrier is detectable within two minutes of exposure and probably begins within seconds.

What do the stroke statistics tell us?

The incidence of stroke overall is steady or declining but it is rising in adults younger than 50,[8] and shockingly so in very young adults. A Danish study published in 2016 examined the rate of strokes in people aged 15 to 30. The annual number of strokes in that age group in Denmark rose 50 percent between 1994 and 2012, and the annual number of transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) in that age group tripled.[9]

I’m confused. Which is safer, low power or high power?

Neither. The higher the power, the more heat. The lower the power, the more leakage of the blood-brain barrier. The higher the power, the more your metabolism is disturbed.[10] The lower the power, the more calcium leaks out of your



by Miriam Lindbeck, in EcoDwell, the newsletter of the International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology, Oct./Nov.2017:

by Marg Friesen, in Eco Journal, the newsletter of the Manitoba Eco-Network, Fall 2017:

by Alasdair Philips, in Caduceus, a magazine for mind, body, spirit and environment, Issue 98, Spring 2018:

by Jennifer Wood, for Environmentalists Against War, May 19, 2018:


Available Now!

THE INVISIBLE RAINBOW A History of Electricity and Life

by Arthur Firstenberg paperback $24.95 available from Chelsea Green Publishing

“I found it to be a mystery unfolding and could not put it down. This book is very, very important.

– Sandy Ross, Ph.D. President, Health and Habitat, Inc.

“As a medical doctor I found it hard to put down.”

– Bradley Johnson, M.D. Amen Center, San Francisco

“Just as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring warned the mid-twentieth century about the dangers of indiscriminate chemical and pesticide use, Arthur Firstenberg’s Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life provides a comprehensive analysis of the perils of electricity’s proliferation and exposure to its electromagnetic radiation.”

– Kate Showers, Ph.D., University of Sussex

Electricity is at once the spark of life and the undoing of it. To what extent is our present environmental crisis a result of this contradiction? Where, exactly, did the modern epidemics of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease come from, and why are they out of control? Just how dangerous are computers and cell phones? This groundbreaking book supplies the answers to these and other questions. It is a must-read that begins in the year 1746 and explains what has gone wrong and what must change if we are to survive. A breaker of taboos and an antidote to two centuries of denial, this book is uplifting. An entertaining tale and a resource for researchers, it is a road map to how we came to be where we are, and a window to a possible, necessary, more alive future.

OUR MISSION The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide: education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog) advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources.



Wi-Fi In The Sky

“Just a little rain falling all around

The grass lifts its head to the heavenly sound

Just a little rain, just a little rain

What have they done to the rain?”

– Malvina Reynolds

On September 23, 1998, 66 satellites, launched into low orbit by the Iridium Corporation, commenced broadcasting to the first ever satellite telephones. Those phones would work equally as well in mid-ocean, and in Antarctica, as in the middle of Los Angeles—a remarkable achievement.

But telephone interviews revealed that on that day exactly, people all over the world experienced stabbing pains in their chest, knife-like sensations in their head, nosebleeds, asthma attacks, and other signs of severe electrical illness. Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control reveal that the national death rate rose 4 to 5 percent during the following two weeks. Thousands of homing pigeons lost their way during those two weeks, all over the United States.

150 companies and governments are now competing to provide not just cell phone service, but Wi-Fi and the equivalent of 5G, to every square inch of the earth from satellites in space in low earth orbit. They are planning not 66 satellites, but hundreds of thousands of satellites. There isn’t much time to prevent a global ecological catastrophe.

The companies planning the biggest constellations are:

Amazon: 7,774 satellites Astra Space: 13,620 satellites Boeing: 5,936 satellites Galaxy Space (China): 1,000 satellites Guowang (China): 12,992 satellites Hanwha Systems (South Korea): 2,000 satelliltes Hughes Network: 1,440 satellites Kepler (Canada): 712 satellites Lynk (Hong Kong): 5,000 satellites OneWeb (UK): 7,088 satellites Roscosmos (Russia): 904 satellites Rwanda Space Agency: 327,320 satellites SatRevolution (Poland): 1,500 satellites SN Space Systems (UK): 1,190 satellites SpaceX: 42,000 satellites Telesat (Canada): 1,671 satellites

Press image from OneWeb’s website

In addition to microwaving the Earth, these plans have the potential to destroy the Earth’s ozone layer and add to global warming.

The New York Times (May 14, 1991, p. 4) quoted Aleksandr Dunayev of the Russian Space Agency saying “About 300 launches of the space shuttle each year would be a catastrophe and the ozone layer would be completely destroyed.”

At that time, the world averaged only 12 rocket launches per year. Maintaining a fleet of 42,000 disposable satellites, such as SpaceX is proposing to do, each with an planned lifespan of 5 years, will likely involve enough yearly rocket launches to be an environmental catastrophe.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX, together with the other satellite schemes, would require the launch of almost daily kerosene-burning rockets forever into the future.

It is a misconception that liquid fuels, such as kerosene, are environmentally friendly and destroy no ozone. This was analyzed in 2009 by scientists at the Aerospace Corporation in a paper titled “Limits on the Space Launch Market Related to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion.” They found that although liquid fuels do not contain chlorine, they still produce significant amounts of nitrogen and hydrogen oxides, as well as water vapor and soot when burned, all of which destroy ozone. “The assumption that liquid rocket engines are green as far as ozone is concerned is not correct,” they wrote. Even if liquid fuels optimistically destroyed only 2% as much ozone as solid fuels, a 50-fold increase in the rate of rocket launches, which is about to happen unless the world wakes up, would destroy just as much ozone. And the authors state that their 2% figure is little better than a guess because of “the nearly complete lack of data and models.”

Martin Ross of the Aerospace Corporation was also the lead author of a paper published in 2010 titled “Potential climate impact of black carbon emitted by rockets.” The authors developed a computer model to predict what would happen in different parts of the planet if the number of launches burning kerosene (then 25 annually) increased by a factor of 10. Their model predicts as much as a 4% loss of ozone over the tropics and subtropics, as much as a 3-degree Celsius summertime increase in temperature over the South Pole,